Clay Travis Adding Staff To Outkick The Coverage
“Now, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, beyond Glasspiegel, Burack and Shamburger, Outkick has plans of hiring another five to 10 contributors.”
Last week, Ryan Glasspiegel, Bobby Burack and Michael Shamburger, all formerly of The Big Lead, began their new roles as full-time contributors to Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage.
When the trio of hires were announced, the initial report from Sports Business Journal stated Outkick would continue to expand. Now, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, beyond Glasspiegel, Burack and Shamburger, Outkick has plans of hiring another five to 10 contributors. The platform’s goal is to cover gambling, pop culture, college and pro football.
“I expect it to be a multimedia, full-service company where people are able to come and spend time during the course of their day and, hopefully, get a little bit smarter than they otherwise would be,” Travis told McCarthy.
Audio, video and written content, Podcasts, Periscope and Facebook videos will all be featured as part of Outkick’s continued emphasis on growing the platform. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, similar multimedia sites such as Barstool Sports and The Ringer were sold, with Barstool receiving a $450 million valuation as gaming company Penn National purchased a majority stake in the company. The Ringer was sold to Spotify for $200 million.
As McCarthy notes, ComScore rankings show Barstool drew 7.92 million unique U.S. visitors in March, The Ringer drew 1.14 million. Outkick, however, was not listed. Despite a strong social media presence, significant traffic gains are needed for Outkick’s website to reach the levels of Barstool or The Ringer.
Outkick is fully owned by Travis, containing no affiliation with his radio and TV home of FOX Sports. But just like Barstool and The Ringer were sold, Travis is certainly willing to look at any potential business partnership for Outkick.
“I’m open to anything that makes good financial sense. I never like to say no to anything,” he told McCarthy. “We’ve had lots of people ask before. As we grow larger and larger I’m sure more will ask. But no plans to do anything other than producing good original content and continuing to grow.”
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Skip Bayless: ‘I Get Cancelled Every Other Night on Twitter’
I keep arms length from Twitter, from the reactions. I tweet, but I don’t read.”
Skip Bayless has been in the sports media business for decades and he has gotten the chance to see firsthand how the industry has changed. When he started, there wasn’t much talk radio, no debate shows, and no internet for that matter.
On his podcast, The Skip Bayless Show, Bayless was asked by a fan in what ways has coverage of sports changed when he first started covering them to what it is today. He said he might someday write a book about that subject, but he thought back to a time when he covered the Dallas Cowboys and how easy it was to talk to players.
“When I first got into the sports media business, print dominated. Daily newspapers were king… When I first started covering the Dallas Cowboys (1979), I would go out to their practice field at lunchtime when the players were available and it was like I was entering a multiplex of theaters. I just had my pick. I could go to the Roger Staubach movie or the Charlie Walters movie or the Too Tall Jones movie or the Drew Pearson movie. I had movies to watch everywhere I wanted…I would fill my notebook every lunchtime.”
One of the things that made it easy for Bayless was that newspapers were a way for the athlete to control their message and the only outlet to get statements across.
“They were all happy to talk 1-on-1 as long as I wanted. If you wanted to meet them after practice, meet them at their house in the evening, they would do it because you were all they had as an outlet. If they wanted to make a statement, there was no Internet. They had to make the statement to you into your newspaper and hoped that you got it right and presented it the way they wanted it to. If they wanted to make a public image, it had to come through your feature story, your column that you wrote about them, you can make or break them through your coverage. They knew it and they catered to it. Those were some of the greatest lunchtimes in my life.
“Now of course, it’s about the Internet. Now players can control their message and carefully craft their image through the statements they post and the pictures that they post. Newspapers are a thing of the past. There’s still a place for newspapers and there’s still a place for reporting, but it’s not like it used to be.
When Bayless was a writer, he mentioned the amount of letters he would get on a daily basis and most of the messages he received back from readers were of a positive nature.
“I used to get 20-30 snail mail letters a week. I would get more than anyone else would because I was outspoken. I would answer everyone of them by hand.”
In this era of social media, Bayless knows the vitriol that he gets, whether it is from something he says on FS1’s Undisputed or his podcast. He doesn’t consume it all directly, but he knows about most of it.
