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  • Feature article on ," What ever happened"....

    I guess this is a question for Gary Hill, but I'd like to know if others are interested. TFN has done some great articles about the status of T & F athletes of the past--but what about a monthly article? There seems to be a lot of interest in this...

  • #2
    Re: Feature article on ,

    Sorry Garry,I left out an "r". LC

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    • #3
      Re: Feature article on ,

      Not a bad idea. It could be an expansion of the "Remember when" section. I've noticed that these sections sometimes coincide with news of an athlete's death, but why wait for death to do an update on some legends of the sport?

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      • #4
        Re: Feature article on ,

        SI does this in every issue. I like it. It would take a page in T&FN away from "news" and make it more "magazine", which is what I'd like.

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        • #5
          Re: Feature article on ,

          Lynn, you beat me to it ! I was going to write a message asking the same. So I "second the motion." And it would not have to be full page page, a half page or so with a picure and brief bio would suffice.

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          • #6
            Re: Feature article on ,

            We indeed ran a "whatever happened to" section in the early '70s, but we killed becuase of a demonstrated lack of interest by the readers as evidenced by reader surveys.

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            • #7
              Re: Feature article on ,

              Do a new survey, you might get a different answer. Your magazine is now 25 years older which means you have the potential for many more long time subsribers than you did then.

              Just a thought.

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              • #8
                Re: Feature article on ,

                True enough, but there are other concerns. For example, every word of history that gets into the magazine is a word of current events that gets cut out, and while a significant percentage of readers might agree that they'd like more history, they'd not agree on what should be cut, so we risk alienation.

                There's also the problem that magazines are having a great struggle to hold their own against the instant-info age. At a time when our content already runs the risk (or crosses the line) at being hopelessly dated, adding to that image by including really ancient stuff isn't likely to gain us the next generation of readers we need to stay viable in the coming decades.

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                • #9
                  Re: Feature article on ,

                  Gary, I've been reading your magazine since moving here from London in 1985. I'm a hard core fan. To be honest I have to say that in the last couple of years I've been considering not re-subscribing. The reason for this is that so much of it is dedicated to results, all of which I already know by the time I get the magazine. I read it immediatelty on receipt but more and more recently I've found myself skipping through, rather than sitting down for 1-2 hour read. I like the idea of "what happened to" articles and indeed any other increase in editorial content. I buy the Sunday Times from London every week and they have just added such a column in their sports section, I find it fascinating. It's interesting because not only is it good to hear what ex-sportspeople are doing now but it also makes you remember the events/races they are famous for. I work for a publishing company so understand your need to get new subscribers to support your rate base and I've no idea what your demographics are but it would seem from postings here that you do have a bunch of 35+ subscribers who I'm sure would be interested in such a column.

                  I agree with 197hjsteve. (btw Steve, just read your other posting about Amy Acuff... if 197 was your pr she's jumped higher than you...how does that feel? LOL! Also, we should start a thread about under-achievers, I think she'd be near the top of my list)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Feature article on ,

                    I agree with mark. I used to desperately open T&FN once a month to get RESULTS. Not any more. I know them already, and instead go to the features.

                    But then again perhaps the people on this website are too hard core and do not represent the mainstream of your subsribers. I do know that youe newsstand sales are slim and none.

                    Any demographics in your data bank on percentages of readers collelated with origination date/longevity of being a subscriber ?

                    Anything you guys do is terrific. But do not try to be USA Today or compete with the Websites in get too hung up on results. But don't go too far the other way either, a la Runners World.

                    So you really do have a difficult task, that is, keeping the hard cores and the semi hard cores happy, but also appealing to the softer fans as well. All in all you do a great job !!!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Feature article on ,

                      yes mark you figured out the "197"
                      correctly !! You sure know how to hurt a guy.
                      Take 38 years off my age, give me chance to learn the flop ( I retired 3 years too soon ) then maybe, just maybe, 2.03 as a max. We all hit the talent ceiling !

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                      • #12
                        Re: Feature article on ,

                        Exactly. The way for tfn to stay "viable" is with new columns that go beyond mere news, since noone reads it for results anymore. The bible can remain required reading by emphasizing interviews, commentary, analysis, predictions, history and the great photos (like the idea for centerfolds).

                        As for space, how about that back page that currently is largely wasted on what's "coming next month." I doubt that section has much effect on business, and it could easily be covered in a brief statement in some corner.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Feature article on ,

                          Hear hear. As for the worry that not all subscribers are totally immersed in the sport as those active on this message board, pray tell me who shells out $45 per year and ISN'T a track nut?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Feature article on ,

                            Hey, 197hjsteve... I was a 2.03 straddler when Fosbury came along. My question is, do you really think you could have improved by learning to flop? I doubt I would have. Flopping rewards foot speed and quickness off the ground, I was slow and flexible. Do you believe, as a generality, that every jumper could jump higher flopping than straddling? Just something for old guys to ponder about...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Feature article on ,

                              jhc68, my humble opinion on this whole straddle vs. flop is that the Flop enabled middle-level talented athletes to improve more than the upper levels. Just look how all of as sudden any half decent high school athlete could jump 6' 2" to 6' 6" when they could only do 5' 10" to 6' 2 " before. Same thing in college, just add another 2 inches to all of the above.
                              So it was a quantum leap upwards of about 4 inches at that level.... it looks easier to learn ?

                              I may be all wet on this.... any old straddlers out there at whatever talent levels that made the switch, and with what results ? As said before I "retired" at age 22 in 1965 so I missed the opportunity.

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