Earlier this month, we brought you the news of Joe Posnanski joining NBC. Posnanski's first column at NBCSports.com posted today, and NBC confirmed the hiring as well as spelled out the details of the relationship.
Posnanski, named the 2012 National Sportswriter of the Year by the Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, will cover the biggest topics in sports by writing three long-form stories per week on NBCSports.com. His weekly Friday column, to be called “The Big Read,” debuts today with a column about New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
He will also contribute to GolfChannel.com, NBCOlympics.com, NBCSports.com’s SportTalk blogs, including HardballTalk, as well as to the websites of the NBC Sports Regional Networks.
“Joe is one of the most talented and respected writers in sports, and we are thrilled that he is joining our team,” said Rick Cordella, SVP & General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “Although Joe excels with the written word, an exciting element of this agreement is that it affords him the ability to communicate with sports fans through all the assets in the diverse NBC Sports Group portfolio, which include national and regional digital, television and radio platforms.”
Twice named the best sports columnist in America by The Associated Press Sports Editors, Posnanski will also regularly appear on NBC Sports Group television programming — NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, and the NBC Sports Regional Networks – as well as on NBC Sports Radio programs.
With his new employer, Posnanki will be writing his trademark longform columns on NBCSports.com, and I'd assume that his contributions to the SportsTalk blogs will be shorter in nature and take on a more opinionated slant, a contrast from the quick news-based posts that primarily make up the SportsTalk blogs. The addition of his contributions to GolfChannel.com is a welcome sign, because some of Posnanski's columns about that spot have been unreal.
Posnanski will also make appearances on NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, and the NBC regional networks. The first three won't be anything for Posnanski's love affair with baseball since NBC holds no rights to MLB telecasts, but the little tidbit about "NBC Sports Regional Networks" will. In case you don't know, Comcast bought out the rest of NBC last week. Comcast's regional networks hold the rights to six MLB teams: the Phillies, Giants, Athletics, Cubs, White Sox, and Astros. Those are some pretty big markets for Posnanski to make possible studio appearances in to talk baseball.
I was apprehensive of Posnanski's jump to NBC last month, but I'm a little more open-minded to it now. Instead of being just another fish in the pond at a place like ESPN or FOX, Posnanski is going to be one of the stars of NBC's online footprint. Ken Fang compared Posnanski joining to NBC to Rick Reilly joining ESPN in 2008 in its overall breadth, a relationship that hasn't worked out too well for either party (aside from financially for Reilly). But I think the relationship between NBC and Posnanski will prove to be much more beneficial to both sides than the relationship between ESPN and Reilly has been, if only because of Posnanski's familiarity with blogging and his target audience.
Regarding the Reilly comparison, I thought Rick was terrific at SI. At the time, I thought it was a big deal for ESPN to get him. I had no idea Rick was taking early retirement while drawing a huge paycheck. Joe certainly won't be slacking. Good for him and good for NBC.
" Ken Fang compared Posnanski joining to NBC to Rick Reilly joining ESPN in 2008..."
Difference is I don't hate JoPo with the fire of a thousand suns.