RealClearPolitics Media Watch

« Why Won't FOX Just Get Out of Palin's Way? | Media Watch Home Page | Ombudsman Exposes Woman-on-Woman Crime at NPR »

WSJ, Tiger Prepare for First Shots in Battles

We'll wrap up the week with a couple of updates on bits we imparted to you from across the crowded media galaxy ...

WSJ Takes Battle for NYT Readers Home

The Wall Street Journal has pointed yet another cannon at The New York Times in its looming battle for New York City readers.

On Wednesday we told you that Rupert Murdoch's newspaper had infiltrated the 450 Starbucks coffee shops in the greater New York area, long a high-end readership territory held solely by the Times.

Thanks to this report from Reuters we learned today that the WSJ plans to cut subscription prices in the area by as much as 80 percent to attract new readers, and better yet, Times readers.

According to the story, the Journal has mailed some Times subscribers an offer that would have them pay a scant $10 a month for home delivery. Most Times subscribers currently pay $40 a month to have the paper delivered to their doorsteps each morning.

For its part, the Times is taking the latest maneuvering by the Journal in stride.

"We don't shrink from it. We are motivated by it," Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said.

The first shots are alleged to be fired on April 26 when the Journal goes out with its New York City edition. Stand by.

ESPN Following Tiger to the Tee

And speaking of shots ...

Getting to this one a little late, but two weeks ago we wondered how the Masters and ESPN would handle Tiger Woods' long-awaited return to professional golf, following some turbulent times in his personal life.

Because the Masters allows less air time than any of golf's four professional major tournaments -- far less, actually -- there was every chance that Tiger's march to the first tee in next Thursday's opening round might not be shown live.

Worry over such things might sound trivial, but there is reason to believe that Tiger's return will be a TV-ratings blockbuster. Like or not, it is big-time news.

Well, according to this story in The New York Times on Wednesday, Masters officials plan to allow ESPN, which is covering the first two rounds of the tournament before giving way to CBS over the weekend, to break away from whatever it is covering at the time to join the Masters live for Woods' first shot.

And that's it. After he hits the shot, live coverage will hit the road. For the uninitiated, the Masters is not a bastion of flexibility. Tradition is its calling card.

How much we see of Woods' first round is in the laps of the gods that rule things at the private Augusta National Golf Club. The later Tiger's tee time Thursday, the more we will see, as live coverage of the event begins on ESPN at 4 p.m. ET.

If Tiger gets a later tee time, say in the 2 p.m. range, viewers will see more than half of his first round. If he goes off early, however, only the first shot will be shown live.

Masters pairings will be made public on Tuesday. It will be very interesting to see when tournament officials send Tiger's group off. Again, the later he goes off the more you'll see live. Too early, and you'll see nothing at all.

Yes, it has come to this -- even Tiger's tee time is a story.

Have a good weekend.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)