Deadspin wrote up a piece regarding The Athletic, the subscription region-based digital sports website that has been notorious of late of snagging sportswriters left and right.
DC is the next target, but apparently, things have not gone as planned.
Some key quotes from the story are below.
On the failed execution of the plan:
A variety of reporters at the Washington Post and in the D.C. area, who spoke to Deadspin about The Athletic’s efforts, described a failure to execute an audacious plan to pillage one of the last good sports desks at an American newspaper (even as the newsroom within which that desk is situated goes to war with its cartoon plutocrat owner), an inability to entice other notable reporters with roots in the area, and a failure to either notice or care that a ready-made operation with deep local connections was right there, ready to be absorbed. The end result is that The Athletic’s entrance into the nation’s capital, one of the biggest sports markets in the county, has stalled before it even started.
On the reporters approached:
Sources at the Washington Post say the Athletic has approached, and failed to hire, sports editor Dan Steinberg, Capitals reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan, Redskins reporter Kimberley Martin, columnist Barry Svrluga, Nationals reporter Jorge Castillo (who recently announced he was going to the Los Angeles Times), soccer writer Steven Goff, and college sports, tennis, and WNBA reporter Ava Wallace. It’s unclear whether Nationals reporter Chelsea Janes and Wizards reporter Candace Buckner have talked to The Athletic and if they are considering—or have accepted—jobs at The Athletic. (Update: Sources familiar with the situation say Janes and Buckner were also approached by The Athletic. They are both staying at the Washington Post.)
The story goes on to discuss the connection with Bezos and how that may have played into the ability to thwart the poachers. It also discusses the other digital sports media competitions that already have footholds in the area.
The Athletic’s mission is to destroy newspapers as we know it. For now it seems, the DC Sports Newspaper scene is safe. We’ll see how this evolves as The Athletic grows.
By the way, hey The Athletic, our talents are for sale!!!