Andrew Marchand (General) – Marchand has been the managing editor for ESPN Radio 1050 AM since 2007 and has provided on-air reports for over three years. He also contributes extensively to his blog SportsClicker. Previously, Marchand spent ten years at the New York Post covering TV sports and as the Mets beat writer for two years. He will cover all NY area sports on ESPNNewYork.com.
Ian O’Connor (Columnist) – O’Connor is a former a columnist with The Record of New Jersey and New York Daily News and has previously written for The New York Times and The Star-Ledger. He has also been a frequent contributor and blogger for ESPN Radio 1050 AM for the past three years. O’Connor is a New York Times best-selling author for his book titled Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus and Golf’s Greatest History.
Wally Matthews (Yankees) – Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork.com to cover the Yankees, which he’s done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN Radio 1050 AM.
As @bencs94 noted yesterday on Twitter, all of these writers have existing ties to ESPN 1050 that make them a natural fit for this sort of site. The issue is that none of them consistently produce high-quality content that will draw readers from the local media entities. O’Connor writes well, but as we have noted before, he lacks journalistic ethics and tends towards sensationalism rather than reasoned analysis. Marchand is simply an adequate reporter, and Matthews is a train wreck in every sense of the word, for whom hyperbole and contrarianism are legitimate writing tools. A team of writers such as Joel Sherman (best news-breaker in NY), Ken Davidoff (excellent writing skills and always fair and balanced), and Marc Carig (strong reporter who understand newer forms of analysis) would have been vastly superior to this group, and would have made ESPN-NY a daily destination for many Yankees fans. Instead, we get a group of columnists constantly looking for an athlete or executive to rip, a panic to stir, or a fanbase to anger. That sort of sensationalism tends to drive traffic, and makes ESPN’s choices perfectly understandable. ESPN had a chance to build something special, and instead chose to bring in some easy clicks. It’s unsurprising, but still sad to see.
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