Quick note from the new media front: I just left Comcast Sportsnet’s Bethesda studios and offices, where I joined Dmitry Chesnokov on set with Russ Thaler to chat pucks for some TV and web segments at the dawn of a new season. Thaler is back on the Caps’ beat this season, which necessarily means improved coverage of the team for the region’s puckheads. Al Koken and Thaler will alternate in hosting ‘Capitals Central’ and ‘Capitals Postgame Live.’ For the past couple of seasons Comcast, and most particularly Thaler and his colleague, Caps’ OT’s Michelle Scalise, have made it somewhat of a mission to include the voices of local hockey bloggers in their puck programming. They don’t have to do this, of course, but they see value in the engagement, and ten times out of ten it’s a fun exchange we bloggers have with the broadcast pros.
Last night I made my first appearance on 106.7 the Fan, again to chat about the new hockey season. That station has expressed interest in having OFB on every week during the season, likely on Wednesdays. And our blogger colleague JP is a notable contributor to the Fan as well. Immediately prior to my segment last night, 106.7 had the impressive hoops blog Bullets Forever on to chat about the upcoming season on the hardwood. There is such passion and commitment in so many of the local blogs covering our teams, and it’s exciting to see local Big Media recognize this and invite their participation. It’s a small sacrifice for me to stop in the studio on my commute home, or chat with radio hosts for 10 minutes in the evening from the comfort of home. It just seems like a terrifically healthy and fun engagement and synergy.
I don’t want to leave out the Washington Post, which will be including the preview views of some local hockey bloggers in its season kickoff section. It wasn’t all that long ago that bloggers generally were viewed with suspicion and even resentment in these parts by traditional media. No longer, clearly. Somebody should share our story with the PR folks out in Edmonton and up in New York, perhaps.
One other fun development to share. It had been custom with our visits to Comcast to tape our TV segment and repair to makeup and remove our madeup faces (I sit in that chair getting worked over longer than anyone). Tonight, however, Thaler stopped us in mid-wipe facial swipe and ordered us into another studio to record two separate segments for the outlet’s digital enterprise. So now a single visit to Comcast is almost certain to generate multiple products that include bloggers, for both traditional television and digital broadcast. And all of these products we’ll be able to share with our readers.