Peter Kafka

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A Sports Aggregator Finds a Home: Gannett Buys Quickish

The folks at Gannett, the newspaper publisher best known as the people who bring you USA Today, also want to be known for online sports. Here’s another move in that direction: The company’s USA Today Sports Media Group has acquired Quickish, a one-man sports aggregator run by Dan Shanoff.

This is a variation on your basic “acqhire,” the difference being that Gannett intends to keep Quickish operating once Shanoff starts working for them. Shanoff says he’ll also work on other digital projects for Gannett, as an “audience-development executive” working for USA Today sports-biz guy Dave Morgan.

Quickish is a fairly straightforward aggegrator that offers a summary and a link for sports stories throughout the day. Unlike aggregators like Techmeme, there’s no special algorithm here — just Shanoff or one of his freelancers picking stories to highlight and sources to link to. It’s closer to what Jim Romenesko does on his media news site.

When Shanoff launched last year, he had plans to replicate the formula with other subjects, but never got to it. More likely what happens now is that Gannett uses Quickish for more niche “verticals” — you could have one of these for Nascar, one for the NFL, etc. — and plugs it into various sites.

The deal is one more sign that Gannett wants to bulk up in digital sports. It has made a series of M&A moves in the last few years, the biggest being its purchase of Big Lead Sports in January.

(Image courtesy off Mike Flippo /

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald