‘BoniBlog – Catching up with our president

Athletes and coaches aren’t the only ones who aspire to reach the Olympics. By working on-site for these Olympics, Steve McAllister has fulfilled one of his professional desires.
Aside from his sidelight role as president of Sports Media Canada (with perks such as a seven-figure annual salary and private villa on the French Riviera), Steve is now just over two months into his role as managing editor of sports for Yahoo! Canada. Please note, I was kidding about the salary and villa but he does get to relish our annual awards luncheon each October. Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, his making it to the Olympics…
“It’s a monster but I’ve worked from afar on Olympic Games,” he said after overseeing coverage of three Olympics during his time with The Globe and Mail. “Because of that you have a sense of how big the monster is. But then when you actually get on site for a Games you realize it’s an even bigger monster.
“And again working out of the Main Press Centre you feel like you’ve been in a little bit of a bubble. But it’s exciting. It’s the one thing I haven’t done in my career so I’m thrilled to be here.”
Steve spent eight years as sports editor of The Globe, then moved over the to web side as editor of The Globe’s sports site for a year. Then along came this opportunity with Yahoo! Canada.
“It’s exciting and a big learning experience for me because Yahoo! has a different way in terms of judging traffic,” he said. “It’s online only. But it’s an exciting company in that it’s very committed to sports. It’s one of its core properties so they dedicate a lot of resources to sports. Sports works very successfully for Yahoo! as a business model. And with yahoo.ca taking over the NHL content for the entire Yahoo! North American operation that’s a pretty exciting opportunity not only for me but for the sports staff we now have in Toronto.”
Yahoo! North America has 35 accreditations for the Vancouver Games and the Yahoo! team’s real estate here at the MPC is shared with The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and The Toronto Star.
Aside from staying on top of things with stories, photos and videos, McAllister says “the one thing that really distinguished Yahoo! at the Beijing Games was a blog we call Fourth Place Medal.
“There’s a group of people who contribute to that blog. Again some of the stories that have really resonated with Yahoo! visitors so far here are things like the funny pants that the Norwegian curlers are wearing or the figure skating costumes stories and those on Johnny Weir the American skater. The bloggers have a way of finding those unique (offbeat) stories that get away from the sporting arena but are stories that people are interested in.”
Yahoo! is also putting some great athletes to work with experts Elvis Stojko and Sasha Cohen (figure skating), Jennifer Jones (curling) and Ken Daneyko (hockey).
Check out it out for yourself at either www.yahoo.ca (for the Canadian slant on things) or www.yahoo.com if you’re following the American Olympians.

Sports Media Canada President Steve McAllister

To prove that Steve’s on the job here, we provide photo evidence taken at his desk. Welcome to the Olympics, Steve!