9. Why is ESPN Losing Ground?
RCS: Before going to CBS Sports, you wrote for ESPN, which has, in the past few years, lost many readers to sites like Yahoo!, Fox, FanHouse and, of course, CBS. Since you have the unique perspective of having worked there, why do you think ESPN.com has lost ground to its competitors?
Doyel: ESPN lost tons of readers the day I went to CBSSports.com. Surely that's a coincidence. And surely that was a joke, people on message boards. Ugh. You people ... Anyway.
ESPN has lost ground for two reasons, one big and one small. The big one: Lots more competition has come up. ESPN was the first big shot on the block, and its marketing is incredible, and so it cornered the market. But in time other places have popped up and gradually word has spread, and now readers know they can read about sports without (gasp!) going to ESPN. I don't go there for weeks at a time myself. The smaller one: ESPN has become too big for its own good.
I have ADD, so I'm not into stimulus and lots of optical choices, so maybe I'm the wrong person to say this, but what the hell: ESPN.com is too busy for me. Too many writers, too many stories, too many places to go. Give me a shoe store with one specialty. Don't give me K-Mart. The Rain Man was right -- K-Mart sucks.