Stewart Mandel, who has worked for Sports Illustrated for 15 years, is leaving the magazine to write for Fox Sports.com, multiple sources told The Big Lead. Fox is expected to announce his move later this week, and Mandel will begin writing for Fox Sports.com in July.
Mandel didn’t return an email seeking comment and a Fox Sports spokesman declined to comment.
Mandel, who is based on the West Coast, may appear on Fox Sports Live and other Fox Sports 1 shows as well. He’s the second college football writer the website has hired this year. Fox poached Bruce Feldman from CBS Sports in April.
These are trying times for Sports Illustrated, which saw its best writer, Gary Smith, retire earlier this year. The Magazine also curiously laid off Jim Trotter, who was quickly snapped up by ESPN. More importantly, anyone who read this story in the New York Times earlier this month knows the one-time sports bible is on the ropes.
It feels like just yesterday that CNN and Sports Illustrated partnered – actually, it was 1996 – but that marriage ended in 2013 when CNN dumped SI for Bleacher Report. SI is doing many things well – Peter King’s MMQB has been a success, and the magazine has a daily 30-minute talk show, which has received positive reviews – but in the coming years, it’ll be interesting to see how Sports Illustrated the magazine fares on the market. Is it going the way of newspapers? Will someone wealthy like Jeff Bezos swoop in and save it?
SI was born in 1954 and as recently as the 80s and early 90s was ground zero for sports fans. Then cable TV (ESPN) and the internet (ESPN) blew up and left SI in the dust. This 2007 Salon piece by Josh Levin covers a lot of the magazine’s issues.