The cable sports giant will announce plans Monday for a website devoted to covering Los Angeles sports teams. It has worked for ESPN in Chicago, but L.A. Times sports boss Randy Harvey tells the NYT he's not worried: "It would be foolish to underestimate ESPN, but it comes down to resources. I don’t see them being able to replicate what we do.” Hmm. More from the story:
In less than three months, ESPN Chicago has become the city’s top sports site, attracting about 590,000 unique visitors in June, according to data from comScore, an Internet measurement company. Second place went to The Tribune’s online sports section with 455,000 unique visitors.
ESPN Chicago does not seem to have cut into The Tribune’s online sports audience as much as it has slowed its growth, according to a review of the traffic data.
ESPN, which is also going into New York and Dallas, already has a sports talk AM station here, a studio presence at L.A. Live and employs former LAT columnists Rick Reilly and J.A. Adande.
By the way: Times staffers expect a new sports editor to be named shortly, now that Harvey became associate editor in the paper's recent masthead shakeup.