PD/Cle.com Hiring Sports Reporter to Exclusively Cover Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines

"Rivalry Beat" reporter to join expanding sports desk

Digital edition (10/23/2022) - Plain Dealer
Plain Dealer
Digital edition (10/23/2022)

As the Northeast Ohio journalism market mutates and grows more competitive with the arrival of new outlets, The PD/Cleveland.com refuses to fade into irrelevance! For example, it is now hiring for something called the "Rivalry Beat" — a sports reporter focused exclusively on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines.

Take that, Signal!

A full-page job ad  greeted readers of The Plain Dealer's digital edition Monday. It advised that Advance Local, the PD/cle.com's parent company, was hiring for four positions in the Cleveland market: an account executive on the sales side, and three reporters on what's known these days as the "content" side: one covering criminal justice, one covering politics at the Ohio State House, and one covering sports.

If you were to scan the QR code to get additional details, you would learn that the sports reporter is not covering Cleveland sports in the traditional sense. No no, this is a "new way of covering the team," a "new way of covering sports at Cleveland.com."

"Browns fans root against the Steelers and Ohio State fans root against Michigan, and you'll be their lifeline," the job description reads. "You have to be smart, curious and original in reporting, always keeping your audience in mind. Don't lie or pander to fans of the Browns and Buckeyes, but keep them informed and engaged on their rivals year-round through your thorough and creative stories and podcasts. And rip the Steelers and Wolverines when they deserve it."

Described as "opposition research at its finest," the so-called rivalry beat will join the Cincinnati Bengals beat on a metastasizing sports desk. Editor Chris Quinn told Scene earlier this year that the sports desk was hiring four new reporters and the newsroom overall would end the year larger than it began for the second year in a row.

But for those grimly keeping score at home, today's paper features a total of three non-sports stories:  a health story by Julie Washington with experts predicting a robust flu season; a Hopkins story by Susan Glaser reporting trends in airline travel; and an event announcement by Paris Wolfe about the Botanical Gardens' new "holiday décor spectacular."   

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