The Media Learning Curve: Jan. 15-22

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We should get what we pay for. And we should pay for what has value.

And we do value knowledge. Especially immediate information.

The New York Times will see what happens when it allows those who go to their website a limited amount of free stories to read. But then, if the customer desires more, they’ll have to pay a flat fee for unlimited use. If you already subscribe — even if just to the Sunday edition — you’ll get on as part of the fee.

It’ll take affect — in a year. (story linked here)

Gulp.

By that time, even more of us may have gone anyway.

So pay to read — isn’t that the whole concept of a unmanned newsrack?

Other stuff we learned this week in medialand:

== ESPN ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer isn’t sure the network covered the Alamo Bowl with any amount of fairness — considering the dustup between Craig James and Mike Leach (linked here). “Was the telecast balanced? ESPN thinks it was — and for me, that is the most troubling aspect of this whole affair.”

== What if you could watch ESPN on you Xbox360? (linked here)

== Car co-owner Jack Roush is grousing about how TV doesn’t always support NASCAR (linked here)

== ESPN’s next flood of “30 in 30″ for this spring is out (linked here)

== If you can figure out how the Phoenix Suns have a chance to win a game while appearing on TNT, let ‘em know before Jan. 28 (linked here).

== Pittsburgh is getting an FM all-sports station … jealous? (linked here)

== NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol says the net will lose a bucketful at the Vancouver Games, after preaching the profit of having the rights to the Olympics over the years. … how do we believe him? (linked here)

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== Meanwhile, Ebersol, making an appearance on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central on Wednesday, told host Stephen Colbert about the network’s upcoming coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver: “One of the things that would really help things along is if you agreed to come to the Olympics not only as the member of the speedskating team, but as part of our team.” Ebersol then gave Colbert with a sweater vest with the NBC Sports Olympic logo.
“Do you have a title in mind,” asked Colbert, “because I kind of like host of ‘The Tonight Show.’”

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== Is Erin Andrews engaged to “some little baseball player”? (linked here) Funny how one Purdue dude put that out there in case anyone was paying attention to rumors. It’s all atwitter with those who don’t want to believe it (linked here).

AND (NOT QUITE) FINALLY:

== If you paid for HBO, you got to hear this final rant by “Real Sports” host Bryant Gumbel:

“Finally tonight, an open letter to baseball’s usual suspects.

“Dear Barry, Roger, Sammy, and Rafael.

“I’m writing in hopes you saw Mark McGwire’s phony non-apology last week and learned from it. I’m assuming that you, like most people not named Tony La Russa, got a good laugh out of Mark’s crocodile tears and his self-serving claims about truth, guilt and the pharmaceutical way. So on behalf of all fans, do us a favor. If and when you’re ready to come clean, don’t insult us with talk of how much of what you did was God-given and how much was chemically induced. Let us figure that out, OK, and don’t play us for idiots. Don’t play us for idiots.

“Spare us the lies about taking ‘roids for health reasons. We’re all grownups. You took stuff for the same reason most of us break or bend rules: you thought you could get away with it, and you did. You did because commissioner Bud, being Bud, was of course asleep at the switch when you suddenly grew Shrek-like necks and bloated biceps. But even Bud is selling absolution these days. He’s cheering any and all mea culpas, even half-assed ones. If you don’t believe me, just ask A-Rod and Manny, Papi, Jason and the others who’ve come forward because they had to.

“There may be no crying in baseball, but there is forgiveness, maybe even enough to get you to Cooperstown. In closing guys, please feel free to share this letter with Bagwell, Nomar, Pudge and all those others who went from hitting homers to power outages overnight. Tell them fans are ready to accept what happened, tell them we’re ready to move on. Tell them that most of us get it, even if they, like you, still don’t.”

AND (ALMOST) FINALLY:

== From this week’s Onion Sports (linked here), a headline:

CBS Producers Ask Shannon Sharpe To Use At Least 3 Real Words Per Sentence

AND (REALLY) FINALLY:

== From a recent edition of The Onion (linked here), the “entertainment” section instead of “sports” … and it makes sense, since The Who is schedule to actually perform:

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‘CSI’ Set To Perform At Super Bowl Halftime Show

MIAMI–Just three weeks before its highly anticipated on-field performance at the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show, the popular CBS crime drama CSI is gearing up for what network executives are promising will be a “thrilling, high-tech whodunit on fourth and inches.”

“We’re pulling out all the stops,” CBS president and CEO Les Moonves said. “Tons of impenetrable forensic jargon; a graphic, four-minute conversation about a victim’s rectal cavity; plus a special guest appearance from a certain former Nash Bridges star.”

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