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1 hour ago, pantherclub said:

Dumb question maybe but how much does a writer make there?

I think writers top out pretty quickly because everyone would love to do it. 
 

Ive known a few beat writers over the years and they did ok, but they were far from rich. They did a lot of supplemental things like writer excerpts for books or do contract work for national magazines to preseason write ups and stuff like that. I know two of the Athletic writers and while I’d never ask their salaries, I think the move was more of a quality of life type thing rather than financial. 

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I'm the exact opposite.  If I click a link to a story and it takes me to some talking head/video, I immediately close.  I'd rather read a story than have someone tell one to me. 

Huge fan.  Signed up to follow Stewart Mandell for college football.  Did the monthly fee for the fall football season and pulled the trigger on the full year as an xmas gift to myself.     I a

The addition of videos or podcasts is great and if I want to seek them out on The Athletic I will do so.  But here's a real life example:  I read Peter King religiously for NFL content.  I'm on the tr

3 minutes ago, bigmarc27 said:

I think writers top out pretty quickly because everyone would love to do it. 
 

Ive known a few beat writers over the years and they did ok, but they were far from rich. They did a lot of supplemental things like writer excerpts for books or do contract work for national magazines to preseason write ups and stuff like that. I know two of the Athletic writers and while I’d never ask their salaries, I think the move was more of a quality of life type thing rather than financial. 

I think I saw an article (maybe posted in this thread?) that said they start at about $70k, with the higher profile folks making over $100k.

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14 minutes ago, pantherclub said:

thanks

 

but the math isnt adding up for this to exist in the long term. 

their target for subscribers was 1 million by the end of this year.  If they reach that, it would mean revenue of $57 million per year, according to their previous figure of $57 per subscriber.

If 30 writers make 200,000; 50 writers make $100,000; and 220 writers make $70,000; that's $26.4 million in expenses for their writers.  I do find it hard to believe that they would be paying some of the writers that much, as some just contribute on occasion and I would assume are happy to do it to increase their own cred and have plenty of flexibility, but i suspect that gets us in the ballpark.

I guess that's a pretty high percentage to be spending on payroll (as it doesn't even include other non-writing positions), but they are trying to scale up right now.  They can presumably get to 2 million subscribers without increasing the costs for writers by that much.  If they can keep the momentum and VC funding flowing, they could be in a strong position going forward.

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3 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

their target for subscribers was 1 million by the end of this year.  If they reach that, it would mean revenue of $57 million per year, according to their previous figure of $57 per subscriber.

If 30 writers make 200,000; 50 writers make $100,000; and 220 writers make $70,000; that's $26.4 million in expenses for their writers.  I do find it hard to believe that they would be paying some of the writers that much, as some just contribute on occasion and I would assume are happy to do it to increase their own cred and have plenty of flexibility, but i suspect that gets us in the ballpark.

I guess that's a pretty high percentage to be spending on payroll (as it doesn't even include other non-writing positions), but they are trying to scale up right now.  They can presumably get to 2 million subscribers without increasing the costs for writers by that much.  If they can keep the momentum and VC funding flowing, they could be in a strong position going forward.

That 26.4 is just in salaries and doesnt include the other operating expenses and expenses of a traveling reporter.   Something seems way amiss about this business model.  I know it says they have venture capital money but even that runs dry after a bit.  Seems like a huge gamble to leave a traditional newspaper reporting job to joint the Athletic

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4 minutes ago, pantherclub said:

That 26.4 is just in salaries and doesnt include the other operating expenses and expenses of a traveling reporter.   Something seems way amiss about this business model.  I know it says they have venture capital money but even that runs dry after a bit.  Seems like a huge gamble to leave a traditional newspaper reporting job to joint the Athletic

:confused: 

staying at a traditional newspaper job would be the biggest gamble of all.

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1 minute ago, Long Ball Larry said:

:confused: 

staying at a traditional newspaper job would be the biggest gamble of all.

Sortof maybe but at least its consistent.  The local writer from teh Charlotte Observer for the Panthers, jourdan rougue left the Observer and went to the Athletic.   She probably get a huge raise but is it worth it if TA goes under in 18 months?  I doubt the charlotte observer is anytime soon and then trying to find another job has to be a nightmare in that field

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15 minutes ago, pantherclub said:

That 26.4 is just in salaries and doesnt include the other operating expenses and expenses of a traveling reporter.   Something seems way amiss about this business model.  I know it says they have venture capital money but even that runs dry after a bit.  Seems like a huge gamble to leave a traditional newspaper reporting job to joint the Athletic

Exactly. The Nhl All-Star game was somewhere last year (Vancouver??) and the athletic sent all the beat writers there. Why?? Imagine the incredible expense to do that. 

