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Kentucky Wildcats Friday Quickies: Famurewa and Thomson Edition

Football recruiting news, basketball at the NBA Combine, the track and field team justifies its top-ranking, and struggles on the diamond.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning and happy Friday, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. I'm not sure if you've heard, but the traditional journalism industry has fallen on hard times.

The Courier-Journal, for example, use to have "Kentucky" and "Metro" sections to go along with "Sports" and the opening international/national news section. Today, the paper barely resembles what I remember from my youth. Today it reads like a USA Today with a local sports section.

It's not just the C-J that has streamlined its reporting while outsourcing national news coverage and downsizing staff. Many newspapers are doing this. The digital media has taken a giant bite out of the pie. For example, unlike even five years, I would wager an annual subscription to A Sea of Blue (once we start charging) that when Marques Bolden announces his college destination, the post on ASoB will garner more clicks than the same story on the C-J or the Herald-Leader. That's despite the fact those papers will have paid to have journalists covering the event and getting reactions from UK.

The "old" media now lives in a world of search engine optimization, algorithms, and Facebook shares. Many respected journalists have left the traditional media and now work for digital media companies ranging from Yahoo! Sports to Buzzfeed.

But now things may be changing a bit. The New York Times rolled out a paywall in 2011 in what seemed at the time as a last ditch effort for revenue. The Times now claims to have 1.2 million digital subscribers worldwide, while print subscribers have shrunk from 1.5 million in 1995 to 600,000 today. In the aggregate, mostly thanks to a digital avenue, The Times has more total subscribers today than they did in 1995. Last year, The Times reported to have made $400 million in digital revenue, and also claimed to now make more money from subscribers than notoriously fickle advertisers.

This is a good thing. The customer, or reader, is now the key provider. It allows The Times to take risks on stories that may not get a bunch of clicks, and instead strengthen their relationship with their readers through quality journalism. Stories written for the sake of going viral can be an afterthought. Even in a world where social media and digital platforms won't be going away, The New York Times - and even The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal - are successfully instituting pay walls and seeing themselves compete with new realities. Their great work has justified their pay walls.

Good content drives loyalty, and with loyalty comes subscriptions.

Tweets of the Morning

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Yesterday I published a post about UK recruiting, SPARQ scores, and what those scores mean in a wider context. This is the second year I've done this thanks to help from Brent at the Roll Bama Roll site.
  • UK announced the hire of Matt House as the next inside linebackers and special teams coordinator. Using Football Outsiders, I looked back at House's defenses as a DC at Pittsburgh and FIU and the performances were not statistically encouraging, but he'll be a position coach first and foremost.
  • Kentucky has now offered two members of the 2019 Class in the Commonwealth and both are linemen.
  • UK quarterback commit Mac Jones received an offer from Ole Miss.
Kentucky basketball
  • McDonald's All-American Lindsey Corsaro explained to ESPN why she decommitted from Matthew Mitchell and UK. I'm still not sure what "culture change" means, but the departures of assistants, who it has sounded like mostly run the program, would be a problem for most players. All of this sounds more like a culmination of events rather than one or two major events.
  • Cal says if Skal had stayed he would have been the future number one pick. Hey! That's what I've been saying! Don't look now, but Skal is poised to start climbing up draft boards.
  • Here are the pre-Combine measurements for Skal, Lee, and Ullis. Ullis is ready to prove himself. Lee didn't have a strong showing in a 5-on-5 game at the Combine. He had two points, two rebounds, two assists, and four fouls in 17 minutes.
  • Marques Bolden Signing Watch Episode ∞.
Other Kentucky sports
  • First, some good news: the track and field team is kicking booty early on at the SEC Championships. Senior captain Becky Famurewa won the hammer throw, while sophomore Jacob Thomson won the men's 10K. Overall, the men's team is in fourth place while the ladies are tied for third. Today and tomorrow's competitions will air on SECN+.
  • The baseball team didn't fair as well. They lost 3-1 at No. 6 Ole Miss. Game Two is tonight at 7:30 EST.
  • The No. 11 softball team also suffered a lost 3-1 to No. 13 LSU in the SEC Tournament. UK has 20 wins on the road this year, so seem set to receive a compensatory seeding in the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
  • Tennis coach Cedric Kauffmann was named Regional Coach of the Year.
College football
College basketball
  • UofL postman Chinanu Onuaku feels like there's more NCAA punishment coming for UofL. Also, he's torn about whether he should go pro or not.
  • Dayton basketball player dead at 20 years old.
  • Jamie Dixon can change everything at TCU.
Other sports news
  • Goodnight, Tim Duncan. May you swim laps in the turquoise waters of Christiansted for many decades to come.
  • This would have never happened if the NCAA had been in charge. I'm enjoying the picture of FSB agents breaking into labs and handling urine. I'm sure it's exactly what they pictured themselves doing when they decided to serve their country.
  • USA Today pens a terrific breakdown of Leicester City and Atletico Madrid's defensive systems.
  • The recent labor deal has changed a lot of things about how the NFL operates.
Other news