Greg Bedard is back with a subscription website that looks promising. Sean McAdam & Chris Price will be writing for him. Bruins and Celtics beat TBD.
Welcome Boston sports fans,
In case you haven’t heard from our friends at 98.5 The SportsHub, we are launching BostonSportsJournal.com and an accompanying Apple/Android app on Monday. It will be a paid subscription site, but the first week will be free. We want you to come in, take a look and try us out. If you like what you see, we hope that you buy a subscription and become a valuable part of our community.
Couldn’t be more proud of the team we are putting together to serve you. After covering the NFL for four years at Sports Illustrated, I am very excited to return to my strength: immersing myself in one team, the Patriots. So while I’ll also be overseeing the site and doing some general columnist duties, you’ll also be getting my unique game and training camp practice breakdowns.
Sean McAdam, one of the most respected and experienced reporters on the Red Sox beat, is already back doing what he does best: nosing around the Sox to find you the unique coverage you deserve. Chris Price, who has done it all from beat coverage to writing books on the Patriots, will be your day-to-day conduit to One Patriot Place. We have a dynamite Bruins reporter lined up, but you’ll have to wait until next month to find out exactly who that is. And we hope to announce our Celtics reporter in short order.
That’s the team that we’re starting with. I hope to expand quickly (we definitely want to add a Revolution writer starting next season), but that will depend on subscription levels. The model is the subscribers pay for the talent, and our advertising partners will cover a travel budget that will rival any of the other Boston outlets.
These are the things we can promise you:
In short, the unique part of all of this is you have a hand in everything we do. It’s going to sound cliché, but it’s true: this site will be built on the backs of our subscribers and we will listen. If you want more Patriots coverage and you get your buddies to sign up, we’ll add another reporter down in Foxborough. If Bruins fans love what we’re doing and sign up in droves, we’ll add another reporter there. You are going to be part of the plan and the execution of the site.
- Our coverage will be hyperlocal to Boston and New England. If it doesn’t matter to you, it doesn’t matter to us.
- No clickbait articles. We don’t care about clicks and generating national headlines. We only care about serving our subscribers.
- No contrived opinions. We will mean what we say, and say what we mean. And if we don’t, call us out on it.
- The will be a 100 percent politics-free zone. We want to this to be an oasis from the outside world.
- We will be interactive and accessible. Lots of Q&As, mailbags, in-game chats and Tweet-ups. Podcasts, videos and other multimedia projects are in the works.
- We will not clutter up your experience with annoying popup/clunky ads and autoplay videos.
Why now? Well, after being laid off at SI, I looked at the landscape, mulled over a few opportunities and decided three things: 1) I no longer wanted to work for people who didn’t have a plan for the future; 2) I wasn’t going to work for people who didn’t know what consumers really wanted on a daily basis; and 3) I didn’t want to work for people who knew more about venture capital than journalism. A few people on Twitter told me I should look into the model going on at DK Pittsburgh Sports and I instantly knew it was the future.
Dejan Kovacevic started by himself three years ago and now he’s up to nearly 40,000 paid subscribers plus has major sponsorships with Allegheny Health Network and PNC Bank, among others. He’s up to a staff of 11 writers plus others who work on the site. If he can do that in Pittsburgh, why can’t we do that in Boston? Well, we’re going to give it our all to make it happen or die trying.
The other natural question is, “Why should I pay?” My short answer is if you’re satisfied with the coverage you’re getting of your teams, then don’t. But if you want an alternative where you have a voice and aren’t dictated to, with a fresh approach and reporters that will shoot you straight with no bias, then come join us.
Look, we’re an independent and very small company. We’re not a huge corporation. There’s no CEOs or EVPs getting gold parachutes. We don’t have VC money bankrolling us, looking to make a buck off you and us. For everyone on our site and our families, this is our primary means of income. Coverage costs money, including what we pay ourselves (and trust me, it’s not much right now). Travel costs are real, including going to and from practice. Nobody anywhere is making enough money just off advertising, unless you like all sorts of annoying ads and videos as part of your browsing experience. If you want a fresh perspective on Boston sports and a clean experience consuming it, then give up that expensive coffee once a month and join us. Every day will be working to make sure that you don’t regret it.
Thanks for checking us out, and I hope you like what you see on Monday.
Greg A. Bedard
Owner, editor and columnist for BostonSportsJournal.com.