Friday, December 12, 2008

Book Signing, New Gym On Tap This Weekend

Come see me tomorrow afternoon in Novi's Twelve Oaks Mall at the Borders Express bookstore from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

I'll be signing copies of my book, Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, and talking football,and a little basketball, too, as you finish your Christmas shopping. It's a great opportunity to get a great gift before the 25th is here!

Later in the evening, I'll be officiating at Royal Oak Shrine's inaugural boys' basketball game at their brand new basketball facility. The Knights will be facing their neighbors to the east, Royal Oak High, a school that used to host some of the bigger Shrine games in both football and basketball when it was better known as Royal Oak Kimball High.

Perhaps no school has needed a new gym more than Shrine, with it's cramped corners that didn't allow for three-point shots and a slew of other inconveniences. However, there's a ton of Catholic League history in that old, cramped barn and the old lady was witness to literally hundreds of old-fashioned Michigan barn-burners over the years. As we welcome the new, we bid adieu to the old, too.

Finally, the rumors continue to fly about The Detroit News & Detroit Free Press editorial staffs suffering greatly due to the economy, the lethargic newspaper climate and the need to shelve the old media platform for today's new, electronically-generated mediums. Yesterday chat rooms and e-mail threads buzzed with news that as many as 300 staffers could be axed from newsrooms and editorial staffs at Detroit's dailies. That and the possibility of the dailies only printing a hard copy on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.

The truth is Detroit's no longer a two-paper town, and it hasn't been for some time. It wasn't a three-paper town nearly 60 years ago when the The Detroit Times folded. If that sounds harsh, book a flight to Hartford, Connecticut and take the Amtrak into New York's Penn Station. You'll be amazed at how many papers are available on the platform of the commuter trains and how thick they are. It literally takes all two hours to get the daily paper digested on your way into the city, and it's like this in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. In Detroit you can race through our papers in 15-20 scant minutes.

That's not to say the writing is poor or the content isn't worthy. It simply means Detroit's newsworthy footprint doesn't match the available advertising resources for revenue to justify a two-paper system.

One aspect I'm optimistic about is a boost in available assignments for freelancers like myself if the online platform goes forward in full. The current hard copy production model is expensive and severely limits cash flow. An online edition, especially an exclusively online platform, would free up a lot of needed liquidity. The catch is the advertising revenue and how to effectively trigger an effective advertising model.

~ T.C. Cameron is the author of Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, and his syndicated blog is found exclusively at!

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