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The Athletic keeps growing .......

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Fran Curci, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. JCT89

    JCT89 Active Member

    I still think they are expanding too fast. We don't know if the model is sustainable and yet they are expanding rapidly into difficult markets. Can The Athletic corner the Cincinnati market? Probably. Can it do the same in NY and Dallas? I'd be shocked. I'd like to see them slow down a bit and focus on markets they either can win or are in the process of winning -- I have friends who love what they are doing in Philly and Bay Area -- before spending serious resources in a city like New York.

    The national sites seem to be hit or miss. I like a lot of what Ken Rosenthal is doing but haven't been as impressed with the CFB/CBK offerings. Haven't seen anything noteworthy on The Ink yet, either, though I'm not sure how much they've even published to this point.
  2. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    I'm not seeing "The Athletic is generally hiring young" at all. Here in NY, they hired one kid and a whole bunch of beat guys, including Rick Carpiniello, a longtime Rangers writer who hasn't been working F/T since Gannett screwed him. I've seen some of these beats infuriate head coaches and managers in press conference settings. Marc Carig's piece on Terry Collins' final days as Mets manager basically wrecked his relationship with Collins. Couldn't have been easy to write knowing that was coming. C. Trent Rosecrans hasn't been soft on the Reds in Cincy. Ask that clown Brandon Phillips.

    I also suspect fans paying for the content won't be as eager to want blood as the dummies who absorb Barstool Sports for free. You have to be more nuanced and intelligent to pay for content.

    I do agree The Athletic looks unsustainable, especially with bored frat tech bros running the place. I think it's going to end badly in a year or so, especially if the market keeps sinking. They'll move on to something else without a second thought about the writers they lured from safer, more established places.
  3. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen much evidence of them hiring young and innovative, either. Two of their best hockey hires in Minnesota and Columbus were well-established, veteran beat writes (Michael Russo and Aaron Portzline).

    As you mentioned, the NYC is full of veteran writers. Rick Carpiniello has been in the business for decades. Arthur Staple, Marc Carig and Mike Vorkunov have all been around for a while. Cincy hire C. Trent Rosencrans jumped from the Cincinnati Enquirer - not exactly a small-time gig. The main guys in Pittsburgh - Josh Yohe and new hire Rob Biertempfel - have been on their beats for a long time, too.

    I like the idea of The Athletic. I think they've expanded too fast. I think they're hiring a mixed bag of reporters, most of whom are older white males. I hope it doesn't fail, but it just might.
  4. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    If it fails, it won't be b/c the writers aren't good, or the roster isn't varied enough. It'll be for the same reason The National went boobs up after 16 months.
  5. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I do think it's an interesting "test case" for paywalls, seeing if a good sports website can convince people to pay for it.

    It would go a long way toward legitimizing the business model. Or showing some beancounters that you need to spend money to make money. Or ringing in an era of paying talent exorbitant sums that can't be covered by the income created. Or something.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  6. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I have never understood this thinking. If you are new, and want to establish yourself as a successful paid model (or something that can be sold as one -- which many believe is ownership's true intent), you have to hire the best. It shouldn't matter if it is an older white male. Russo is one of the best hockey reporters around. Word is they've done very well with subscriptions out of Minnesota because of him. Portzline, Staple and Yohe are very good, too. From what I know about Carig, he's got a great rep. Why hire someone who doesn't optimize your monetization? It's dumb.

    Last week, when I was in Tampa...I was watching Josina Anderson on ESPN. One of our other people mentioned her, and said, "Did you see her fingernails? Wild design." I didn't even notice because her report was good. (But, yes, I looked the next time I saw her.) One thing matters for the Athletic: Can you sell? It doesn't matter if you are white, black or purple; old or young; male or female or other.

    Can. You. Sell.
  7. I hope they're successful because I want to see more writers have jobs and they've hired a lot of really good writers, but the guys who run the company aren't good people.
  8. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    Because the delivery model was screwed up and no one could find a copy?
  9. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    The Athletic absolutely should be hiring the best. And with Portzline, Russo, the Bay Area folks, and others, they nailed it.

    I guess I'm just not as convinced with some of the more recent hires. I know others disagree, including some on this thread, so maybe that's a matter of taste and opinion.

    But we should be talking about diversity and hiring practices. It's a major concern in this industry and the lack of opportunities for minorities and women at the lower levels leads to even fewer opportunities for high profile jobs. When a new company comes in and is hiring predominantly white males without advertising the bulk of its open positions, I think their hiring practices should be discussed.
  10. fleishman

    fleishman Active Member

    With all the writers who are forced to settle for freelancing etc, they should consider doing some recruiting events so these writers can meet the people running the site instead of sending cold emails and hoping for a reply.
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Not arguing your overall point because I'm not familiar with their overall roster. Aren't the two women they hired for the college football section full time?
  12. The EIC of the Toronto site is notorious for dismissing/blocking anyone on Twitter who calls them out for a lack of diversity.
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