Times have been tough for The Sporting News, seemingly since the Internet came around and eliminated the need for 10 pages of gray baseball box scores. (For the record, we mean "tough" from the notion of the heyday of TSN, not from the last couple of years; everything's up over the last three years.)
Still, as if it wasn't hard enough already, TSN was just hammered with a $7.2 million fine for running advertisments for illegal gambling Web sites and phone betting services. The deal requires 20 the Sporting News to pay $4.2 million and "conduct a $3 million, three-year public service campaign warning against illegal gambling services." (We love this idea; "Caught On The Fly sez, 'Hey, didn't you used to be the experts' choice?")
Hey, at least there's some good news: The Sporting News does, in fact, have $7.2 million. Who knew?
(Full disclosure: In a former life, we worked for The Sporting News, liked it there and still have many friends who work there. We feel bad, because we have to think this hurts their chances at a raise.)
(Update: It's worth noting, by the way, that The Sporting News is hardly the only site that ran those ads.)