Not long ago FanRag Sports seemed like an ascendent, if somewhat mysterious, sports-media brand. The site popped into many fans’ consciousness in June 2016 when it hired baseball news-breaker Jon Heyman to front its MLB vertical, then seemed to add staff for a while until… it began going in the opposite direction.

Last August, FanRag laid off its content director, Tommy Stokke, along with several other writers. Two months later it axed a bunch more writers, promising a new emphasis on video. And this week, the site cut ties with a large number of writers, most of whom appear to have been part-timers or freelancers. Several of the laid-off staffers tweeted that the cuts take effect March 31.

That’s a whole lot of sharp and accomplished writers suddenly hitting the free-agent market.

After sports media (digital sports media in particular) saw a seemingly endless avalanche of layoffs in 2017, 2018 has so far been relatively quiet on that front (*knocks on wood extremely hard*), with this FanRag wave constituting one of the biggest rounds of cuts we have seen (again, in sports specifically, not counting the brutal layoffs at newspapers like the Denver Post). Not that that makes the cutbacks any less painful for the folks who lost their jobs this week.

It’s hard to know what the future holds for FanRag, which does not list a masthead on its website and which has revealed little about its business model or its funding. What we do know is that it remains a scary time to be a digital media company — or a digital-media writer. Hopefully FanRag figures out how to stem their apparent losses and get back to hiring, not firing, talented people. And hopefully every writer who was part of this week’s FanRag cuts finds new gigs that are just as good, or better.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.