Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Sports TV News

Stick to Sports Era ‘Appears To Be Over’ At ESPN

“ESPN personalities like Maria Taylor, Elle Duncan, and Booger McFarland have been free to talk about their experiences with racism and share their opinions on current situations.”

blank

Published

on

blank

Richard Deitsch reached to miltiple current and former ESPN air talents for his “Media Matters” column this week for The Athletic. He asked what they have heard from management about the transparency and conviction they are allowed to speak with about the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests.

“The stick to sports on the field era appears to be over,” Deitsch quotes one unnamed but “well-known ESPN talent” as saying.

Jimmy Pitaro, who was appointed president of the network in March 2018, has often been saddled with accusations of bringing a “stick to sports” mantra to Bristol. While the network has covered President Trump’s tweets and comments when they relate directly to sports, for the most part the network rarely delves into social issues.

That hasn’t been the case in the last two weeks though. Coverage of protests around the country have not been limited to Stephen Jackson’s friendship with George Floyd, pointing out which athletes are at marches, or reaction to Drew Brees’s comments about players kneeling during the national anthem.

“What you’ve seen, heard and read across ESPN outlets over the past week is a meaningful reflection of the profoundly intense and personal array of emotions sweeping through the collective consciousness of our audience,” senior vice president and editor-at-large of ESPN Content, Rob King said.

ESPN personalities like Maria Taylor, Elle Duncan, and Booger McFarland have been free to talk about their experiences with racism and share their opinions on current situations.

“You know, I think that ESPN realizes that we are in a seminal moment in history and everyone is going to look back and wonder what side of history are you going to fall on?” Taylor told Deitsch. “I think that everyone’s realizing it, from the NFL and Commissioner (Roger) Goodell down to every major company and ESPN is included. If we are silent now or if we silence our employees now, then that will be the wrong move. The only acceptable way to deal with this moment is to accept wrongs and allow us to have open conversations and be a part of the solution that moves this country forward, because right now it’s really hurting.”

The position is very different from 2017, when then-SC6 Jemele Hill was suspended for two weeks after ESPN said she violated the network’s social media policy. After Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he would bench any player that knelt during the national anthem, Hill tweeted about a possible boycott of the team’s sponsors.

Hill told Deitsch that ESPN’s reaction to this moment isn’t causing feelings of jealousy or frustration. In fact, she says that she feels relief in seeing her former employer and other sports outlets embrace the conversation.

“The reaction of black athletes to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd certainly didn’t give them any choice, but I’m pleasantly surprised that these outlets didn’t rush to get past it. They devoted some thoughtful, honest conversation to a difficult issue,” Hill said. What I hope these outlets learned is that not only can it lead to good television and reporting and be valuable information for readers and viewers, but that asking their black employees to remain distanced from these kinds of conversations is unrealistic.”

Sports TV News

ESPN Plans 20 Hours of College Football Playoff Selection Coverage

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM.

blank

Published

on

blank

ESPN has more than 20 hours of studio coverage planned for the selection of the College Football Playoff.

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM. Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack will be on the main set as the selections are revealed.

Several other personalities will join the show including analysts Greg McElroy, Robert Griffin III, and Dan Mullen, in addition to Paul Finebaum, Matt Barrie, and Chris Fowler.

ACC Network and SEC Network will also separately produce shows discussing the bowl selections.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.