Sports with Art Thiel
11:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

One chapter closes, another opens

You’ve read his columns in the Seattle P-I for 30 years – first in print and more recently online.  Now, KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has started a new Web site with friend and former P-I colleague Steve Rudman.  It’s called Sportspress Northwest.  Art talked with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick about his new venture, and about one of the big stories that will be featured on the site this weekend (the Apple Cup). 

Art says they think there’s a place for the kind of journalism they’re doing at www.sportspressnw.com because, both locally and nationally, the print products are shrinking and sometimes even dying, as evidenced in Seattle with the print P-I.  And Art says a lot of online sites tend to be fan-to-fan blogs or aggregators. 

He says their goal is to create a sports newsroom that is starting out with the Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders and UW football and basketball, and hopefully will grow with success into other sports. 

"We think there is a place for quality journalism with local writers covering local teams with boots on the ground.  We think that content is still king and that the readers still crave quality journalism from authoritative people whose brands they’re familiar with.  We think we’ve got a fighting chance.  We really are excited to finally launch after all this work and all this sweat, and we hope people find it worthwhile."

One of the big topics at Sportspress Northwest this weekend will be the Apple Cup – the annual rivalry game between the University of Washington and Washington State.  It’s being played in snowy Pullman this year.  If UW wins, they will be 6-6 and eligible for a bowl game.  But Art says not to rule out WSU.  In fact, he predicts the Cougars will beat the Huskies 17-16. 

Here’s what Art had to say about his exit from the Seattle P-I after 30 years with its print product and lately as a freelance columnist for its online venture: 

“I'm not going anywhere. I enjoy Seattle, writing and sports too much.  I'm ready to finish by starting something new -- being my own boss, as well as returning to part of a team.”

Read Art’s entire column here.