It’s been a busy year for Michael Silver. Silver announced last October he was moving on from NFL Network and NFL.com after eight years there (following time at Sports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports), dropping a major story on “China virus” comments from Houston Texans’ owner Cal McNair at his new outlet of Bally Sports that day as well. Since then, Silver also landed a gig with the Washington Commanders’ website, teamed with long-time editor and executive John Marvel for a Backstage Media venture (which has a first-look deal with Meadowlark Media), and launched an Open Mike podcast with Colin Cowherd‘s The Volume network. Now, he’s also joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a 49ers and NFL columnist, but he’ll continue with his Bally/Volume/Backstage/Meadowlark gigs as well:
In addition to my new gig with the @sfchronicle, I'll keep covering the NFL for @ballysports, hosting the Open Mike podcast for @TheVolumeSports and working on projects for Backstage Media and Meadowlark with my partner @j_marvel
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) August 8, 2022
It’s a thrill to join killer columnists @annkillion @scottostler and so many other talented journalists at the @sfchronicle… I’m excited to team up with the exquisite @Eric_Branch on 49ers coverage beginning… NOW 👊🏼
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) August 8, 2022
Here are some quotes from the Chronicle‘s release on their hiring of Silver for their sports section (branded The Sporting Green, originally printed on green paper, more recently printed in green-tinted ink on white paper, except for special occasions like Buster Posey’s retirement):
The San Francisco Chronicle is delighted to announce that Michael Silver will be the Sporting Green’s newest columnist, focusing on the San Francisco 49ers while bringing his perspective as a journalist who has covered the league for more than three decades.
…“I’m ecstatic to join forces with some of my favorite journalists and be part of a publication I’ve been devouring for decades — in the greatest region on Earth,” Silver said. “It will be a thrill to write columns alongside Scott Ostler, a living legend, and my amazingly talented friend Ann Killion, who I’ve dreamed of working with since we were competing on the 49ers beat in the early ’90s. … As a native San Franciscan, this feels like home.
…“Mike gives us a combination of insight and his no-holds-barred approach to coverage that our readers will embrace,” Sports Editor Christina Kahrl said. “Whether hard things have to be said or great performances should get their due, Mike gives us a strength of perspective that will demand and deserve the attention of fans. The 49ers are one of the most valuable pro sports franchises on the planet, in one of the best sports markets in the world. Adding someone of Mike’s caliber reflects our awareness of that as well as the investment our readers make in the team and its players, every season.”
“It’s like joining an All-Star team, and I’m proud to be part of the juggernaut that (Editor in Chief) Emilio Garcia-Ruiz and (Sports Editor) Christina Kahrl are building,” Silver said.
Kahrl has indeed been building quite the “All-Star team” at the Chronicle‘s sports section since taking that role in March 2021. That came after she spent 10 years at ESPN.com as a writer and editor. Before that, she co-founded Baseball Prospectus in 1996, and she wrote for a wide variety of publications (including ESPN, SI, Salon and more) before joining ESPN full-time in 2011. Under her leadership as sports editor, the Chronicle has not only retained prominent voices like Ostler, Killion, Branch, Susan Slusser, John Shea, Bruce Jenkins, Connor Letourneau, and more, but also added further notable figures, including Marisa Ingemi, C.J. Holmes, and now Silver (seen above during a Dan Patrick Show interview last year). There’s a remarkable collection of talent there, and Silver’s hiring only adds to that.
This seems like a logical move for both sides. Beyond his general NFL knowledge and connections, Silver has often been known for being particularly plugged in to the Bay Area’s NFL scene, with particular inside insights on both the 49ers and the Raiders (before their Las Vegas move). So he’ll certainly be able to add some unique thoughts on the 49ers given the connections he’s built over the years, and he’ll likely be able to provide a useful NFL-wide perspective as well. And while this is likely a more limited role than you might see with many newspapers’ columnist hires, given Silver’s numerous other commitments, that also would seem to work out fine for the paper given the rest of the sports staff the Chronicle has in place. We’ll see how Silver does in this new role.