“We’re never going to get to a point to compete with ESPN.com as far as manpower…but this is something we can do that ESPN doesn’t [and] there are still people who like this format,” said Jeff D’Alessio, who in April was named Editor in Chief for Sporting News Magazine (700,000 circ.) and Sporting News Today.
D’Alessio was referring to the recently launched Sporting News Today, a daily digital newspaper that combines traditional print elements with Web design. So far, the online publication has 100,000-plus subscribers and D’Alessio says that will get punched up to 200,000 by the end of the year.
It’s a bit of a gamble creating a Web site that melds print and online elements but does not include blogs, podcasts and other features that Web users have come to expect.
But D’Alessio says sports fans are an insatiable bunch and Sporting News Today simply gives his audience another option. And if they want to pass on the digital edition, they can instead turn to SportingNews.com or Sporting News Magazine (which on Sept. 1 dialed back the frequency to a biweekly from a weekly as part of rejiggering the brand). The digital newspaper has so far gotten 1000 letters, just eight of them negative, D’Alession said, so things seem to be on track.
I recently spoke to D’Alessio about the various changes at Sporting News.