Monday Media Mailbag: Basking in the Glow of another Championship

By Kyle Austin

Boston is TitleTown. While cleaning out the final cobwebs left in the wake of another local championship run, here is a look back at some interesting media notes that made it into my mailbag last week.

I’ve always thought that the greatest perk of being a sports journalist is the relationships they get to make with athletes. More specifically, the once in a lifetime opportunity where they get to take in (be part of) a locker room championship celebration. Yes, Boston sports journalists are spoiled, but once again I took pleasure in the guys with mic’s in their hands getting a Budweiser bath from the likes of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce last Tuesday night.

That along with reading The Sports Guy’s column last week, which included a back-and-forth text conversation he was having with Matt Damon’s posse courtside at Game 5 got me thinking – do any other journalists have it this good?

Sure, if you’re Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times you get to fly with Barack Obama – on the way to a history changing nomination. But even his behind the scenes access to a transcending individual is guarded by PR folks (not so unlike myself). He’ll likely never get to take in Obama the way a Bob Ryan gets to take in a Kevin Garnett – with overflowing and unguarded emotion – at the peak of his career. Sure Jeff Twiss, VP of media relations for the Celtics (who happens to be the father of one of my college buddies), was there – but it’s not like he’s keeping KG or Paul Pierce on message.

o Fake Steve Jobs (AKA Dan Lyons) will be taking over Steve Levy’s old gig at Newsweek. Levy wrapped up his last column for the magazine last week and is now on Wired’s payroll. Tell me I’m not the only one that thinks Fake Jobs taking over for Levy – a few months after Levy literally trashed the MacAir – is slightly ironic? Fake Steve may finally get to meet Real Steve (RS) as well – as Newsweek is one of the few publications that “RS” will talk to.

o Sam Whitmore (A human media encyclopedia) stopped by Racepoint last week and passed along one interesting tidbit that I’ve been mulling over. His sources tell him that TIME Inc., the parent company of Fortune, asked for 15 Fortune heads (contracts to buy out) within the last month – and they got no volunteers. Sam thinks Fortune is in trouble and believes it will become more of an event brand over the next couple years – which is hard to argue with given the success of the events that David Kirkpatrick leads for them including Brainstorm: Tech.

o Had an interesting conversation with a source close to News Corp. last week that further confirmed for me, Rupert’s borderline obsession with the Wall Street Journal right now. “He’s 100 percent focused on the Wall Street Journal, with little or no attention paid to his British papers.”

o Spent some time with Wilson Rothman of Gizmodo last week. Rothman, who’s written for TIME magazine and the New York Times, is now Features Editor for Gizmodo. Part of Nick Denton’s Gawker blog empire, Gizmodo now averages 7.8 million unique visitors a month. These impressive numbers along with its ranking on Technorati as the #3 blog in the land have communications and public relations executives taking notice. “This week alone, we had two on-site visits to major corporations along with an invite from a major motion picture studio for an exclusive set visit – all proactively arranged by PR folks,” he noted.

Are you taking notice?

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