|Final issue||2012 (print)|
|Based in||Charlotte, North Carolina|
It was originally established in 1886 as the print magazine The Sporting News. It became the dominant American publication covering baseball, acquiring the nickname "The Bible of Baseball." In December 2012, Sporting News ended print publication and shifted to a digital-only publication.
March 17, 1886: The Sporting News (TSN), founded in St. Louis  by Alfred H. Spink, a director of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, publishes its first edition. The weekly newspaper sells for 5 cents. Baseball, horse racing and professional wrestling received the most coverage in the first issue. Meanwhile, the sporting weeklies Clipper and Sporting Life were based in New York and Philadelphia. By World War I, TSN would be the only national baseball newspaper.
1901: The American League, another rival to baseball's National League, begins playing. TSN was a vocal supporter of the new league and its founder, Ban Johnson. Both parties advocated cleaning up the sport, in particular ridding it of liquor sales, gambling and assaults on umpires.
1903: TSN editor Arthur Flanner helps draft the National Agreement, a document that brought a truce between the AL and NL and helped bring about the modern World Series.
1904: New York photographer Charles Conlon begins taking portraits of major league players as they pass through the city's three ballparks: the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field. His images, many of which were featured in TSN, have become treasured symbols of baseball's past.
1914: Alfred Spink dies, and his son, J.G. Taylor Spink, takes over the paper.
1936: TSN names its first major league Sporting News Player of the Year Award, Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants. It is the oldest and most prestigious award given to the single player in MLB who had the most outstanding season. To this day, it remains voted on by MLB players.
1942: After decades of being intertwined with baseball, TSN adds in-season football coverage.
1946: TSN expands its football coverage with an eight-page tabloid publication titled The Quarterback. The tab is later renamed the All-Sports News as coverage of other sports is added, including professional and college basketball and hockey.
1962: J.G. Taylor Spink dies. His son C.C. Johnson Spink takes over the publication. In 1962, after Spink's death, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) instituted the J. G. Taylor Spink Award as the highest award given to its members. Spink was also the first recipient.
1967: TSN publishes its first full-color photo, a cover image of Orioles star Frank Robinson.
1981: C.C. Johnson Spink sells TSN to Tribune Company.
1991: The Sporting News transitions to a glossy, full-color all-sports magazine.
1996: The Sporting News comes online, serving as a sports content provider for AOL. The following year, it launches sportingnews.com.
2002: The magazine drops the definite article from its name and becomes just Sporting News (SN). Subsequent covers reflect the change.
2006: Vulcan sells SN to Advance Media, which places the publication under the supervision of American City Business Journals (ACBJ).
2007: Sporting News begins its move from St. Louis, where it had been based since its founding, to ACBJ's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The publication leaves St. Louis for good in 2008, when it also became a bi-weekly publication.
In 2011, Sporting News announced a deal to take over editorial control of AOL's sports website FanHouse. In December 2012, after 126 years, Sporting News published its final issue as a print publication, and shifted to becoming a digital-only publication.
The following March, ACBJ contributed Sporting News into a joint venture with the U.S. assets of sports data company Perform Group, known as Perform Sporting News Limited and doing business as Sporting News Media. Perform owned 65% of Sporting News Media. Sporting News would join Perform Group's other domestic properties, such as its video syndication unit ePlayer and its soccer website Goal.com. The deal excluded the magazine's Sporting News Yearbooks unit and NASCAR Illustrated. Almost immediately after the venture was established, Sporting News laid off 13 staff writers. Perform Group acquired the remainder of Sporting News Media in 2015.
Under Perform's ownership, Sporting News shifted to a more tabloid-like editorial direction. The site introduced a new logo and website design in 2016. Following Perform's acquisition of ACBJ's remaining stake, it began to align itself more closely with the company's other units, including replacing Associated Press articles with Perform's own Omnisport wire service for articles and video content (which began to constitute a sizable portion of the site's overall content). Sporting News also began to introduce new localized versions in other markets, with a focus on countries where it had launched its sports streaming service DAZN. These sites are, in turn, used to promote the DAZN service. Perform Media president Juan Delgado explained that the company was trying to preserve the heritage of the Sporting News brand by still publishing original content, while also publishing content oriented towards social media to appeal to younger users.
In September 2018, Perform Group spun out its consumer properties, including Sporting News and DAZN, into a new company known as DAZN Group. The remaining sports data business became Perform Content, and was sold in 2019 to Vista Equity Partners and merged with STATS LLC.
In the summer of 2020, Lindenwood University of St. Charles, Missouri, acquired the archives collection of The Sporting News from ACBJ. The collection was described as consisting of "10,000+ books on baseball, football, hockey, basketball, NCAA, and other sports."
From 1968 to 2008, the magazine selected one or more individuals as Sportsman of the Year. On four occasions, the award was shared by two recipients. Twice, in 1993 and 2000, the award went to a pair of sportsmen within the same organization. In 1999, the honor was given to a whole team. No winner was chosen in 1987.
On December 18, 2007, the magazine announced New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as 2007 Sportsman of the Year, making Brady the first to repeat as a recipient of individual honors. Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals was also honored twice, but shared his second award with Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs.
In 2009, the award was replaced by two awards: "Pro Athlete of the Year" and "College Athlete of the Year". These in turn were replaced by a singular "Athlete of the Year" award starting in 2011.
Beginning in 2011, the awards were merged back into a singular selection, Athlete of the Year.
SN sponsors its own annual Team, Player, Pitcher, Rookie, Reliever, Comeback Player, Manager, and Executive of the Year awards. Many fans once held the newspaper's baseball awards at equal or higher esteem than those of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Prior to 2005, the SN Comeback Player Award was generally recognized as the principal award of its type, as MLB did not give such an award until that year.
Also, between 1975 and 2005, Sporting News conducted an annual poll and named a national champion for Division I-A (now Division I FBS). It is regarded as a "major selector" in NCAA official records books.