Longtime NBA Reporter Marc Stein Leaving “New York Times” to Start Substack Newsletter

Stein has covered the NBA since 1994 and came to the newspaper after about 15 years at ESPN

National Basketball Association writer Marc Stein broadcasts live in 2015. The reporter is moving from the New York Times to his own Substack newsletter
National Basketball Association writer NBA reporter Marc Stein broadcasts live in 2015.
Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

After more than two decades of covering the NBA for ESPN and The New York Times, longtime basketball reporter Marc Stein is going into business for himself.

Stein, who has covered the NBA since 1994 and joined The Times after he was laid off following about 15 years at ESPN, announced on Twitter that he is launching a newsletter at Substack.

“THANK YOU to the @nytimes and @NYTSports for just shy of four glorious years that I don’t have enough words for,” Stein wrote. “Dream come true to appear on those digital (and print!) pages and look down at that buzzing newsroom from the fourth-floor stairs. Never been prouder to work anywhere. This was an irresistible opportunity to cover the league I have tracked for nearly 30 years in a fresh and groundbreaking way via @SubstackInc … thanks to this deliciously blank canvas, total independence and the closest connection possible to you.”

In addition to reporting NBA news and providing analysis in regular columns for The Times, Stein also produced a weekly newsletter for the paper, something he’ll now do for himself.

“I’ve been blessed to cover the NBA on a full-time basis since 1994 and I’m incredibly excited to step into a new frontier by bringing all of my reporting to you here,” per Stein’s Substack page. “Substack will be the home for my work: Fully independent and in-depth NBA coverage … unfiltered and as personal as ever. My Tuesday newsletter, like always, will remain free for everyone and arrive direct to your Inbox. Paying subscribers will receive additional posts and opportunities to interact every week. Please join me as we build a connected community immersed in #thisleague we all love.”

Subscriptions range in price from $5 per month to $200 per year for founding members.

Substack newsletters had a combined subscriber base of 500,000 and were attracting 12 million users per month, Politico reported in April. Based on what Stein told Axios Sports in March after he partnered up with social audio app Locker Room, perhaps it isn’t that surprising he is now branching out with this new venture.

“Fans have been calling into radio shows forever, but this is a totally new genre,” Stein told Axios. “The host and the audience have never been able to hang out like this without being rushed. I see it as the old ESPN.com chats of yesteryear springing back to life in audio form. Locker Room has quickly become synonymous with sports in this space, and I’ve seen (and heard) several of my colleagues on the app. Now it’s my turn to give it a whirl, expand my audio game and have some fun.”

Stein is about to do the same thing with Substack.

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