Monday, March 16, 2009

Odds and ends on a Monday

Last week's "Project AED" series really ate me up .. and didn't allow much time to write .. but here's a few things I'm hearing and/or observing.

The All-American Soap Box Derby is having serious financial problems -- again. I'm told that the traditional post-race awards ceremony is being moved from EJ Thomas Hall to the Soap Box Derby track. EJ charged the derby $13K for the venue last year. EJ had been a great way to end the event for the hundreds of families and racers who spent the entire week (and a lot of money too) in Akron. Now, that's changing. I'm told that this year's AASBD awards will be held right on the track with parents sitting in the stands -- the same place they will have just spent hours in the sun watching racing all day. I realize it's the reality when it comes to the finances of today, but do we really want hundreds of families leaving Akron with their final impression being one of sitting on the bleachers in the sun .. instead of a nice, air-conditioned venue? The lack of a major national sponsor gets much of the blame, but the reality is that each year we get closer to losing the race, which brings millions of $$ to town.

Both sides of the Akron Mayoral recall effort are really starting to get on my last nerve. Each has a website and a Facebook presence, and each is sending out daily notes about their campaigns. I can only imagine how much stronger this will get as the weeks progress, especially if it does indeed make it to the ballot. On Friday's edition of NewsNight Akron, I predicted both sides will turn on the media before this ever gets to election day. I suspect each side will accuse the media of not digging in to the other side to get the real story. Call it a hunch.

It figures that the U of A makes the "big dance" the spring after the Akron-Canton News goes off the air. Just my luck.

I can't believe how many phone calls and emails I've received from AED manufactures and distributors following last week's series. Many began their correspondence offering support and tips, but most eventually came around to trying to position themselves to be interviewed or quoted for the series. I know there's a business side of AEDs, but it just wasn't our focus with this series.

Last week's long lines at a job fair in Independence was quite a sight. There may have been as many as 1,000 people .. many standing in the rain .. just to get a soggy resume into the hands of folks who already had a stack of them. Very tough looks on many of the job hunters' faces. I saw some job seekers spread out on the floor writing their name on applications. Employers were hardly impressed. I saw others who were turning on the charm -- even after a depressing hour in the rain -- to make sure they made the best impression possible. But to be honest, there's nothing that makes a person more appreciative of their employment than seeing others out of work.

Yesterday's ABJ sports page photo of the Zips clinching victory was a poor choice. Rather that put up a color photo of the team with the trophy or a player celebrating their first MAC title (pictures that were included inside the section in black-and-white), the ABJ gave us a color photo of a Brent McKnight reaching his hand up in the air looking out of control as he puts up a shot. Don't the sports folks realize that these are the types of sections that readers save for history? The kind students and faculty like to frame on their walls? Their on-line gallery of photos is great .. with a great many better photos from which to choose.


Chris H. said...

Re: The Zips in the Sweet 16 after the Ak-Can News goes off air.

I seem to remember a station that chose not to cover Kent State in the SWEET 16 (in Kentucky mind you) ... until they won the game putting them in the Elite 8 at midnight!!!!

I still remember the call the next morning ... "Is John packed?"

The response ... "For what???"

It all went downhill from there.

Ah. Memories.

Ben said...

I agree...that picture choice in the ABJ had me confused as well re:Zips qualifying.

Ed Esposito said...

Far be it for me to be self-serving (HA!) but KUDOS to radio news vet Larry States for showing off his photog chops and the photo we did run on the web:

Cheers and go Zips!