June 23, 2021

A note to our subscribers (The Athletic)

With the suspension of events across the globe because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to let you, our subscribers, know how we are planning to cover the world of sports in the days and weeks ahead. But before even going there, we also want you to know how committed we are to providing a safe environment for our writers and editors, their families, the athletes and administrators they cover, and the communities they serve. Nothing is more important than keeping everyone out of harm’s way and we will be vigilant on that front without compromise. As a company, we have issued strict guidelines to our staff that adhere to the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

So back to what we’ve been trained to do, writing and reporting about sports. With the coronavirus crisis continuing to unfold, our insiders will be on top of the news to inform you of the latest developments from teams, leagues and governing bodies. We’ve created a live blog to curate our most important stories across the network about COVID-19. (All of our reporting will be done in the safest way possible.)

What else can you expect from us? As a community-based subscription site that is deeply connected to its audience, The Athletic considers your voice vitally important to us, and we’ve been listening. Even before the recent news, you told us that we are not only here to inform you but also to entertain and provide an escape from the day-to-day. We will continue to deliver.

Our writers will get as creative as possible to find interesting angles and ideas. Internally, we’ve started a #lets-get-weird Slack channel for our 500-plus employees to contribute inventive ideas to keep you engaged, amused, informed and, of course, part of the daily conversation on our site. We will also continue to tell stories via audio through our vast local and national network, which has more than 150 ongoing podcasts.

Many parts of the sports world are still moving ahead, though. Over the weekend, the NFL players voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement that will provide labor peace for an additional 11 years. The league’s official start to free agency begins on Wednesday, and then there’s the draft next month. Other sports – Major League Baseball, the NBA, WNBA, and NHL – have similar milestones upcoming. You’ll get our usual thoughtful and voluminous coverage of those big moments. In addition, we are unwavering in our commitment to bring the best storytelling to the sports world, and now we will focus even further on that promise. Expect more features and long-form, as well as our usual steady cadence of deeply informed local and national stories that bring depth and insight into the players, teams and sports you are most passionate about.

When the games do come back we will dig in as usual, covering events with the access and authority you’ve come to expect from us. We can’t wait for those days to return. In the meantime, stay safe and know that we welcome your feedback – feel free to leave comments below or reach us at [email protected] Also, use that same email address if you have any questions or concerns about your subscription.

Thanks for your continuing support.

Paul Fichtenbaum

Chief Content Officer


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Paul Fichtenbaum is the chief content officer of The Athletic. From 2012-2016, Paul was the editor-in-chief of the Sports Illustrated Group, overseeing all of Time Inc.’s sports properties across digital and print. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of SI.com and a senior editor at the magazine. Over the course of his 25-year career at SI, Paul has won numerous awards, including an Ellie, Emmy and Webby. In 2014 he was named Editor of the Year by Ad Age. Follow Paul on Twitter @fichtenbaum.

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