Fresh off a $20 million round of fundraising, The Athletic has hired Richard Deitsch, longtime sports media reporter for Sports Illustrated.
The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel broke the news:
Richard Deitsch is leaving Sports Illustrated for The Athletic, The Big Lead has learned. A spokesperson for The Athletic confirmed the news.
Deitsch joined SI in 1997, and for many years now has been a sports media reporter, columnist, and podcaster.
Crucially, Glasspiegel also notes that Deitsch’s beat won’t be changing too much:
Deitsch will continue to cover sports media.
Deitsch recently announced he’d be doing sports radio in Toronto, and as The Athletic has a fairly strong Toronto site, this would seem to dovetail. Deitsch could presumably be based there and do some local features on top of his sports media coverage. In fact, it’s not unfair to assume that’s part of what attracted Deitsch to The Athletic in the first place.
As Glasspiegel points out, The Athletic has certainly not been shy about hiring from Sports Illustrated, and that’s probably by design:
The Athletic features a number of SI ex-pats. Paul Fichtenbaum, SI’s former editor-in-chief, is chief content officer there. Former SI writers Stewart Mandel and Seth Davis lead national college football and college basketball sites. George Dohrmann is a senior editor and writer. Lars Anderson, Phil Taylor, John Walter, and Jeff Pearlman also write there.
What will be interesting is how Deitsch’s national writing is promoted across the site. There’s currently no central hub focused solely on media, a la The Fieldhouse for college basketball and The All-American for college football. Presumably, in the near term, Deitsch will simply write similar media columns and their subject will determine where they pop up on the site. But building that up isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and Deitsch has certainly been at it for a long time.