We now know veteran college football writer Ross Dellenger’s next move. Earlier this month, Dellenger announced he was leaving Sports Illustrated after five years. On Monday, he announced that he’s joined Yahoo Sports:
Day 1 of a new job today: I’ve joined @YahooSports as a senior writer covering college football.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 17, 2023
Dellenger joined Sports Illustrated as a national college football writer in 2018, with that move coming after he covered LSU for The Advocate for several years. He impressed on the national front at SI with both on- and off-field coverage, and has been one of the more trustworthy voices out there on conference realignment, playoff expansion, and television deals. And he said when he left that role that it had been a great run:
Personal news: Last week was my final one at Sports Illustrated. It’s been an awesome five years. I’ll greatly miss working alongside @ByPatForde & @RJ_Writes, and I owe an incredible amount to @rynhnt & @Andy_Staples, who brought me aboard in 2018.
What’s next? For now, bourbon pic.twitter.com/MfTo0FE98z
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 3, 2023
This hire continues the many, many moves (conference realignments?) between SI and Yahoo over the years, particularly in college sports. In 2017, a year ahead of Dellenger’s hire at SI, Pete Thamel left SI for Yahoo. In 2019, Pat Forde left Yahoo for SI. There have been many changes in the college sportswriting world outside of that, of course, including SI laying off prominent writers (particularly Lindsay Schnell, Brian Hamilton, and Seth Davis) in May 2017, with Schnell going to USA Today and the latter two joining The Athletic), Stewart Mandel leaving SI in 2014 and heading to Fox (he would later join The Athletic after Fox killed its website), Bruce Feldman taking his writing to SI in 2017 after that Fox website fiasco (he’d later join The Athletic), Thamel moving from Yahoo to ESPN last year, and more. But it is interesting to see another direct move between SI and Yahoo.
This also comes amidst some changes at Yahoo. In particular, the company (which Apollo Global acquired from Verizon in 2021) named former ESPN/BetMGM executive Ryan Spoon president of Yahoo Sports last month, and he vowed to work on “creating new growth opportunities that take our product and content offerings to the next level.” There haven’t been a lot of details yet on what that will look like, but Dellenger’s hire suggests they do plan to continue with college football coverage and possibly build on what they’ve been doing there. And that may make some sense for them; while Yahoo doesn’t have as much synergy with fantasy products in college as they do with the NFL (where they also used to even have live game rights), they’ve long been known for solid college sports coverage, and still have prominent veterans like Dan Wetzel (one of the few prominent college sports media figures who hasn’t moved around much over the last decades) there. Adding Dellenger should build on the CFB coverage they already have, and it will be interesting to see where they go from there.