To say that I am excited about this latest news is an understatement because adding both David Murray and Steve Robertson to the Gene's Page staff on a fulltime basis is incredible news not only for Gene's Page but for all you, the Gene's Page subscribers.
I consider both David and Steve the absolute best in their particular field of covering Mississippi State sports. I base that statement on 17+ years of covering Mississippi State sports myself.
No one covers Mississippi State athletic events (games, press conferences, practices) as well as David Murray. And no one covers Mississippi State recruiting or works at it as hard as Steve Robertson. Both are phenomenal at what they do. In the world of recruiting they would both be considered 5-star recruits and the No. 1 player at their positions.
I'll explain more in-depth about the changes at Gene's Page as it relates to Steve and David but I want to first thank the new owner of Scout.com, NAMG Group, for working with me to make this happen. We have been renegotiating for several months and finally came to an agreement recently, finalizing the new contract February 1st.
Steve Robertson's new role with Gene's Page
The new contract was written so that it allows Steve Robertson to join Gene's Page on a fulltime basis. Basically, what this means is I will now pay his entire salary, not just a portion of it like in the past, and he'll cover Mississippi State recruiting for Gene's Page fulltime. No more covering recruiting for other sites or states for Scout.com, just Mississippi State recruiting. He'll also help with other Mississippi State athletic events when needed, events such as games, press conferences, practices, etc. Whatever needs to be done to help cover Mississippi State athletics, he'll now be available to do it.
You've already started seeing some of the new things that he will be writing for Gene's Page. Through Sunday, February 9th, he has written 29 February articles solely pertaining to Mississippi State football recruiting. He has also written several opinion piece articles during late January and early February such as the ones listed below. He will write articles like that on a regular basis in the future.
In addition to more articles, he'll also do more Mississippi State Junior Day and camp coverage, before, during and after each event. Our coverage of those events has always been very good but it is about to take a huge leap forward.
He'll also cover the players in the state of Mississippi much more than he has been able to in the past. There will be no more covering other states for Scout.com, just the state of Mississippi. Because of that, his input in the Mississippi player rankings will continue to be very important to Scout.com, maybe even more important since he'll know even more about the players in the state. Being able to continue that input was not only very important to both Steve and me but also to Scout.com because of how valuable they feel his input is.
Steve will be moving to Starkville as soon as possible. As many of you know, that has been in the works for awhile. Now, with his expanded Gene's Page role, that has been put on the fast-track. Once he moves to Starkville expect his role with Gene's Page to increase even more.
David Murray's new role with Gene's Page
As with Steve, I'll be taking over David's salary. While the new contract will help with that expense to an extent, David and I did make one significant concession. This will be the last year that we will be doing the Dawgs Bite magazine. I realize many of you have been receiving Dawgs Bite for decades, as have I, and it will be greatly missed by everybody who still receives it. But this was something that had to be done financially in order for us to move David over to the website fulltime.
David normally spends about 40 to 50% of his time each month not only writing the magazine but also organizing and designing the magazine. In the future, that time will be spent on the website 100%. It will allow David to do two to three times more articles than he has been able to do in the past due to the demands of the magazine. Instead of receiving about 10 articles a month in the magazine, you'll now receive two to three times that many articles from David on the website. David will also start doing video as well. Yes, I wrote video. David will begin posting video on the website once the magazine has ended it's run.
As a way to allow the Dawgs Bite magazine to go out in the style that it deserves, the last magazine that David will write (with the help of Scout.com) will be a Mississippi State football preview magazine that we plan on being about 96 pages long.
To protect those of you who purchased the magazine during the middle of the magazine run, any magazines still owed you after the last issue, Scout.com and Gene's Page will give you an additional half of a month for each magazine still owed to you. For those who purchased the magazine and not the premium subscription to the website, there will be a couple of options available to you.
A new Era for Gene's Page
What started as a hobby in September, 1996, has continue to grow over the past 17+ years. I feel that Gene's Page offers the best coverage of Mississippi State athletics on the internet. But I have always wanted it to be better each and every year. And with the addition of Steve and David to the Gene's Page staff we will now have three fulltime beat writers covering Mississippi State athletics, all paid for by one company, Gene's Page, something that is unheard of. Now I hope, and fully expect, Gene's Page to go to another level when it comes to Mississippi State athletics coverage. And you, our subscribers, will be the beneficiaries of that.
I want to thank each of you who subscribe to Gene's Page for being part of what has become a family to me. Many of you have been with me from the beginning while others have joined throughout the years. I thank all of you who have stayed with me. I hope you have enjoyed being a part of the Gene's Page family. And I hope you enjoy it even more as we go into a new era of Gene's Page.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.