Gannett Debuts Dedicated Digital Sports Unit
USA Today Sports Media Group -- searching for a way to knit together sports assets at parent Gannett Co., from the flagship newspaper to TV stations to an MMA site -- has launched a dedicated digital
unit. The move is in line with Gannett’s emphasis on building its digital properties.
The digital sports business will include MMAjunkie.com, the Big Lead and BNQT action sports properties and HighSchoolSports.net.
Gannett recently acquired MMAjunkie and the Big Lead; the company said its digital properties that are part of the Sports Media Group combine for about 23 million unique users a month.
Chris Pirrone has been tapped as general manager of the new digital unit, coming from Traffic Marketplace, where he held an executive vice president’s role in display, mobile and digital video advertising.
The Sports Media Group has 11 owned-and-operated dedicated digital properties and 500 sites. Earlier this month, it acquired curation and recommendation site Quickish.
The group was launched in early 2011 and later in the year announced that former Yahoo executive Dave Morgan would head content. Former Univision and NBC Sports executive Peter Lazarus leads multimedia sales.
One of the group’s goals is to nationalize Gannett’s local newspapers and regionalize USA Today. National stories from USA Today with local or regional appeal can run in local papers and reporters throughout the Gannett footprint can use their knowledge to help with stories of national importance.