Alabama Media Group Names Roy S. Johnson as Director of Sports

One of America's most accomplished sports journalists and managers has been named director of sports for Alabama Media Group.

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Birmingham, AL (PRWEB) April 04, 2014

As Director of Sports Roy S. Johnson will oversee the 24/7 sports content of AL.com, and sports in The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile's Press-Register, The Mississippi Press and GulfLive.com.

Johnson brings a wealth of experience in journalism and editorial management to his new role. Previous senior positions include: Sports Illustrated, assistant managing editor; Men's Fitness, VP and editor-in-chief; History Channel magazine and digital, editor-in-chief and Savoy, founder and editor-in-chief.

Johnson also served as editorial director for Savoy's parent company, Vanguarde Media. Johnson has contributed columns for Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com, been an on-air sports commentator on numerous national networks, co-executive produced an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary, been editor-at-large for Fortune magazine, and helped produce national TV and radio content for Sports Illustrated. He also co-authored autobiographies with Earvin (Magic) Johnson, Charles Barkley and former NBA champion/coach and current ESPN commentator Avery Johnson. Johnson was a staff writer at the New York Times from 1981 to 1987, covering the NBA, tennis and writing features.

The latter half of Johnson's 30-plus year career includes deep, innovative and entrepreneurial involvement in digital journalism. In many of the senior roles, he was involved in the publications' online ventures as well as print, particularly with mensfitness.com, where he led the team that developed the outlet's mobile app. Johnson founded the fitness and nutrition venture and website Fit!Live!Win! and has for several years run his own sports blog, Ballers, Gamers and Scoundrels.

Michelle Holmes, vice president of content for Alabama Media Group, said she is pleased to have a journalist with decades of experience who has embraced the digital content revolution.

"Roy knows sports, he knows journalism, he knows content, he holds great respect for the value of print publications, and he knows what digital is about and has embraced it as the journalist’s most effective means of engaging readers, especially sports fans. That's an amazing mix. We are thrilled to have Roy joining us."

Holmes said she is especially impressed that "throughout his career, even in very senior and demanding roles, Roy has continued writing and being published. We look forward to tapping that drive and energy."

In addition to maintaining Alabama Media Group's dominance in coverage of the state's two national powerhouse NCAA football programs and the Southeastern Conference's other teams and sports, Johnson will be responsible for sports coverage from the pros to other colleges and universities to high schools, Holmes said. His mandate includes developing the group's sports enterprise and lifestyle content, while continuing to drive audience growth, she adds.

"The people at Alabama Media Group, quite simply, get it," Johnson said. "Instead of wringing their hands as digital increasingly dominates our industry, they’re embracing its challenges and harnessing its power to reach and engage voracious audiences whenever and on whatever platform they can be reached. Of course, no audience is more voracious than Alabama sports fans, particularly those on opposite sides of the most passionate rivalry in sports – Auburn versus Alabama. There’s no better place to be back in the sports game."

Johnson, born and raised in Tulsa, Okla., earned his bachelor of arts degree at Stanford University in California in 1978, and was a director of Stanford Alumni Association from 2003 to 2006.


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