SBD/Issue 37/Sports Media

CSN New England Makes Local Push With New Web Site, Show

CSN New England's Web Site Will Feature
News, Video And Blogs
Comcast SportsNet New England is making a renewed push to be a major player in the already crowded Boston sports scene, relaunching its Web site and hiring several new writers and reporters to provide news and analysis. The new CSNNE.com will feature beat coverage of local teams, video reports, blogs and fan message boards. Art Martone, sports editor of the Providence Journal for the past nine years, will serve as editor for the revamped site. Sean McAdam (Boston Herald) will cover the Red Sox for the site, while Tom Curran (NBCSports.com) will report on the Patriots, Sherrod Blakely (MLive.com) will cover the Celtics and Joe Haggerty (WEEI.com) will follow the Bruins. Digital media veteran Bill Via will oversee the site and serve as Senior Dir of Digital Media. “We are investing to become the premier source for New England sports fans on television, online and on emerging digital platforms,” said CSN New England Exec VP & GM Bill Bridgen. “We are designing CSNNE.com to provide the most comprehensive, around-the-clock sports news, analysis and content, more local video than any other entity, and exclusive experiences with local teams and their players.” The RSN, which broadcasts Celtics games, also will launch "SportsNet Central," a live, 30-minute show that will air three times a week beginning on December 3 at 6:00pm ET. The show will focus on local sports news and analysis. In addition, CSN New England will provide content to sister station New England Cable News, and NECN's Chris Collins and Mike Giardi will join the CSN New England team. CSN New England's TV personalities will contribute to CSNNE.com via news posts and video coverage, while writers will appear on the RSN's TV shows.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: At a time when many news organizations are cutting staff and watching the bottom line, CSN New England is in the process of hiring more than 40 new newsroom positions. Backed by Comcast's deep pockets, the RSN has constructed a new newsroom, added a studio set and expanded its Burlington, Massachusetts, production facilities. “We have four principal competitive advantages that no one else has: unparalleled video production expertise that puts us on the cutting edge of delivering local sports news, commentary and opinion; a local well-staffed newsroom with deep local ties; strong relationships with every local team; and the backing of one of the nation’s leading communications, entertainment and technology companies,” said Bridgen. The investment comes as several new challengers have emerged on the local level. ESPN entered the market in September with ESPNBoston.com, while WEEI.com relaunched its Web site last March. Those sites joined the already heavily trafficked Web sites of the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. NESN, which airs Red Sox and Bruins games, also made a push to upgrade its Web offerings last year.

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