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Meadowlark Media Secures $12.6 Million in Series A Funding

“Front Office Sports reported earlier this year that Meadowlark was seeking between $10-15 million of initial funding, with Wasserman Media Group and DraftKings both listed as potential targets.”

Brandon Contes

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Meadowlark Media has made plenty of news in recent months, as the company works to get off the ground. We’re still waiting for the new venture led by ex-ESPNers Dan Le Batard and John Skipper to ramp up its content catalog, and securing new funds might be a big step. 

Thursday afternoon, the company announced they’ve secured $12.6 million in a Series A funding round. The investments come from a group of participants that includes DraftKings, Snap Inc. chairman (and former Sony Pictures chief) Michael Lynton, EMJ Ventures, Verance Capital, Wasserman, Carmen Busquets and DAZN. 

“With the intense competition to retain audiences at established media and to attract customers to new streaming services, we and our investors see an exciting opportunity for Meadowlark to work with the industry’s best storytellers to add the highest quality sports-focused original programming to their existing entertainment offerings,” Skipper said in a press release. 

Front Office Sports reported earlier this year that Meadowlark was seeking between $10-15 million of initial funding, with Wasserman Media Group and DraftKings both listed as potential targets. Just a few weeks later, that funding has been realized in the amount of $12.6 million. 

Casey Wasserman, the chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group has a working relationship with Skipper, having met at various industry related events during his time as president of ESPN. Skipper also knows DraftKings CEO Jason Robins well, having brokered a deal with the sports betting operator to become ESPN’s official daily fantasy sports platform in 2015. A third investor, DAZN, operated with Skipper as their executive chairman for nearly three years. 

Meadowlark has already made significant hires since announcing their venture in January. They recently brought on Jemele Hill and Michael Schur as creative advisors and are in talks with Adam McKay for a similar role. The initial round of funding will be used on their first set of projects and the continued addition of key hires.

Sports Online

Mike Francesa: 2 Week Break Before Super Bowl Leads to Media Interviewing Each Other

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mike Francesa

Many in the sports media and general media world have converged in Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but Mike Francesa isn’t the biggest fan of the build-up to the game.

The Phoenix Convention Center is playing host to this year’s radio row, where many of the storylines leading into the big game are dissected six times over the course of a day.

On his BetRivers podcast, Francesa said he’s never been the biggest fan of Super Bowl week and even taking two weeks between the conference title games.

“I’ve never liked these two weeks up to the Super Bowl,” Francesa said on The Mike Francesa Podcast. “I’ve never liked this week with all the hype and nonsense.”

Francesa added that at this point, all the storylines for both teams competing have been played out.

“People don’t know what to say anymore. It’s like they’re interviewing each other,” he said. “Nobody has anything to say or knows what to say.”

Still, Francesa finished his point by saying there’s an overflow of coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much,” he said. “But there’s no way around it. That’s the way it works.”

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Sports Online

More Media Credentials Issued For Super Bowl LVII Than Ever Before

More than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Almost three years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic completely shutting down the world, the Super Bowl host city is now bustling with media once again covering the NFL’s championship game.

According to Front Office Sports, more than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday. That figure is up 13% from last year. In 2021, during the peak of the pandemic, only 2,400 media members were allowed to cover the game in Tampa.

A number at or above 6,000 would mean a return of the number of media members covering the game back to pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s Super Bowl is airing on FOX.

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Sports Online

Bomani Jones: Chris Canty Made Me Rethink How I Look At This Job

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job.”

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The Right Time with Bomani Jones has been one of ESPN’s most successful podcasts recently. Part of the appeal is that the conversations can go anywhere. Jones and his guests talk plenty about sports, but they will venture into pop culture, current events, and more. When it is “Foxworth Friday”, there is a good chance that the show will give some insight on other ESPN personalities.

On the most recent edition of The Right Time, Bomani Jones and Domonique Foxworth discussed how hard it can be to come up with a unique view on a topic every single time you are asked to talk about it. When Foxworth said that ESPN Radio’s Chris Canty makes it a little easier for him to be entertaining in those moments, Jones added to the praise.

He discussed a conversation he and Canty had at a Halloween party hosted by FOX’s Nick Wright.

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job,” Jones said. “Chris was like ‘Hey man’. You know, he’s got a Super Bowl ring, but he’s like ‘I didn’t get a gold jacket. I wasn’t great at that. But this? I have a chance to be great at something else.’”

Bomani Jones was impressed by that attitude. He admitted that it was eye-opening.

“That really made me look back at how I do my job and was like ‘Yo, I need to be looking at this in a very similar way.’”

Foxworth agreed. He said that it isn’t hard to believe that Chris Canty wants to be great on TV and radio. It is easy to see when he is making an effort to get better.

“He works at it and he doesn’t rely on just one move,” Foxworth said. “Using the basketball analogy, he’s adding new stuff to his game.”

Chris Canty clearly has fans in Bristol. ESPN keeps finding ways to use him across multiple platforms. In addition to his daily ESPN Radio show with Chris Carlin, he also makes regular appearances on Get Up with Mike Greenberg.

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