New team takes over Eig’s ChicagoSide

Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig

Two years after launching as a digital destination for great local sportswriting, ChicagoSide is changing hands, founding editor Jonathan Eig announced Tuesday.

Eig and his partner, Sol Lieberman, are turning their company over to Nick Tranfaglia, director of business development at TiqIQ, a New York-based ticket broker and the principal advertiser on the ChicagoSide site.

“Having worked with top online sports brands such as ESPN, Golf Digest and SB Nation, he [Tranfaglia] has the right experience for the job,” Eig wrote in an email to his free-lance writers. “His team has a great background in SEO and social media and they’re eager to build on our success at Chicago Side.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Eig and Lieberman are expected to maintain a financial interest in the operation. Eig said the new bosses would continue “in much the same mold,” though he acknowledged that some changes were inevitable to a venture that has proved unprofitable so far.

“We’re proud as hell of the work we’ve done — with stories that have appeared everywhere from Deadspin to the Wall Street Journal," he said. "We’re proud to have had great partnerships with TimeOut Chicago and the Sun-Times. And we’re especially proud to have presented the work of so many talented writers. We set out to create the best online sports outlet in Chicago, and we feel like we met our goal.”

Eig, the author of bestsellers on Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and Al Capone, recently finished a book about the invention of the birth-control pill, The Birth of the Pill, to be published this fall by W. W. Norton & Company. He just signed with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to write ALI: A Life, the first full-scale biography of Muhammad Ali. He said he also plans to keep writing for ChicagoSide.

Added Eig: “Would we be more proud if we’d made big money? Okay, maybe a little. But why nitpick? We had fun and we made a lot of friends. But now Sol’s busy working with an exciting charter school company. I’ve got a new book coming out in the fall and another one just gearing up. It’s time to let someone else raise our kid.”