This is not entirely economy-driven for the struggling media industry, either.
As part of its annual football media day festivities, Iowa hosts a luncheon at a local restaurant (or in recent years at the Kinnick Stadium press box). Around 60 media types (including several wannabees with recorders, cameras and Hawkeye T-shirts) get the usual interviews plus some gorge themselves at the luncheon. Then, many snag a few extra media guides for their friends back home.
Not this year. Iowa has cut the free buffet line from its media day budget. Plus, the shiny media guides won’t be available, either. Iowa will send them to Chicago for Big Ten Media Days but the media guides won’t be available for local media. Iowa instead will provide their fact books (which has much more useful information anyway) to media attending the event, which is scheduled for Aug. 7.
So, how many of you wanna bet that a good 20 percent of the media day posse decides not to attend media day because there’s no free meal or free media guide? Oh, the usual suspects, like we at The Gazette, the Des Moines Register and the Iowa City Press-Citizen will attend as always, as will the major market TV stations. But the smaller radio and newspaper outlets that often showed up for a free meal, a free media guide and the chance to meet Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz will vaporize faster than you can say “seconds.”
It’s kind of sad that the sports media gets this well-earned reputation.