Comcast Sports Names Frager As Area ChiefPosted on February 14, 2011
By Dave Hughes, DCRTV.com
Veteran Baltimore sports editor and writer Ray Frager has been named managing editor for Comcast SportsNet's digital media portfolio, which CSNbaltimore.com and CSNwashington.com lead.
In this newly created position, Frager will direct editorial content for the Comcast SportsNet's digital media platforms and oversee the regional sports network's growing stable of writers, producers and multimedia reporters that feed CSN's Web sites and other digital assets.
He will also lead the continued expansion of the network's social media and mobile efforts and assist with the department's operations. Frager, a Westminster resident, will be based in CSN Mid-Atlantic's main offices in Bethesda.
"I'm doing my best not to bump into the furniture," Frager said as he learned the ropes of his new gig. He started on Jan. 31.
Frager also said he may be spending some time at CSN's office in Baltimore, which feeds news to CSNbaltimore.com (a PressBox partner), but most of his time will be spent working out of the Bethesda headquarters.
Comcast is placing a major importance on the digital component of its sports news-delivery service, Frager said. Ultimately, there will be one effort to feed all the methods of delivery, whether it's via the Web sites, mobile apps or the cable TV channel.
Where has Frager been the past two years since leaving the Baltimore Sun?
He has been with Los Angeles-based FoxSports.com, where he was a Web content producer and editor, primarily working from his Maryland home.
Before that, Frager spent more than 24 years with the Sun and BaltimoreSun.com as an assistant sports editor and sports copydesk chief.
He was among 60 journalists who were pink-slipped in the highly publicized 2009 cuts at the Tribune-owned Sun. The Sun's parent company has since filed for bankruptcy protection.
"It was not my choice to leave the Sun," Frager says.
He also wrote a sports media column and, later, a sports media blog for the Sun and served as an editor for several books the newspaper published, including one on the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl championship season.
Frager said he was not yet sure whether he would be writing for CSN's Web sites, in addition to his behind-the-scenes digital work.
He did say he and CSN agree on having a high priority for the digital component in the overall media mix, in addition to the cable TV network.
Before joining the Sun, Frager worked as a sports editor and reporter with the Dallas Morning News and the Trenton Times. A native of Claymont, Del., he is a graduate of Rider University (then Rider College) and recently completed work on two soon-to-be published children's books on the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Frager is not the only new local journalist CSN hired.
Mark Zuckerman and Rich Tandler -- along with their respective Web sites, NatsInsider.com and RealRedskins.com -- are recentadditions to Comcast SportsNet's digital media department.
Former Washington Times sports reporter Zuckerman, who has been contributing to CSNwashington.com on a freelance basis since last March, will serve as CSNwashington.com's primary Washington Nationals reporter and will also contribute to coverage of the Capitals.
Tandler, who has been freelancing for CSNwashington.com for more than a year, will cover the Washington Redskins full-time.
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Comcast SportsNet is now married to NBC, with the national network's recent acquisition by Comcast, the nation's largest cable TV provider. In January, Comcast completed its takeover of NBC, creating a $30billion media firm.
Locally, Comcast owns cable TV systems serving much of the D.C.-Baltimore region, plus Comcast SportsNet and TV One, the latter co-owned with Lanham radio giant Radio One (which owns Baltimore radio stations WERQ 92Q and WWIN Magic 95.9). NBC owns D.C.'s Channel 4/WRC and the Washington bureau of NBCNews and MSNBC.
Comcast and NBC's sports programming teams are combining in NBC's Englewood Cliffs, N.J., base, phasing jobs out of Comcast Center in Philadelphia, reports Multichannel News. NBC Sports Group chairman Dick Ebersol will be at the top spot of the combined firms' sports efforts.
Issue 158: February 2011