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The Athletic Launches UK Site With 40 Writers

“The Athletic’s launch in the UK couldn’t come at a better time. A new Premier League season is set to launch in just a few days.”

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The Athletic has been hiring and expanding rapidly over the last month. Beat writers for multiple college programs and professional teams have been added to the original site. Now, it is time for The Athletic to cross the Atlantic.

A UK-based version of the site launched earlier this week with Alex Kay-Jelski as its first editor-in-chief. As you may guess, the coverage is largely focused on soccer.

The Athletic‘s launch in the UK couldn’t come at a better time. A new Premier League season is set to launch in just a few days. Each team will have its own beat writer. Some teams in lower level leagues will also have beat writers and their will be league specific writers. 40 staffers have been hired in total.

Just like its American cousin, The Athletic UK is promoting the there are “no ads, no clickbait” on their platform in an effort to sell subscriptions. While that is certainly something that stands out in a US media culture where every page includes a banner ad, The Athletic UK is taking aim at the UK’s tabloid media and their sensational headlines.

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Jason McCourty Was ‘Most Freaked Out’ By Having to Call Games

“That was kind of the thing I was the most freaked out about…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Jason McCourty is just getting comfortable as one of the new hosts of Good Morning Football on NFL Network.

McCourty, who spent the majority of his 13 NFL seasons with the Titans and won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2018, has transitioned into a career in media. It was something he always felt like he wanted to do.

But in an interview on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, McCourty told Andrew Marchand and John Ourand that he knew he didn’t feel cut out to work in the broadcast booth.

McCourty said at a recent NFL media boot camp, he had a chance to do a dry run as a game analyst. The news he said took him by surprise.

“That was kind of the thing I was the most freaked out about because I think the studio stuff, whether it was doing a podcast with my brother, those are the things that feel the most like a locker room,” he said. “Like you’re just sitting around, talking ball, the whole nine.”

McCourty added that he did get to settle in a little bit and get a tiny feel for things.

“When I got a chance to actually do it, I was like, ‘Wow, this gets the juices going,'” he said. “I feel like I’m almost in a game, and you have to make those decisions on what you’re gonna say and all of it’s happening so fast. And you do it, and whether it was good or bad you have to move on to the next play because there’s gonna be something else to analyze or give your input on.”

He finished by saying that experience only solidified in his mind that he was meant to do studio work.

“It was always in the studio, something kind of laid back, talking sports and being able to relate it to life a little bit,” he said.

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On3 Founder Sues Podcast Host for Violating Noncompete Clause

The Nashville Post reported On3 founder Shannon Terry filed a lawsuit this week seeking an injunction against former writer Jeremy Birmingham.

Jordan Bondurant

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Jeremy Birmingham

The founder of a network of websites dedicated to college sports has filed a lawsuit against a former employee, alleging he violated the noncompete clause of his contract.

The Nashville Post reported On3, created by Rivals and 247Sports founder Shannon Terry, filed a lawsuit this week seeking an injunction against former writer Jeremy Birmingham.

Birmingham, who contributed to On3‘s Ohio State site Lettermen Row, resigned from his position in May. Since then, Birmingham has gone on to launch an Ohio State podcast called THE Podcast.

The lawsuit, which has since been transferred to federal court in Nashville, seeks an injunction against Birmingham. Birmingham believes he resigned for cause and is not subject to the noncompete in his On3 contract, which would prevent him from doing any sort of media work for six months.

On3‘s lawsuit alleges Birmingham has attempted to contact On3 advertisers in order for them to advertise on his podcast.

Birmingham argues that his resignation doesn’t subject him to the noncompete due to a number of factors, including “the subjectivity of restrictive covenants.”

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Rebecca Lowe: Studio Shows Are ‘All About Analysts’

“I’m literally there to lead them down a road they want to go down and bring with us down that road all of their experiences and insight.”

Ricky Keeler

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Rebecca Lowe

Since 2013, Rebecca Lowe, who recently signed a contract extension to remain at NBC through the 2026 Summer Olympics, has been the network’s lead studio host for coverage of the Premier League. After not being the number one host for soccer coverage at the BBC or at ESPN, she was happy to get the chance to be the number one for a network’s soccer coverage.

Lowe was a guest on The Press Box podcast with Bryan Curtis and she said when she decided to go to NBC, she knew that the USA was ready for Premier League.

“I wanted to be the number one at a network. I had been the number two to Ray Stubbs at ESPN for 4 years….To be the number one was a dream. An American audience that I knew from spending a lot of time in America beforehand was ready for this and was wanting there. Therefore, I knew there was massive, massive growth. I was lucky to be proven right with that.”

In her role as the studio host, Lowe knows it’s her job to bring the storylines to the table and let the analysts bring the bulk of the information:

“It’s less about for me stats and facts and more about storylines. Peter Drury is the stats and facts guy. I am the person who weaves the storylines and he fills in all the colorful bits. I have the page and he colors it in. I listen to the radio constantly. I’m reading blogs every week. It never actually ends. I never have a day where I don’t have access to an audio podcast, blog, or newspaper.”

“To me, a studio show is all about the analysts. I’ve never played the game. I’m literally there to lead them down a road they want to go down and bring with us down that road all of their experiences and insight. That’s what the audience pay for. That’s what the audience wants to hear and that’s my job is to get it out of them.”

Lowe told Curtis that ever since her career began, she has over prepped for any show because she wants to be able to have enough information in her grasp as possible.

“I just did what I felt was necessary, which was over prep. I over prep every studio show I have ever done because my biggest fear has always been to be live on-air with a delay or with a situation where you are having to fill and not having enough information at my fingertips. I feel less about that now 20 years in, but I am in the rhythm of over prepping. I just want to know everything about everything.” 

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