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Maven Purchases The Spun To Pair With Sports Illustrated

Maven has raised over $40 million in capital since they hired a new CEO last fall.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: The Spun

Maven is continuing its growth in the digital sports media space. The Sports Illustrated publisher has reached a deal to buy “The Spun,” according to Forbes. The New Jersey-based sports news website is the latest addition to Maven’s arsenal of online brands.

The plan is for “The Spun” to continue operating as normal while eventually being integrated into Sports Illustrated’s online portfolio.

“They’re a really dynamic, independent sports company, and they’ve grown mightily over the last seven years or so,” Maven CEO Ross Levinsohn told Forbes. “A really smart, young, aggressive team, with really terrific leadership, and we couldn’t be more excited. Their numbers are terrific, and it’s a great complement to Sports Illustrated for us.”

Levinsohn and Maven have spent the majority of their time raising $40 million in capital since he was installed as CEO last fall. Now they are ready to spend, with “The Spun” acting as their first target.

“We have some pretty big ambitions,” Levinsohn said. “And this is sort of our first at-bat at growth since I took over the company about nine months ago.”

“The Spun” is retaining their 11-employee team, along with a new role for co-founder Matt Lombardi as Vice President/General Manager of Growth for Sports at Maven. Lombardi started the site in 2012 and has grown it into a prominent home for the intersection of sports and social media.

“We really look for assets that can fit into and expand an existing vertical for us, or start a new one,” Levinsohn said. “In ‘The Spun’ we saw something that would be additive and incremental to our sports vertical, which is anchored by the halo brand of Sports Illustrated. It’s the most trusted brand name in sports, it’s revered, it’s got an incredible history, and its audience is amazingly loyal — with still north of 1.7 million paying print subscribers today.”

Maven asserted themselves as a serious player in the industry when they acquired Sports Illustrated. Now they are carrying that momentum onto another step in the growth ladder.

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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Sports Online

ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Online

Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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