Shortly before the holidays, longtime Yahoo Sports editor Kevin Kaduk was laid off after more than 10 years with the company. Considering his tenure with Yahoo — beginning as the editor of baseball blog Big League Stew, then moving up to lead editor for the sports team — along with the many relationships he’s established throughout the industry during his career, Kaduk’s next move is certainly of interest.
While looking for his next job, Kaduk has launched a new newsletter that takes him back to his roots as a sports fan and blogger. Midway Minute, which debuted earlier this month, covers Chicago’s five major sports teams (each represented by a fun, clever logo) on a daily basis with scores, links to articles and tweets from the city’s sports media scene.
Each daily newsletter is led off by a longer-form essay from Kaduk which delves into a story pertinent to the region’s fans. Topics have included the White Sox’s splashy offseason, Greg Olsen going to Seattle instead of returning to Chicago, former Cubs star Mark Grace joining the Marquee Network, and a local bartender taking over the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in South Carolina.
So why step back into the sports media game with a newsletter, rather than a podcast, blog, or even video — all of which Kaduk has experience with from his days at Yahoo? He sees the platform as the best way to reach his audience.
“Like a lot of people, I’m pretty big on newsletters right now,” Kaduk said in a phone conversation. “We’re kind of in a spot where you just really can’t trust Facebook, Twitter or other stuff to deliver the content to the audience that wants it. Even if people want this, they’re not on Twitter at the same time, maybe they don’t see it. If I put it on Facebook, maybe Facebook never even shows it to them since I don’t pay for that content to be seen.
“For writers and companies, a newsletter’s just an unencumbered way to get back in front of people. It reminded me of the good ol’ days of blogging when it was just easy to get to people and start a conversation with them. Honestly, I missed that. So much of the media has given way to those algorithms and streams. I wanted to take the power back.”
Kaduk knows that he won’t drill down as deep into a particular Chicago team as, for example, Bleacher Nation does with the Cubs. But as with Big League Stew and baseball coverage, he wants Midway Minute to be the wheel in which all those different sports blogs can spin.
“The result was a glorious mix of our own writing and sharing our home with the best work done by fans of all 30 teams,” Kaduk wrote in his debut newsletter. “I’ve missed being that kind of ringmaster and getting back to that spot is something I’ve been trying to figure out for awhile.”
Ultimately, Kaduk wants Midway Minute and its readership to be a community, much like so many popular blogs formed in their heydays. Eventually, he hopes enough of a connection develops where readers could meet up, for instance at a local brewery to watch a ballgame together during the week.
“I think people are still looking for a lot of connections online,” said Kaduk. “People want to see the human on the other side, they want to get together with like-minded people, and I think this is a great way to do it.”
You can subscribe to Midway Minute here and check out previous editions of the newsletter.