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Volume 22 No. 14
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'Now, everybody in my newsroom is on television'

Traditional media companies are not the only ones threatened by a changing media landscape. The popularity of new apps and digital media companies threaten to disrupt who makes it on air and who does not.

J.P. Finlay (right), CSN Mid-Atlantic manager of content integration, makes an appearance on “SportsTalk Live.”
Photo: COURTESY OF COMCAST SPORTS NETWORK
TV executives increasingly will look at announcers’ social media profiles to help determine if they will be good on television, said Rebecca Schulte, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic president. The theory is that people who are able to connect with audiences over Facebook and Twitter will be more likely to connect with audiences over television.

“Some of the traditional sportscasters and anchors and reporters are not very good at social media,” Schulte said at the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. “They’re really seeing now that it’s not an option. They have to do it, they have to do it well, and they have to understand it. In the next year or two, that is going to be a really deciding factor between a lot of talent who continue in this industry.”

Schulte spoke of her network’s strategy to put digital producers on CSN Mid-Atlantic shows — a decision that mortified the RSN’s news director three years ago but is happening much more frequently today.

“Up until three years ago, you went to school, you were a journalist, you got on TV, you paid your dues,” Schulte said. “Now, everybody in my newsroom is on television. Everybody’s contributing. There are certain people who have this ability to really connect with the viewer. They may not be the person who put in their time. They just have a really authentic connection with the people who are watching.”

— John Ourand