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Volume 26 No. 109
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The Athletic On Track For 1 Million Subscribers By End Of Year

The Athletic co-Founder & CEO Alex Mather said that the media outlet has "crossed 600,000 subscribers" as of this month and he expects it to "end the year somewhere close to a million," according to Ira Boudway of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The question now is "whether the Athletic can make money," as it has "yet to turn a profit" as a whole. Venture capital investors "have poured" more than $90M into the site to date. A source said that during a $22M investment the Founders Fund led in May, the "company was valued" at about $500M. The early numbers are "impressive, but more than one person interviewed for this story made comparisons to the ill-fated National Sports Daily." The Athletic currently has over 400 editorial staffers "covering more than 270 teams in the U.S. and Canada." Starting salaries for Athletic writers "ranged from $55,000 to more than $120,000, depending on experience and location." For a "top beat writer in a new market, the company might pay a 20% premium or more." Additionally, every employee "gets a small slice of equity." A lot "rides on whether the Athletic can retain the large number of subscribers still reading through introductory discounts." Mather said that "more than 80% of users re-up after their first year, and the rate is the same whether or not they first signed up at a discount" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/20).