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Advertising lands top writer

Geoff Hobson, widely regarded as one of the top pro football beat writers in the nation, will join the Bengals this month and assume the role of head writer for

Hobson's reports on will begin on April 15, providing visitors to the official team web site with extensive coverage of the first day of the 2000 NFL Draft.

Hobson, 40, covered the Bengals as Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer in 1999, and previously held that position for the Enquirer from 1994-96. He also was Bengals beat writer for the Cincinnati Post from 1990-92. He has regularly covered the Super Bowl, the Draft and the NFL Annual Meeting, and has been the Cincinnati area representative on the Board of Selectors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Geoff's hiring is a major step in our plan to make unsurpassed among Internet sites in quality writing and informative content," said Bengals president Mike Brown. "In hiring him, we believe we've put our team web site a step ahead of the pack. Geoff's byline is known and respected by Cincinnati sports fans, and anyone in our local media can tell you that he has few if any peers when it comes to thorough and aggressive reporting."

Hobson has been the leading media source of breaking Bengals news in recent years. He will bring those talents to an insider's role with

"He knows our franchise and our people," Brown said, "and he has many contacts within the NFL office, with other teams, and with sports journalists nationwide. He is clearly the best choice for the job of bringing breaking news and insightful angles to readers, and we could not be more pleased to have him on board."

The Bengals' new web site already has been contacted by fans from as far away as France. Hobson will enter a medium whose impact on the NFL, according to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, will be as significant in coming years as was the impact of television in the 1960s and '70s.

"It was a difficult decision to leave the Enquirer," Hobson said. "They're a class organization, and they treated me well. But Mike Brown has shown tremendous vision in this area, and he has much enthusiasm for venturing into this new medium. He has given me the opportunity to help turn into the best team web site in sports. That opportunity, and the potential of the Internet in years to come, are just too much to pass up."

Hobson grew up in Framingham, Mass., and received his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University in 1981. He was sports columnist for the Portland (Maine) Press-Herald before moving to Cincinnati as Bengals beat writer for the Post in 1990. Geoff and his wife, Sara, live in Anderson Township with their three children -- son Kevin, 13; daughter Kerry, 11; and daughter Annie, 8. Among his many interests, none is greater than his love for the Boston Red Sox.

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