Tim Franklin, director of the National Sports Journalism Center at the Indiana University School of Journalism, announced today he will step down as the center’s director. Franklin will join Bloomberg News next month as editor-at-large in the Washington bureau.
To continue involvement with the program he launched, Franklin will transition into an advisory role as an NSJC board member. The school will immediately begin a national search for Franklin’s replacement. Dan Drew, dean of the School of Journalism in Indianapolis and veteran broadcaster, will oversee the program in the interim.
“Helping to launch the National Sports Journalism Center at IU, an institution that I care deeply about, was one of the most challenging but rewarding things that I’ve ever done,” Franklin said. “It’s not at all easy for me to leave the school or the students, but I do so knowing that the center is now firmly established as one of the best – if not the best — sports journalisms program in America.”
The center is now the official partner of the Associated Press Sports Editors and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, the nation’s two largest professional sports journalism organizations. The IUPUI campus is the home of the APSE Red Smith Award Hall of Fame, widely considered the most prestigious award in the field.
Last year, IU launched the nation’s only master’s degree program in sports journalism. Both the IUPUI and IU Bloomington journalism programs offer undergraduate sports journalism courses. This summer, the center is organizing Diversity Sports Media Institutes in Indianapolis and Chicago to introduce high school students to sports journalism careers.
“Tim did an incredible job in setting up the premier sports journalism program in America over the past few years, and I appreciate all of his leadership,” IU School of Journalism Dean Brad Hamm said.
“In working closely with IUPUI colleague Pam Laucella and an exemplary national advisory board, he built a model that matches so well with Indianapolis’ standing as one of the great amateur sports cities in the world and IUPUI’s leading programs in sports, such as engineering, law, management and medicine,” Hamm added.
In 2009, Franklin also launched SportsJournalism.org, a blog with breaking news and commentary about the sports media industry. The site has more than 25,000 unique visitors each month and was recently named one of the Top 10 sports business blogs.
Franklin’s new role with Bloomberg will allow him to pursue a lifelong goal of practicing journalism in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining IU in 2009, Franklin was the editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Sun, and editor of the Orlando Sentinel and the Indianapolis Star. In 2009, Franklin helped establish the NSJC and the sports journalism focus at IUPUI that was ideally matched with Indianapolis’ reputation as the “amateur sports capital of the world.”
“This is a bittersweet moment for me,” Franklin said. “While it’s difficult to leave the School of Journalism, I’m very excited about this opportunity to return to a newsroom. And, I’m especially thrilled to be doing so in Washington for Bloomberg, which is a fast-growing news organization and one committed to the highest journalistic standards.”
In his new role, Franklin will help develop and execute enterprise stories across Bloomberg Government reporting teams for the organization’s various news outlets and publications.