OT- FoxSports.com lays off college football writers

Submitted by M-GO-Beek on June 28th, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Looks like ESPN isn't the only one tightening the belt with "talent".  Stewart Mandel was overly critical of UM signing Harbaugh and his thoughts on us oversigning are ridciulous, but Bruce Feldman typically had reasonable ideas on the sport.  Here's hoping he finds a new writing home.



I Like Burgers

June 28th, 2017 at 11:17 AM ^

If you want a good read on what an utter shit show it is over there, read THIS from Awful Announcing.

To me, this was the craziest detail from that story:

"The mass layoffs were the coup de grace of a period that saw Horowitz prioritize the promotion of television programs and personalities over digital content, even enlisting veteran reporters to ghost-write or compose “as told to” content during Super Bowl week for talking heads like Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless."

The writers didn't know they were going to be ghostwriters until they arrived at the Super Bowl and got called into a meeting. They had to abandon any story ideas they had, and instead had to hang out on set and learn to talk like Cowherd or Skip and ghostwrite stories for them.  Can't imagine a more frustrating or embarassing professional situation.


June 28th, 2017 at 5:50 PM ^

If you wonder how it has survived - and thrived - over the years despite the pathetic platform it resides on, there is your answer.

FoxSports.com would not survive even a full week on Drupal.  The content is not woth putting up with it.





June 28th, 2017 at 10:26 AM ^

i'm just old school, but video does absolutely nothing for me.  I can't ever remember seeing a video 'article' and clicking on it.  I will always prefer written content.


June 28th, 2017 at 10:43 AM ^

I don't think they were replying to the first comment.  I think this was more them commenting on Fox' current strategy much like the first poster did..

Unfortunately, this is a pretty self-selecting crew and so I don't think we're a great example of where the market is going.  It's a little like being a black lesbian NASCAR fan, it's an example of one persons tastes, but a terrible demographic to base a marketing/growth strategy on.



June 29th, 2017 at 3:32 PM ^

Darn, the interwebs is HARD.

I was aware of who was replying to who. I still stand by my position that the first two responses (well, at least the first) totally missed the /s and were attempting to argue with the someone who actually agreed with them. Read it again and you might just agree with me. I also am not sure whether we need another "I hate video content" thread. I completely agree with the prevailing viewpoint and thought the /s comment was nicely played, but folowing it with ten more "I hate video" comments was not interesting to me.


June 28th, 2017 at 10:32 AM ^

Thoughts on UM aside, Mandel is one of the most established names in online coverage of college football and generally does yeoman's work. Surprising.


June 28th, 2017 at 10:32 AM ^

Damnit! I wasn't a huge fan of Mandel on the Audible, but really liked Feldman.   The Solid Verbal and Shutdown Fullcast both got a little too off-topic for me, so now I am looking for a good nationally focused college football podcast.  Any recommendations?

Interested to see where both go in terms of writing.  I would think Mandel can probably go hat in hand back to SI and Feldman may just make a career pivot.


June 28th, 2017 at 7:19 PM ^

Also a big the Audible fan, and Podcast Ain't Played Nobody from SB Nation is my other favorite national college football podcast. Godfrey and Bill Connelly are a great, as they say, college football marriage of numbers and words. It's honestly one of the closest things to MGoBlog content I've found on the national level.

Hope you like mid-majors is all, but they do cover the Power 5 quite a bit as well, albeit sometimes begrudgingly.


June 28th, 2017 at 10:34 AM ^

Are we sure this is related to Fox going in a different direction with content in the Sports division? They've been laying lots of folks off in the News division over the last year for being a little...rapey... 


June 28th, 2017 at 10:40 AM ^

might be finally going bust. Not enough people want to pay for it; eventually the advertisers are going to balk at paying the going rates, if they're not already.

I Like Burgers

June 28th, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

This isn't tied to any sort of CFB or rights bubble.  Its all about Fox Sports deciding to completely do away with any and all written content on their website. As of Monday, they are a 100% video website.

Their previous site was supposedly doing fine and had started to turn things around, but the guy in charge of FS1, Jamie Horowitz (who was also the one behind the whole Embrace Debate fad and responsible for Skip and Stephen A), wants to focus on his big name obnoxious talent instead.

