BREAKING NEWS: ESPN New York Site Launches April 2

BREAKING NEWS: ESPN New York Site Launches April 2

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BREAKING NEWS: ESPN New York Site Launches April 2

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In what will be the 5th ESPN local site to launch and join other sites in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles, we learn that ESPN New York will begin in earnest on April 2, which will be just two days before the opening of the MLB regular season.

We have details of the launch and some of the reporters who will be involved with the site.

Start Spreading the News: ESPNNewYork.com Launches April 2

New York Sports Media Veteran Leon Carter Named Executive Editor of Local Destination for NY Sports Fans
Daily ESPNNewYork SportsCenter Series Online, ESPN New York Added to ESPN Radio 1050 AM Weekday Lineup; StubHub, Anheuser-Busch and Audi Signed as Launch Advertisers 

ESPN is in a New York state of mind with ESPNNewYork.com, the latest edition of ESPN’s network of local sites and newest destination for New York sports news and information. The site features exclusive, original content from local contributors, locally relevant content created from ESPN’s multiple platforms and branded programming. 

“We are committed to offering a truly local experience with these sites, and thus with the launch of ESPNNewYork.com, we are dedicated to finding contributors and authentic voices that have a passion for all things New York, an expertise on the hometown teams and a real, meaningful connection with fans in the NY area,” said Jim Pastor, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Local. “Our mission is to serve sports fans, and in just one year, we’ve managed to establish a deeper relationship on a local level with fans in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles. They are each among the top local sports destinations for fans in their respective markets, and we have high hopes for New York as we build our presence from the solid foundation we’ve established through the success and reach of our owned and operated station, ESPN Radio 1050 AM.” 
The site launches under the day-to-day editorial leadership of new executive editor Leon Carter, a news veteran with over 24 years of experience with the NY sports media world, most recently as sports editor for the New York Daily News and previously with Newsday. He is an award-winning editor who has covered the NY area sports scene since 1984. 
In 2009, Carter was honored with the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his efforts promoting diversity in the newsroom and guiding the careers of more than 250 minority journalists over the past 16 years. He co-founded and continues to instruct at the Sports Journalism Institute, an intensive nine-week training and internship program for aspiring minority journalists held every summer since 1993. 
“New York is one of the world’s greatest sports cities, home to one of most passionate fan bases and some of the most storied franchises in sports,” said Rob King, vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN.com. “Leon is a veteran of the NY media world who truly understands the NY area sports landscape. His leadership will drive the editorial direction of ESPNNewYork.com and build a sports site for true NY sports fans.” 
The site is continuing the process of hiring reporters and writers to bring their voices and daily coverage of area teams and sports to fans via words, video and audio content.  
Additionally, ESPNNewYork.com will feature contributions from veteran ESPN reporters and writers connected closely to New York, who will provide original content on New York sports topics. 
For a preview image of ESPNNewYork.com, click HERE

Original Content, Features & Tools
ESPNNewYork.com will also be the exclusive home of ESPNNewYork SportsCenter, hosted by SC anchors and produced originally each day by ESPN. The video series will provide fans a 3-6 minute roundup of the city and region’s sports news, teams, highlights, figures and stories each day. 
The site will cover all of the NY area major professional sports teams, collegiate sports programs and, in time, extend to regional high school coverage, a core passion for Tri-State Area sports fans. 
Features at launch include:
  • Fan engagement tools that are endemic to the local NY media world, including:
    • New York Yankees Greatest Team of All Time – an application that allows fans to compile what they believe is the Yankee “dream team” by position;
    • The Headline Machine – a user-generated tool that allows fans to create their own “back page” photos and headlines;
  • A custom New York video hub, offering a library for the latest highlights, news, analysis and original content from ESPN programs including exclusive, original New York content from the teams at ESPN programs including Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, College Football Live and more;
  • An integrated video and audio experience, featuring a dynamic 16×9 video player on the front page and index pages, and one-click access to the ESPN Radio SuperStream audio player with live 1050 ESPN audio and access to ESPN’s catalog of podcasts and on-demand audio;
  • Community and social media tools such as Fan Profiles, SportsNation chats and polls, ESPN Conversation pages, local Twitter feeds, ESPN Fantasy and Arcade games, Stadium Guides and ESPN Passport, ESPN.com’s digital fan scrapbook;
  • Real-time scores, GameCasts and v
    ideo highlights;
  • Clubhouse pages from all Tri-State area professional and college leagues;
  • Photo galleries featuring images from New York area events;
  • An ESPNNewYork.com mobile Web extension that will launch as http://espn.mobi/ny, bringing the news, features, scoreboards, and more to fans on their mobile devices;
  • The same innovative local and national advertising opportunities that ESPN.com offers. 
The launch of ESPNNewYork.com coincides with the ESPN2 telecast between the 2009 World Series Champions New York Yankees against their biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park on Sunday, April 4. Both ESPNBoston.com and ESPNNewYork.com will be on site covering all the action at the ballpark. Sports fans from the two rival towns will also be able to participate in Cover It Live conversations on both local sites. 
At launch, ESPNNewYork.com includes multiple charter advertisers, including StubHub, Anheuser-Busch and Audi. 

ESPN Radio 1050 AM
ESPNNewYork.com also builds on the 9-year success of ESPN’s owned and operated radio station’s (ESPN Radio 1050 AM) dynamic Web presence. The site offers a clean design and navigation, and a combination of breaking news, blogs, video, audio, analysis and features. The Web home for 1050 ESPN will be a section on ESPNNewYork.com. 

ESPN Radio 1050 AM will also air a two-hour special of the The Michael Kay Show in conjunction with the launch of ESPNNewYork.com on Friday, April 2 from 5-7 p.m.  The special will preview the 2010 Yankees and Mets seasons with contributors from ESPNNewYork.com. 
The station will also debut a new lineup on Monday, April 5 that includes ESPN New York (10-11 a.m.), a look at the morning’s top New York stories with contributions from columnists and beat reporters from ESPNNewYork.com, reporting live to dissect and advance the hottest local topics with 1050 ESPN host Seth Everett. 

ESPN Local: One Year Later
ESPN Local sites in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles have already become leading destinations for fans of local sports.  In January, more than 6.2 million fans visited one of the four sites, spending more than 20.4 million minutes on the sites, according to comScore. 
ESPNChicago.com — ESPN’s first local site celebrating its one-year anniversary in April — has already established itself as the top sports site for Chicago fans and among the most popular news and information destinations for Chicago residents. In January it attracted 1.2 million unique visitors, up 232 percent since it first launched. Fans spent more than 3.4 million minutes on the site as well, more than five times the amount of time spent in its first full month. In June, ESPNChicago.com struck a content syndication agreement with The Huffington Post Chicago and with ABC-owned TV station WLS to deliver easy access to Chicago news, traffic and weather. 
ESPNBoston.com, launched over six months ago, has 1.4 million unique visitors and logged more than 6.2 million total minutes, up 75 percent over September, making the average time spent per visitor the highest of all of ESPN’s local sites in January. 
ESPN Dallas.com, launched on September 28, attracted 1.6 million unique visitors, up 88 percent since its first full month (October), with fans logging 5.3 million minutes. 

In just its first full month, ESPNLosAngeles.com has emerged as one of the leading destinations for L.A. sports, attracting 2 million unique visitors and 5.5 million total minutes.  
Similar to ESPNChicago.com, ESPNLosAngeles.com struck a content syndication agreement with The Huffington Post Los Angeles and with ABC-owned TV station KABC-TV to deliver easy access to L.A. news, traffic and weather.

ESPN is carefully launching each local site. I’m sure there will be more to come this year.

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