ESPN.com drops high school sports coverage …

The rumors appear to be true. ESPN.com has thrown in the towel on its high school sports coverage, according to Sports Business Daily.

The move will cost an estimated 75 people their jobs.

Aram’s take: As many of you probably know, several former prep sports writers (and some very good young talent) and various former sports writers from around the Southland latched on at ESPN.com after losing their gigs in the newspaper world. I don’t know how many of them will be affected by this announcement. I hope none. It’s never good to see people in this industry lose their jobs, which is an all too common occurrence, unfortunately. I have long viewed prep sports coverage as a major growth area in the world of sports media. The popularity is surely there. And although I don’t know whether FOX Sports Preps Zone is making any money, it does show that a major media company is trying to grab a share of the market. ESPN’s involvement up until now also showed that. The problem is that it’s very difficult to cover prep sports without the writers being EXTREMELY local. Readers will more often than not turn to their local coverage rather than a semi-national or regional source like ESPN or FOX because if the the prep sports guys are doing their jobs, there’s simply no beating them to the punch on stories, scores and maybe even analysis. I’ve maintained for a while that the biggest thing threatening the Tribune’s (or other newspapers) foothold in prep sports is the money and resources that a FOX or ESPN can spray at any endeavor. So yeah, losing a potential competitor like ESPN is a win on some level for the Tribune or OC Register, but it’s nothing worth celebrating because it appears several good men have either lost their gigs or had their financial outlook altered.

  • Aaron

    So wait…no more RISE and none of the stuff that is on the LA page…ugh.

  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    Interesting? Surprised that they would end all of it vs. narrowing their coverage of particular sporting events. Something is missing.

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    It’s hard to tell what’s gonna go, but I can tell the blog roll along with writer bios is no longer there. They’re still gonna do recruiting stuff, but who doesn’t?

    Sad day for some talented people.

  • Joe Amat

    AT,

    Is our boy Jimmy Barrero in the HS division or does he edit for ESPN.com? Hoping for the best.

  • JMO

    Obumer.

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    Sorry to hear about ESPN shutting down their Prep coverage, but even more upsetting is the number of employees that are losing their employment.

    What’s interesting, and I have no doubt the intention was good, but I wonder if ESPN had a viable strategy for covering prep sports. From the looks of it, I doubt it.

    Aram hit the nail on the head, covering prep sports requires a platoon of local beat writers, but also a smart, focused operational strategy as well.

    I can only speak for the local coverage we have in So Cal. Fox has done an excellent job (but could be better) of covering the prep scene. Their marketing plan and strategy have worked well given the number of high schools in the area. ESPN, I was never impressed with. That’s not a knock against the writers, that’s a knock against ESPN.

  • BraveDad

    Wow, this sucs! I feel bad for all the folks losing employment during these tough economic times. On a somewhat selfish note this sucs for Bosco because on Sept 29th we are playing Jordan HS in sandy, Utah and Don Bosco Prep (NJ) is playing Alta HS in Sandy Utah. Were the afternoon game and Don Bosco Prep the night game. These games were supposed to be ESPNHS showcase games battle of Catholics vs. Mormons. BUMMER!

    Oh well, it will not put a damper on the trip.

  • Good

    On the girls side the ESPN guys couldn’t get along with anyone, in fact just recently kicked Bob Corwin out of one of their events a 70 yr old.

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