Thursday, March 10, 2011

The always-engaging Zach Arnold has a pretty solid discussion going on over at his site re: the state of MMA media. Check it out at , but here's what I wrote on the topic:

"The evolution of the MMA media is fascinating, especially because I’ve witnessed it firsthand.

Years ago, magazines and newsletters were king, and their reps were accorded the most respect in terms of treatment. Then, as those outlets died off, websites publishing hard news (i.e., full stories with fresh quotes and analysis) gained prominence. Then blogs took over. Now, from what I see, it’s all about twitter. The driving force behind this evolution is of course economics – when publishers saw there was virtually no money to be made in MMA magazines, they got out, and websites started getting funded. Then when free blogging platforms emerged, and people realized regurgitating available news cost less but scored just as many eyeballs, the blogosphere became the new media leader. And what’s even cheaper than bloggers? Social media.

I think the trick for anyone with any aspirations on longevity in the MMA media industry is a revenue stream outside of the finite capital sources MMA media commands. AOL cut your funding? SBNation giving you the boot? Dude, write a book. That’s what I did.

For the MMA media, it’s all about the hustle. Back in the day, well-known journos would moonlite as PR men for the very promotions they covered, ghostwriting press releases, event programs… you name it. Hell, I wrote PR stuff for the old WFA (the John Lewis version), and one of my fellow FCFers (who went on to Sherdog) was writing content for Zuffa’s glossy programs that they handed out at UFCs. This is how media members make the business model work."