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48 minutes ago, pantherclub said:

Sortof maybe but at least its consistent.  The local writer from teh Charlotte Observer for the Panthers, jourdan rougue left the Observer and went to the Athletic.   She probably get a huge raise but is it worth it if TA goes under in 18 months?  I doubt the charlotte observer is anytime soon and then trying to find another job has to be a nightmare in that field

i'm not sure that you are really thinking about the media landscape very well.  average observer reporter gets $33,500 (https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/charlotte-reporter-salary-SRCH_IL.0,9_IM162_KO10,18.htm).  I don't know exactly how that corresponds to the beat writers, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is close.

Possible Bankruptcy For Observer Parent Company

Quote

 

Last week the Charlotte Observer’s parent company, McClatchy, announced it will stop printing Saturday editions at all of its papers next year. The California-based company, which also owns the Raleigh News & Observer and the Rock Hill Herald, is about $700 million in debt. 

The IRS has declined the company’s request to defer making payments to its pension plan. That’s raised the question of a possible bankruptcy.

Tony Mecia: So when you say, "Well, what does it mean for the Observer?" I mean, it's sort of hard to know. No company wants to be in bankruptcy. There are a lot of things that are unpredictable about being in bankruptcy, but it's not necessarily a bad thing for the operation of the Observer and the other newspapers if they can shed some of that debt and come up with a plan that makes them viable going forward.

Terry: The Observer, like a lot of papers, has struggled in recent years. You asked a few current and former leaders in Charlotte media what they thought the future of news coverage in the city looks like. What were some of the responses you got?

Mecia: Yeah, I would say the most overwhelming response I got is one that -- and this is nothing new, really, or surprising -- but printed papers have not been succeeding for a while. And that the trend line is much more toward digital publications, towards online publication. I mean, you see the Observer moving this direction as well. You see other news organizations that are in other media moving that direction. And so what I'm hearing is that the future is maybe instead of having a newspaper be the main center of media in a city, that you're going to have a lot of smaller media. That each are a little more niche, that have their own area that they look into and that provide very different things to their readers or consumers.

 

Where do you have more flexibility?  Where do you have more chance to be seen by other outlets for future jobs?  Where can you be more in synch with the more cutting-edge ideas?

Obviously the Athletic is a risk and could easily collapse.  But I think that the Athletic is a gamble with a much better potential payoff than staying with a local paper.  

 

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  • 2 months later...

I re-upped for another year using a gift subscription to myself.  That brought the annual cost down from $60 to $40.

There was an interesting article yesterday behind the Washington Post paywall that talks about The Athletic's salary structure:
 

Quote

 

Flush with venture capital cash, the Athletic offers those journalists attractive salaries: $50,000 a year for entry-level reporters and mid-six figures for more accomplished writers. (Full-time employees get equity in the company, too.) It has even managed to raise the salaries of writers it hasn’t hired: It offered to one prominent ESPN writer more than $500,000, nearly double that writer’s salary, according to people familiar with the negotiations; the writer ultimately stayed at ESPN for less than the Athletic’s offer but still got a big raise.

All that venture funding brings a Silicon Valley ethos to the company. A dashboard tracks how stories perform against expectations, and every writer gets goals for how many subscribers their articles should convert. A corporate travel system spits out the average cost of hotels and provides Amazon gift certificates to employees who book cheaper accommodations. Aaron Reiss, 24, who left the Kansas City Star to cover the Houston Texans, praised another perk: an editor who specializes in helping develop young writers. “What newspaper would have that?” he asked.

 

There are still a lot of questions about the long-term viability of the enterprise.  They're not profitable and are still actively raising capital.  In light of the recent acquisitions of The Ringer and Barstool Sports, the article speculates about some potential buyers and provides three potential end-game scenarios.

Quote

If it’s bought by a company that wants to expand the model, the Athletic could help stabilize the industry for the long term. Someone else could buy the company and cut costs, leaving the fate of the fabled beat writer uncertain again. Or, the disaster version: The company can’t find a buyer near its valuation, the capital runs out, and the thing goes upside down.

