Sources: Kevin Blackistone Spurns Sporting News

Last month I reported that Sporting News agreed to pay AOL $5 million to axe its Fanhouse sports website.

Kevin Blackistone turns down Sporting News

(Sources: Sporting News Editor In Chief ’s Staff Won’t Include Blackistone)

Around the time of that news - two weeks before  AOL CEO Tim Armstrong paid $315 million for HuffingtonPost.com - the AOL CEO said of 100 or so Fanhouse sports journalists:

“We are going to be working with AOL employees on Fanhouse, you have my personal word on that. The focus on Fanhouse … Fanhouse is not going away. Brand and bunch of staffing will be staying around.”

On job cuts at Fanhouse, PaidContent.Org reported Armstrong claiming at the same time that there “could be none“:

Armstrong said that a “couple dozen” jobs on the high end might be lost at FanHouse. He did not divulge how much the company would save by aggregating this outside content. He later added that there was no decision yet on job cuts at FanHouse. “It could be none.

With Fanhouse scheduled to be eliminated from AOL’s website on March 1, more details are emerging on what Armstrong and Editor in Chief at Sporting News Garry Howard’s “bunch of staffing” will entail.

I was told by two AOL employees today that Kevin Blackistone, by far the highest-profile Fanhouse writer, has spurned AOL’s new Sporting News-branded portal and will not write under the new AOL sports arrangement.

The four former Fanhouse writers who will move to Sporting News are: Lisa Olson, David Steele, David Whitley and Greg Couch.

Now we know what Editor in Chief of Sporting News Garry Howard was talking about when he Tweeted on the day AOL announced Fanhouse’s demise:

The sun is shining and Sporting News just got bigger. Today is a good day.

Obviously Howard wasn’t talking about the employ of Fanhouse’s nearly 100 sports journalists.