SB Nation is getting into the radio business. As reported by Bloomberg, Vox Media’s sports vertical is partnering up with Gow Media to refashion its Yahoo Sports Radio brand into a new programming venture that will reach 500 terrestrial radio and satellite stations, including include SiriusXM. The change will take place on Aug. 1.
Rebranding as SB Nation Radio will be the third change Gow Media has made to its national sports radio network in the past six years. Gow purchased Sporting News Radio in 2010 before changing its brand to Yahoo Sports Radio just over a year later. Prior to Sporting News’ purchase in 2000, the network was known as One on One Sports.
“The creation of SB Nation Radio is an exciting extension for the SB Nation brand, and the reach of our community of reporters and fans, to a new platform that is such a natural fit for sports coverage and commentary,” SB Nation vice president of editorial operations Kevin Lockland said in a statement. “Gow Media is one of the largest national sports radio networks, and SB NATION is the fastest growing digital sports brand. Together, we’re excited to introduce a fresh vision of sports radio to a new generation of listeners.”
Lockland told Bloomberg’s Brooke Fox that the goal is to “gain additional exposure for a lot of the talented national and team-specific voices that we have across the SB Nation network.”
SB Nation is currently comprised of a national site and 300 team-specific sites — such as Mile High Report, which focuses on Denver Broncos coverage — which feature news, commentary, podcasts and robust fan communities. Writers and editors for those sites figure to be frequent guests on SB Nation Radio shows when news dictate team- or sport-specific insight. The Bloomberg article specifically mentions SB Nation editorial director Spencer Hall, video host and producer Dan Rubenstein, NBA columnist Paul Flannery, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani and NFL writer Thomas George as talent that will be regularly featured on the network.
“This is not your grandfather’s radio network,” said Gow Media CEO David Gow in an announcement of the partnership. “SB Nation is young, fastpaced, and digitally savvy. This is the tone and energy audiences will hear on SB Nation Radio.”
Could this pave the way for other Vox Media verticals, such as flagship site Vox and culture site The Verge, to get on the radio? Or could SB Nation Radio use its outlet to create some exposure for those sites to a different audience?