Sporting News Deal Boots Fanhouse Fantasy Folks

It hasn’t seemed to garner as much attention as it probably should, but a Jan. 13 deal between AOL and Sporting News basically pushed Fanhouse aside and installed Sporting News as the sports content provider for AOL.

The actual changes are expected to take place in March, and the Fanhouse brand won’t actually disappear. It’ll be rolled into the Sporting News environment “as a destination for opinion pieces,” according to the SportsbyBrooks story.

A follow-up post on SbB dug into the staffing questions and found that nearly everyone currently involved with Fanhouse will not be sticking around with the brand. Overall, SportsbyBrooks reports that AOL will retain fewer than 10 of the 100 current Fanhouse full-timers, while Sporting News will be able to decide whether to pick up any of the writers who don’t make that cut.

Fanhouse’s sports scope extends well beyond fantasy, but fantasy sports have played a significant enough role to its efforts that the outlet was nominated in the Best New Website category for the 2008 Fantasy Sports Trade Association awards. That was the year Fanhouse re-branded (dropping the “AOL” from its name), repackaged and relaunched.

Fanhouse producer and editor Tom Herrera tells that freelance fantasy writers aren’t expected to stick around through the transition. In a statement to us Friday, Herrera had this to say:

“There are no plans for Sporting News to retain our freelance fantasy writers, sadly. I hope other sites strongly consider taking a look at these guys’ work.

“I’m very proud of what we were able to build content-wise at Fantasy FanHouse. We went from having no original content when I came here about 3 1/2 years ago to having a stable of talented writers and formed our own in-house draft kits. Writers who started with Fantasy FanHouse also were promoted to other non-fantasy duties, including Matt Snyder as assistant college sports editor, R.J. White as NFL blogger, and Knox Bardeen blogging in various sections of FanHouse. I’d also like to thank Will Brinson, Tom Lorenzo, Paul Bourdett, Antonio D’Arcangelis, Ryan Dembinsky and Sean Lalley for their contributions over the years.”

Herrera added that, although he has options for moving to other AOL departments, he’s “definitely in the market for a new job.”


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One Response to “Sporting News Deal Boots Fanhouse Fantasy Folks”

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