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Young Sports Media Stars Value Ability to Forge Own Path

The nominees spoke to Richard Deitsch about their career arcs thus far.



Courtesy: Amy E. Price/Getty for SXSW

The Sports Emmys are adding a new category to this year’s ceremony next Tuesday: Outstanding Sports Personality-Emerging On-Air Talent. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch got in contact with the nominees for the new award and discussed a multitude of topics, including how age has impacted their rise thus far.

The nominees for the award include: Author of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” Emmanuel Acho, ESPN NBA reporter Malika Andrews, Fox Sports broadcaster and television play by play voice of the Dodgers Joe Davis, NFL Network analyst Andrew Hawkins, and Joshua Perry, a studio broadcaster at Big Ten Network.

Acho noted how being young in this space has helped him adapt quickly during his career. “It’s helped by being able to think outside the box,” Acho said. “Specifically when it comes to being more familiar with the digital age and the social media boom. I garnered my largest level of fame and a large portion of this nomination due to a series I started on social media that acquired over 80 million views.

Hawkins had issues articulating his ultimate career vision because of his age, but he also found benefits in youth.

“Being young professionally has helped me because it gave me the opportunity to blaze my own path when I got into sports media and entertainment,” Hawkins said in the interview. “There was a very specific formula for athletes going into broadcasting when I first began, and because I was just starting out, it gave me the opportunity to find a way to stand out, be different, and blaze my own path. That was by being myself.”

All while Andrews tries to treat her age like it’s invisible. A simple fact that doesn’t help or hinder her goal of sound reporting.

“I don’t go about my job thinking about my age,” Andrews said. “There may be people who use my age as a positive and others as a drawback, but I can’t worry about that.”

Sports Online

WWE Announces NIL Program To Recruit College Athletes

“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business.”



There have been many crossover between college athletes and the WWE once those students’ playing careers are over. Now, the WWE is taking advantage of the new NIL rules in the NCAA. It could be a huge advancement for the company to recruit new talent.

WWE has constructed a comprehensive program to recruit and develop potential future Superstars. Dubbed “Next In Line,” the NIL program aims to enhance the talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.

“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business,” said Triple H, WWE’s Executive Vice President. “By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close.” 

Athletes who take part in the NIL deal will have access to the WWE’s performance center in Orlando as well as access to the resources that the athletes at the WWE receive including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations.

WWE dipped their toe into NIL deals this past September when they signed heavyweight freestyle wrestler Gable Steveson, who won both a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a national championship at Minnesota. The deal allowed Steveson to return to Minnesota for his senior season while also beginning his training at the performance center to become a WWE Superstar.

WWE plans to unveil its first class of NIL deals in the next few weeks.

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Sports Online

Keith Olbermann, Dave Portnoy Feud Over Michigan Shooting Victim

Keith Olbermann quote tweeted the post that Barstool made, blasting Barstool Sports for their political views



This Tuesday, Tate Myre, a young football player at a school in Michigan was among four kids killed trying to defend their fellow students against an armed gunman.

Barstool Sports tweeted a story highlighting his bravery, which lead to an interaction that grabbed some headlines of its own.

Longtime sports journalist and broadcaster Keith Olbermann quote tweeted the post, blasting Barstool Sports for their political views in the process.

“This kid died to stop a school shooter whose mother echoed the Trumpist Fascism of @stoolpresidente and @barstoolsports,” Olbermann wrote above the original post.

Olbermann has a long-standing feud with Portnoy. The SportsCenter legend and former anchor at MSNBC and FOX Sports has had a lot to say about the culture of Barstool Sports in the past.

Keith Olbermann then referred to an excerpt from a Daily Beast story that details the political history of the suspect’s mother, who penned an open letter of support to then-President-elect Trump, which she posted on her blog in November 2016.

Barstool founder Dave Portnoy then responded to the statement of Keith Olbermann on social media.

Olbermann then doubled down later on his social media, calling out Barstool for in his opinion exploiting this story.

It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, this is just not the time of the place to be making a political statement. There are four victims of a tragic murder and the true story is that these young men and women lost their lives far too soon in a senseless act of violence.

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Sports Online

FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Backs Rollbacks In Ownership Limits

 “Local broadcasting is vital to the lifeblood of every community.”



FCC nominee Gigi Sohn had some interesting things to say in regards to media ownership limits, and some things she has in mind would have a huge effect on media as we know it.

Sohn said that a rollback of media ownership limits has gone too far, and that a course reversal is necessary for the state of local media.

“There’s almost no media ownership rules left, and I do think we need to consider whether some of those need to be restored,” Gigi Sohn said during the nearly three-hour Senate hearing.

The current quadrennial media ownership review offers an opening to policymakers that she said the FCC should take advantage of. “I wonder if there might be new ways to encourage minority media ownership through that quadrennial.”

Sohn says that her criticism of media consolidation comes from a place of love and passion towards local radio and news outlets.

 “Local broadcasting is vital to the lifeblood of every community. They alone among the communications platforms are dedicated to serving local communities with local emergency alerts, local news and so I think it’s critically important.”

Gigi Sohn backed a proposal in the pending “Build Back Better” legislation that would provide tax credits to local media outlets that hire local journalists to their companies.

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