After leaving CBS Sports in January, MLB Network and WFAN insider Jon Heyman hasn’t had a regular writing home. That’s now changed, with The Big Lead’s Jason Lisk reporting Tuesday that Heyman has reached an agreement to write for the FanRag Sports Network and its MLB-focused site, Today’s Knuckleball. Here’s more from Lisk on what’s going on:
Tommy Stokke, Director of Content for FanRag Sports Network, confirmed that Heyman has agreed to a deal that would cover all of his writing content (Heyman will continue his television work as an insider with MLB Network, as well as on radio with programs including WFAN as the MLB insider). According to Stokke, Heyman will begin writing this week, with his “Inside Baseball” notes feature to appear weekly starting this Thursday.
“We are excited to bring Jon aboard,” Stokke told the Big Lead. “It says a lot about where we are that someone like Jon, who doesn’t need to go anywhere, has decided to join us.”
FanRag Sports has been implementing its business model over the last 18 months, which Stokke describes as including “hiring quality writers.” Heyman is the most prominent name to join the website as part of that vision.
Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona, Bill Williamson (former ESPN AFC West blogger who also covered both the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers during his career), former CBS Sports hockey writer Craig Morgan, and longtime baseball writers Tony DeMarco and John Perrotto are among the other writers that have joined the FanRag Sports Network in the last year.
FanRag has been around for a few years, with many of its sites formerly under different names, but there isn’t a lot of information out there about their ownership, corporate structure or editorial roles. Here’s the mission statement on their main page:
FanRag Sports Strives To Provide You Quality, Professional Journalism Covering All The Latest News And Information In The World Of Sports. Our Writers Are Held To A Strict Code Of Conduct And Professionalism. Our Mission Is To Be Your Go-To For All Things Sports. Be A FanRag Sports Fan Today!
And the info from their “About Us” page:
“We are a sports centric digital media company that focuses on journalistic integrity while telling the passionate and timeless story of sports and it’s fans.”
Welcome to the home of the FanRag Sports Network. FanRag Sports currently has seven sport-specific websites and a home hub of FanRagSports.com that features content from throughout the network.
FanRag Sports is dedicated to providing quality sports coverage of every team, league and division. We pride ourselves on publishing quality content fans want to read. Our backbone is quality writing. We ensure that quality by compensating all of our writers for their coverage. An editor looks at every story on the site to ensure its accuracy.
We are a team in every sense of the word at FanRag Sports. Instead of basing our success on the back of free labor, we ensure our writers feel at home, part of the team and are rewarded for their efforts.
FanRag Sports features a mix of news, profiles, features and column stories about the hottest topics in the sports world. If it’s happening in sports, it’s on a FanRag Sports Network site.
Our goal is to entertain, inform and engage you with a wide variety of content from a wide variety of writers. We want to be your go-to source for sports news, information and opinion.
Our staff is composed of beat writers, columnists, stats gurus and more — everyone from recent college grads to 30-year journalism vets.
There’s not a whole lot to go on there, other than these editors should probably learn “sports-centric” and the proper use of “it’s” versus “its.” Their LinkedIn page says they’re based in Phoenix with 51 to 200 employees and privately held. Here’s their LinkedIn bio:
We are a sports centric digital media company that focuses on journalistic integrity while telling the passionate and timeless story of sports and it’s fans. Fanrag has a wide and established foundation with dedicated, talented individuals that compose our organization. Our talent combined creates an innovative and nimble company that make Fanrag one of the most respected Sports Digital Media Companies.
There’s a glaring absence of a masthead on their website, though, and not much information about their corporate structure or history. They’ve certainly made a high-profile hire with Heyman, though, and that may have benefits for both sides; Heyman now has a place to post MLB notes, as he’s said he’s wanted to, and he’ll get paid for it without having to launch a website or sell ads himself, while FanRag has put themselves on the larger sports media radar more than they were with this move. We’ll see if it works out for them.