Jim Cavan Named Editor-in-Chief of FanSided.com
Time Inc.’s FanSided announced that Jim Cavan will become Editor-in-Chief of FanSided.com, the flagship destination of the FanSided network of more than 300 mobile-first sites and apps, which was acquired by Time Inc. in May 2015 for the Sports Illustrated Group. In this newly created role, Cavan, formerly Senior Editor of The Cauldron, will oversee editorial operations and direction for the largest destination within the fastest growing digital network in sports.
Through the first half of 2016, the FanSided network experienced 80% average monthly year-over-year growth in unique monthly visitors, the fastest growth rate in sports media among the top 15 digital sports networks. The network’s already-mobile-heavy user base has also expanded at a breakneck rate, experiencing triple-digit year-over-year percentage increases in mobile UVs each month this year through the period. Both growth rates far outpaced those of such competitors as Bleacher Report and SB Nation. Also, according to the June 2016 comScore report, the FanSided network’s monthly unique visitors grew to more than 10 million, up 105% from the previous year, with page views up 312% and mobile-specific visitors increasing 145% to 8.2 million.
Cavan’s appointment adds to FanSided’s momentum and is the latest in a series of recent initiatives for the network. They include the opening of new Chicago-based editorial headquarters with in-house video production studios, as well as expansion into a Phoenix-based tech office that is responsible for revamping the CMS across the network and continued product innovation.
“Jim is an exceptional talent, and we are very pleased to have him join the organization to help lead the next chapter of FanSided,” says Sports Illustrated Group Digital GM Patty Hirsch. “By offering the voice of the fan through a simple and effective platform, FanSided has enjoyed tremendous growth, especially since becoming part of the Time Inc. family, and we see immense potential and opportunity for this to continue.”
Cavan will report to Patrick Allen, FanSided VP of Content. In addition to overseeing editorial operations and management for FanSided.com and its tentpole franchises and events, Cavan will work closely with Sports Illustrated and all Time Inc. brands to fully leverage the company’s promotional resources and reach more fans. Prior to his role at The Cauldron, Cavan was a featured columnist at Bleacher Report, where he focused on all things NBA, and has written for the New York Times, Grantland, ESPN.com, SB Nation, The Classical, and Eephus Magazine.
Mike Dyce, previously Managing Editor of FanSided.com, is now Senior Director of Editorial Operations. Moving forward he will oversee the launch of new FanSided properties and the development of new content. Cavan’s appointment follows a string of key hires for the FanSided network that include Senior NBA Editor Ian Levy, Entertainment Editor Ani Bundel and Video Producer and on-air-talent Kayla Knierim, who joined from FOX Sports Midwest.
“I am thrilled to be joining an organization with terrific momentum and a well-established place in the sports media universe. I look forward to working with the team that has built FanSided into the preeminent voice of the fan and to helping expand that mission to further grow the brand in new and surprising ways,” says Cavan.
Beyond the brand’s well-established place as the voice of the sports fan, the network features burgeoning entertainment and lifestyle segments with sites dedicated to such topics as popular TV shows and streaming services, gaming, movies, music and technology, which are now among the most popular. Most recently, FanSided launched Local POV, a site dedicated to local news and tips, a service-oriented shopping site in Smart Carting and a handful of new soccer coverage destinations, with plans to launch a female-oriented pop culture site in coming weeks. Video views are also on the rise and are poised for more growth as a result of the company’s investments in a full-time studio, video-specific talent and ramped-up development around distribution capabilities. Fans can expect even more relevant, hyper-topical and social video to accompany articles, along with quicker load times and a seamless user viewing experience across devices and channels.
“Adding elite editorial talent such as Jim and continuing to upgrade our tech and product capabilities has positioned us well to reach more fans in more places than ever before,” says Zach Best, co-founder and COO of FanSided. “We look forward to building on this momentum and accelerating this growth even further.”