The Globe Goes OT

1222364283The Globe pulled off two coups this morning. First, they unveiled a 24-page print sports magazine called OT—fronted by a Tony Massarotti column and back-ended by a Charlie Pierce rumination. But perhaps even more surprisingly, no one saw it was coming. The plan took shape in late July, and came together under the editorial direction of Mark Cofman, a fairly remarkable turnaround time. OT’s newsstand price is 50 cents.

The Globe has had some success with niche-publications, Lola and Fashion Boston to name two,” says Joe Sullivan, the assistant managing editor for sports. “Really, it’s about seeking new revenues. Obviously the interest in sports in Boston is always high, but I think we would all agree that it’s exceptionally high.”

The obvious issue for OT is distribution. Earlier this morning we sent indefatigable intern Olga Belogolova out on the streets to look for a copy. After scouring the general vicinity of Boston Daily HQ, she was finally able to track down a copy with the aid of a handy pdf that was posted online this afternoon.

At first glance, OT looks like a winner. The obvious draw is back-page space for Pierce, whose first target was self-appointed Red Sox spokesman, Curt Schilling. “Getting Charlie Pierce to write a sports column again is worth price of admission,” Sullivan says. We were also heartened to see space reserved for Chad Finn, a favorite of Boston Daily.

The rest of OT is filled with beat-style reports from freelancers, among them Scott Souza who has covered the Celtics for the MetroWest for a number of years. I asked Sullivan if thought was given to having the Amalie Benjamin’s and Mike Reiss’ of the world fill that role, but Sullivan says that he wants OT to have its own personality, with obvious tie-ins to boston.com. Sullivan added that they’re not done staffing the publication (is there anyone left?)

It’s a bold move for the Globe, and possibly the newspaper industry as a whole. With OT, we’ll soon find out if there is such a thing as too much sports, and if people are willing to pay for it.