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Sporting News Debuting Revamped
Website, Partnership With Yahoo Sports
Sporting News today is debuting a substantially reworked website, a new destination it is rebranding as the Sporting News Feed. The new site will feature increased emphasis on original content and breaking news within the seven major properties Sporting News covers: MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, college football and college basketball. It also will offer substantial video content through an expanded partnership with video syndication outfit CineSport, as well as a variety of customization and social-media features. Additionally, the site is partnering with Yahoo Sports in a deal that positions Sporting News as a breaking news affiliate for the portal. A two-way partnership, the planned arrangement calls for content sharing in which some material from each site will appear on the other, with linking capabilities. SportingNews.com Managing Editor Marcus DiNitto is relocating from the company’s Charlotte HQs to Yahoo Sports’ Santa Monica, Calif., hub to work closely with the outfit. The new site represents the third Sporting News property to be substantially overhauled since the '06 purchase of the company by American City Business Journals, parent company of SportsBusiness Daily and Journal. A new format for the biweekly print magazine and the digital daily newspaper Sporting News Today have already debuted. “As we looked to create a differentiated position in the marketplace, the opportunity for us was to really bring news back into Sporting News,” said Sporting News President & Publisher Jeff Price. “Between this and the magazine relaunch and Sporting News Today, this is now much more of an even-legged stool both from a fan perspective and on the business side.” Among the unique components on the new site is a feature in which stories will be accompanied by an interactive timeline that allows easy access to prior related stories in a sequential fashion. To that end, Price said the site will be predominantly issue-driven in its editorial approach and will greatly de-emphasize basic game recaps and other more commoditized forms of sports coverage. Monetization plans are largely ad-based, with some subscription content as well. The new site construction was performed internally with the aid of New York-based digital marketing firm Omnigon Communications.
CBSSPORTS.COM ALSO UNVEILS REDESIGN: CBSSports.com today launched phase II of its site redesign, continuing a substantial reworking that began in March. The site's simplified new look includes a permanent scoreboard atop the home page, an emphasis on a single "cover story," an enhanced focus on both live and on-demand video content, a more personalized version of the team-based RapidReports that debuted last year, and additional blog-style content for its NFL, MLB and NBA coverage, among other changes. The site last month ranked fifth among U.S. online sports destinations with an audience size of 14.7 million uniques, according to comScore.
FS Detroit Did Not Show Footage From
Dugout Incident During Sunday's Game
FS Detroit Exec Producer John Tuohey said that it “was a mistake” that the net did not air footage of a dugout skirmish between Tigers P Armando Galarraga and C Alex Avila during Sunday's Tigers-White Sox game, according to Tony Paul of the DETROIT NEWS. Tuohey: “There’s no desire to hide it or make people think it didn’t exist. We just, quite frankly, in the moment weren’t quite sure what to say about it.” Tuohey made it clear that the Tigers “had nothing to do with the final decision, nor did they even get involved in the decision.” He said that it “wasn’t a matter of trying to keep some ugliness away from Tigers fans.” Tuohey: “The only thing we try to veer the cameras away from would be a fan running on the field. … A confrontation in the dugout is part of the game.” Paul notes announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen were “aware of the altercation,” yet “nothing at all was shown or said about it during the telecast.” Impemba indicated that during a commercial break, the booth “was shown the argument between Avila and Galarraga, but didn’t see it escalate to the point" where C Gerald Laird got involved and Galarraga “looked like he was going to take a swing at Laird.” FS Detroit was “planning to cover the incident in full Monday night, in the pregame show and during” the game against the Yankees (DETROIT NEWS, 8/17). FSN Northwest last month also did not air footage of a dugout incident between 2B Chone Figgins and former manager Don Wakamatsu, though announcer Dave Sims did discuss the skirmish on air during the broadcast (THE DAILY).
ESPN is giving a "needy school's athletic facility a makeover in a new primetime documentary" with the production of "Rise Up: New Orleans," according to Marisa Guthrie of BOADCASTING & CABLE. An outgrowth of ESPN Rise, the documentary "is being shot at New Orleans' Eleanor McMain Secondary School" and will premiere Sept. 21, one day after the Saints-49ers "MNF" matchup. ESPN execs have not committed to future installments, but "are hopeful that the hour-long documentary will become a first of its kind franchise for ESPN Rise." ESPN chose the high school after consulting with the Saints, and the team will "have a starring role in 'Rise Up.'" ESPN Rise VP Glenn Rosenbloom said that the goal of the program "is two-fold: to get the community involved in the rehabilitation project and to instruct high school athletes and coaches on safe and effective training practices, a core tenet of the ESPN Rise initiative." ESPN anchor Stan Verrett, a New Orleans native, will host the documentary. Most of the donors for the production "are local including Moses Engineers, Woodward Design and Build and St. Martin Brown & Associates," which is the official architecture firm of the Saints. ESPN "has secured uniforms from Nike, football helmets from Xenith and nautilus equipment from Med-Fit" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/16 issue).
In Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter reported NFL Network did not black out live coverage of Sunday's Broncos-Bengals preseason game on Insight cable in Northern Kentucky because it "forgot to put the ... system on the blackout list." NFL Net Dir of Communications Dennis Johnson said it was a "communication error." Kiesewetter noted Cincinnati's WKRC-CBS pays "big bucks for exclusive Bengals preseason TV rights," but the station could not air the game until around midnight Sunday due to the blackout rule. WKRC VP & GM Les Vann: "I cannot imagine how the league would have reacted if we had a 'communication error' and failed to black out the game" (CINCINNATI.com, 8/16).
SI Shipping An Additional
30,000 Copies To Boise Area
NO SMALL POTATOES: SI is shipping to the greater Boise area an additional 30,000 copies of its recent college football preview issue featuring Boise State on a regional cover after the first 10,000 newsstand issues sent throughout Idaho quickly sold out. SI additionally has sold DirecTV a 40-page advertising insert for its forthcoming Sept. 1 NFL preview issue, the largest single-client, single-issue ad buy in SI's 56-year history. The Sept 6. issue will also be SI's first preview issue in more than a decade to use perfect binding (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
"KNOCK"ING ON STARDOM: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum "was the star of the first episode" of HBO's "Hard Knocks," as "rather than stoic, he came across as engaging." Tannenbaum "took advantage of every opportunity to turn the court of public opinion" against holdout CB Darrelle Revis. Raissman: "When Revis and his representatives decided to boycott the show, what did Tannenbaum do? He allowed a robotic camera to be installed in his office so viewers could get only his side of a conversation with one of Revis' agents" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/15).
A LITTLE BIT MUCH: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote August is the "worst month for sports on television," and the "worst part is we're exposed to the Little League World Series, which has no business being on television." Jones: "For every hero hitting a game-winning homer, there's a 12-year-old little boy who gave up the homer and is having the worst moment of his life on national television. It's exploitive and heartbreaking" (TAMPABAY.com, 8/15).
WHITLOCK LEAVES NEWSPAPER: K.C. Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock "is leaving the paper to pursue other interests." Whitlock will continue to write at FoxSports.com (K.C. STAR, 8/17). Whitlock's last column for the newspaper appeared in June (THE DAILY).