ESPN Magazine The History
ESPN (the magazine), formerly an abbreviation of Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is published bi-weekly and owned by an American cable television network dedicated to broadcasting mostly sports-related programming twenty-four hours a day. The company was founded by Scott Rasmussen and his father Bill Rasmussen, along with Donny Stanley and his son Cardell and was first launched on September 7, 1979 with the show SportsCenter (which aired its 25,000th episode on August 25, 2002).
ESPN was originally owned by a prestigious joint venture between the Getty Oil Company (which was purchased by Texaco later on) and Nabisco. As of 1984, the entire family of ESPN networks and franchises are owned by ABC and the Hearst Corporation. ESPN was started as an alternative to standard television news broadcasts and the information that is usually found in the “Sports” sections of newspapers. It was begun as a fairly small-fry operation at first and they had to broadcast unorthodox sporting events such as the World’s Strongest Man Competition, the short-lived United States Football League (USFL) before ESPN landed a contract to show National Football league games on Sunday evenings in 1987.
ESPN the Magazine, like the industry leader in sports television that created it, is big, bold and brash like most of the athletes that it portrays and it uses its oversize format to show off very striking full page images and splashy sidebars. Contributors to the magazines include familiar on-air talent such as Dan Patrick, Chris Berman, Stuart Scott, Rich Eisen, Linda Cohn, Peter Gammons, John Clayton and many others (including the athletes themselves).
In comparison to other sports magazines, ESPN gives you broader features such as playoff previews, personality profiles, photo spreads with a major emphasis on basketball, football, baseball, hockey, soccer and some newer extreme sports. ESPN mainly targets young, active men whose lifestyles include watching sports, attending games and participating in different types of athletics. The editorial focus of ESPN Magazine plays off the news and includes what happens in sports and which match-ups and young players to look out for. Also, ESPN emphasizes both the humor and fun of both mainstream and off-beat sports.