Sports Radio News
Is Tim Howard’s Future In Media?
NBC’s Premier League coverage does not need saving but it will likely have an expert on the subject this season:
Before his World Cup heroics, the U.S. national team goalkeeper worked seven games for the NBC Sports Network as an English Premier League analyst, a coup for NBCSN since Howard is also the starting keeper for the Everton Football club. Given that NBC Sports executives liked what they heard from Howard — as well as the fact that his Q-rating has soared exponentially after his Secretary of Defense performance in Brazil — the network is keen to have him return to its Premier League production (which kicks off again in August).
“Ultimately, it depends on Tim,” said Pierre Moossa, the coordinating producer for NBCSN’s Premier League production. “We would love to continue to work with him. As an active Premier League player, he adds such unique aspects to our broadcasts but we appreciate and understand that his commitment to his club and country is top priority. When I last spoke to him prior to the World Cup, he seemed very open to working with us during the upcoming season and we will continue to look for various opportunities to include Tim in our broadcasts.”
Moossa said the goal last year for NBC Sports and Howard was to find broadcast opportunities that did not impact his normal preparation for Everton. He commentated on days only after Everton games, traditionally a day off for players in the league.
“We would reach out a couple weeks in advance and see if he was available and interested,” Moossa said. “We never wanted to be a distraction for him. We would speak the Wednesday the week of the show to review his prior telecast, to discuss his upcoming broadcast, and to finalize his travel logistics. We would then leave him alone till after his match.”
Moossa said the day before Howard’s debut telecast last Oct. 27 — he called Chelsea-Manchester City at Stamford Bridge with regular play by play announcer Arlo White — NBC Sports executives were nervous that Howard’s broadcast work could potentially be a distraction for him. But Howard saved a penalty and recorded a clean sheet that day against Aston Villa in a 2-0 win. The win became a pattern: Moossa said Howard’s teams had a 6-1 record for matches the day before Howard working as an analyst. Howard called six games in the booth including Liverpool-Manchester City last April, and was in the studio for Arsenal-Chelsea last Dec. 23.
“There were nerves in the beginning, which was completely understandable, but also a desire to know everything about his new environment,” said White, who worked with Howard along with fellow commentator Steve Bower. “Pierre and I both spent time with Tim in the week leading up to the first broadcast and he took a lot of information on board about the requirements of working on an NBC Sports broadcast. It was more than he was expecting I think, but he took it all in without a single complaint.
“The evolution of his broadcasting over the course of his first season was stark. He went from a softly spoken, rather shy presence, to a confident and sharp analyst in very little time. I remember early in that first game together, I stayed quiet during the first replay. We’d previously discussed that that was his time to speak and to break down what had just happened. There was silence. I didn’t want to force the issue as I wanted him to remain calm and collected. We had a chat about it at halftime, and the flow improved markedly in the second half. Later in the season, at a huge Liverpool game during the title run, he was confident, eloquent, punchy and made some very insightful observations.”
There are certain positions in sports that tend to make good broadcast analysts. Sports television producers like keepers for soccer broadcasts since they see the entire field unlike a midfielder or forward. They are also generally excellent communicators (Howard is one of the best interviews on the national team), and by the nature of their job, they must study opponents tactics and tendencies.
White said that Everton manager Roberto Martinez (who is currently working for ESPN as a World Cup analyst) told him in an interview last season that Howard would achieve whatever he wanted to after the conclusion of his soccer career because “he’ll listen and he’ll work hard.” How does Moossa evaluate Howard’s long-term potential as a broadcaster?
“Should Tim choose to make television his career after he retires, he will have a bright future,” Moossa said. “He seemed to have the same approach for our broadcasts as he would for a match. He would watch back and critique his prior NBC telecast. We would then review it together on a conference call. He was always looking for feedback. His tremendous work ethic, his eagerness to learn and his desire to improve will ensure his success in the broadcast booth. You could tell by working with him, that regardless of this being a side project, he would not settle for anything less than his absolute best.”
For more check out Richard Deitsch’s column on SI where this story was first published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb Details Interviewing For College Basketball Head Coaching Vacancy
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.
Sports Radio News
Waddle & Silvy: Scott Hanson Told Us to Lose His Number
“We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Aaron Rodgers took immense pride in the fact that he told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter to “lose his number” while discussing his future earlier this week on The Pat McAfee Show. ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy said they’ve experienced similar treatment from guests on their radio show.
While discussing the Rodgers interview with McAfee, the pair admitted that NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson once told their producer to stop trying to book him for interviews on the program.
“I believe the presentation was ‘Do me a favor: lose my number after this interview’,” Tom Waddle said. “So he tried to do it politely. Scott Hanson did. Get out of here. That concept is foreign to me. How about ‘Hey, next time you text me, my schedule is full. I can’t do it, but thanks for thinking of me’. ‘Lose my number?’ You ain’t the President, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that to anyone who would say that. ‘Lose my number?’ We’re all in the communication business. I just don’t know — why be rude like that to people? What does that accomplish? You know what it accomplished? We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Co-host Mark Silverman then mentioned that the show once tried to book Hansen and NFL Red Zone host Andrew Siciliano together in the same block, with the idea of doing a trivia game to see who the supreme Red Zone host was. Siciliano agreed, but Hansen declined.
The pair also confirmed that an NFL Network personality had told them to lose their number, but couldn’t remember if it was Rich Eisen or not.
Silverman later joked that maybe Hanson was getting a new phone with a new number, and was politely sharing with the producer that he could lose the current phone number because he would share his new number in short order.
Sports Radio News
Seth Payne: Aaron Rodgers ‘Makes Gross Inaccuracies’ When Calling Out Media
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations.”
Aaron Rodgers is always mad at the media for the inaccurate things he says they report, but according to Sports Radio 610 morning man Seth Payne, no one is more inaccurate than the quarterback himself.
Friday morning, Payne and his partner Sean Pendergast played audio of Aaron Rodgers responding to a question about a list of players he provided to the Jets demanding they sign. Rodgers called the idea that he would make demands “so stupid” and chastised ESPN reporter Dianna Russini, who was the first to report it.
“Now to be clear, Dianna Russini didn’t say demands in her tweet. She said wishlist,” Pendergast clarified.
They also played a clip of Russini responding to Rodgers on NFL Live saying that she stands by her reporting and it is her job to reach out to confirm that it is true.
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations,” Seth Payne said.
He added that if Rodgers is being serious, he is doing some serious nitpicking. He claims that he didn’t give the Jets a list, but that he spoke glowingly about former teammates and told the Jets executives that he met with who he enjoyed playing with during his career.
Payne joked that maybe he wrote down the names in a circle pattern so that it was not a list. Pendergast added that he could have had Fat Head stickers on his wall that he pointed to instead of writing anything at all.
In Payne’s mind, this is a case of Russini catching stray frustration. Neither in her initial tweet nor in any subsequent media appearance did she use the phrase “demands”.
“What he’s actually responding to in that instance is Pat McAfee is the one that described it as a list of demands,” Seth Payne said.
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