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Old 07-31-2004   #15
Lucky
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Last year, because the Cowboys did so well, I had to cover all eight road games, plus one home game and one playoff game. If they continue to win, I'll cover their road games again. We have a writer who resides in Dallas and covers home games.

I covered three Titans regular-season games, including the Texans game, and two playoff games.

Plus, the Titans are in the Texans' division, and they were 12-4. There's still a lot of interest in the Titans in the Houston area, according to our surveys.

Anyway, that's why I don't write much about the Texans.
What this tells me is that the Chronicle has made a decision to put their senior football writer on the Cowgirls & Titans, and let the junior guys cover the home team. Why? "Survey says...." There is still interest in these teams. Fine, I can't argue against marketing data I'm not privileged to. What's the big difference between McClain vs the other guys covering the Texans, anyway?

Well for one, copy space. With McClain being a senior writer, he gets more space in the sports section than the other guys would if they were covering Dallas & Tennessee. Therefore you read more about Dallas & Tennessee than you would normally. Secondly, football contacts. I don't know how much McClain's work is respected, but he's been around since forever and he knows a lot of people. Usually he's willing to share that on his radio shows (when he doesn't babble about movies, dining, wine, fashion, or politics). You get more scuttlebutt on the Texans in 1 McClain radio show than you will in a month's worth of Thompson & Duarte's pieces.

I'm not a big fan of John McClain's writing (though he can report), so I don't think re-assigning him to the Texans would automatically make the Chronicle's coverage of the Texans top-shelf. It would be better to some degree, but not enough to put it on a par with the other big market newspapers in the country. The Morning News, the Globe, the Tribune, those are the type of newspapers than give their readers what they want to know concerning the local teams. We're not going to get that type of coverage from this newspaper. I'd call the Chronicle a 2nd rate newspaper, but frankly I'd be overrating it.
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