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Jamie Erdahl Replaces Allie LaForce on SEC Sidelines for CBS

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Richard Deitsch of the Athletic tweeted on Monday that it would happen, and yesterday it became official. CBS announced that Jamie Erdahl would replace Allie LaForce as the sideline reporter for the network’s SEC on CBS broadcasts.

CBS and LaForce were unable to come to terms on a new deal. She had been on the sidelines for SEC games since replacing Traci Wolfson in 2014. Deitsch says she is in discussions with Turner for a full time role on NBA broadcasts next season. She may also be a part of that company’s NFL plans if the rumor is true that Turner wants back in on the NFL.

As for Jamie Erdahl, the 2018 football season will be her fourth with CBS. She previously worked the sidelines for CBS’s NFL broadcasts. Prior to making her national debut, Erdahl worked for NESN covering the Red Sox and Bruins. Executive Producer and Senior Vice President of Production for CBS Sports, Harold Bryant expects her to connect with the SEC broadcasts’ largely Southern audience right away saying “Since joining CBS, Jamie has established herself as a talented, versatile and knowledgeable reporter. She is a rising star and someone we know that will connect with and earn the respect from the coaches, players and passionate fans in the SEC.”

Last month, the SEC on CBS crew, including LaForce, won a Sports Emmy for Best Live Sports Special for their coverage of the Army-Navy Game.

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Pat McAfee Calls Out Roger Goodell For Not Appearing on His Show

“Hey Rog? Don’t be scared, Rog. Put your big boy pants on. It’ll be good, Rog.”

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Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee still wants a “white whale” guest on his show — and it’s becoming harder and harder for that guest to resist an interview feasibly.

On today’s The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee mentioned that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will appear on the program on the Dec. 6 episode, crediting ESPN for making it possible. McAfee then rifles off other commissioners that have appeared on his show, including NHL commish Gary Bettman and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and mentions that MLS commissioner Don Garber was interested in coming on the show.

Notably, three of these four leagues mentioned currently maintain a broadcasting relationship with ESPN, with the fourth (MLS) previously having one before leaving for the bosom of Apple TV+.

One league partner’s commissioner who hasn’t appeared is Roger Goodell, the NFL’s controversial commish who rarely makes media appearances outside of the NFL sphere. McAfee has long desired an interview with Goodell and called out to the commissioner personally to come on — as only he can.

“Hey Rog? Don’t be scared, Rog,” McAfee said. “Put your big boy pants on. It’ll be good, Rog.”

Among the crew egging Goodell on was New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers, who was in the studio with McAfee and gang. The QB hasn’t been one to mince words lately and seemed more than willing to join in on the Goodell teasing to bring him on his friend’s show.

Should the crew plus Rodgers be together to speak with Goodell, it could create an interesting dichotomy for Goodell. One outspoken current player and potentially multiple former players (McAfee, along with former Colts teammate Darius Butler and Rodgers’ former Packers teammate A.J. Hawk) would provide a unique interview experience for Goodell, who is used to very controlled, one-on-one interviews with more muted individuals on the other side.

For the record, McAfee and company also pointed out that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred hasn’t appeared either, but the guys don’t seem too torn up about it.

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NBC Won’t Broadcast XFL/USFL After Merger

“We wish them success with the new league and their new partners.”

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NBC Sports broadcasted USFL games in its first two seasons since its resurrection, but that won’t continue in 2024.

As the two leagues prepare to merge, the new season won’t begin until March 30th. Due to pre-existing contracts for PGA Tour and other golf events, the network wasn’t able to commit to broadcasting the spring football league.

“We enjoyed our relationship with the USFL and Fox, but the new earlier schedule made it impossible for us to continue,” NBC Sports Executive Vice President of Communications Greg Hughes told Sports Business Journal. “We wish them success with the new league and their new partners.”

With the departure of NBC Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports will be the two television partners for the league.

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Stephen A. Smith: I Deserve to Be Highest-Paid ESPN Employee

“I’m doing all of these things. I’m not doing all of that to be in second place. I’m not doing all of that to look up at somebody else to see that they’re making more than me…”

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Stephen A. Smith and Clay Travis

Stephen A. Smith has been ESPN’s top dog for over a decade, and during his next contract negotiations, he plans to be paid like it — whether it’s ESPN or someone else signing the checks.

OutKick’s Clay Travis recently sat down with Stephen A. Smith and discussed a variety of media topics, including the latter’s next paycheck. Travis said that he hopes the price of top media personalities continues to rise, and asked Smith if it was important to him that he was the highest-paid talent at ESPN. Stephen A. did not mince words in his response.

“Yes. I’m not stuttering,” Stephen A. said. “Hell, yes, that’s absolutely true. I’ve mastered my own business in the world of sports television. Clay Travis, I’ve been number one for 12 years. April 1st will mark 12 consecutive years I’ve been number one. Not only have I been number one every year, I’ve been number one every week in every month of every year for the last 12 years. You don’t get to say that about too many people.

“I look at whether it’s Pat McAfee as Mike Greenberg, Scott Van Pelt, it’s Troy Aikman, it’s Joe Buck, it’s Kirk Herbstreit. The list goes on and on. I’m so honored to have the colleagues that I have that I work with at ESPN every day. And at the end of the day, it would be nice for one day for this man to stand before everyone and be like, this is not I’m number one and this says I’m number one.”

Notably, Stephen A. mentions Joe Buck and Troy Aikman by name there because the Monday Night Football hosts are currently the only two ESPN talents that make more than Smith.

According to figures provided by TheSpun, Stephen A. makes $12 million per year, while Buck and Aikman make $15 million and $18 million per year, respectively.

However, Stephen A.’s value is much better for ESPN, as while the MNF duo only does one show with sporadic appearances across the network, Smith is everywhere. He does First Take, he has his own show, he covers the NBA on NBA Countdown, he hosts an alternate NBA telecast, he does appearances for other ESPN programs, and even finds time to guest star on ABC’s General Hospital. Smith knows he’s valuable to ESPN and Disney, but knows he’s set himself up for a life outside of them both should it come to that point.

“I’ve got my own YouTube channel,” Smith said. “I’ve got my own show. It’s not even just a podcast. It’s a show with a fully loaded television studio. That’s what I built for myself, that could go linear or digital. The list goes on and on. I’m doing all of these things. I’m not doing all of that to be in second place. I’m not doing all of that to look up at somebody else to see that they’re making more than me when I’m producing superior ratings and revenue. No, I’m not doing that. And I’m not apologizing to anybody for it.”

Stephen A. Smith finished his answer with poignant words for Disney and ESPN.

“Again, I’ve got great relationships and what have you, but this is a business and Disney has a right to run its business the way it sees fit. ESPN does as well. But if they do, so do I. I hope that we’re able to work it out. I’m confident that we will, because I’m incredibly happy there. We’ll see.”

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