Molly Qerim officially became a member of ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” this week, and she also serves as host of the controversial “First Take” which features Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. She spoke with the New York Post about her dual roles and the challenges women in sports media face.
JB NOTE: Make sure you read her comments about the radio program becoming a bigger TV play and how she describes the opinions offered by Skip and Stephen A. They are very interesting.
Q: How is “Mike and Mike” trying to change?
A: I don’t want to speak out of turn, but from what I gather, instead of a radio show on TV it’s going to be a TV show on the radio. Part of that was getting the new set, which was really conducive to the TV platform. We have these radio heavyweights and we are just adding a visual aspect to that with more voices. For me, adding a third voice — a female voice — kind of representing the millennial generation, it’s nice to have that diversity there and attack things from all different directions.
Q: How do you deal with that criticism?
A: “First Take” has a lot of eyes on it and it’s a very polarizing show. Skip (Bayless) and Stephen A. (Smith) have a lot of strong takes, and I love that. But with that comes media scrutiny. What I’ve found — and this is Skip’s advice, and probably some of the best I’ve ever gotten — is “Don’t read it!” and I did stop. I do feel badly in the sense that you have viewers who want to engage with you and I might miss them, but unfortunately you have to, and ignoring the noise is what works best for me.
Q: How is it dealing with Bayless and Smith?
A: This is not some PC answer: I don’t like working with those guys, I love it. It gets heated on TV, but there’s also a mutual respect and once the commercial break hits, it’s like, “All right let’s move past it.” I think sometimes people look at our show and they say their opinions are just for the ratings. No, I can tell you it’s 100 percent authentic.
To read the full article visit the New York Post where it was originally 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.
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.