Recently in Media Category

At the World Indoors in Birmingham, I asked Adam Johnson-Eder, partner in The Shoe Addicts, the digital partner of RunBlogRun, to make some observations on the access for media at the World Indoors.

IMG_3257.JPGMike Deering, Algernon Felice, Jr., Adam Johnson-Eder, aka The Shoe Addicts

Adam has been around the sport and events since he was six weeks old. As a youngster, he was on the track most afternoons with me as I coached at Foothill Community College. Adam also endured his mother and I as we worked on American Atheltics and American Track & Field, trying to keep the publications alive.

IMG_4746.JPGLarry Eder and Brian Eder, RunBlogRun. photo by Victah Sailer

My brother, Brian Eder and I focus on RunBlogRun and its daily content. Brian convinced me to begin writing RunBlogRun in 2006, after cajoling me for about a year. He was right, as the blog quickly outpaced our print readers that I had developed for two plus decades. RunBlogRun changed the way I viewed and see media for sports in general, and athletics in particular.

IMG_2991.JPGAdam Johnson-Eder, Larry Eder, in airport, a traditional resting place, photo by Mike Deering for The Shoe Addicts

The Shoe Addicts began in 2010, to focus on bespoke video for RunBlogRun and our business clients. Around major events, we have daily video on press conferences, and interviews, and product related videos for our partners. Adam and his partners, Mike Deering and Algernon Felice shoot manage and produce all of our video content.

I asked Adam to concentrate on what things we can do to make the sport more accessible to media. Anyone can offer criticism of our sport, but to truly affect change, one must provide suggestions for the changes that will make the sport better. In the past two months in the US, Runners World was purchased by Heart magazines, Track & Field News has gone completely digital, and the Competitor group and Motiv running sites have been reduced to bit players in the running media.

IMG_1653.JPGRunBlogRun and The Shoe Addicts in the Big Apple, photo by Mike Deering for The Shoe Addicts

The battle to keep media sites in athletics alive is constant. Media, athletes, managers, sponsors and federations are all invested in making athletics more accessible.

Please send us your comments to [email protected]

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Track & Field News announced recently that they were stopping the print issues and going completely digital. My response, short and sweet: Get over it.

Track & Field News published print issues for 70 years, and now, as they embark on their 71rst year, they will do so digitally. That means that they will save on postage and printing which in this day and age, are about even in cost, as USPS has helped destroy the print publication business. To keep the strong staff that they have, so that the stories are accurate, and well written, plus designers, cost real money. If you want a high quality product, and you are an enthusiast, you will pay the $79 for the subscription.

How do I know? Well, I have sold ads for TFN and 35 other publications and websites for twenty-six years (TFN just for one decade), and until two years ago, we would get ads from 4-5 shoe companies, who now have decided that print ads mean very little to them. Brands speak with their dollars. Most brands think that real runners do not deserve their marketing dollars, because, they are going to buy shoes anyway? We have had to reinvent our business over the past three years, and move most of our energy to digital, with social media, focused video and coverage of live events around the world. It is tough, but that is why magazines like TFN and regional pubs like RunOhio. Colorado Runner and Running Journal are so important.

rw_march71_1.jpgMarch 1971 cover of Runners' World

The Hearst Corporation has acquired Rodale Press. Rodale Press was formed by J.I. Rodale in 1930. His first magazine, Organic Farming and Gardening was founded in 1942. His second title, Prevention, was founded in 1950. Rodale built an amazing book division and, in the 1980s built a series of sports related magazines, with Bicycling and Runners' World. Rodale acquried Runners' World from Bob Anderson, the founder, in 1985. I was one of the seven people who were hired by Rodale, to move from Mountain View, CA to Emmaus, PA and work on Runners' World. It was a challenging time in running, which, with the death of the late Jim Fixx, and the oversell of the 1984 Olympics, running was getting a bad rap. The publisher at the time was Mike Perlis, who managed RW for 18 months, then moved to IDG Publishing. George Hirsch, the founder of the iconic Runner Magazine, sold Runner to Rodale in 1986 and steared the RW flagship for over two decades.
Print has come on some hard times. While Print, digital and social seem to be the winning comibination, Rodale had some media launches that were too costly, under the management of Maria Rodale.
What will Hearst do with Rodale? This was a long term attraction between Hearst and Rodale. There is the understanding that Rodale was offered several times the current closingt offer way back in 2002 by Hearst, but turned it down.
We wish Hearst the very best and hope to see Runner's World continue to grow and prosper.
From the release below, obvious large changes in leadership at Rodale. This is normal in acquisitions. It will take three to six months to see how Hearst absorbs the Rodale properties, but the release gives some good direction.
2-oct77_1000.jpgOctober 1977 issue of Runners' World

Flanagan_ShalaneFHL1a-NycMar17.jpgShalane Flanagan at NYC Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net
Flanagan confirms Boston
BOSTON (USA): New York Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan and Chicago Marathon winner Galen Rupp are both confirmed for the Boston Marathon on 16 April, informs organisers. Flanagan will face a line-up which includes the previously announced reigning champion Edna Kiplagat from Kenya. Other top American names confirmed for the women's line-up include last year's third placer Jordan Hasay; former runner-up Desiree Linden; long-time American record-holder Deena Kastor; world and Olympic 10,000m finalist Molly Huddle; and in-form Sara Hall. On the men's side, last year's runner-up Rupp renews his rivalry with Kenya's reigning champion Geoffrey Kirui. Veterans Dathan Ritzenhein and Abdi Abdirahman are also confirmed.

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Craig Masback, photo courtesy of Runnerspace.com

_61787353_ovett3.jpgSteve Ovett, photo courtesy of BBC

Craig Masback was a fine miler, used his love of the sport to build a media commentating career. Steve Ovett, an Olympic champion, an a mile WR holder, used his love of the sport, his sense of humor to build a career in sports commentating on the other side of the pond.

In this short review, Jeff Benjamin writes of their styles and attention to detail that make them popular sports commentators in the sport of athletics.

Runners World has been the focus of many in the running community since its inception. Somewhere in my archives, I have the first issue. I have always been grateful for my time at Runners World, 1981-1987, as it opened my opportunities in the media world.

1971may.jpg1971 cover of Runners World, courtesy of RW

My affection for the magazine has grown over the decades. My respect for the absolutely hard work of keeping a media culture vibrant and successful goes for Runner's World and Rodale Press.

A serious running publication in its early days, the average RW reader today is a woman, who sees running as a daily act of living. As the age demographic goes up, how does RW attract young runners, and more performance based runners? Former editor, Amby Burfoot once told me that we did not publish the magazine for ourselves, we published it for our readers. Sage advice for then, and now.

2014october.jpgOctober 2014, a recent redesign

But, how do you breathe new life and new growth into a cultural icon? That is Betty Wong Ortiz's job as Editor in Chief for RW. Her picks of Matt Gross Marissa Stephenson and Brian Dalek shows the level of professionalism that Ms. Ortiz considers in rebuilding her new challenge.

The media world is in an evolutionary spin right now, and so is Runner's World and Rodale. At RW, Betty Wong Ortiz, the new Editor in Chief, is bringing in key people to build the RW culture. Where will the magazine go in the future?

Stay tuned.

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