The Athletic is in the nation’s capital. The subscription-based sports website in launched Monday with coverage of D.C. pro sports teams and a select of college teams. After an unsuccessful attempt to land some prominent sports writers from the Washington Post, the Athletic has regrouped and landed former NBC Sports Washington analyst Chick Hernandez and NBA.com’s David Aldridge — both natives of the D.C. area.
Hernandez announced in June that he was leaving NBC Sports Washington after 17 years with the network. He stressed the decision was not his. As the Athletic lands in D.C. it seemed perfect timing. According to the Athletic’s announcement on Twitter, Hernandez will contribute with all sports.
📢 NOW LIVE
Expanded coverage with legend @daldridgetnt & an all-star team of writers. 👇@ChrisKuc on Caps@eamonnbrennan on NCAA@MLSist on DC United@FredKatz on Wizards@linzsports on Mystics@MrChickSports on all@nabjprez2011 as editor
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticDC) September 10, 2018
Meanwhile, Aldridge has made a living being a NBA reporter and working the sidelines during TNT’s coverage of the NBA. He made his start at the Washington Post before garnering national acclaim as he went on to join ESPN before a 14-year career with Turner Sports. However, the opportunity, role, and the chance to come back to his home of Washington, D.C. was too much to pass up, as he will be the Editor-in-Chief for the D.C. based website. Aldridge reflected on his decision to join the Athletic in an introduction piece posted on the site
“But I went to ESPN, even though I knew next to nothing about television, because I thought the Four-Letter Network was blowing up, and I wanted to be a part of what was coming together there. It was an educated hunch. And it was the right thing to do.
I’ve felt similar comingled pangs of fear and anticipation in the last couple of weeks, having decided to leave Turner Sports — the best job I’ve had in my life — after 14 years as a reporter and analyst, to be in my beloved and so misunderstood hometown, Washington, D.C., on a more regular basis.
Really, on a permanent basis.
I will, in early October, become the editor-in-chief of The Athletic D.C.
No, I can’t believe I typed that, either.”
Hernandez and Aldridge join a star-studded group of writers for The Athletic D.C. The Redskins will have extensive coverage on the site, as Grant Paulsen of 106.7 the Fan joins as a columnist. He is joined by Tarik El-Bashir, who through the past decade has covered the Redskins as well as the Capitals with both the Post and NBC Sports Washington. Mark Bullock, famed for his expertise on the Xs and Os of the Redskins, has already left his position at the Post to join. And Rhiannon Walker, who spent time at the Undefeated, will join the coverage of the Redskins.
Andy Bitter left the Roanoke Times for the Athletic to continue his coverage of the Virginia Tech Hokies. Hard not to know Bitter, but if you’re unfamiliar with his work, you may be familiar with the lawsuit his former employer filed against him over his Twitter handle. Patrick Stevens of the Washington Post will also contribute with coverage of the Maryland Terrapins.
The Athletic DC also reached out of the area for writers, poaching away Chris Kuc from Chicago Tribune to cover the Capitals. Fred Katz is leaving Mass Live and the beat of the Boston Celtics to cover the Wizards for the Athletic DC. Not bad for a website that struck out with top-tier Washington Post writers.