Garry Smits reports on the a PGA Tour hosted brainstorming session to make the sport more media friendly. Though I wasn't invited (shocking, I know), my NSA sources say they may have a transcript or two of the "break out" sessions reported on by Smits.
In the meantime...
More than 100 members of the media, tournament directors, equipment representatives and players agents met with PGA Tour officials Wednesday at the Sawgrass Marriott. They discussed issues such as on-and off-tournament site media relations and functions, non-traditional media exposure for players (such as appearances on David Letterman and Jay Leno's shows), the effect of new media such as the Internet, satellite radio and blogs and player accessibility.
Oh yeah, I'm sure Leno's bookers are clamoring to get Chad Campbell.
The debate was nothing if not lively during full and break-out sessions.
Much of the discussion began with the results of a survey conducted among members of the media that showed they believe agents have been whittling away at access, especially those representing the top players, and the PGA Tour is doing little to control them.
Hey, they have to earn their 10%.
On the other hand, a survey of agents showed they think the media frustrates players by asking the same questions at every Tour stop, that they write the same "stale" stories and increase their demands on the time of players who find time an increasingly diminishing commodity.
The same "stale" stories. Why is stale in quotes? This implies doubt that the reporting has become stale. There's no doubt!
"There's a feeling that these guys make a lot of money ... What's the problem?" PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said at the closing session. "But it's not that simple. Players' schedules have changed, and the job of the media is different. It's a real challenge, but it can work better."
Among the measures that will be launched or streamlined: weekly conference calls with key players, a smoother post-round interview process, and a Tour communications representative on duty at all times at practice areas to coordinate interviews.
The question is, will the communications representative also sit in on these interviews?