Almost one month to the day from their previous expansion into Los Angeles and Buffalo, The Athletic is growing once more, adding Atlanta, Baltimore, and Wisconsin as its latest markets for sports coverage.
📢 The Athletic is expanding! Now offering quality, ad-free sports coverage in:
In-depth local sports coverage now available in 32 markets, all included with your subscription. More cities coming soon!
— The Athletic HQ (@TheAthletic) July 17, 2018
That brings the grand total of markets in which The Athletic has exclusive coverage of local pro and college sports teams to 32.
In Atlanta, some of the writers covering local teams include a slew of former Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributors, including Braves writer David O’Brien, Georgia Bulldogs writer Seth Emerson, and Jeff Schultz, who has been tabbed to write about everything in town.
However, many of those hires are not going over well with Atlanta sports fans, including from when a couple of the hirings were rumored weeks ago.
Someone WANTS Jeff Schultz? Holy Moses.
— Bryan Moore (@bmo72) July 7, 2018
Hyperbole much?? They aren’t that good. You get better Braves coverage from other sites.
— BayouJohn (@JohnnealM) July 7, 2018
The AJC just got a LOT better. This is great news.
— Cindy J. (@FourScore199) July 7, 2018
I wonder if @TheAthletic will let Schultz continue to belittle people on the internet.
— Dan Smith (@DanSmit64905327) July 7, 2018
Guys maybe now you can hire real sports reporters who ask tough questions and not spit out company BS…. Oh wait that would require journalism.
— Bring back Juan (@ForsythMac) July 7, 2018
I legitimately want my money back
— Dylan Jennings (@jennings_dylan) July 7, 2018
I will, however, pay money to see the Athletic CEO’s face the first time he peruses through DOB’s favs on twitter.
— Dañiel Simpson (@DSimpson88) July 7, 2018
Might want to tell your new lead Braves writer to unblock 60% of twitter
— Scott Coleman (@scottcoleman55) July 17, 2018
could not have done worst on the Braves side of things.
— Russell (@RJBraves) July 17, 2018
I will not subscribe until you get DOB to unblock me from 6 years ago
— Kyle Turñer (@KTisclutch) July 17, 2018
In Baltimore, coverage includes former Baltimore Sun writer Dan Connolly on the Orioles, former Baltimore Sun writer Jeff Zrebiec on the Ravens, and talented and well-traveled writer Patrick Stevens is covering the Maryland Terrapins. The Wisconsin outlet brings in Robert Murray and Cat Garcia for Brewers coverage, Michael Cohen for Packers coverage, and Jesse Temple for Wisconsin Badgers coverage.
One of the most notable markets that The Athletic has yet to reach into is Washington, D.C. It’s an interesting test case, not only because it’s such a major sports and media market, but because the local media companies have started ramping up a challenge to the ad-free, paywall-based model that The Athletic is touting. The Washington Post is reportedly considering an offshoot sports product that would provide in-depth coverage of local teams for a set monthly subscription fee. There’s also Sports Capitol, a subscription-based sports site started earlier this year by three local writers (former Washington Times enterprise writer Todd Dybas and longtime local sports reporters Brian McNally and Ben Standig). When asked about it on Twitter, The Athletic said that they’ll “be there soon” but are stil putting the pieces together.
We know that's not the case. Just takes time to get to every city. We'll be there soon. Appreciate your interest and patience.
— The Athletic HQ (@TheAthletic) July 17, 2018
Along with that announcement, The Athletic also officially introduced a cavalcade of 19 college sports beat reporters who will be covering major programs across the nation. The full list includes former Oregonian writer Tyson Alger (Oregon), former Roanoke Times writer Andy Bitter (Virginia Tech), former Tacoma News Tribune writer Christian Caple (Washington), former Cedar Rapids Gazette writer Scott Dochterman (Iowa), Seth Emerson (Georgia), former Bleacher Report/SEC Country writer Justin Ferguson (Auburn), former Washington Post writer Emily Giambalvo (Clemson), former Oklahoman writer Jason Kersey (Oklahoma), former Orange County Register writer Antonio Morales (USC), former USA Today network writer Colton Pouncy (Michigan State), former Memphis Commercial Appeal writer Tashan Reed (Florida State), former Clarion-Ledger, writer Will Sammon (Florida), former Irish Illustrated writer Pete Sampson (Notre Dame), former Pittsburgh Post Gazette writer Audrey Snyder (Penn State), former Tulsa World writer Cody Stavenhagen (Michigan), former Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles (Alabama), former ESPN.com writer Jesse Temple (Wisconsin), former ESPN.com writer David Ubben (Tennessee), and former Cleveland.com writer Ari Wasserman (Ohio State).
Per the announcement by The Athletic, they’re still looking to hire more writers to cover college football programs, adding they “hope to expand the roster again in the near future.” They also added that their national staff will be devoting plenty of coverage to the entire country.