The Sporting Tribune launches tonight, ushering in a new era of local sports coverage in a region that will be the epicenter of the sports world over the next decade.
The platform will focus on the Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii markets, where viewers and listeners regularly tune-in to watch and listen to the most-popular teams in the region. It’s a region that’s home to top professional franchises that include the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, Angels, Padres and Golden Knights, along with top collegiate programs, including USC and UCLA.
“There’s always been a connection between Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii when it comes to sports,” said Arash Markazi, co-Founder and CEO of The Sporting Tribune. “It was never hard to find the Lakers or Dodgers on radio or television, whether I was in Southern California, Las Vegas or Hawaii. With The Sporting Tribune, we want to build upon that connection and strengthen that bond by covering teams in the region with reporters that have an established relationship with the fans. We’re hoping to build a community and a platform representative of the diverse region we’re covering.”
The idea for The Sporting Tribune was first hatched while co-founders Markazi and Chris Mattmann were adjunct professors at USC. They came from different backgrounds but had a shared love of sports. Markazi spent 20 years covering sports locally and nationally as a sports columnist at the Los Angeles Times and a senior writer at ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Mattmann is a principal data scientist and has held various Chief Technology Officer (CTO) roles in government and industry. His invention of the Apache Tika software, a widely used framework for content detection and analysis, allowed journalists to break the story on the Panama Papers, ultimately winning the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
“I’m excited to establish a platform that will serve the sports enthusiasts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Hawaii, and also that will amplify fan engagement through the use of digital collectibles that unlock special programming and fan related experiences within the broader Sporting Tribune community,” added Mattmann, who also will serve as the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of The Sporting Tribune. “Seeing how big brands like TIME have taken off in the web3 market to enhance and more deeply connect the journalism to its roots is something we are looking to build upon, specifically for the sports fans who are so strongly connected to these regions.”
The Sporting Tribune has assembled an impressive staff of journalists, photographers, designers, and editors to cover the largest and most picturesque territory in sports. Neil Jamieson, the former creative director at ESPN and art director at Sports Illustrated, will serve as The Sporting Tribune’s creative director. Ben Osborne, who was the head of content at Just Women’s Sports, senior editor at Fox Sports and editor-in-chief at both Bleacher Report and SLAM, will serve as a senior advisor. Kevin Terrell, who spent nearly two decades as the NFL’s Managing Photo Editor and Director of Photo Services, and has had his work published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine and Rolling Stone, will be the director of photography. Alisha Ricardi, who spent more than 12 years as an editor at ESPN.com and was one of the founding editors of Grantland, Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture website within ESPN.com, will be a senior editor along with Michael Duarte, who has been an award-winning writer and editor at NBC in Los Angeles.
Markazi will write columns from Southern California, while Steve Carp will provide columns from Las Vegas. Carp, who was with the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 30 years, is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame, the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, and the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame. He also was named Nevada Sportswriter of the Year six times by the Nevada Sports Media Association. And Nick Abramo, who spent 20 years with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, will serve as The Sporting Tribune’s columnist in Hawaii.
The Sporting Tribune also is assembling a staff of experienced journalists to cover every major professional and collegiate team in the region. Recent hires include Blake Harris (SB Nation) covering the Dodgers, Ryan Ward (LakersNation) the Lakers, Joey Linn (Sports Illustrated) the Clippers, Taylor Blake Ward (Locked On) the Angels, Fernando Ramirez (Sports Illustrated) the Chargers and Ryan Sakamoto (Bleacher Report) the Raiders.
All reporters will have a presence in The Sporting Tribune’s daily newsletter, The Morning Column, and its daily radio show, which can be heard on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Fan in Las Vegas, and The Hawaii Sports Radio Network, which includes 95.1 FM and AM 760 in Hawaii. The show will also be syndicated on the SportsMap Radio Network, which has more than 500 affiliate stations, every Friday.