Also, there's more money in video ad rates than there are for written content.  So its not that they are balking at some sort of high rate, its the opposite. The rates are low, advertisers just don't care, and anything they do sell isn't enough to subsidize the whole operation.


June 28th, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

I generally felt like Stewart Mandel didn't "get" Michigan, but apart from that he was a pretty good read most of the time.  I followed him from SI to Fox after SI revamped their website and became unreadable.  I'm certainly not sticking around for Fox's new format.


June 28th, 2017 at 12:32 PM ^

Grumble grumble this is what happens when you have a liberal bias grumble grumble.

But in all seriousness, this is the third time Fox Sports has had job cuts in less than 2 years. This also comes after a bloodletting at Yahoo. The truth of the matter is that the media landscape is drastically shifting, and no one is going to be immune.


June 28th, 2017 at 12:41 PM ^

Sports writing 101:

1. Did Harbaugh say something today? No - go to step 2

2. Release another "Weekly Power Rankings". Already released power rankings? Yes - go to step 3.

3. Any player arrested today? No - go to step 4.

4. Release another "Weekly Heisman Watch". Already released watch? Yes - go to step 5.

5. Release another "Coaches On the Bubble". Already released bubble report? Yes - go to step 6.

6. Release another "Changes for the BCS?" conjecture. Already wrote about BCS? Yes - go to step 7.

7. Release another conjecture article about Big 12 breaking up, Texas or Notre Dame switching conferences.

REPEAT for next week

-Why bots will take over reporting.


I Like Burgers

June 28th, 2017 at 4:08 PM ^

Its what sells though.  That kind of content is basically the same as fast food.  You know what you're going to get before you even click on it, people like it, and so it gets lots of clicks.

Nice, well-written stories are like random restaurants -- might be good, might be bad but you're most likely not going to stop into a place called "Fresco" or something like that.  Most people only go to them once they hear about them via word of mouth.

Perkis-Size Me

June 28th, 2017 at 1:15 PM ^

Not a good time to be in any facet of journalism. Particularly sports journalism. Opportunities are minimal at best, you're getting paid next to nothing unless you're one of the lucky few who finds themselves at a media titan like the NYT, and at any point, this next paycheck could be your last one. 

Besides, with the way that news is going these days, great writing is being valued less and less. It's all about who is the loudest, who generates the most clicks, who pisses the most people off, etc. That's all that news is anymore. How to get a rise out of people. That's why blowhards like Stephen A. Smith and Jamele Hill still have jobs, and why great writers like Chantel Jennings get the pink slip and the firm handshake. 

Perkis-Size Me

June 28th, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

Well exactly my point. When you're a titan in the industry like the NYT, the Washington Post or CNN, you're more frequently going to be in a position where you can hire people. You have the base and global exposure to bring good writers in and pay them good money. 

But just about everywhere else, you're working for peanuts. Journalism (at least the brand of journalism we know) is largely a dying profession. With the advent of the internet you can get your news from almost anywhere now. 

I Like Burgers

June 28th, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

Yeah, its frustrating.  I work in the industry on the video side and dumb, low-hanging fruit ideas are valued more and more.  But ideas for well thoughtout pieces that take time and actually make you smarter or teach you something are valued less and less.

And its tempting to jump ship and go to a place that does value that, but in the marketplace as a whole people mostly don't care.  Tough to try and map out a future when the type of content I like to make is valued less and less.


June 28th, 2017 at 6:04 PM ^

There are plenty of niche opportunities available that focus on substance over style.

MGoBlog says Hi.

But you do have to understand the scope of your opportunity.  You are not going to be a mass market player.

The mass market folks have gone strictly drive-by.


Hardware Sushi

June 28th, 2017 at 1:29 PM ^

Mandel has been shitty for the last few years with his takes getting more and more ridiculous and his schticks more and more annoying. I haven't enjoyed reading him since early SI days.

Feldman is one of my favorites, though.

State Street

June 28th, 2017 at 1:34 PM ^

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that whoever is running Fox Sports thinks it's a good idea to go all in on HOT TAKE artists like Skip Bayless and Clay Travis instead of Mandel/Feldman types. Why? How?