Leonsis expands on his relationship with The Post
I wrote a lot of words about this week's Washington Post-sponsored summit of D.C. sports owners, but the thing that likely got the most traction was Ted Leonsis's comments on the media.
"I think that there is no more steering wheel in the hand of The Washington Post," he said then. "I used to live in mortal fear about what you would write. Now, I don't care. I think it's something that you need to internalize: that we're our own media company...We're in the same business [as The Post]. When someone goes to find out something about me or a team or a player, and they go to Google and they type that in, I want to learn how to get the highest on the list, and I've done that. I don't want The Washington Post to get the most clicks. I want the most clicks."
Those comments got picked up by media site Poynter, by The Globe and Mail, and by the National Sports Journalism Center and by Wall Street Cheat Sheet, among others. And after I included his words in Friday's print edition of The Post, Leonsis responded, with a more nuanced 1,300-word exploration of the relationship between The Post and the Caps. Including the headline, he used the word "complicated" six times in the piece. This is sort of the key part:
There used to be one major outlet of communications to our fans and that was the Washington Post. I could meet with their writers and editors and talk all day but they got to choose what they wanted to write about. They could and do edit and create a headline and choose a photo and the message that was transmitted was not always the message that I thought was appropriate. And I also thought that we - at times - weren't getting our due in terms of coverage or space or interest. The more interest - the more fans - the more passion - the more tickets sold - the more growth of the sport. That is the cycle I believe in.
Hence I believed that a democracy of voices was more important to our community and that many views and many outlets - including my own - would add to the richness of presentation of our sport and how we were growing our sport and how we were talking about our teams. I also wanted to disintermediate the middleman and speak with an unfiltered and unedited voice.
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