Sports biz reporter leaving for Cleveland Indians

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Joel Hammond, who covers sports business for Crain’s Cleveland Business, is leaving the weekly business newspaper in a month for a job at the Cleveland Indians.

Hammond writes about the change, stating, “Why am I leaving? There’s no one answer, but at 30, the future looms large. Crain Communications is a healthy, debt-free company despite all the challenges facing print media, even in a niche like business publications. But there is uncertainty in the industry as a whole right now, with daily newspapers left and right, near and far cutting publication schedules and staff. More people than ever are consuming more media, but those getting paid to produce those media are getting paid less and less and facing uncertain futures.

“On the flip side, the unique and exciting opportunity to join a major-league club, with a tradition as rich as the Indians’, was what drew me to initial conversations with the team. I will be handling public relations, media relations and social media, with a dash of interacting with corporate partners and community relations folks and whatever else may arise; those duties obviously will broaden my professional experience and allow me to offer the team a unique perspective on some of its issues that perhaps officials there haven’t had in-house before. I’m excited to learn how the other side works and hopefully help the team re-connect with fans and other stakeholders along the way.

“Why am I telling you now? Because you’ll see a noticeable lack of Indians — and also baseball-related posts in this space, as you might expect; I don’t want to be accused of, or put the publication in a spot where it has to answer questions about, pumping up the team or casting it in a more favorable light. Conversely, I don’t want to be put in the position of criticizing my new employer; that’s bad business, as you all can understand.”

Read more here.