With all the jobs Michael Strahan has, you can turn on the TV and usually see his face pop up on the screen just about any time of day, whether it is on FOX NFL Sunday breaking down the day’s action, hosting the game show $100,000 Pyramid or giving you the morning’s news every weekday on Good Morning America. However, the Hall-of-Famer didn’t always know he wanted to pursue a post-football career in media.
On the latest episode of Just Getting Started With Rich Eisen, Michael Strahan talked about his journey in the media. The former defensive lineman said that not only did he never seriously consider a career in media until his playing days were nearing an end, he didn’t really seek out a lot of relationships with reporters and hosts.
“I would restrict my media access when I was a player to be honest with you. I would just talk twice a week. That way I knew whenever I did say something, you were going to use it. It was important. I also knew by being in New York, I went on Best Damn Sports Show Period, I did a Super Bowl for ABC. I wasn’t really getting paid for these things, but it was fun.”
Strahan is aware that if he didn’t play his entire career with the New York Giants, he wouldn’t be as fortunate to have the opportunities he has such as LIVE! With Kelly and Michael back in 2012. It isn’t something he is apologizing for.
“As I played and I kept doing more of it, I started to understand more about the media. I understood more how it worked. As much as the media uses you after a game or during the week to get quotes, use your power to better yourself with them.”
Michael Strahan explained why he made the decision to go to FOX after his playing career was over. He was not without options.
“I worked for every network as a player, so I decided I wanted to go to FOX because FOX was probably the loosest. It was more fun and in a lot of ways, less football, more entertainment. That was important to me. I just wanted to feel like I’m somewhere where I can actually talk sports and have personality doing it.”
These days, Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan are co-workers at Good Morning America. It didn’t take working together though for Roberts to influence Strahan’s career. He told Rich Eisen that when he was still working for Live! With Kelly & Michael, it was a meeting on the red carpet with Roberts that made Strahan feel more at ease in his new role.
“At the Oscars, on the Red Carpet…I’m scared to death, Rich. This is Hollywood. These are big stars. I’m not supposed to be on that red carpet. I see Robin across the way, and I wave and I go over to see her. She looks at me and says how are you feeling, and I go Robin, I am scared. She goes hey, you got this, don’t worry, I came from sports too. You belong here. Completely changed my life with that one little thing. I saw Robin Roberts knowing she came where I came from and for her to say you belong here meant the world to me.”
Meadowlark Media Partnering With Skydance Sports On Documentaries
Up first will be a documentary series titled Good Neighbors, which chronicles the soccer rivalry between the United States and Mexican men’s national teams.
Since launching Meadowlark Media with Dan Le Batard, former ESPN president John Skipper has said that he wants the start-up sports media company to make a big push with video content, citing an opportunity in the sports documentary space.
On Thursday, Meadowlark announced a new partnership with Skydance Sports, a division of Skydance Media, to produce unscripted sports content. The production companies will collaborate on two upcoming projects.
Up first will be a documentary series titled Good Neighbors, which chronicles the soccer rivalry between the United States and Mexican men’s national teams. The series is currently in production and plans to debut before the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The second project from Meadowlark and Skydance will be a documentary on women’s basketball star Diana Taurisi, billed as “the definitive and authorized chronicle of [her] remarkable life and career.”
Last November, Meadowlark hired Deirdre Fenton as the company’s executive director of unscripted content. Fenton previously produced documentaries at ESPN and DAZN, with O.J.: Made in America and The Last Dance among her credits.
Skipper and Fenton will work alongside Skydance Sports executives Jon Weinbach and Jesse Sisgold in producing the upcoming documentary projects.
“Deirdre and I are excited for the tremendous opportunity to work with Jesse and Jon, who share our vision of using sports storytelling to explore and explicate larger cultural and societal issues,” Skipper said in the official announcement. “Our two first documentaries are a wonderful way to launch this partnership.”
It isn’t yet known with which streaming outlets or networks these projects will land. Meadowlark has a first-look deal with Apple TV+, but that is likely an exclusive agreement unrelated to the new partnership with Skydance Sports.
HBO Releases ‘Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep’ Trailer: “It’s Been An Amazing Life”
HBO has released a trailer and poster image for its Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep documentary, just over one week after the project was announced.
In collaboration with NFL Films, Going Deep is a combination of footage from a stage show that Bradshaw performed in Branson, Missouri (with singing, music, stories, and monologues), archival clips from the quarterback’s football career, and a new interview with the Fox NFL studio analyst.
Check out the trailer below:
Bradshaw taking the stage to tell personal stories and singing country-style music, with a band playing behind him, should help this HBO Sports special stand apart from a more conventional documentary with football-related interviews and clips. For example, Bradshaw’s A Football Life episode for NFL Network in 2019 or the 2003 installment of ESPN’s SportsCentury series.
Directed by longtime NFL Films documentarian Keith Cossrow, Going Deep appears to be Bradshaw telling his own life story and sharing personal anecedotes, rather than a filmmaker cutting together footage to tell his or her own version of the story. Though longtime NFL Films documentarian Keith Cossrow directed this film, not Bradshaw himself.
“As you can imagine, God knows I’ve had a lot of therapy,” Bradshaw jokes with the Branson audience, as shown in the trailer.
Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep premieres Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available for streaming on HBO Max.
Lindsey Vonn To Be NBC Primetime Correspondent For Winter Olympics
“My first memories of Olympics were from NBC broadcasts, so I am very excited to be working with a team that has been there for so many amazing Olympic moments.”
Lindsey Vonn will be the newest former Olympian to join NBC to cover the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.
Vonn is one of the most well-known names in winter sports and one of the most accomplished. She has won 82 World Cup races, four overall World Cup championships, is one of six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines, and she took part in four Olympics, winning three medals.
Vonn has worked for NBC before, once during the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a correspondent while she recovered from injury. This role, however, provides Vonn the opportunity as a “primetime correspondent” in Beijing. It seems that by title alone, this position carries a little more weight.
Executive Producer and President, Molly Solomon, had this to say about the addition of Vonn:
“As one of the greatest Olympic skiers of all time and a superstar who has transcended her sport, we’re thrilled to have Lindsey join our team,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production. “Lindsey will provide a perspective unique to an athlete known for excellence, intensity and determination on the world’s biggest and most competitive stage.”
Vonn seems grateful and enthusiastic about the opportunity.
“I am excited to share my perspective along with my insight on what athletes might be feeling during high pressure moments,” Vonn said. “My first memories of Olympics were from NBC broadcasts, so I am very excited to be working with a team that has been there for so many amazing Olympic moments.”
Since she retired, Vonn has made the move into sports media a priority. Other than her correspondent work, she is also a co-director and executive producer of the upcoming Peacock documentary Picabo, on revolutionary American downhill racer Picabo Street which will premiere Friday.
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