McFeely: I'm back for more, with more to do
I'm back. After leaving the pages of The Forum and the airwaves of 970 WDAY-AM about 6 1/2 years ago, I'm back home. You can credit - or blame, if you choose - Jeff Kolpack and Dom Izzo for this. With an assist from Eric Peterson. These are the g...
I'm back. After leaving the pages of The Forum and the airwaves of 970 WDAY-AM about 6½ years ago, I'm back home.
You can credit - or blame, if you choose - Jeff Kolpack and Dom Izzo for this. With an assist from Eric Peterson.
These are the guys who've taken multiple-platform media excellence to a new level in this market. These are the guys who've used all the platforms Forum Communications has - newspaper, TV, online, radio, wire service - and set the standard nobody else approaches.
I saw that, up close and personal as I was covering North Dakota State football games the last few years, and said, "I want a piece of that." Kolpack and Peterson are sportswriters for The Forum and Izzo is sports director at WDAY-TV, of course, but they captured perfectly where media sit in 2015 with their "Bison Media Blog," Forum columns and stories, 970 WDAY radio shows and WDAY-TV reporting. It's a blend of old media and new, straight news mixed with commentary and feedback.
We're in an age where even those of us who were once solely ink-stained wretches, pounding out words for the printed page - one of my high school graduation presents was a typewriter! - need to do it all. Forum Communications has it all under its umbrella and these three guys, good friends all, have taken advantage of all the platforms to dominate local Bison coverage the past five years the same way the football team has dominated the Football Championship Subdivision.
Well, until the mighty South Dakota Coyotes came to town anyways. But I digress ...
So here I am.
Sports will not be my focus, although it may be a part of what I do. I still love being in press boxes, where the snark and wit and cynicism and camaraderie of writers remain unmatched. I love the energy and passion of a filled stadium and the drama on the field and the emotion afterward. Sports remain the one and only true reality show. Also, watching a football game and getting paid for it reminds me how much I love America.
The idea will be to take the blueprint Kolpack, Izzo and Peterson laid out and, frankly, steal it to offer commentary on news, politics, outdoors, sports, entertainment, business - anything that matters to Fargo-Moorhead and the surrounding area. The platforms will be many. I'll be on 970 WDAY from 8:30-11 a.m. each weekday. I'll have three or four columns each week in The Forum and on www.inforum.com .
There'll be videos, blogs, podcasts, online chats. I love Twitter and Instagram. You love Facebook. I'm active on all, and other social media. You name it, we'll try it. Everything except Tinder. That seems weird.
If that seems like an awful lot of me, it is. Too much? Maybe. My wife would know best. How much you choose to consume is up to you. But this is the way it must be.
When I began working at The Forum as an intern in the mid-1980s, we all got our information from a newspaper, TV, radio or magazine. It changed drastically by the time I left in 2009. It's changed more in the interim. Now we get news and commentary from 100 different places. Or a thousand.
The world is smaller and better informed than it ever has been. You get what you need and want on your terms, not ours. We the media used to provide a one-way conduit of information, take it or leave it. Not anymore. Not even close. It's an interactive world, and if you're not moving forward 100 miles per hour, you're getting lapped.
That's why being back with Forum Communications is so invigorating. It's a company that's embraced and encouraged changing with the new media world. Nobody else in this region is doing anything near what this company is doing. I'm happy and excited to be a part of it.
Some thank-yous are in order. Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of The Forum and CEO and president of Forum Communications Co., is at the top of the list for making this happen. Mari Ossenfort, vice president of broadcasting; Jim Manney, director of video content; Matt Von Pinnon, Forum editor; and Mike Kapel, 970 WDAY program director all played key roles in encouraging and implementing this move.
And don't forget Kolpack, Izzo and Peterson. They were really the ones who got things going.
So let's get moving. I'll throw another column at you in Sunday's paper and we can talk about it Monday morning at 8:30 on 970.
Meantime, should I throw some chum in the water?
How about this:
Isn't Obama doing a great job? I sure think he is. And things will only be better when Hillary is the next president. You surely agree, don't you? Don't see how you can't.
Talk with you Monday.