Sporting News (previously The Sporting News, and still often known colloquially as TSN) is an American-based sports weekly magazine, book publisher, and radio network headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball – so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball".
TSN was founded by Alfred H. Spink, a director of the St. Louis Browns and former writer for the Missouri Republican daily newspaper. Each number was 17 by 22 inches, eight pages, price five cents (Cooper 1996). The Browns were champions of the American Association, one of two major leagues in baseball, with a claim to the championship of the United States or the world based on the disputed 1886 World Series contest with regional rival Chicago. Meanwhile the sporting weeklies Clipper and Sporting Life were based in New York and Philadelphia. By World War I, TSN would be the only national baseball newspaper. Al Spink had long turned it over to his brother, first hiring Charles as business manager, then selling his stock, and finally departing from writing and editorial work in 1899 (Cooper 1996).
Throughout much of the 20th century TSN was decidedly non-glamorous, consisting of black-and-white newsprint with staid graphics. However it was the only vehicle for serious sports fans to follow teams from around the nation. For example, each week it printed a box score and blurb for every baseball game played in the major leagues and numerous minor leagues. Similarly, every issue had a report on each major league baseball team, usually written by a local newspaper's beat writer for that team.
With the advent of national sports media in the 1980s such as USA Today and ESPN, and of comprehensive web sites run by the major sports leagues in the 1990s, TSN lost this unique role. Consequently, it evolved into a more of a conventional, glossy sports magazine in both appearance and contents. Box scores disappeared from its pages in the late 1980s, but were still made available to subscribers in a separate publication for an undetermined period of time afterwards.
The main sports TSN currently covers are Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, NASCAR, and NCAA basketball and football, with occasional coverage of other sports.
As part of its baseball coverage, TSN sponsors its own annual Player, Pitcher, Rookie, Manager, Reliever, and Comeback Player of the Year awards. Prior to 2005, the TSN Comeback Player Award was generally recognized as the principal award of its type, as MLB did not give such an award until that year.
In 1999, TSN conducted polls to determine "The 100 Greatest Baseball Players" and "The 100 Greatest Football Players." They subsequently published special issues with the lists and books providing more detail on the honorees. Babe Ruth was voted number 1 in baseball, Jim Brown in football.
In 2001, the company acquired the One on One Sports radio network, renaming it Sporting News Radio.
In September 2006 American City Business Journals Inc., agreed to acquire Sporting News magazine, its online and book publishing units and Sporting News Radio Network from Vulcan Sports Media Inc. Terms of the acquisition, which was completed in early October, were not disclosed.
"Sporting News is a strong brand that we believe has considerable upside in print, online and on-air platforms," said Ray Shaw, American City Chairman and CEO. American City is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.
- Cooper, Mark (1996). "Alfred Henry Spink". Baseball's First Stars. Edited by Frederick Ivor-Campbell, et al. Cleveland, OH: SABR. ISBN 0-910137-58-7