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The Athletic Expands Into Three More Cities

Brandon Contes

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Just two years since its launch, The Athletic now covers professional and college sports in eleven cities. Last week, the subscription based sports site announced its expansion into Dallas, Cincinnati and New York.

The Athletic will debut in its three new markets on February 12th and they’re bringing a host of local newspaper writers with them. Six writers for New York, five in Dallas and four in Cincinnati were announced.

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in fall interview with The New York Times. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”

Marc Carig, a former Yankee and Met beat reporter for Newsday wrote about his decision to join The Athletic, a platform that offers him flexibility to write stories he wants to produce. “Putting ink to newsprint takes time. A lot of time. The trickle-down effect for beat writers is putting forth a lot of effort on things the reader can’t see,” Carig wrote.

“The Athletic checked all the boxes for me in terms of what I wanted to do,” Bob Sturm, formerly of the Dallas Morning News, told the Dallas Observer on Thursday. “There are a lot of likeminded people at The Athletic writing stuff that seems counter to the current form of sports media.”

After beginning 2017 with only two regional sites, Chicago and Toronto, The Athletic will now be in eleven cities following their expansion to New York, Dallas and Cincinnati. Other main locations for The Athletic include, Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Bay area. The growing sports website also offers coverage in St. Louis, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The decision to enter large markets such as New York proves The Athletic’s willingness to compete with established platforms. New York, Dallas, Philadelphia and others are not cities that lack sports coverage, with multiple newspapers and radio stations in each.

Currently, an annual subscription plan to The Athletic, which provides access to all markets, costs $47.99 for the first year and $59.99 each year after. A subscription on a per month basis costs $7.99.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Online

Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network

“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”

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Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.

“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”

Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.

“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”

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Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’

“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.

In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.

The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”

He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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