Goodbye, Local Media. Hello, ESPN YourTown

Remember ESPNChicago, the synergtastic "local" website built to honor the Windy City and maybe make all the city's media outlets bow down in servitude to their Bristol masters? It worked! Oh....and you're next, Dallas! (Cue "Imperial March.")

ESPN has announced that three new localized sites—Dallas, L.A. and New York—will roll out over the next year and a half or so. Network executives say this is "only the 'first inning' of their effort to provide hyperlocal sports coverage in cities across the country." Ominous enough for you?

The goal is not exactly to destroy local media, so much as co-opt it. By pulling local writers, bloggers and photographers into their orbit, all sports coverage—even high school games—can be filtered through the ESPN logo. And if they happen to gobble up a few sports departments when their parent newspapers inevitably die, well ... then maybe you'll feel like they've done you favor. Hey, thanks ESPN!

However, if I end up working for ESPNBinghampton someday just go ahead and end it for me. Deal?

ESPN Aims to Be the Home Team, All Over America [NY Times]
ESPN Los Angeles? I Give It 6 Months Before It's ESPN Oakland [Style Points]
No news is bad news [Sports Business Journal]
Earlier: What Is Up With This ESPNChicago? [Deadpsin]