He’s a big fan of Huey Lewis, and today Benjamin Hochman is in the news. The Denver Post Nuggets scribe was honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) as one of America’s top ten beat writers. They’ll find no argument here. We’ve long been fans of Hochman’s work. But he is so much more than just a guy who writes about basketball. Ben Hochman is a cross-format new media dandy – just the kind of guy who might save newspapers.
As media evolves the lines are blurring between mediums. Radio stations have blogs, TV stations have web sites, web sites have TV shows, bloggers have podcasts and video and more and more newspapers have all of these things. Success in the digital age is measured in impressions. What form they take is immaterial. In the past, daily publications relied upon subscribers, printed advertisements and costly classifieds to generate revenue. Today it’s all about eyeballs and earbuds. How many people will ingest your sponsor’s message how many times per day? New media is instantaneous, interactive, mobile and increasingly social. Few people understand this in the way Benjamin Hochman does. He is everywhere.
Hochman is a persona. Aside from being an excellent beat writer, he’s a podcaster, a cheeseburger spokesperson, a video star, gadabout and social media fly. His tentacles reach out widely from his old media bunker into the expanses of today’s new media ether. You can read him at DenverPost.com, hear him on the radio, follow him on Twitter (@NuggetsNews), catch up with him on YouTube and listen to his podcast, Podcastanza.
Fans can interact with Benjamin Hochman freely, discussing such things with him as Iguodal’s perimeter defense, Ty Lawson’s aggressiveness late in games, who was the hottest girl at West Beverly High School and why Elaine Benes never found true love. He’s a hairy hipster and a man of the people who can write on deadline. Hochman’s an asset to the community and, as such, he’s a valuable weapon in the war to maintain the Denver Post’s relevance.
Can Benjamin Hochman save newspapers? Perhaps not single-handedly, but he certainly demonstrates that they can be saved. Fewer and fewer people get a broadsheet tossed onto their porches every morning, but you can peel off Benjamin Hochman’s rubber band whenever and wherever you want to and settle in for a read, a listen or a view. He represents the next generation of writers. People like him are blowing the dust off of an aging profession and helping to ease it into the modern era.