Changes at ESPN Boston NFL

mwonow

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Sep 4, 2005
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Has anyone else noticed that something "funny" is happening with ESPN Boston's Pats coverage? In a chat yesterday, Reiss stated that he had "lost control of the blog" (or words to that effect - it was a 20 page, 2 hr chat, and the new format made me load the entire thing backwards, starting at the bottom of page 20 and moving, awkwardly, to the top of page 1).
 
What's up over there? Do any of you know?
 

Tony C

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Much more of a promo page for PTI, Mike & Mike etc -- am guessing some edict came down for "synergy" btw national programs and the locally-oriented pages. It's similar on the Jets/Cimini page.
 

mascho

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ESPN yesterday debuted "NFL Nation."  Each NFL team has a dedicated "blog" style homepage with dedicated beat writers for each NFL team for ESPN.  
 

Stitch01

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The changes are a downgrade.  Hopefully the downgrade is limited to having to read PTI and insider spam and they let Reiss and Yates keep their content the same. 
 

wutang112878

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On a serious note, I am reading a lot of the comments in here, specific to the change on the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com. They mean a lot. I think a lot of you know how much work went into that over the last four years and how that personal ownership stake meant a lot to me. I have a lot of the same questions you do going forward. I don't have any answers and you know how I don't shy away from telling you the truth. So instead of filling up the chat with the questions, let's table it for now and focus on the football.
 
 
That was from Reiss chat, and the change is horrible.  The blog used to be full of actual intelligent football talk.  Now every 4th post or so is effectively an ESPN ad to plug content on a show in an attempt to get the reader to listen to podcasts or watch a video.  I loved the old blog because I could go there for purely news and analysis, and completely avoid propaganda and general ESPN garbage.  I am sure Reiss must have flipped a gasket when they posted a link to a Borges interview
 

Jimy Hendrix

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wutang112878 said:
 
That was from Reiss chat, and the change is horrible.  The blog used to be full of actual intelligent football talk.  Now every 4th post or so is effectively an ESPN ad to plug content on a show in an attempt to get the reader to listen to podcasts or watch a video.  I loved the old blog because I could go there for purely news and analysis, and completely avoid propaganda and general ESPN garbage.  I am sure Reiss must have flipped a gasket when they posted a link to a Borges interview
 
I wish it was every fourth post, it's looking like greater than 50% right now.
 
This will probably actually drive me away from the site if that ratio continues, having 50% of the article space suddenly taken up by podcast/radio/video cross-promotion that I don't want to deal with is pretty brutal.
 

mabrowndog

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The good news is that the blog feed is still chronological (I'm on a laptop with Chrome). It's not like they're moving featured national content to the top (like sponsored Google hits) while pushing posts by Reiss & Yates to the bottom. So while it's a little annoying to have to click more page numbers to see only the locally-produced content while skipping the national TV-based crap, it's something that's relatively easy to deal with.
 

wutang112878

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From Reiss latest chat:

 
There have been some things going on work-wise -- some changes at ESPN -- that have drawn me away from things. ...
 
I think over the last four years, we've established a community that is straight-forward and honest, so I'm going to shoot you straight here: I have lost control over the tone and direction of the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com. Since I started a Patriots blog back in 2003-2004, back at the MetroWest Daily News and then at the Boston Globe, I've always had control, for the most part, of the tone and direction of the blog. Over the last three days, that has changed as ESPN has introduced its NFL Nation project. Based on the personal investment I've put into it, there are a lot of emotions that come with that, and still a lot of questions ahead as to how things will unfold going forward as it relates to the tone and direction of the blog. I'm going to stay positive at this point, knowing that any time there is change there is some level of patience involved.
 
 
 
This is about as upset as Mike ever sounds.  I wouldnt be surprised if he is considering leaving ESPN because I think he has an established track record and could find work elsewhere.  If he does I hope he continues to cover the Pats.
 

joe dokes

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wutang112878 said:
From Reiss latest chat:
 
 
 
This is about as upset as Mike ever sounds.  I wouldnt be surprised if he is considering leaving ESPN because I think he has an established track record and could find work elsewhere.  If he does I hope he continues to cover the Pats.
 
I wonder if King's MMQB thing would reach out to him or if he'd be interested. I dont know how the money would shake out (or if he has family reasons to stay around NE), but within football writing circles, he might be at or near the point where he can write his own ticket.
 

wutang112878

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That was the first thought that came to my mind too, because I remember King praising Reiss a few times in the past, and I am sure they could find a place for Mike there if he really wanted to leave.
 
I do believe he is tied to the area though, he went to UMass and has covered the Pats since he started.
 

Rusty13

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This really ticks me off.  I LOVE the Reiss Blog, especially during the actual games where he continually provides substantive, live updates.  I hope he jumps ship over this. 
 

mwonow

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I clicked in earlier today to see something on the cuts, and found a piece from Associated Press at the top of the pile - plus, the Insider promo bs/etc.
 
This is really too bad - football season about to start, and the best (by a fair ways) news source for the Pats gets diluted.
 
Here's hoping Reiss didn't get his wrist slapped too badly for the comments about losing control - and that he and Yates end up with a clean Pats feed again
 
(and joe d - unlikely at MMQB, I think, as they've already hired on Bedard and would risk being kind of Boston-heavy with Reiss, too...)
 

loafnut

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Jul 18, 2005
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All Tebow all the time over there right now.  Some truly terrible articles are polluting the blog.  His stuff is top notch, but now ESPN is effectively spamming him. Gotta feel bad for Reiss and I hope he moves on. They have really lowered the overall quality.
 

wutang112878

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Maybe I missed it, but has Reiss or anyone else at ESPN addressed the changes to the blog since Reiss was upset?
 

wutang112878

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While they arent completely gone, it seems the ESPN crap that was really being pushed on the blog has reduced significant, its actually pretty rare which is awesome
 

triniSox

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I just realized that http://www.mikereiss.net exists after Mike linked to the "Important Causes" section of it on his chat. Not a lot of content on then and the website isn't flashy but it seems pretty clear Mike is positioning himself for a possible move outside ESPN if he doesn't regain control of his ESPN Boston blog. I'm not sure he's engaging enough to have his own successful website but he's a very professional, balanced, accountable reporter who should be able to find work elsewhere.
 

Foxy42

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I bet TheMMQB would grab Reiss. King has gives him a shout out in his column or via twitter a couple times a month.
 

nattysez

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He'd have tons of suitors -- Yahoo, MMQB, Grantland (not sure how an ESPN->Grantland move would work, but I'm sure it's possible), etc.
 

wutang112878

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I dont know if anyone else saw this, but early this morning at 8:30 or so I went to Reiss's Pats blog to check out his Sunday notes. 
 
The post chronologically after his was taken from the ESPN NY Jets blog by Rich Cimini, it was his Sunday Notes entry with the title "Sunday notes: A spy in the house?" which discussed the possibility of the Patriots winning today and using the Jets facilities in preparation for the Superbowl.  He says the Jets "shouldnt be worried" and he is kind enough to provide 6 bullet points about the restrictions and rules around the use of the facility, including his last point that "The visiting team will be protected from potential espionage as well. Windows of any office with a view of the practice field will be taped over."
 
When I checked the blog at 10:10 EST, this post was removed from Reiss.  Unfortunately, looks like he is still in a battle to truly control it.