SBD/June 11, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Doug Bailey, Co-Founder And Key Exec Behind SportsBusiness Daily, Dies

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DOUG BAILEY, co-Founder of SportsBusiness Daily and Founder of The Hotline, died this week at the age of 79. Bailey was a longtime political consultant when he and Democratic strategist ROGER CRAVER founded The Hotline in ‘87, and it quickly became DC's high-valued daily tip sheet on campaigns and elections. In ’94, Bailey started THE DAILY with co-Founder JEFFREY POLLACK as a fax service. “SportsBusiness Daily would not exist, were it not for Doug Bailey,” Pollack told THE DAILY this morning from his home in California. “He invented the publishing model that enabled THE DAILY to launch when and how it did, and he was the first person to immediately grasp its vast potential.” Bailey was Pollack’s faculty advisor and professor at The Graduate School of Political Management, now part of George Washington Univ., in ’87. Pollack: “When I had the insight that led to the founding of THE DAILY, Doug was the first person I went to see, because he was a mentor and because he had successfully done for politics what I thought needed to be done for the sports industry.” In February ‘94, Pollack and Bailey started Digital Sports Network out of The Hotline’s offices in Falls Church, Va.

MENTOR & INNOVATOR
: THE DAILY published its first issue on September 12, 1994, out of offices in a large Victorian home, and Founding Editor STEPHEN BILAFER, who worked for Bailey for years, was tasked with leading the editorial launch. In an e-mail from Boston this morning, Bilafer lamented the loss of a mentor and marveled at an “innovator who employed technology to change journalism.” Bilafer, recalling the launch of The Hotline, added, “He had a relentless impulse to change and improve. What seems ordinary now, a daily publication delivered electronically -- then, by fax -- that collects political news from around the country, filters, prioritizes and digests that news, and then delivers it same day to a highly professional and demanding audience -- was nothing short of revolutionary then.” Bilafer added, “If The Hotline model sounds familiar to readers of THE DAILY, it's because Doug and Jeffrey saw an opportunity to deliver the same kind of publication to industry players that were hungry for a daily news source devoted entirely to their business -- even if they didn't quite realize it yet. I am proud to say that much of the format and style that THE DAILY’s readers enjoy today reflects Doug and Jeffrey's original vision.” Bailey remained involved with THE DAILY until it moved to Connecticut to join with InterZine in ’97, but after that, his involvement dropped off. Pollack: “Doug's involvement in THE DAILY was quiet and behind-the-scenes, which was entirely his choice. But his impact was extraordinary. He wrote a lot of the playbook, and the legacy of THE DAILY belongs to Doug Bailey as much as anyone else.”

STAND UP GUY: Pollack reflected on Bailey’s personal approach as well. Pollack: “In politics and sports, and in publishing and media, Doug was a visionary. He made an enormous difference and he always did so with grace, honor, warmth and humor.” Bilafer recalled Bailey’s vision and charm and wrote, “He will be remembered as an American original and a pioneer who always seemed a few steps -- and, in some cases, years and decades -- ahead of the crowd. His humor, energy, kindness and generosity spawned a generation of young ‘Hotliners’ and ‘SBDers’ who have gone on to prominent roles in government, media, sports and business.” IMG Consulting Senior VP DAVID ABRUTYN, who served as Dir of Marketing at THE DAILY under Bailey and Pollack, wrote in an e-mail: “In sports, they talk about coaches' family trees. In politics, Doug’s tree is filled with legends, and not to mention the impact he had on the sports business by getting Pollack’s vision for what THE DAILY could be” (THE DAILY).

OTHERS WEIGH IN: NBC News’ CHUCK TODD, who was Assistant Editor of THE DAILY when it launched and worked with Bailey for years, said, "Without Doug, there wouldn't be Hotline, without Hotline there wouldn't be POLITICO, and where would we be today?" (POLITICO.com, 6/11). The NATIONAL JOURNAL’s Reid Wilson wrote Bailey was one of the "fathers of modern political consulting” (NATIONALJOURNAL.com, 6/10). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Albert Hunt wrote The Hotline was "an online must-read" before "anyone in politics -- save for AL GORE -- knew about the Internet" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/10).

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