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

Mary Byrne

Mary Byrne

President
ESPN.com

Tommy Deas

Tommy Deas

First Vice President
The Tuscaloosa News

Jack Berninger

Jack Berninger

Executive Director
Richmond Times-Dispatch
(retired)

Bill Eichenberger

Bill Eichenberger

Secretary/Treasurer
Bleacher Report

In the News

May 22, 2016Paul Finebaum keynote speaker at APSE 2016 Summer Conference

Television and radio personality Paul Finebaum will be the keynote speaker at Thursday’s luncheon during the 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Summer Convention. The luncheon will take place at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Omni-Charlotte.

May 18, 2016A glance at what’s in store for the 2016 Summer Conference in Charlotte

With the conference right around the corner (and the special room rate for the hotel expiring in a few days), here is an overview of what the 2016 Summer Conference has in store:

more In the News »

Blogs

Sep 6, 2015Backstory: ‘Silence at Baylor’ now a thunderous topic

By Mark Selig A freelance writer received a tip, and less than three weeks later, it led to tangible change in big-time college athletics. Jessica Luther has written more than a dozen articles about sexual assaults in college football, so it’s common for her to receive the type of message she did this month, when someone — […]

Aug 4, 2015Backstory: ‘Productive procrastination’ helps Tim Graham nail feature stories

“Backstory” is Mark Selig’s new blog, going behind the story on some of the biggest sports stories. His latest post deals with Buffalo News enterprise writer Tim Graham’s profile of Bills bust Aaron Maybin.