The Sporting News

The Sporting News is a website and former magazine publication owned by Sporting News Holdings, which is a U.S.-based sports media company formed in December 2020 by a private investor consortium. It was originally established in 1886 as a print magazine. It became the dominant American publication covering baseball, acquiring the nickname "The Bible of Baseball."[1]

The Sporting News
FrequencyWeekly (1886–2008)
Fortnightly (2008–2011)
Monthly (2011–2012)
First issue1886
Final issue2012 (print)
CompanySporting News Holdings
CountryUnited States
Based inCharlotte, North Carolina

From 2002 to February 2022, it was known simply as Sporting News. In December 2012, Sporting News ended print publication and shifted to a digital-only publication. It currently has editions in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.


Early history

  • March 17, 1886: The Sporting News (TSN), founded in St. Louis [2] by Alfred H. Spink, a director of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, publishes its first edition. The weekly newspaper sells for 5 cents. Baseball, horse racing and professional wrestling received the most coverage in the first issue. Meanwhile, the sporting weeklies Clipper and Sporting Life were based in New York and Philadelphia. By World War I, TSN would be the only national baseball newspaper.
  • 1901: The American League, another rival to baseball's National League, begins playing. TSN was a vocal supporter of the new league and its founder, Ban Johnson. Both parties advocated cleaning up the sport, in particular ridding it of liquor sales, gambling and assaults on umpires.
  • 1903: TSN editor Arthur Flanner helps draft the National Agreement, a document that brought a truce between the AL and NL and helped bring about the modern World Series.
  • 1904: New York photographer Charles Conlon begins taking portraits of major league players as they pass through the city's three ballparks: the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field. His images, many of which were featured in TSN, have become treasured symbols of baseball's past.
  • 1914: Alfred's son, J.G. Taylor Spink, takes over the paper.
  • 1936: TSN names its first major league Sporting News Player of the Year Award, Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants. It is the oldest and most prestigious award given to the single player in MLB who had the most outstanding season. To this day, it remains voted on by MLB players.
  • 1942: After decades of being intertwined with baseball, TSN adds in-season football coverage.
  • 1946: TSN expands its football coverage with an eight-page tabloid publication titled The Quarterback. The tab is later renamed the All-Sports News as coverage of other sports is added, including professional and college basketball and hockey.
  • 1962: J.G. Taylor Spink dies. His son C.C. Johnson Spink takes over the publication. In 1962, after Spink's death, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) instituted the J. G. Taylor Spink Award as the highest award given to its members. Spink was also the first recipient.
  • 1967: TSN publishes its first full-color photo, a cover image of Orioles star Frank Robinson.
  • 1977: The Spink family sells TSN to Times Mirror in 1977.[3]
  • 1981: C.C. Johnson Spink sells TSN to Tribune Company.
  • 1991: The Sporting News transitions to a glossy, full-color all-sports magazine.
  • 1996: The Sporting News comes online, serving as a sports content provider for AOL. The following year, it launches
  • 2000: Tribune Company sells TSN to Vulcan Inc., headed by tech billionaire Paul Allen. The following year, the company acquired the One on One Sports radio network, renaming it Sporting News Radio.
  • 2002: The magazine drops the definite article from its name and becomes just Sporting News (SN). Subsequent covers reflect the change.
  • 2006: Vulcan sells SN to Advance Media, which places the publication under the supervision of American City Business Journals (ACBJ).
  • 2007: Sporting News begins its move from St. Louis, where it had been based since its founding, to ACBJ's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The publication leaves St. Louis for good in 2008, when it also became a bi-weekly publication.

Transition to digital publication

In 2011, Sporting News announced a deal to take over editorial control of AOL's sports website FanHouse.[4] In December 2012, after 126 years, Sporting News published its final issue as a print publication, and shifted to becoming a digital-only publication.[5]

The following March, ACBJ contributed Sporting News into a joint venture with the U.S. assets of sports data company Perform Group, known as Perform Sporting News Limited and doing business as Sporting News Media. Perform owned 65% of Sporting News Media. Sporting News would join Perform Group's other domestic properties, such as its video syndication unit ePlayer and its soccer website[6] The deal excluded the magazine's Sporting News Yearbooks unit and NASCAR Illustrated.[7] Almost immediately after the venture was established, Sporting News laid off 13 staff writers.[8] Perform Group acquired the remainder of Sporting News Media in 2015.[6]

Under Perform's ownership, Sporting News shifted to a more tabloid-like editorial direction.[6] The site introduced a new logo and website design in 2016.[9] Following Perform's acquisition of ACBJ's remaining stake, it began to align itself more closely with the company's other units, including replacing Associated Press articles with Perform's own Omnisport wire service for articles and video content (which began to constitute a sizable portion of the site's overall content).[6] Sporting News also began to introduce new localized versions in other markets, with a focus on countries where it had launched its sports streaming service DAZN. These sites are, in turn, used to promote the DAZN service.[6] Perform Media president Juan Delgado explained that the company was trying to preserve the heritage of the Sporting News brand by still publishing original content, while also publishing content oriented towards social media to appeal to younger users.[6]

Later history

In September 2018, Perform Group spun out its consumer properties, including Sporting News and DAZN, into a new company known as DAZN Group. The remaining sports data business became Perform Content, and was sold in 2019 to Vista Equity Partners and merged with STATS LLC.[10][11]

In the summer of 2020, Lindenwood University of St. Charles, Missouri, acquired the archives collection of The Sporting News from ACBJ.[12] The collection was described as consisting of "10,000+ books on baseball, football, hockey, basketball, NCAA, and other sports."[12]

In December 2020, DAZN Group sold Sporting News to a private investment consortium, which became Sporting News Holdings.[13]

Athlete of the Year

Sportsman of the Year

From 1968 to 2008, the magazine selected one or more individuals as Sportsman of the Year. On four occasions, the award was shared by two recipients. Twice, in 1993 and 2000, the award went to a pair of sportsmen within the same organization. In 1999, the honor was given to a whole team. No winner was chosen in 1987.

