The Athletic, an expensive experiment into whether people will pay for quality sports journalism, is getting more expensive.
After its recent announcement that it’s expanding to Montreal in both English and French, and to every other Canadian city with an NHL team, it has announced a full lineup of staff and contributors, led by editor-in-chief Arpon Basu.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Arpon Basu is the editor in chief. The former managing editor for LNH.com, he introduced himself last month.
- Marc Antoine Godin is the senior writer and managing editor at the French version of the site, Athlétique. He was a sports writer at La Presse since 2000, and at Presse Canadienne before that. Godin introduces himself here.
- Emna Achour is the associate editor of Athlétique. As a freelancer, she’s worked for the NHL, the Rogers Cup/Tennis Canada, reported on the IIHF World Championship and did research for a KOTV documentary on the Canadiens’ 1970s dynasty.
- Marc Dumont is an editor and primary Laval Rocket reporter. Dumont is a popular guy on Twitter and contributor to and managing editor of the Habs blog Eyes on the Prize.
- Mitch Melnick, who presumably shouldn’t need introductions but is the afternoon host at TSN 690, is moving his day-after blog The Good The Bad and The Ugly to The Athletic. He introduces himself here.
- Olivier Bouchard will write a similar column in French. He’s a contributor to LNH.com and the guy behind En attendant les Nordiques.
- Serge Touchette, former columnist for the Journal de Montréal, and the lockout website Rue Frontenac, “will be writing a weekly column for the French site about whatever he wants.” So probably the Canadiens, but expect some baseball in there as well.
- Robyn Flynn will be covering the Canadiennes de Montréal CWHL team. She’s a producer at CJAD and host of weekly hockey show Centre Ice on TSN 690, and has been actively following and reporting on the Canadiennes for years. (Dumont and Achour will also cover the team for the French site, Basu says.)
- Lloyd Barker will be writing weekly about the Montreal Impact. Barker is a former Impact player and commentator in several media including until recently a regular column in the Montreal Gazette. Barker’s columns will be translated into French.
- Joey Alfieri will be writing weekly about the Montreal Alouettes. Alfieri is a contributor to TSN 690 and several other outlets. His columns will also be translated for the French site.
The lineup is pretty impressive, and certainly anyone who listens regularly to TSN 690 will recognize most of these names. It’s also nice that women’s hockey is going to be covered on a regular basis by a professional journalist, which we haven’t seen much up until now.
Will that be enough for people to pay $10 a month or $70 a year for a subscription? We’ll see. The Athletic is funded mainly by reader subscriptions (it has no ads) but is still going through startup financing, so it’ll be a while until we know if this business model works.
But it’s apparently working enough that the founders of the site are doubling down on their investment, so that’s a good sign.
The Athletic Montreal launches Monday, Sept. 11.