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Tappen Stays Local, Broadcasts Nationally

Jason Barrett

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Kathryn Tappen has gone to new heights since leaving NESN in July 2011, ending a five-year stay at the regional network where she built a reputation as an amiable and dedicated professional as a studio host, most notably on Bruins telecasts.

She left for a similar if much higher-profile host role with the NHL Network, and her star has only continued to ascend. She joined NBC Sports in July 2014, where her significant assignments have included hosting its NHL studio programs, serving as the sideline reporter for Notre Dame football games, reporting for “Football Night in America,” and contributing to coverage at the Sochi Olympics and Super Bowl XLIX.

Yet as Tappen’s career has gone to those new heights, she hasn’t actually gone anywhere. She will be in Boston Saturday, working in her usual sideline role for NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Notre Dame-Boston College football game at Fenway Park. But her commute will be considerably shorter than usual. Home base for Tappen remains Charlestown, where she has lived since coming to Boston from Providence in 2006 to join NESN.

“I just love the city. It really just resonated with me, pretty much from the beginning,’’ said Tappen, who grew up in New Jersey. “My assignments are all over the country, and it helps to be very close to Logan Airport, and to be in Connecticut [where NBC Sports Group headquarters are based in Stamford] for studio shows. I can easily hop down on the Amtrak.

“So there’s convenience. But it’s more than that. I will always be a Jersey girl too, but this has felt like home in a lot of ways for a long time now. I never felt like an outsider. People just accepted me as a New Englander.

“Even now, in my neighborhood, I go to the post office, I know everybody. I go to the Whole Foods, I know everybody. The guy behind the fish counter, the meat counter. I love that, that feeling of community makes Boston special.

“Once you’re here and you’ve established yourself, even if you’re not from Boston, they welcome you with open arms. I go to these enormous cities like New York and LA and Chicago and sometimes they feel like enormous cities. I get a small town feel when I’m in Boston. I love that. You can’t put a price on it, you know?”

To read the rest of the article visit the Boston Globe where it was originally published

Sports TV News

Kay Adams: Pat McAfee Has Built ‘The Dream’

“it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”

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Many in sports media have respect for former NFL punter Pat McAfee for what he has accomplished in his media endeavors, and you can add FanDuel TV host Kay Adams to that list.

“I’m just blown away by the success and by the leverage he has,” Adams said on the My Other Passion podcast. “It is uncanny, it is aspirational, and it is self-made, so it is a beautiful thing. I — of course — watch what he does. I don’t want to be just like him but I do think he is so disruptive.

“He has such a chip on his shoulder. It drives him but I almost wish I could see it relieved a little bit. He’s thriving, he’s happy, and I think the thing that sticks out to me about him is that he’s truly grateful. Truly is grateful for everything he has, his opportunities. He’s worked his ass off for it.”

Adams pointed to McAfee’s recent spat with the NFL over use of the league’s logos as an indicator of not only his success but his influence in the sports landscape.

“He is true to himself but he mostly leads with gratitude, which I think is the epitome of success. But he’s out there show you what can be done. He’s the first, but will he be the last to have that sort of platform? That sort of swing? What he does with the NFL the other week, I’m paying attention to that.

“Because I wanna see: is the NFL gonna bend the knee to Pat McAfee? Does the NFL care what he says? But it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”

The NFL did eventually “bend the knee” and reversed course on limiting McAfee’s use of league trademarks.

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Sports TV News

John Skipper: Bob Iger’s Return Won’t Effect ESPN

“If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

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There have been many questions about what Bob Iger’s return to Disney will mean for ESPN, but former ESPN President John Skipper believes it won’t change much.

Skipper pointed to Iger’s relationships with powerbrokers in the sports world as a positive, and also believes that the “streaming wars” will be won by those who hold the rights to live sports.

“As a moat, to get the pay-TV fees and to get people to pay more money to subscribe,” Skipper pointed to Sportico as the reason for ESPN to still have an agreement with the NBA for linear TV. He later added “If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

Skipper also said the network used to invest in constant studio programming but said that’s no longer a necessity.

“We did that type of programming because the economics were different at the time,” Skipper said.

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Sports TV News

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports President Departs

“His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

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Lenny Daniels is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after 27 years with the company.

Daniels is the President of the company’s sports division in the United States, overseeing the contracts and strategic vision for the organization.

In a memo sent to staff obtained by Sports Business Journal, CEO Luis Silberwasser said “While this change will take place right away, Lenny has agreed to work with me to ensure a smooth transition.” He also added “I have enjoyed working with Lenny during these past few months and I respect his decision. Lenny has never been one to place a spotlight on himself; he’s always been quick to shine it on those around him. His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

The departure by Daniels coincides with a round of layoffs by the company and also the beginning of long-term agreements with the NHL and MLB. The network is also about to embark on negotiations with the NBA for its next media rights deal, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav recently saying “we don’t have to have the NBA“.

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