Tumultuous 2011 Impacts Yahoo! Sports, MMA Coverage
January 31, 2012
Earlier today, Yahoo producer Dave Doyle announced that this would be his last day as MMA/Boxing editor over at Yahoo! Sports, a fate others at Yahoo Sports would also share.
Doyle stated the following message via social media website Twitter:
Today is my last as MMA/boxing editor at Yahoo! Sports. It’s been an awesome ride working with great folks. Thanks for everything.
Sources tell MMAPayout.com that the cutting back on non-mainstream sports by Yahoo was due to their tumultuous 2011, which saw Yahoo’s stock dip under $17 and saw gross revenues decline by over 20%. Along with Doyle – who had been with Yahoo since 2007 – another key member of Yahoo’s MMA team is long-time MMA and Pro Wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer, who has been a part of Yahoo since it ramped up it’s MMA coverage back in 2007. His contract is also up this week. At this time, it is unsure whether Meltzer will be able to continue his affiliation with Yahoo Sports, as the struggling company tries to workout it’s budget for the new fiscal year. Longtime Boxing and MMA reporter Kevin Iole and Cagewrite Blog members Steve Cofield & Maggie Hendricks are reported to be staying with the team.
Yahoo will now shift their coverage to more mainstream sports ( NFL, NBA, and MLB) instead of those that are more niche such as combat sports (MMA/Boxing), Golf, and NASCAR. Rumors of a possible shakeup within Yahoo! Sports first began around the Summer last year. The dismal fiscal results in 2011 made sure those early rumblings came to fruition.
As for Yahoo’s 2011 fiscal results, Forbes stated the following:
“Even with gross revenues declining by over 20% in 2011, Yahoo’s Q4 2011 results were hardly a surprise, as the company completed a tumultuous year filled with leadership and investor squabbles. For now, CEO Scott Thompson has acknowledged that the company has to deliver more monetization on digital content in 2012, which is a must for Yahoo to stop its shrinking presence in the online ad space.”
Yahoo will now try to focus on it’s core business, which will include selling off foreign assets and letting non-performing Yahoo! properties go, as Yahoo’s CEO Thompson has stressed “effective allocation of capital” is a priority moving forward.
This isn’t the only MMA related mainstream sports media shake-up recently. In November of 2011, AOL’s MMAFigthing.com was sold to Vox Media – parent company to SB Nation- as AOL struggled to compete with media giants Google and Facebook these last few years, a problem Yahoo has continued to face. A few days later, USA TODAY Sports Media Group (Gannett) made the announcement that they had acquired MMAJunkie.com, one of the biggest MMA news and media sites in the industry.