A message to Miami Marlins fans from Ely Sussman, founder of Fish On First and former managing editor of Fish Stripes:
Thanks to you, we have outgrown our SB Nation affiliation. Fish Stripes was conceived as a conventional personal blog. More than 18 years later, SB Nation wants to keep it that way.
The Marlins fanbase deserves more. That’s why I gradually filled out our staff with Marlins experts, most of whom are embedded in the South Florida community. We began doing in-person credentialed coverage and now have a presence at every Marlins home game (plus a lot of the road ones). We launched accounts on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok from scratch, took up video-editing, podcasting and GIF-making, and painstakingly built up an awesome Twitter audience. Fish Stripes truly became a community.
SB Nation’s parent company, Vox Media, had no interest in supporting these endeavors. They didn’t incentivize audience growth or offer any pathway toward increased compensation. In fact, they steadily reduced the site’s budget. To keep the staff intact, I set out on my own to negotiate advertising deals with partners who actually value our content. My site manager contract was terminated over this issue.
Although I’m disappointed to see this affiliation end so abruptly (and right in the middle of a fascinating Marlins season), the staff and I are beyond excited to move forward as an independent outlet. Our new website is fishonfirst.com. Our new Twitter home is @FishOnFirst. Please come with us for complete, uninterrupted Marlins coverage!