Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King ready to QB new Web team
“I’m 56 years old, I don’t want to be a dinosaur.”
So said Peter King, the dean of NFL beat writers and Sports Illustrated Monday Morning Quarterback columnist who on Monday will launch TheMMQB.com, an online platform devoted to all things football.
“Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people resist new media and new ways of telling stories,” King said.
While King will continue to have a presence in Sports Illustrated, most of his work will now appear exclusively on TheMMQB.com. The prolific King, who spends much of football season on the road visiting teams and filing stories, will oversee a staff of writers and editors and a videographer that will act independently of Sports Illustrated.
“This is going to be a very full-time occupation,” King said.
Although Sports Illustrated will own TheMMQB.com, King got involved in the business side as well, even meeting with potential advertisers.
“I dressed like I was in an episode of ‘Mad Men’ with a blue pinstripe suit,” he said. That would have been appropriate if this was the 1960s, but much to King’s amusement the executives he met dressed more like NFL coaches with khakis and polo shirts.
Journalists don’t normally embrace the idea of meeting with advertisers, but King found it insightful and he was surprised by how much they wanted to know about the content and audience.
“It’s not just, ‘We’re buying 10 pages in your magazine,’ ” he said. “More journalists should meet with advertisers.”
The site’s flagship advertisers include Microsoft and Gillette.
Already a presence on NBC’s football coverage, King probably could have transitioned to television -- given the state of magazines, few would have blamed him.
But King, who has been with Sports Illustrated for almost a quarter of a century, wasn’t ready to jump ship.
“I’m extremely fortunate Sports Illustrated shared my vision in this,” he said.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.
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