“Blogging with allCanes Radio”
Phil de Montmollin,
PRMO

First, thanks to the Bello family and allCanes general manager Harry Rothwell for providing the ideal platform to launch allCanes Radio. allCanes (formerly All Sports) has been loyal to the Miami Hurricanes for over fifty years and has produced over the years some of the most original, and often witty, merchandise in all of college football, I will never forget the “Leprechaun in a Blender” shirt that I purchased and wore to the Notre Dame at Miami game in 1989.

And it is thanks to allCanes, “The Beast” and countless numbers of supporters, that I am back to working on a daily basis with the Hurricanes as a founder of allCanes Radio.

We come to you live with allCanes Radio every Wednesday night, 7 – 9 p.m. ET with on-demand podcasts, interviews, and show clips available on iTunes.

Already, “The Beast” has hosted Hurricane legendary personalities such as Bennie Blades, Rohan Marley, Steve Walsh, Brett Perriman, Joaquin Gonzalez, Mike Rumph, Lamar Thomas, Tolbert Bain, Nate Brooks, Don Soldinger and current players Jacory Harris, Allen Bailey, Colin McCarthy, Travis Benjamin and Graig Cooper.

If you have not yet listened, you can click here to subscribe on iTunes

The purpose of this periodic blog entry is to provide you, the Canes fan, with a deeper understanding of the media coverage that surrounds the most polarizing program in the history of college football. The Internet, and now mobile technologies, provides more options than ever before. New media has produced unprecedented amounts of content, but the new volume comes with a price.

Traditional media (newspapers, magazines, sports radio, and local TV) suffers with major layoffs of talented journalists, diminishing space, and less devoted airtime by broadcast media. Meanwhile, the Internet has more bloggers, facebookers, tweeters and message boards than ever, most of whom waste bandwidth with an overflowing abundance of unreliable online clutter.

So how does the Canes fan know which blogger to trust or which radio show to listen to?

Over the course of this season, both on this blog and on allCanes Radio with Brian “The Beast” London, we will take a hard look at all the media coverage (and its implications) of the Miami Hurricanes football program. This includes bringing you, the Hurricane fan, inside access to the top journalists covering the Canes. This August, ESPN’s Bruce Feldman, the AP’s Tim Reynolds, the Herald’s Manny Navarro, and Steve Gorten, the new beat writer for the Sun Sentinel, have all been on the show.

We created allCanes Radio as an entirely new way for fans to enjoy the kind of reliable, consistent, personality-driven coverage of the Miami Hurricanes that this program deserves. With allCanes Radio, we will tell the stories that Canes fans want to hear whether it’s Joaquin Gonzalez telling the famous Ed Reed halftime speech vs. FSU story, an exclusive with Rohan Marley, or a preseason preview with Jacory Harris. All the while, we will take you step-by-step through the 2010 season and beyond through our reports and The Beast’s microphone.

All three local papers (Herald, Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post) continue to cover the ‘Canes utilizing beat writers focused on The U. Believe it or not, there was a day not too long ago where regional papers such as the Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, and Ft. Myers News Press were on the Canes beat as well. Unfortunately today, newspaper subscribers in those markets rarely get more than a line or two of a wire report on UM despite vigorous coverage of UF and FSU news.

The Herald, Sentinel and PB Post have long been the foundation of The U’s media coverage. The space devoted to UM in these and other morning papers is arguably at an all-time low in the modern era of the program. Paradoxically though, Canes fans have more “inches” and coverage than ever. These “inches” are just found today in a digital form, not on newsprint, a place without space restrictions or deadlines.

Every fan should make the features, blogs, and tweets of the three major newspaper UM beat writers, a part of their daily Canes diet. In fact, start your UM food pyramid from the below and go from there:

Susan Miller Degnan, Manny NavarroThe Miami Herald

(Note: Miller Degnan continues to cover the Hurricanes for the Herald, but does not blog. She and Navarro have decades of cumulative experience in the Herald sports department.)

- “Eye Of The Hurricane” Blog

Steve GortenSun-Sentinel

(Note: Gorten steps in for Shandel Richardson.)

- Sentinel’s UM Blog
- Sentinel’s UM Sports

Jorge MilianPalm Beach Post

(Note: Milian has covered the Canes through the past four head coach administrations dating back to Dennis Erickson.)

- PB Post’s UM Sports

I have always contended the Canes are more popular nationally than in their own backyard. Poor home attendance figures and shrinking traditional media coverage support the theory. Nationally, the Hurricanes continue to be a top seller in merchandise and a network TV draw. This popularity on a national level was boosted this year by the success of Billy Corben’s movie “The U”, the highest rated documentary all-time on ESPN. If the Canes deliver the goods this year on the field, the sky is the limit for the Miami’s national appeal.

Hats off to Chris Freet, UM’s new Associate AD for Communications, for entering his new gig with an emphasis on digital and social media and an open mind as it relates to media relations in today’s electronic age. Freet has indicated that his first month on the job will be one of observation in order to gain an understanding of the media relations department he has inherited. Hopefully, Freet will prove to be an ally to the media who will push the football side for more access and therefore more exposure locally for a program desperate to put more fans in the stands at Sun Life (Joe Robbie) Stadium.

One significant, immediate improvement would be media access for assistant coaches. They are only available for comment when a member of the media is doing a feature on a player that plays the position they coach. Fans deserve to hear more from the likes of Mark Whipple, John Lovett, Rick Petri, Michael Barrow and Aubrey Hill.

Somehow, the stories of the current players need to be told as well. People are what make sports popular and if fans only know players by their uniform number, height/weight, position and class, then the U is selling both the fans and the players short.

Miami has always been one of the nation’s toughest markets for sports. This year with the arrival of Lebron James and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat, competition for media coverage and sports fans disposable income will be tougher than ever. The athletic department needs to promote now more than ever before. With new athletic department staff and the highest preseason ranking since 2006, there is no time like the present.

See you in Columbus.

Phil de Montmollin was a full-time presence in the Sports Information Department at the University of Miami from 1996-2000 where he worked closely to generate positive PR for players Edgerrin James, Ed Reed, Andre Johnson, and Reggie Wayne.

Ever since attending his first Hurricanes game at age eight (Miami at Notre Dame, October 11, 1980), de Montmollin has remained loyal to The U even as an undergrad at the University of Florida where he was known as the “villain” in Gainesville due to his allegiance to the Canes amongst a sea of Gators. He later began a career as a motorsports promoter, first as the PR Director at Homestead-Miami Speedway and later as a PR and marketing pro used by national sponsors in NASCAR. All the while, de Montmollin has stayed current with college football serving as an in-booth statistician or spotter for the Hurricane Radio Network, Westwood One Radio, Sun Sports, and ESPN. Brian “The Beast” London and de Montmollin are the founders of allCanes Radio and de Montmollin currently owns PRMO, a new media company that oversees six internet radio programs, manages talent, and provides new media services including iPhone application development.

Periodically, de Montmollin will blog for allCanes.com with his observations on sports media and business as they relate to University of Miami athletics.

Comments are closed.