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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2000-02-23

Paul Allen's "Mind Meld" Yields TSN
By Albert Dickson, The Sporting News

(Editors' note: after months of speculation and rumors, The Sporting News, the U.S.' oldest sports publication was sold by Times Mirror to Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers is a renowned Jimi Hendrix aficionado made his billions on a little company called Microsoft.)

Photo by
Yes, there was a sigh of relief yesterday (2/16/00) when Paul Allen was announced as the new owner of The Sporting News. Allen's company, Vulcan Ventures, now owns the magazine and other properties that include a website, book publishing and preview yearbooks.

It is Allen's first purchase of a print publication as part of a strategy of building relationships with the online audience through a magazine brand. Word has it that Allen is looking for more magazines to add to his portfolio that can add "narrow and deep" information in the areas that are most active on the web - sports, business, music and news.

So what does this mean for TSN? It is possibly the best outcome for the folks that work here. The company will stay based in St. Louis where Allen has a major investment in cable company Charter Communications. TSN will be able to function as an independent unit, as opposed to when we were owned by Times Mirror.

On a budgetary front, it may be a good thing that we are being bought by one of the richest men in the world. We'll find that out as time goes by.

At TSN we have the advantage of a small photo staff with a national scope. Fred Barnes heads up the photos and graphics, Paul Nisely photo edits, I get in the way, staffers Robert Seale and Bob Leverone and intern Dilip Vishwanat produce some of the best photography out there. We've recently added Ed Nessen, a former TSN photo intern and
SI lighting tech as our online photo editor as well. I'm grateful this team will stay together.

What does it mean for the TSN shooters? Well, we sure aren't just magazine shooting anymore. Let's just say the palette that we paint on just got a lot bigger. Allen is all about high bandwidth technology, bringing far more digital info into your home in a very short timeframe.

What does that mean? High quality photo and graphics from those TSN shooters in the magazine, on www.sportingnews.com and on the broadband portals that Allen is in the process of building.

Do we finally go with digital cameras for at least a portion of our shooting? I have to think so. Do we do more live events and transmit for the web? Yup, probably so.

Our world at TSN just got a lot bigger and so did the challenges. I can say that the folks here are psyched, ready for what is to come. For a product that is 114 years old, we're feeling pretty young.

Many of you have worked for publications that have been sold. You know the sense of insecurity that comes with that news of a sale. More times than not the outcome hasn't been good for the staffers on the job. Today, with a new lease on life, the TSN staffers are feeling fortunate.

We know that nothing is carved in stone, it is transmitted in digital signals. This whole thing hasn't shaken out yet. I know that I don't know where the finish line is.

All I can say is that I like the start.

(Albert Dickson is the chief photographer of The Sporting News.)


Related Links:
www.sportingnews.com

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