 

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14 hours ago, East Coast Bias said:

Subscription can be had for a couple dollars for a year for new subscribers. Lots of codes from TMobile subscribers floating around. See thread on slickdeals. I was able to get a free year. Others are selling for a dollar or two.

I have a code if anybody wants it for free...

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14 hours ago, East Coast Bias said:

Subscription can be had for a couple dollars for a year for new subscribers. Lots of codes from TMobile subscribers floating around. See thread on slickdeals. I was able to get a free year. Others are selling for a dollar or two.

I thought they’d be gone by 2025 but sounds like I may have to move that up a few years. 

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1 hour ago, Jaysus said:

I have a code if anybody wants it for free...

I would appreciate that.

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1 hour ago, Zow said:

I would appreciate that.

I will PM you... you do have to enter a credit card and then cancel before the $60 auto renewal hits though...

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  • 1 month later...

I have five 30 day guest passes if anyone wants to try it out. You'll have to provide payment info, so make sure you cancel before 30 days if you end up not wanting to subscribe.

I got a cheap subscription in January and I'm surprised by how much I like it.

Reply to this post if you want a code to keep the thread bumped and I'll PM the code to you.

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It's an incredible site :shrug:.

The access to hometown writers for every sport in every city saves so much paywall aggravation. The deep dives they do are awesome. The analytics focus is really cool. 

I know Toronto is a key key market for them, which helps, but it's worth every penny IMO. 

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6 hours ago, McBokonon said:

I have five 30 day guest passes if anyone wants to try it out. You'll have to provide payment info, so make sure you cancel before 30 days if you end up not wanting to subscribe.

I got a cheap subscription in January and I'm surprised by how much I like it.

Reply to this post if you want a code to keep the thread bumped and I'll PM the code to you.

I have been meaning to try out The Athletic, so I will take a code. Thanks.

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6 hours ago, McBokonon said:

I have five 30 day guest passes if anyone wants to try it out. You'll have to provide payment info, so make sure you cancel before 30 days if you end up not wanting to subscribe.

I got a cheap subscription in January and I'm surprised by how much I like it.

Reply to this post if you want a code to keep the thread bumped and I'll PM the code to you.

Same here - I have five as well

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  • 4 months later...
On 9/9/2020 at 12:54 PM, mphtrilogy said:

I think its worth the money as well, great coverage and good fantasy content.  Also some solid podcasts.

 

One wrinkle they don't do tennis for some reason...

Or horse racing....

Still love it!  What a gift to readers who still like to read their information.  

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4 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Or horse racing....

Still love it!  What a gift to readers who still like to read their information.  

I also like that they've added/beefed up a news ticker on the side that involves the beat writers' takes. 

 

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The $12/12 months link doesn't work anymore.  Looks like $42/year is the current offer.  If anyone still has a 30-day guest code, I'm interested.

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7 hours ago, Craig_MiamiFL said:

I tried this out on the $1/mo trial. Just never used it and cancelled. 

I'd much rather watch a video vs. read an article.

I'm the exact opposite.  If I click a link to a story and it takes me to some talking head/video, I immediately close.  I'd rather read a story than have someone tell one to me. 

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11 minutes ago, Skipdog77 said:

I'm the exact opposite.  If I click a link to a story and it takes me to some talking head/video, I immediately close.  I'd rather read a story than have someone tell one to me. 

Same. My one wish is for printer friendly versions of the stories because I still like to print them out at work and read at home or other places when I have some downtime. 

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8 hours ago, Craig_MiamiFL said:

I tried this out on the $1/mo trial. Just never used it and cancelled. 

Same here. Same info found elsewhere in more condensed version. 

Thought the local team coverage was a lot underwhelming

Edited by Bears_Man2
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I let my subscription lapse when I didn’t see them run another 1 year/$25 deal over the holidays like I had taken advantage of the last couple of years. There is definitely some good content there but I don’t really miss it. I’m sure I’ll subscribe again next time they offer a killer deal, but I’m not in a rush. 

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It's basically all I read for sports news now. Their hockey coverage is so much better than anywhere else. 

They let Andrew Stoeten go which was disappointing for Blue Jays coverage but I think that's because he was completely hammered on the last podcast he did (it's worth a listen in a trainwreck sort of way).  

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