Longtime South Florida sports journalist and Miami Heat beat writer shocked many long-time readers, including this one, when it was announced that he would be leaving the Palm Beach Post for relative-upstart Bleacher Report.
Today’s my 1st day working for Turner Sports. I’ll be covering the Miami Heat (home & road) for Bleacher Report, NBA TV & other properties.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) September 18, 2013
Skolnick, who moved to Florida from New York of all places, started at the Palm Beach Post and later took jobs at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Miami Herald before returning to the Post. I grew up reading his stuff, regardless of the publication, and I’m sure many of you did too.
When I say I was shocked, I wasn’t shocked in regards to Skolnick leaving for a great opportunity. Skolnick had been contributing occasionally to B/R for almost a year before taking the full-time gig and the move was almost expected by many of his Twitter followers. Almost.
What is surprising is that Bleacher Report could lure him away from, what I presume to be, his comfort zone. I mean, it’s Bleacher Report! Slide-show making, crazy headline writing, Social Media saturating Bleacher Report!
But it’s also progressive, relatable and now Turner-owned Bleacher Report.
That latter may be the most important part here. B/R was acquired by Turner Sports in August of 2012. Turner also operates TNT, TBS and NBA TV. Many Heat games are broadcast nationally as TNT’s prime-time game. Skolnick, who I’m sure you have seen on Sun Sports (Fox Sports), has some television experience.
I’m sure we will be seeing Skolnick on national television for select Heat games. So Skolnick gets major exposure and gets to remain on the Heat beat. What does B/R get from Skolnick? Let him tell you. From his introduction on B/R, which is suggested reading.
Athletes are people first, and I’ll try to put their exploits and adversities in that context, so you know not only what they’re saying or doing, but why. If you’re seeking hysterical shrieking in response to every truncated, manipulated sound bite, this won’t be the ideal outlet for you.
Basically, B/R is moving away from the bell ringing and controversial headlines like “Is LeBron James Really A Top 5 Player in The NBA” and towards, well, real journalism. This gives B/R the opportunity to break news on the most polarizing team on the planet, not just regurgitate. B/R also hired former New Times NBA reporter Howard Beck in addition to NBA reporters Kevin Ding and Jared Zwerling. B/R also recently hired Mike Freeman from CBS Sports. Real journalists. And just when they were taking a step in the right direction…
That’s going to be a long slideshow… RT @Winston_Wolfe: My slideshow of great NBA writers now at Bleacher Report will be finished shortly.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 18, 2013
Dammit Bleacher Report!
The South Florida sports scene has long been pretty stable. But this is another recent move, in which a local treasure goes national, in a now-shifting South Florida media market.
The Miami Heat’s recent success has helped many local reporters land bigger jobs and garner more exposure. Recently, Jorge Sedano of WQAM and Dan Le Batard (and sidekick Jon “Stugotz” Weiner) of 790 The Ticket and the Miami Herald took jobs at ESPN.
(Unrelated to the Heat, PBP Dolphins beat reporter Ben Volin joined the Boston Globe as its NFL writer last year.)
Sedano replaced Mike Hill on ESPN’s evening radio show, now called “Sedano and Stink.” Le Batard will still do much of the same out of Miami, but his widely-listed-to radio show will soon be nationally syndicated via ESPN (the first hour of his show will still be local).
Now that I think about it… even I left! What’s in the water?
Skolnick’s move is arguably the most interesting, as the sports media landscape continues to change and Bleacher Report continues to grow. I know I wish him all the best, and look forward to reading more from Juice in the future.