by Mark Carter
In December 2019, Trey Biddy of HawgSports.com graced the cover of Arkansas Money & Politics. AMP profiled Biddy, publisher of the popular Razorbacks team site on the CBS-owned 247Sports digital network, and took a look at how team sites like his are balancing fandom and proper journalism.
A former University of Arkansas student and journalism graduate of UA Little Rock, the 42-year-old Sheridan native has grown HawgSports into one of the top team sites on the 247 network and established himself among the upper echelon of sports media in Arkansas. For many, he’s earned outright media celebrity status.
Biddy walked AMP through a typical day (pre-coaching change) on the Hill covering the Hogs for HawgSports. He was careful to note that his daily routine can change on a dime. That said, here’s what a typical day looks like for Biddy, straight from the source:
“I typically wake up at about 6:45 a.m., and I start blasting out our morning content via social media around 7. By 7:30 or 8, I’m at the desk depending on if it’s my week or my neighbor’s week to take the kids to school. I prepare our email newsletter to send out, which contains all of our most recent free content. Then I check the past day’s analytics to find out what is and is not popular. I check my email and check in with my 247Sports messages or anything else from my contacts there. Then I go to my notifications on the Razor’s Edge and answer any questions or view any responses I may have missed overnight. I do this periodically throughout the day because that community is very important to us.
“I also put our content on social media throughout the day, of course. We like to have approximately six to eight new content items per day, sometimes more if it’s a heavy news cycle, so there is always communication going on between the team in terms of planning. Yesterday [Nov. 6], we had 10 stories and that doesn’t include Arkansas stories produced by the national desk at 247Sports. I believe there were three more of those.
“From there, it varies day-to-day. I might need to rewatch a Razorback game or work on a breaking news story or work on something I’ve put more heavy research into. I might work ahead pre-preparing for game day content. I might read up on some new camera equipment or check out what other publishers throughout the network are doing for ideas. I find that if I enjoy writing the story, people generally enjoy reading it, so I stay away from things I don’t like writing for that very reason.
“We might have a conference call. I might set up the Facebook Live show/podcast if it’s Monday or Thursday. I might have a Monday noon press conference or 4:30 football practice. Who knows what might happen to change my day? On Tuesdays, I start working full-go at about 7:30-8 a.m. and wrap up around 9-9:30 p.m. Yesterday, I shut it down at 11:30 p.m. and started back at it at 7:30 a.m. because football and basketball are overlapping now.
“I do some work every single day. Sometimes it’s only a little on Sundays, doing the regular morning routine and checking in periodically, and sometimes it’s early morning until late at night on a Sunday. August is extremely busy with football being pretty much six days a week, and then when football, basketball and recruiting overlap in November it gets really busy, as well as when football, basketball, baseball and recruiting overlap in the spring. Obviously, smart phones have changed the way we access information, so in the same hand I can go off and do something and know I’m good if a story breaks. Twelve years ago if you left your desk, you also left the internet.
“HawgSports.com is part of the 247Sports Network, which means our doors never close, and a lot of times I’m simply at the mercy of what is going on at the UA. They’re not going to schedule a press conference around me, they’re just going to let me know when it is.
“I’m lucky because even though I work a lot, I find a lot of satisfaction in being there for Razorback fans. I feel like people are counting on me. It’s fair to say I have some light obsessive-compulsive issues, which actually help with the job. Things just need to be done a certain way, and if I resist it really can make me feel uneasy. I’m an avid double-checker, and I strive for consistency, balance and great presentation. These aren’t the best traits on a personal level, but it helps to have them at work. Danny [West] is a lot like me in that sense. I’ll say, I am incredibly lucky to have great support and understanding at home from my wife Mary Linda and daughter Annabelle, as well.”