George Dohrmann is the newest hire at The Athletic.

The Athletic continues to grow. The subscription sportswriting site’s latest addition is George Dohrmann, the longtime Sports Illustrated senior writer (2000-15) and book author who previously worked at The Los Angeles Times and The St. Paul Pioneer Press (where he won a Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting in 2000 for his coverage of academic fraud in the University of Minnesota’s basketball program) and is currently an instructor at Southern Oregon University. Dohrmann announced on Twitter Friday that he’s joining The Athletic as a senior editor, and emphasized that he’s accepting pitches (longform and otherwise) and will be working on bringing others’ stories to life:

This is an interesting move on a few levels. For one thing, Dohrmann furthers the Sports Illustrated connections at The Athletic; former SI group editor Paul Fichtenbaum recently came on board full-time as the company’s chief content officer (he was previously a consultant), and their national college football and basketball sites are headed by SI vets (Stewart Mandel and Seth Davis, respectively). Another SI vet, Brian Hamilton, recently joined Davis’ The Fieldhouse. It’s far from all SI people, as the company’s also filled with veterans from ESPN, The Sporting News, newspapers and more, but the SI flavor is growing.

Dohrmann’s hire, and his immediate request for pitches, also suggests that The Athletic is going to accept a fair bit of freelance work, and that could be a real opportunity for them. One of the biggest sports sites that featured a lot of freelance work, Vice, just shut down in a “pivot to video,” and wider cutbacks and  layoffs across the sports media industry have also had a significant impact. There are lots of sportswriters looking for freelance work, and not a ton of places willing to pay. As with The Athletic’s other hirings of laid-off writers, it’s a buyer’s market, and that could let them get some excellent pieces.

We’ll see how Dohrmann’s hire pays off for The Athletic, and what freelance pitches they end up accepting and running with. It’s certainly a notable move, and another sign of The Athletic’s growing ambitions.

[George Dohrmann on Twitter]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.