Nationals Park Bleachers
Hearst Newspapers announced this week its partnership with Bleacher Report, a website that bills itself as the world’s largest sports network that is powered entirely by fan-generated content.

Bleacher Report offers content submitted by its community members, dubbed “citizen sportswriters” and “fan-experts,” covering a variety of athletics with articles such as game recaps, player/team analysis, speculation and prediction, and historical comparison. The site claims web traffic of 7 million readers per month and has already created partnerships with such sports news organizations as CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated‘s and newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and the U.K. Telegraph.

The new partnership with Hearst adds to that list the companion websites of newspapers the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, and the San Antonio Express-News, plus, which no longer has a print companion since Hearst closed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper in March 2009. The Local Editions on each site will be co-branded between the Hearst news organizations and Bleacher Report. Each will offer content from the individual newspapers in addition to original Bleacher Report articles, and aggregated content from across the web. No financial details of the partnership have been disclosed.

Bleacher Report was launched last February by friends Dave Finocchio, Zander Freund, Bryan Goldberg and Dave Nemetz because they were dissatisfied with local coverage of their own favorite teams. Nemetz writes about the Hearst partnership on the Bleacher Report official blog:

Our Local Editions will serve as a hub for fans in these cities to add to the sports conversation already taking place. And for the Hearst Newspapers sports departments, well, it’s a great way to reach out and engage their community as well as provide for their readers a number of new complementary viewpoints and opinions on the stories their own writers are covering every day.

The Bleacher Report Local Editions for the Houston, San Francisco, and Seattle news sites have already launched, and San Antonio will follow soon. Hearst Newspaper owns a total of 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, but no plans have been announced yet to partner with Bleacher Report in other cities’ publications. Bleacher Report does have other Local Editions on its own website, however.

Source: “S.F. Chronicle to farm out some sports reporting,” Sacramento Business Journal, 02/23/10
Source: “Bleacher Report teams with Hearst Newspapers to launch Local Editions,” Bleacher Report blog, 02/23/10
Image by Laura Padgett, used under its Creative Commons license.

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