The Primitive Timing of Season Previews

I received helpful feedback recently from Associated Press reporter Peter Kerzel, who penned the Caps’ preview for this season’s THN Annual Yearbook. You may recall my suggesting that Kerzel’s file, which featured curious forecasted line combinations among other personnel considerations, delivered the impression of being a bit†outdated†for this reader. Turns out, Kerzel had to have his forecast†submitted to THN editors in the second week of July — “barely enough time for free agents to get signed,” Kerzel told me.
“We were allowed to make some changes the beginning of the following week,” Kerzel pointed out, “but at that point, everything was formatted and the books sent to press so they could be in stores by mid- to late August.”
Here’s how early in the summer this preview was penned: Kerzel collaborated on the project with the Washington Times’ Dave Fay.
“Dave thought he had a pretty good handle on personnel,” Kerzel said. “Of course, that was before Fleischmann’s ascension, Kozlov’s move to center, Backstrom’s move to wing, [and] Clark’s move to the third line.”
“I’ve run into this same issue before, when covering the Caps and putting together a preview for The Sporting News. The year Washington acquired Jagr, the trade was consummated literally at the deadline for copy to be finalized.”
“If not for a really good editor, a guy named Ray Slover, who helped me turn around a rewrite on a dime†– while still keeping the same amount of space that had already been allocated†– the whole preview could have been out of date almost immediately. It’s just an inherently troublesome part of the process.”
In his preview Kerzel picked the Caps to finish 10th in the East this season. “I still think the Caps are on the bubble as far as playoffs go,” he told me, right before the season opener.†
Kerzel’s THN preview this summer also offered some conspicuously kind words for the team’s bloggers.
“The whole notion of blogging has really caught fire. One of my baseball††pals, Roch Kubatko of The [Baltimore] Sun, was given blog duty a couple of years ago and wasn’t sure what to make of it†– demotion? Lack of interest from the bosses? Two years later, his baseball ruminations are the most well-read blog on any of the company’s newspaper’s blogs. He’s developed a cult following.
“And I can say for sure that blogging has changed the way most media outlets approach their jobs. I know with my work for the AP, the fact that someone can blog it right away on a daily paper site means we’ve got our feet to the fire to turn around the news much quicker these days.”

This entry was posted in Dave Fay, National Hockey League, Print. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Primitive Timing of Season Previews

  1. TG says:

    Yeah, but that still doesn’t explain why ESPN and Sports Illustrated picked the Caps so low. And anyone else catch that Sports Illustrated had Motzko as one of their “major additions” and their “major losses” as Beech, Novotny, and SCHULTZ?

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