SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40

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Katz

Katz
COURTESY OF SPORTSFANLIVE.COM
David Katz, a longtime digital media executive with CBS, Yahoo! and now SportsFanLive.com, has long made significant bets on now-prominent areas of digital media, such as social media, mobile and fantasy. But in his latest and perhaps most prominent venture, ThePostGame.com, Katz is going old school, in a way.

“I’m making a big bet on content, high-quality original content,” Katz said. “We’re betting on a big return to this kind of editorial content. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and we see real growth and real opportunity.”

ThePostGame.com, developed in partnership with his old colleagues at Yahoo! Sports, seeks to create a next-generation sports magazine blending long features and investigative pieces with a hearty mix of humor, commentary and lifestyle-related content — all without the legacy costs or architecture of a print title. And with a further eye toward the current digital landscape, the effort also includes a hearty helping of blog and social media material and is being optimized for tablet devices.

The move veers sharply away from many mainstream sports outlets that are cutting back on their original content, reducing staff and relying heavily — or solely — on aggregations of content produced elsewhere. But Katz has been consistently veering against conventional wisdom since the launch of SportsFanLive.com in 2008.

Launched just as the global Great Recession was beginning, SportsFanLive.com nonetheless attracted many major corporate advertisers, and Katz built a growing business around an engaging mix of sports news and social media, including a series of prominent, dedicated sports Twitter feeds.

“When we started several years ago, the digital trends we were talking about hadn’t really happened yet,” he said. “It seems like the world has started to catch up to the philosophies we had from the outset.”

Age: 38
Title: Founder and CEO
companies: SportsFanLive.com and ThePostGame.com
Education: B.S., economics, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 1994; master’s, management studies, Cambridge University, 1995
Family: Single
Career: Consultant, McKinsey & Co., 1995; joined CBS Television in 1997 to run the strategic planning and Internet divisions; joined Yahoo! in 2005 as the head of sports, entertainment and original programming; founded SportsFanLive.com in 2008 and launched ThePostGame.com in 2011.
Last vacation: London and Berlin

Guilty pleasure: Steamed crabs and Old Bay
Best stress release: Runyon Canyon hike at dusk
Pet peeve: Stupid questions from sideline reporters
Greatest achievement: Starting a company during the throes of a recession (and surviving); walking on to the Penn basketball team
Greatest disappointment: The Orioles
Fantasy job: Owner/GM/waterboy for the Baltimore Ravens
Business advice: Pursue your passion no matter how many obstacles you foresee. Adversity causes some to break, others to break records.
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