When DNVR CEO Brandon Spano first reached out, I admit that I didn’t expect the conversation to last long. I have spoken to many outlets that boasted of big plans and endless possibilities, but their business and content plans didn’t match their enthusiasm.
The longer we talked, however, the more intrigued I became by the idea of PHNX. Spano preached community building through engagement. He preached quality content across broadcast and digital platforms. He preached collaboration, he preached creativity, and he preached fun. He preached a type of journalism that doesn’t originate from the pulpit; it originates in the pews.
When I hung up the phone after that conversation, I realized that I had to give this outlet a closer look. I spoke to friends in the financial and business worlds who were impressed by PHNX’s revenue and distribution models. I spoke to colleagues who loved the content plans. And then I spoke to my wife and a close friend who both asked a version of the same question: Why are you struggling with this decision, you idiot?
I’m not any more. I have joined PHNX to cover the Coyotes and Arizona State hockey.
I don’t know what PHNX will become in one, two or three years, but I am genuinely energized by the possibilities and the freedom we have been granted to create an outlet the likes of which the Valley has never seen. I am giddy about the fact that old pal Steve Peters is joining me in this venture. I am relieved to know that there will be another set of eyes looking over my content after flying without an editor for 14 months (it’s not fun). I am looking forward to collaborating with a collection of talented, energetic and, gasp, younger people. And I am ready to pour all of my reporting, writing and analytical skills into a company that won’t put any limits on those abilities.
So what can you expect from our Coyotes (and ASU) coverage? For starters, I’ll be doing everything that I did at AZ Coyotes Insider. You’ll get the same in-depth reporting and analysis. You’ll get long-form features and the Neutral Zone’s collection of notes. You’ll get reporting from the road. You’ll get mailbags, postgame chats and a host of other interactive features because, again, this is about community.
But you’ll get so much more.
You’ll get Peters breaking down film or breaking down the game in a way that makes it easy for fans to understand. You’ll get our usual banter on our five shows per week, with Leah Merrall driving the bus to make sure that Petey and I don’t careen off the road.
You’ll get on-air interviews with GM Bill Armstrong, coach André Tourigny, president/CEO Xavier Gutierrez and current and former Coyotes players.
You’ll get graphics. You’ll get community events and fan get-togethers. You’ll get swag. You’ll get tons of social media engagement and you’ll get many more goodies that we haven’t even dreamed up yet.
All of the content at PHNX is going to be free for the first few days, but we will roll out a paywall for some premium content at some point. The good news is that PHNX will ease the transition for AZ Coyotes Insider subscribers with a deal whose details you can find here.
So what do you say? Are you ready to take the leap with me once again? Change is never easy, but when the change is for the better, it’s a pretty easy decision. I hope you’ll become a part of the PHNX community with me.