On December 18, 2007, the magazine announced New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as 2007 Sportsman of the Year, making Brady the first to repeat as a recipient of individual honors. Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals was also honored twice, but shared his second award with Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs.

In 2009, the award was replaced by two awards: "Pro Athlete of the Year" and "College Athlete of the Year". These in turn were replaced by a singular "Athlete of the Year" award starting in 2011.

Pro Athlete of the Year

College Athlete of the Year

Athlete of the Year

Beginning in 2011, the awards were merged back into a singular selection, Athlete of the Year.

Sport-specific awards

Major League Baseball

TSN sponsors its own annual Team, Player, Pitcher, Rookie, Reliever, Comeback Player, Manager, and Executive of the Year awards. Many fans once held the newspaper's baseball awards at equal or higher esteem than those of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.[19] Prior to 2005, the SN Comeback Player Award was generally recognized as the principal award of its type, as MLB did not give such an award until that year.

  • The Sporting News Most Valuable Player Award (discontinued in 1946)
  • Sporting News Player of the Year (all positions; in MLB)
  • Sporting News Pitcher of the Year (in each league)
  • Sporting News Rookie of the Year (from 1963 through 2003, there were two categories: Rookie Pitcher of the Year and Rookie Player of the Year)
  • Sporting News Reliever of the Year (discontinued in 2011)
  • Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year
  • Sporting News Manager of the Year (in each league (1986–present); in MLB (1936–1985))
  • Sporting News Executive of the Year (in MLB)

Minor League Baseball

  • The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year Award (1936–2007)



College football awards

Also, between 1975 and 2005, Sporting News conducted an annual poll and named a national champion for Division I-A (now Division I FBS). It is regarded as a "major selector" in NCAA official records books.[22]

Notable staff

  • Thomas G. Osenton, president and chief operating officer of Sporting News Publishing Company and publisher of The Sporting News weekly
  • Bob Ferguson, journalist and author of Who's Who In Canadian Sport[23]


  1. Roy Blount Jr. (March 17, 1986). "The Bible of Baseball hits 100 next week, and when the". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  2. Christopher Zara (December 22, 2012). "In Memoriam: Magazines We Lost In 2012". International Business Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  3. "The Times Mirror Company History," Funding Universe. Accessed Nov. 20, 2017.
  4. Sandomir, Richard (2011-01-13). "Sporting News to Take Control of AOL FanHouse Content". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  5. Mullis, Steve (11 December 2012). "After 126 Years, 'The Sporting News' Stops The Presses". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  6. "How British owners turned America's oldest sports publication upside down". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  7. "Perform Group To Combine U.S. Sports Assets With Sporting News Brand". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  8. "Sporting News Cuts Staff, Significantly: 12 Writers/Editors Fired in Surprising Bloodbath". The Big Lead. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  9. "Sporting News unveils new logo, new-look website; readers react". Awful Announcing. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  10. "Report: DAZN owner planning split to increase focus on OTT platform". SportsPro. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. "DAZN Group sells Perform". Broadcast. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  12. "Lindenwood Acquires The Sporting News Archives" (PDF). Lindenwood University Staff Council Newsletter. Fall 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020 via
  13. Novy-Williams, Eben (2020-12-14). "DAZN Sells Sporting News to British Family Office with Gaming Ties". Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  14. Ken Bradley (Dec 17, 2009). "2009 Sporting News Pro Athlete of the Year: Mariano Rivera, Yankees closer". Sporting News. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  15. Steve Greenberg (Dec 15, 2010). "2010 SN Pro Athlete of the Year: Roy Halladay". Sporting News. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  16. Ken Bradley (Dec 17, 2009). "2009 Sporting News College Athlete of the Year: Colt McCoy, Texas QB". Sporting News. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  17. Steve Greenberg (Dec 15, 2010). "2010 SN College Athlete of the Year: Kyle Singler". Sporting News. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  18. "Shohei Ohtani is the 2021 Sporting News Athlete of the Year". Jason Foster. December 31, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  19. Gillette, Gary; Palmer, Pete; Gammons, Peter (2008). The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia (Fifth ed.). Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 1807. ISBN 978-1-4027-6051-8.
  20. Clifton Brown (January 30, 2013). "Sporting News 2012 NFL awards: Robert Griffin III, Rookie of the Year - NFL". AOL. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  21. From the 1950s through 1979, The Sporting News published All-Conference teams. In 1980 it began choosing an All-Pro team.
  22. "2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletics Association. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  23. Desaulniers, Darren (February 20, 2009). "Longtime Citizen sports writer among Hall inductees". Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa, Ontario. p. 15.
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