In, The Leader Continues Localization

For those paying attention, you may have noticed the Boston sports media landscape has changed by leaps and bounds in the past 18 months.

While local sports radio giant WEEI finds itself in a fight for ratings with the newly launched 98.5 The Sports Hub, it seems those on the print side of things will also have some company this Fall.

As I wrote about back in April when they launched their local Chicago site, it was only a matter of time before ESPN began moving in on other major cities.

As one commenter astutely pointed out, the main draw that ESPN’s local affiliate model lacked was a known, local talent that could produce original content.

Enter, The Boston Globe’s Mike Reiss.

As Ken Fang over at Fang’s Bites wrote about, the ESPN Boston site will launch on September 14th, the same day as the Patriots’ season opener against Buffalo on Monday Night Football.

Anybody else want to bet they promote ESPN Boston’s launch more than once during Monday Night Football?

In Reiss, one of the most-respected football writers in Boston, ESPN has already secured a font of local coverage—and taken away one of the Globe’s top talents.

It’s a savvy move by the media giant and it clearly shows where they’re heading on this front.

Contrasting the situations at ESPN and The Globe brings into sharp focus the way the sports media landscape is shifting.

While traditional outlets like The Globe are struggling to maintain circulations and cutting benefits and pay, national outlets like ESPN are expanding into new coverage areas.

The obvious question is, of course, what next?

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