It was just about this time two years ago that I began a new job, helping the Nation Network launch Blue Jays Nation — this very site you’re reading right now.
At the time I was about sixteen months removed from working full-time for theScore, during which time I’d started my own site, done a bunch of freelance work for the National Post and VICE Sports, and began a fresh, Patreon-supported version of the old DJF podcast with my co-host and friend, Drew Fairservice. For the time it worked well enough, thanks to editors who believed in me and a loyal readership that had been willing to follow me from one project to the next. But that winter, with Postmedia killing its sports department after a merger with Sun Media, and Google Ads offering continually diminishing returns, my future in this industry felt daunting. Until this amazing opportunity came along.
A budget for freelancers. A team out in Edmonton constantly working to make the site look and function better. Ownership dedicated to getting the best out of the whole network. Outstanding people to work under — in particular, Thomas Drance, and later Mike Gagnon — who were willing to give me all the creative freedom I could ever want. The chance to hire John Lott and Stacey May Fowles!
It was the perfect situation at exactly the right time for me, and I cannot say thank you enough everyone over there who made it happen. It’s been a great two years.
Today, once again my strange journey though the sports media business is taking a turn. As some of you may have already seen on Twitter, I am joining the Athletic full time to provide coverage of the Blue Jays over there. (My first piece as a full-timer is here. You can get a 30% discount on your first year’s subscription here.)
It’s my hope that you’ll all come along and join me there. But it’s also my hope that you keep on coming back to Blue Jays Nation, as well. I know that I will be. The site is in great hands now, as Cam Lewis will be taking over as the managing editor, with Richard Lee-Sam joining as an associate editor as well! You all know the terrific stuff Cam does on the site, and you may also be familiar with Richard’s excellent work from over at BP Toronto.
Before this new opportunity came up for me I was privy what these two have been working on for coverage of the upcoming season, and I can assure you that it’s going to be awesome (and free *COUGH*). Those guys are smart, hilarious, fresh voices providing Jays coverage, and I know that pure content will continue to flow — frankly, it’ll probably flow even thicker than it did on some days under my watch — and the comments will only continue to grow and get more vibrant.
I look forward to watching what Cam does to build off of what I helped start here, and I know it’s going to be a great success.
So… yeah. My apologies to those who might not be ready to join me behind the Athletic’s paywall. You’ll still be able to find me making dumb tweets on Twitter (@AndrewStoeten), and you’ll still be able to hear me every week on the Birds All Day podcast. Once again, thank you to everyone at the Nation Network, and… I guess that about does it.
Stoeten out, motherfuckers.