Photo:  Optimist Pres. Ahern and Kevin Acee

U-T’s Kevin Acee Sports Journalist Tells Optimists, ‘A New Day Has Begun For The Chargers’

Kevin Acee covers the San Diego Chargers for the SD Union-Tribune.  Living in Fallbrook, he had to get up early to be at an Optimist meeting starting at 7:00 AM in Coronado.

He spoke of the changes taking place in the news industry, from papers to the digital communications age.  His children seldom read a paper, getting almost all of their news from their cell phones.  It is a problem faced by all print media.  The Copley owners were aware of it.  The private equity group who purchased the U-T from the Copleys was aware of it, and current owners Manchester and Lynch are aware of it.  The stories must still be created so there should always be a place for writers.

Kevin related an interesting fact regarding print media vs. the internet, twitter, etc.  With print media, one seldom gets feedback regarding how many folks read what is written.  With the ‘new’ media, there is almost instant feedback.  The ‘number of hits’ are available, not only to writers but also to bosses and owners.  Good stories do not necessarily receive a lot of hits, and that can lead to coverage of only ‘popular’ sports subjects.

Kevin spoke candidly to those present about the challenges he faces writing about the Chargers.  His strength is that he develops close relationships with those involved – owners, coaches and players.  He job is to write candidly and honestly about what he observes and what he is given access to.  That is sometimes unpleasant.  He will often give a ‘heads up’ to an individual who may read of his ‘less-than-expected’ performance.

The change in personalities and styles between the new and the old Charger’s GM and Head Coach is dramatic.  He thinks it will have a big impact, the results of which will be shown in seasons to come, and he thinks the change is positive.

He also stated the current stadium is a major issue for the Chargers and opined that, without progress being made on that issue, he feels their move to LA is probable – driven by the financial side of the sports business.

The Optimists have had several media persons speak and all have demonstrated the gift of telling interesting stories.  Kevin’s remarks and willingness make an early morning meeting are much appreciated.