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Dollars and sense – The Athletic

Dollars and sense – The Athletic
Written by publisher team

Dollars and sense is a column about Chicago sports media and business.

The first question I had for Kevin Kaduk wasn’t “Will they have enough money to keep this going?” or “How are you changing the paradigm of sports journalism as we know it?”

Because I was on the receiving end of variations of those questions, over and over, for years as reporters interviewed me about The Athletic, I know those are at the top of people’s minds when a new sports media venture is launched. But the first question I had for Kaduk this week was: “How do you pronounce CHGO?”

It’s actually CHGO. Sorry, “Chuggo” enthusiasts.

“Think of it as our call letters,” Kaduk explained as we sat down on a couch in CHGO Sports’ loft office in the West Loop.

Every time I go to Heinen’s, a grocery store in suburban Bannockburn, I have flashbacks to the early days of The Athletic.

In the winter of 2016, we were a lean, mean operation. I didn’t even have a desk at my new, sparsely furnished home in the suburbs, so I needed a place to work long hours, writing and editing for an initial staff that included two full-timers (before we lucked into Lauren Comitor as a writer/editor that spring) and a handful of freelancers, and the Heinen’s coffee shop was often my de facto office in the morning. It had big tables, a ready supply of caffeine, and once it hit lunchtime, a carved sandwich spot in the grocery store itself. (The eye of round sandwich was a particular favorite.)

At night, I would write and edit in my basement into the wee hours, watching Bulls games on TV (they wouldn’t credential me or honor my ESPN credential). I was back again at Heinen’s in the morning, editing Sahadev Sharma and Scott Powers stories while the ladies next to me played canasta.

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