First, we'll stipulate that Peyton Manning could work for a dollar. He really doesn't need to make any more money, so he is basically looking for what he considers the most important issues in choosing a new team. Call it the football version of "quality of life." If he wanted to take the offer worth the most money, he would simply get that nutty owner of the Redskins to open the vault.
His thought process is interesting. New York? The sports media there makes the White House press corps look like a bunch of softball reporters. Plus there's the dysfunctional locker room. Washington? Never wins and it's in the same division as his brother. Seattle? Never on TV. Denver? Probably too cold and snowy.
Which brings us to the news business. (Yes, it's another sports analogy.) You want to make it to "the show" and put on blinders until you get there. You look only at market size and money. When, in reality, you should be following Peyton Manning's strategy, considering quality of life.
I'm always amazed when new clients send me lists of markets in which they'd like to work. They've never been to any of these cities, but assume that because they are high on the list they must be good. Since I've traveled extensively in my life, I tell them there are places that are war zones, there are big markets where the product is laughable, there are companies that raise dysfunction to an art form. And there are cities that are horrible places to live and work.
As mentioned before, comfortable is the new black. When targeting new places to work, consider everything. While none of us share the same financial position as Manning, keep in mind that money cannot trump a bad situation, a bad location, or bad management.