SBD/January 30, 2013/Media

Columnist Joe Posnanski Leaving Sports On Earth For Role With NBC Sports

Sports On Earth columnist Joe Posnanski is leaving the site, just five months after the joint venture between MLBAM and the USA Today Sports Media Group formally launched, to join NBC Sports. The former SI writer and K.C. Star columnist was a featured member of the digital sports media site and among its first major hires. The site has since expanded to include writers such as Will Leitch and Leigh Montville as it has focused on commentary and long-form storytelling. Posnanski told Big Lead Sports he is joining NBC to be a "digital voice" but the network has yet to confirm the move (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Joe Lucia wrote Posnanski is "likely the first salvo in the new digital relationship between NBC and Yahoo." But it is unclear how this move "is going to work out for the baseball-oriented Posnanski." He had been "appearing a decent bit on MLB Network since the creation of Sports On Earth, but that relationship may be history with his new role at NBC." Lucia: "I always thought the role Posnanski is leaving would have been him at his best. He's now joining his third employer over the past year, and while he's an extremely talented writer, I'm wondering what exactly the ideal role for him will be anymore." The move brings "more questions than answers" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 1/29).

GOING DIGITAL: ADWEEK's Emma Bazilian wrote the art of longform sportswriting has "found new life on the Web." This "renaissance includes relative newcomers like Bill Simmons’ Grantland, sports blog network SB Nation and Deadspin and established players like USA Today (a backer of Sports on Earth) and Sports Illustrated." "The Best American Sports Writing" book series editor Glenn Stout said, "A number of sports entities are seeing that the future of sports journalism lays in longform, as people become more accustomed to reading on phones and tablets." Stout is "increasingly pulling articles from digital-only outlets." He said of longform online sportswriting, "There might not be a whole lot of money in it yet. But you can not only find a place to show your work -- you can find an audience for it" (ADWEEK.com, 1/29).
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