“Now I’m told that I get cancelled every other night on Twitter. I’m told by my wife Ernestine who does monitor this that if I consumed all the evil aimed at me on various social media platforms. Sometimes she will read me some of them just for our amusement. If I actually allowed into my psyche all the misinformation, all the out-and-out lies she sometimes reads to me, if I let it all sink in, I’d wind up in a straightjacket on some funny farm somewhere and I don’t have plans to do that just yet. I keep arms length from Twitter, from the reactions. I tweet, but I don’t read. Someday I’ll write a book on all of the above because I’m just touching tips of the iceberg.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Doris Burke: Recent, Current Players Bring Valuable Perspective to Broadcasts
“I love that perspective, so what you do is unique and it’s special.”
The “new media” movement in the National Basketball Association isn’t all that new, as both former and current players are launching their own production companies and programs to more effectively disseminate messaging to consumers. JJ Redick, who retired from the NBA in 2021, established The Old Man and the Three podcast through his company, ThreeFourTwo Productions. He also continues to appear across ESPN programming and as a studio and game analyst for the NBA on ESPN, offering his analytical and esoteric perspectives.
Having athletes recently removed or continuing to play provides fans with a complete point of view about how the game has evolved and is played today. Redick and co-host Tommy Alter welcomed ESPN basketball analyst Doris Burke to the latest episode of the show, and started their conversation by acknowledging something she and other colleagues have done while on the air.
“There have been numerous occasions where you and Mike [Breen], specifically, have talked about The Old Man and the Three on the broadcast,” Redick said. “Without question, every single time that it happens, we all kind of freak out and we’re shooting each other texts on the group chat. It does mean a lot to us that you guys recognize sort of what we’re doing here – and I don’t know if it was you or Mike – but I know one time, one of you called it a ‘therapy session.’”
Burke replied by conveying how essential it is that basketball coverage contains voices from different areas of the game. Being able to divulge how active participants view the game offers consumers unparalleled thoughts and opinions.
“I hear this in Jeff Van Gundy’s coverage of an NBA Finals where once or twice a game, something Jeff says can only be heard from somebody inside the game who’s actually been in that moment,” Burke said. “The beauty of you and Dryamond, and what you bring to the table as media personalities now… [is that] you understand the daily grind and the experience of these players.”
There are many factors with subtle connections to the sport an athlete must consider on a yearly basis, including whether or not to make the sacrifice of traveling without family or put in the physical and mental preparation necessary to perform. Burke expressed to Redick that although players probably try to project a different persona than how they feel on the inside, discerning the core perception is invaluable.
“I would assume you had moments when there’s crises of competence for you as a basketball player,” Burke said. “Those are really special to the viewers who happen to tune in to our coverage or listen to your pod, and I just love that dynamic.”
Burke is currently broadcasting the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio alongside Marc Kestecher, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and P.J. Carlesimo, and she is learning something new every time she takes the microphone. As Game 4 of the NBA Finals is set to tip off Friday night at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST, she knows to expect an intelligent, informed set of opinions and storytelling from her colleagues and does the best to bring it out individually as well.
“I’m sitting beside P.J. on these Finals games right now, and there’s just times in the middle of a broadcast; I’m hitting him [with], ‘Coach, would you lift Michael Porter Jr. from the starting lineup given that he’s struggling?,’” Burke said. “I love that perspective, so what you do is unique and it’s special.”
WWE Legend The Iron Sheik Remembered By Sports Media
“Following the announcement of his death, many sports talk shows took time out to pay tribute.”
The Iron Sheik is one of the legendary villains in the history of professional wrestling. While he reached the peak of his fame in the ring in the 1980s and 90s, he found new life on Twitter thanks to his often profane, sometimes vulgar, and always funny commentary on the world.
The Sheik, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri died on Tuesday. He was 81 years old.
While most know his professional wrestling career, his amateur career is no less impressive. He competed for Iran at the 1968 Olymipcs and served as a coach for the United States national team at the 1972 games.
Following the announcement of his death, many sports talk shows took time out to pay tribute. Pat McAfee called the Iron Sheik “one of the greatest heels of all time” before offering a moment of silence. In Boston, Felger & Mazz producer James Stewart took to the 98.5 The Sports Hub website to post a tribute.
On social media, tributes poured in from all over. It started in the wrestling world.