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Barney Francis Takes Over As VP/Head Of Global Production For IMG

“Francis helped turn Sky Sports into one of the leading international sports television providers, and now he is taking those talents to IMG.”

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Courtesy: Stella Pictures

Deadline reports that IMG called on a new voice to lead their production business. Former Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis is IMG’s new vice president, head of global production, after spending two decades at Sky Sports.

Francis helped turn Sky Sports into one of the leading international sports television providers, and now he is taking those talents to IMG. Adam Kelly, IMG Co-President of Media & Events, said that Francis is a “transformative hire” with “undeniable pedigree, drive and resolve.”

“As a key member of my leadership team, he will play a catalytic role in our strategic growth and development plans as we evolve our model to better empower rights holders to develop and deliver innovative, multiplatform content that engages fans directly,” Kelly added.

Francis was a driving force for Sky Sports’ growth from 5 to 11 channels. All while helping broker deals with properties like the NBA, Formula 1, The Open Championship, the Masters, and expanded coverage of the Premier League.

“As consumption habits continue to change,” Francis said. “The offering we’ll debut will help teams, leagues, and federations reach new and existing fans in creative and compelling ways. IMG is the industry standard for sports production, and I’m really excited to join such an exceptional team.”

Francis is working tightly with IMG’s production business chairman, Graham Fry. The latter is retiring at the end of next year. The Sky Sports veteran was the network’s executive producer on cricket and soccer. Francis had his fingerprints on a litany of innovations while at Sky Sports.

The company added new developments in 3D, Ultra HD, virtual reality, and celebrated the continued growth of Sky Sports’ digital, social and online presence. Francis will have time to enjoy some of the fall leaves before starting his new role at IMG in early November.

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Sports Online

Media Reacts To Nets Not Letting Kyrie Irving Play Or Practice

“General manager Sean Marks released a statement Tuesday morning confirming that Irving will not be earning a part-time paycheck in 2021.”

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Courtesy: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons reported to training camp this week, leaving one remaining NBA All-Star yet to join their squad for the 2021-22 NBA season. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been adamant against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Nets are adamant about keeping him away from the team until he does so.

General manager Sean Marks released a statement Tuesday morning confirming that Irving will not be earning a part-time paycheck in 2021. Citing chemistry concerns on their path to an NBA Title, Marks noted it would be too difficult to only accommodate Irving on road trips.

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation,” Marks said. “We have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant.

“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”

This absence is an unprecedented situation in NBA history. A consensus title favorite is without one of its best players because of a personal choice. The Nets sport arguably the best NBA duo for 2021-22 in Kevin Durant and James Harden, but are no longer the lock to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy many thought them to be.

All of the news caused quite a stir in the sports media community, from jokes to serious commentary on the whole situation.

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Sports Online

Bomani Jones: Jeff Bezos Wanting NFL Team Could Determine How Washington Post Covers Gruden Story

“Towards the end of the conversation, Le Batard and Jones discussed who might try to get deeper into this story that saw a few emails surface from a database of 650,000.”

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Courtesy: The Dan Le Batard show with Stugotz

The sports media world reacted to former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s resignation left and right on Tuesday. ESPN’s Bomani Jones made an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz to discuss the fallout from the scandal and also gave some details into his new venture with HBO.

Gruden resigned on Monday night after The New York Times published a story containing racist, misogynistic, and homophobic emails sent by the football coach over seven years. Jones and the crew went in-depth on the entire story. 

Towards the end of the conversation, Le Batard and Jones discussed who might try to investigate deeper into this scandal that saw a few emails surface from a database of 650,000.

“Investigative journalism is a place where the budgets have been slashed,” Bomani Jones said on the show. “So the question then becomes — because it really needs to come from the outside — ‘well, is there a journalistic entity that was going to get to the bottom of this?’ And if there is one that will do it. 

“One that is enthused to do it, and one that I believe would invest resources that they may not otherwise have invested, it would be the newspaper owned by a billionaire who we hear, maybe just maybe, would like to buy an NFL team.”

The billionaire Jones is referring to is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

“If I were running The Washington Post,” Jones declared. “We are on it, on it, on it, and I would be shook if I had any association with that franchise after that.”

Jones wasn’t at liberty to discuss exact details surrounding Game Theory with Bomani Jones, his new HBO show, but he did give some broad themes that the show wants to hit on.

“I actually have no idea what we are allowed to talk about,” Jone responded honestly. “we haven’t had that meeting yet. I will tell you though that if you think in the vein of like Daily Show, John Oliver-type of stuff but in the direction of sports.”

The show debuts on HBO next year. Watch the full appearance above.

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Sports Online

ESPN Launching Podcast Version Of Bald Men On Campus

“This podcast gives us the opportunity to talk about all the biggest issues in college basketball.“

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ESPN Podcasts is set to launch a new podcast starting this week. Bald Men on Campus featuring Jay Bilas, Seth Greenburg, and LaPhonso Ellis will premiere Thursday, October 14th. The trio already have a show by the same name on the ACC Network. Now they will be bringing their already established chemistry to the podcasting world.

“Nothing has made me want to grow hair more than being a part of Bald Men on Campus,” Bilas joked in a press release. “This podcast gives us the opportunity to talk about all the biggest issues in college basketball with the best coaches and players as guests and the best broadcasters in the business as hosts…and the most humble.

A preview of the new podcast can be found under the podcast section of the ESPN website. Their show on the ACC Network will also be returning in January of 2022, with more details available in the coming months.

Bald Men on Campus podcast will be a conversation with three basketball lifers that look at the game through their own unique prism. We will bring on coaches and other unique voices of the game.” said Seth Greenburg on the new podcast.

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