“I was told within hours, by somebody high up, that this was going to hit big,” Rossi says. “It did. And it’s still hitting. It’s like, Wow.”

Similarly, the site gave Rossi time and space for an in-depth profile of Jennifer Bullano Ridgley. Never heard of her? She’s the Penguins’ vice president for media relations, and she stays out of the limelight as she makes sure it shines on the players.

But Rossi went deep, behind the scenes, to show how she interacts with the players. That story sold subscriptions, too.

“There’s a lot of evidence that in this one market, pro sports teams are one thing people can’t get enough of,” Rossi says. “Because of the unique market and the parochialism of Pittsburgh, fans want teams covered by people who are Pittsburghers or who have been here a long time, understand the history and the tics of the fan base.”

Comings & Goings

  • Trib Total Media has reported that the family of its former publisher, Richard Scaife, has reached a $200 million settlement agreement with the trustees of a trust fund that Scaife had used to benefit the newspaper company. The fund had $450 million in it at one point, but it was empty by the time Scaife died in 2014. The agreement must be approved by the Allegheny County Orphans’ Court in order to take effect.
  • Tracey DeAngelo has been named the Post-Gazette’s vice president and general manager. She has been with parent company Block Communications since 1997, serving most recently as chief marketing officer. She replaces Lisa Hurm.
  • Post-Gazette reporter Rich Lord has gone over to PublicSource as an economic development reporter and editor. Post-Gazette reporter Ashley Murray is moving from night cops to Grant Street.
  • The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation has opened its annual Vann Media Awards competition this year to journalists from throughout the National Association of Black Journalists’ Region I, which includes Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The change comes as the Federation prepares to host the NABJ Region I conference in Pittsburgh on April 17-18 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. The awards recognize the “very best in coverage of African-American and African Diaspora communities, individuals and issues.” Organizers said that if the change draws more entries and provides a broader spectrum of content, it could remain permanent. The deadline is Feb. 7. Details at www.pbmf.org.

Andrew Conte, director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, writes the On Media column at NEXTpittsburgh with support from The Heinz Endowments. You can find all of his columns here, and you can reach him at PittsburghPublicEditor@gmail.com