Apologies in advance, but I'm going to sort of break the 4th wall here. We generally don't make our writing about the writers, but in this case we need to make an exception.
As we've been hinting lately, you are going to see a series of pretty big changes at FutureSox between now and when pitchers and catchers report in late February. Three in particular will change the way we do things. This article announces the first of those.
I will be stepping down as Editor in Chief of FutureSox, a role I've held since 2013. It is time for me to chase other goals.
Needless to say, quite a lot has changed already during that 5-6 years. Contextually, the White Sox have gone from a near-bottom of MLB farm system to a rebuild that has made it one of the deepest. For the first time since I started writing for FutureSox in 2009, the fan-base and the media at large started really focusing on the prospects.
My primary goal for this site has always been for it to be the gold standard in covering the White Sox minor leagues. The rebuild presented a huge growth opportunity, but an equally large challenge. It was one thing to fill up a niche when it was a little crick and we were nearly the only ones in it. When tectonic changes rendered it a yawning canyon, and media channels flooded in, we had to do more than stand on reputation. We had to continue growing, expanding, climbing.
Grow we did. During my tenure as EIC, we kept all the usual content (top prospect lists, draft coverage, prospects of the month, in-person affiliate visits, etc.), but expanded in every way we thought would add value:
- Dramatically increased our in-person coverage and added correspondents at some of the affiliates: 8 writers have covered 120+ games as officially credentialed media in that time.
- Did tons of interviews: over 200 with players, coaches, scouts and front office staff over the last 5 years.
- Added player-written guest articles: 17 of them since 2014, including some who reached the majors.
- Created a YouTube channel that now houses exclusive clips of 160+ White Sox prospects past and present.
- Started a podcast and then added some pretty big time guests (including Rick Hahn, Jason Benetti, dozens of players and nearly every leader in the White Sox front office).
- Increased our staff from just 2, to the current level of 7 to 10.
- Expanded our social media sphere to include Facebook and Instagram, built more relationships within the organization to get some insider views, covered three years of SoxFest as credentialed media, and lots more stuff than I can list here.
You, our readers, rewarded our efforts by tuning in and supporting us. The affiliate clubs, the players and coaches, other White Sox media and even the White Sox themselves did so as well, helping promote us to a broader audience. Our traffic levels on the site today stand an order of magnitude higher than they were just a few years ago. Thank you.
Now it's time for some more fundamental changes. The new leader of FutureSox will be Clinton Cole. Clint spent 2018 as our main correspondent in North Carolina, supplying photos and video, running the podcast, interviewing everyone under the sun and strengthening our relationships with the three affiliates in NC. He's got experience running multiple media and website operations in the sports world, worked as credentialed media in multiple sports both professional and collegiate, and has done radio in summer collegiate baseball leagues.
Clint's core job is to find the next wave of innovations, expansions and improvements for FutureSox, while maintaining the quality of content and coverage we provide today.
Clinton won't be alone of course. The other Editors, Rob Young and Dan Santaromita, will be stepping up to help with the many tasks involved in running this site. The rest of the current writing crew - James Fox, Brian Bilek, Julie Brady, Ken Sawilchik and Eric Oliver - will keep doing the things they are so good at. And after I've transitioned out of the EIC role over the next couple months, I'm sure I'll still be around on occasion as well.
To reiterate, this is just Act One of the changes we will go through in the coming weeks. And while this change should be only subtly detectable to our readers at first, the others will be more immediate, and I believe our readers will be very happy with what they mean. I am very proud of all we've accomplished so far, but lots more is yet to come.
So please welcome Clinton Cole as our new Editor in Chief. He's @cdcole55 on Twitter. And he is ready to take us to the next level.
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