MSM writers to put bloggers out of business

AOL’s FanHouse started out as Jamie Mottram’s fresh-air response to MSM blather. Since its relaunch back in January, however, there is a lot more MSM there than there used to be:, the recently-launched sports site from AOL’s MediaGlow publishing unit, announced six major additions to its growing roster of professional journalists. Joining FanHouse’s writing staff are Greg Couch, sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times; Matt Steinmetz, Golden State Warriors analyst for Comcast Sports Net and former Contra Costa Times NBA writer; Dan Graziano, former national baseball writer for the Newark Star-Ledger; Ed Price, former baseball and Yankees writer for the Newark Star-Ledger; and Jeff Fletcher, former baseball writer for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Also joining the FanHouse editorial team is Sunny Wu, former senior editor at and Page 1 editor for . . .

. . . launched in January as AOL and MediaGlow’s main sports destination and added nationally acclaimed columnists Jay Mariotti, Lisa Olson and Kevin Blackistone to provide daily commentary and analysis across the spectrum of sports. With today’s additions, FanHouse’s writing staff now includes five Baseball Hall of Fame voters.

I’m not saying that this means that blather won out — outside of Mariotti, this is a fairly unobjectionable group of writers — but the enterprise is certainly a very different one now than it set out to be only a couple of years ago.

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  1. Grant said...

    FanHouse also has The Dugout, though. They neutered it a bit when they made the switch, but it’s still quality entertainment written by fans.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Definitey: the Dugout still rocks.  And make no mistake—I think the FanHouse people still do a really good job.  It just seems like FanHouse has decided that they want those people to do less and less, and the professionals to do more and more.  Maybe that makes business sense, but it certainly changes what the whole operation seemed to be about in the first place.  I mean, there’s a reason the word “Fan” is in the title.

  3. kranky kritter said...

    Well, the good thing is that the net tends to be pretty self- correcting. When it comes to talk about sports, everyone votes with their mouse.

    So if the folks running a site make moves to act more like gatekeepers, the eyeballs who don’t want that just migrate elsewhere.

  4. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    Is Jay Mariotti nationally acclaimed for anything other than being a douchebag?  I did hear that he might be up for a prestigious award—Biggest Douche in the Universe.  Apparently, you’re only allowed to win it once, so Jon Edwards (the “Crossing Over” guy) is out of the running.  Good luck Mariotti.  You deserve it!

    Anyway, I found it amusing that they claim that Mariotti provides “commentary and analysis.”  I’d agree with the commentary, but I don’t think he could spell the word analysis, let alone provide it.

  5. go zips said...

    he’s also known for yelling and ranting on that espn show with the sportswriters from across the country.  supposed to be a game show, but it’s not really.

  6. kranky kritter said...

    Well, let’s notice that the format of such shows is geared to get people amped up. The stock in trade of the big media is quite often to rile folks up, by saying inflammatory things. Thats why these jokers take untenable or ridiculous positions and stubbornly defend them.

    Maybe Mariucci is a db, but possible he’s far less a db than his role demands he play.

    I prefer an interesting discussion among knowledgeable folks that need not be contentious, and can be as long or as short as interest dictates, unlike the time-constrained stuff we see on TV etc.

    One good thing about blogs is that it is at least possible for folks that talk sense to rise in the regard of fellow bloggers, and for the ranters and ravers to become the object of the derision they deserve.

    Will mainstream “pro” media guys catch on to playing on blogs with insight and evidence? We’ll see.

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