APSE

APSE

APSPORTSEDITORS.org

Dec. Newsletter

Reunited with Morgan, APSE’s Ahern plans big for USA Today Sports Media Group Dec. 20, 2011

By Stephanie Kuzydym
Indiana University
 
Associated Press Sports Editors First Vice President Gerry Ahern knows Gannett.
 
As a former sports editor at three Gannett newspapers (Huntington, W.Va., Lansing, Mich., and Detroit), he knows the company’s 82 papers, 23 television stations and many editors and writers within the chain.
 
As the former managing editor for colleges and investigations for Yahoo! Sports, Ahern also knows the web, and Dave Morgan – his boss for five years at the digital media company.
 
Ahern and Morgan have teamed up again, taking what they’ve learned from their years in the newspaper and online industries to Gannett’s newest innovation: the USA Today Sports Media Group.  Morgan leads the group as senior vice president for content and editor-in-chief. Ahern joins as the director of news content. Partnering with Ahern and Morgan is Mark Pesavento, the ex-managing editor for blogs at Yahoo! Sports, who comes to the USAT media group as vice president for content.
 
“I’m fortunate to have people I’ve worked with before who are trusted colleagues who saw this opportunity and wanted in,” Morgan said.
 
The USA Today Sports Media Group will connect USA Today, USA Today Sports Weekly, the Gannett daily newspapers, TV stations, HighSchoolsports.net, BNQT.com (action sports) and MMAjunkie.com into a nationwide network that publishes on multiple platforms. Producing and distributing unique content from coast to coast on a daily basis is the goal, Ahern said.
 
“It could be as simple as breaking news or it could be in the investigative realm,” Ahern said. “It could be in terms of commentary and analysis. The bottom line is what can you do to differentiate yourself in the marketplace to give people a reason to come to your site and your print product instead of the competition.”
 
Ahern said he is thrilled to be back with Gannett and to again be working with Morgan, his colleague for more than 15 years.
“I don’t know if you can necessarily follow a playbook but certainly the one thing that resonates with users is original content,” Ahern said. “No one understands that more than Dave and I.”
 
Morgan knows the power of differentiating content. During his 5.5 years at Yahoo! Sports, Morgan grew the website’s online audience from 11.5 million unique users a month to 54 million a month. He said the USA Today Sports Media Group has a great opportunity to grow.
 
“It’s an enormous reservoir of content and audience,” Morgan said. “That’s what we’re going to build toward.”
 
Ahern, Morgan and Pesavento are deep into planning the network’s approach for upcoming major sports events.
 
“I’ve been in the business for a long time and had an absolutely great experience at Yahoo!, but when this opportunity came along … it’s kind of a dream job situation,” Ahern said. “I really can’t wait to get going with it even deeper.”

Officers

Mike Sherman

Mike Sherman

President
The Oklahoman

Mary Byrne

Mary Byrne

First Vice President
USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Deas

Tommy Deas

Second Vice President
The Tuscaloosa News

John Bednarowski, sports editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal, was elected to a two-year term as APSE's third vice president in 2014.

John Bednarowski

Third Vice President
Marietta Daily Journal

Jack Berninger

Jack Berninger

Executive Director
Richmond Times-Dispatch
(retired)

In the News

Nov 20, 2014Roanoke Times seeks assistant sports editor

The Roanoke Times, a seven-day, multimedia publication located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, seeks a talented, experienced journalist to be our Assistant Sports Editor. We’re the go-to source for news and information on athletics at nearby Virginia Tech. We also boast some of the best prep Sports coverage in the Southeast. The Roanoke Times regularly earns […]

Nov 18, 2014Richmond Times-Dispatch seeks deputy sports editor

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is seeking a Deputy Sports Editor. The ideal candidate is one who will be able to help lead the RTD sports department across all platforms with a focus on nightly production of the print product and website, as well as the coordination of the copy desk and its designers. The candidate also […]

more In the News »

Blogs

Sep 15, 2014APSE at ASNE/APME Conference: Day 1

APSE president Mike Sherman of The Oklahoman is attending the ASNE-APME conference in Chicago. Follow his posts and others from Day 1 of the conference for news and updates relevant to sports journalism. Live Blog APSE at ASNE-APME conference  

Aug 6, 2012Third Vice President’s column: Reach out to smaller papers that are not APSE members

  By Tommy Deas Executive Sports Editor The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News   First, let me extend my thanks and appreciation to those who elected me to this position and to all the old friends I got to see and new friends I got to meet at the Summer Conference in Chicago. The Third Vice President’s […]

Jul 28, 2012President’s column: The time is now to invest in the future of APSE

Sponsoring a student through APSE’s new Student Outreach Initiative is a great way to give back to the organization and the future of sports journalism. APSE President Gerry Ahern calls on APSE members to recruit and sponsor one college student as a member of the organization. The students can come from your alma mater or your coverage area. The $25 fee will give the students access to the minds and events that will shape the future of sports journalism.