Friday, January 29, 2010

Times sinks toward irrelevance as it uses scarce Metro section space for Nets fluff

When I read this cutesy New York Times story yesterday headlined A Marketing Quandary: How Do You Sell a 4-40 Team? about a media event--a couple of Nets players coming to Brooklyn--I figured it would appear only online, in the CityRoom blog.

Surely they wouldn't put that fluff in the paper, not when there's real news about government accountability and Atlantic Yards, like the gap between the promised ten-year timetable and the more generous deadlines in the master closing documents.

But that 18-paragraph article appears in today's paper, headlined Straddling Two Arenas, Nets Woo Fans for Both.

Timetable issues

It contains the not-quite-inaccurate-but-imprecisely-generous statement that "the move is not expected to take place for at least another full season."

Had someone read the comment I posted early yesterday, they might have been reminded that a Forest City Ratner executive said the other night that the arena would take 28 months to build.

And construction has not yet begun.

Civic role?

The Times's willingness to publish promotional articles about the Nets--remember that puff piece about Devin Harris?--contrasts with its unwillingness to look carefully at the drastically revised (after being hyped) naming rights deal or the larger issues regarding the project.

The reporter on the latest piece is one A.G. Sulzberger, son of the publisher and a member of the family that controls the Times and made a deal with Forest City Ratner to build the Times Tower. (No, this article contains no disclosure of the business relationship.)

A reporter named Sulzberger should be the last one allowed to write about anything connected to Forest City Ratner. Still, another reporter given the dubious assignment likely would've turned in similar copy; the bad judgment started not with the reporter but whichever editor agreed this was worth the Times's time.

2 comments:

  1. This Times piece is much more interesting...

    The donations could create thorny issues for Mr. Cuomo as he pursues the governor’s office. Many of the major developers’ projects, like the World Trade Center and Atlantic Yards, are likely to come before the next governor.

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  2. I reported January 6 on the Cuomo donation by Bruce Ratner:
    http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2010/01/ratner-no-longer-campaign-contribution.html

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