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John Sadak Introduced As New Reds’ TV Voice

“This will be the Reds first season without a Brennaman on one of their broadcasts in nearly a half-century.”

Brandon Contes

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The Cincinnati Reds have announced their new TV play-by-play voice for the quickly approaching 2021 MLB season. In partnership with their TV home FOX Sports Ohio, the Reds named John Sadak to fill their play-by-play void.

A native New Yorker, Sadak joins Cincinnati’s baseball team after most recently working as a national TV announcer for CBS Sports and radio play-by-play voice for Westwood One. The 41-year-old was on the national radio call for the Bills-Colts NFL playoff game earlier this year. His baseball experience includes 15 years in the Minor Leagues with the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“My family and I are beyond thrilled at this tremendous opportunity. Calling Major League Baseball games full-time has been my career and life goal for many years,” Sadak said in the press release. “The chance to do so for the Cincinnati Reds, a franchise known for its rich, extensive history and passionate, loyal fanbase, is a dream come true. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in our new home city and ballpark. Baseball’s legendary Opening Day can’t arrive fast enough.”

The Reds TV job opened up last year after veteran play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was heard uttering a homophobic slur during a game broadcast. Amid backlash from the incident, Brennaman officially resigned from the Reds last September after 14 years with the team.

This will be the Reds first season without a Brennaman on one of their broadcasts in nearly a half-century. Thom’s father Marty Brennaman joined the Reds radio team in 1974 and retired in 2019.

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John Skipper: Bob Iger’s Return Won’t Effect ESPN

“If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

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There have been many questions about what Bob Iger’s return to Disney will mean for ESPN, but former ESPN President John Skipper believes it won’t change much.

Skipper pointed to Iger’s relationships with powerbrokers in the sports world as a positive, and also believes that the “streaming wars” will be won by those who hold the rights to live sports.

“As a moat, to get the pay-TV fees and to get people to pay more money to subscribe,” Skipper pointed to Sportico as the reason for ESPN to still have an agreement with the NBA for linear TV. He later added “If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

Skipper also said the network used to invest in constant studio programming but said that’s no longer a necessity.

“We did that type of programming because the economics were different at the time,” Skipper said.

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Warner Bros. Discovery Sports President Departs

“His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

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Lenny Daniels is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after 27 years with the company.

Daniels is the President of the company’s sports division in the United States, overseeing the contracts and strategic vision for the organization.

In a memo sent to staff obtained by Sports Business Journal, CEO Luis Silberwasser said “While this change will take place right away, Lenny has agreed to work with me to ensure a smooth transition.” He also added “I have enjoyed working with Lenny during these past few months and I respect his decision. Lenny has never been one to place a spotlight on himself; he’s always been quick to shine it on those around him. His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

The departure by Daniels coincides with a round of layoffs by the company and also the beginning of long-term agreements with the NHL and MLB. The network is also about to embark on negotiations with the NBA for its next media rights deal, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav recently saying “we don’t have to have the NBA“.

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Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

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