Friday, August 17, 2007

Ted, You Got Pwned

OUCH! Not content just to rip on the Washington (Com)Post and other newspapers for their declining circulation rates, Ted Leonsis decided to take on Sports Talk Radio this week and Steve Czaban brutalized him in response.

If this were a boxing match and I was Ted's trainer, I would have thrown in the towel. Sorry Ted, cute little emoticons and sending you this blog's traffic statistics won't bail you out of this one. Everything Czaban said (including his irrelevant and low blow cheap shot crack about your rankings in NHL attendance) was spot on 110% correct. According to Czaban, he even smokes you in web traffic.

Ted, you'll only embarrass yourself further if you continue this fight. I'm sure you've heard the joke about the meaning of WTEM's call letters (With Testosterone. Estrogen Missing.). Will you yourself be at RFK this coming Wednesday night when D.C. United hosts the New York Red Bulls? Or will the lack of international stars playing cause you to not prioritize attending the game. I know where you'll be on October 20th and it won't be at RFK for United's season finale against the Columbus Crew. That D.C. United-David Beckham game last week was a one-shot trick pony and everybody knows it.

It utterly amazes me that when a team can bring 90K+ people to its games, has sold out every home game for over thirty years, and has a waiting list for season tickets long enough to refill the stadium more than twice that people can't understand just why they get all of the attention in town despite having just two playoff appearances in the last fourteen seasons.

It's pretty clear Ted that it's you who and not everybody else doesn't get it. And what is going to be the most embarrassing for you is when in the next month and half when you announce your radio carrier for the 2007-2008 season. Odds are very good that you'll be signing on once again with WTEM and it will be a very valid question as to why you choose to put your team on a station that not only consistently mocks your fans but one that you personally believe "doesn't get it." I know you won't even consider consider putting the Caps (or making an appearance yourself) on WHUR or WPGC (the top two overall rated radio stations in the D.C. market) even if they would let you because those two stations do not fit the demographic you're shooting for.

I know you've seen the ads from Comcast on cable about targeting your advertising. Hades Ted, you crow constantly about your targeted marketing yourself. I don't think you're putting ads on Lifetime or during Oprah despite the NHL claiming to have by far the largest female audience of the four major professional sports leagues (I wouldn't know because I don't watch the Lifetime network or Oprah). If you and other advertisers are going to be selective in where you put your advertising dollars, why shouldn't TV and radio stations cater to select audiences themselves?

Finally, in some ways I think you're lucky Ted that the (Com)Post hasn't responded to your constant broadcasting of their woes by posting their own web traffic numbers. I already know I get more traffic sent my way when Dan Steinberg throws me a link than when you do (and I obliterate all records when I post leaked pictures of new jerseys...) so I think it is safe to assume that the (Com)Post gets more traffic than you do as well. It is my understanding that Jason LaCan'treporta's Redskins blog gets the most traffic of any of the sports blogs more than the Caps do but sometimes loses to the soccer blog at the (Com)Post. (I wonder how many of those vistors are local yokels...) I however would be very interested to see what their web traffic is compared to their circulation. I would be willing to bet that their web traffic has been increasing while their circulation has been on the decline. It only makes sense and their financial situation has more to do with the fact that many companies (AOL being one of them) has had trouble finding ways to make the internet profitable. As I said before, newspapers still carry a considerable about of clout in the community at large despite the fact that their dead tree publications are dying a slow death. You can continue to willfully ignore that if you want, but you'll continue to embarrass yourself in the process.

So please Ted, as somebody who does respect and admire you, please take my friendly advice and stop this. You're only embarrassing yourself.

UPDATE: Dan Steinberg has a good and humorous round up of the whole thing. He also corrects for me the (Com)Post Blog stats and the changes have been made in the body of the post here.

Also yesterday on Drudge, this story says that the (Com)Post gets about 8.50 million visitors a month to their website.


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