Darren Rovell hit send on a tweet this morning, and an avalanche of criticism started pouring in from the journalism community.
The Action Network reporter responded to a story about Adam Schefter. A decade ago, the ESPN reporter offered former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen a chance to read a story before he published it. The Los Angeles Times reports that in the email, Schefter referred to Allen as “Mr. Editor” and asked if there was anything he needed “to be added, changed or tweaked” in the story.
Rovell tweeted his thoughts about the LA Times findings:
Rovell deleted the tweet after a wave of criticism crashed in his direction. He later clarified his comments in multiple tweets.
“Gonna clarify here because the mob is gonna mob,” Rovell tweeted at 8:45 a.m. ET this morning. “No, I don’t think we as journalists have all sent full, unedited stories to sources and called them editor. I think, at least most of us, myself included, have shown pieces of stories to sources.”
He followed up with this post a few hours later.
The entire fiasco opened some old wounds between Rovell and former ESPN host Keith Olbermann, who do not seem to be fans of one another.
“That’s because you’re not a real journalist,” Olbermann said in response to Rovell’s 8:45 a.m. ET tweet. “Never have been, and that blank, dazed, stupid, check-engine-light look in your eyes is the full and total expression of your soul.”
Rovell sniped right back with a deep cut about Olbermann “whining” about a story he wrote on Alex Gordon baseball card production errors.
“There’s a lot to unpack here,” Rovell tweeted back. “But I’ll use this space to tell the story of how you called executives at ESPN, whining to try to get me to stop doing a story on how you were buying up all the Alex Gordon errors. Guess what happened? I wrote the story anyway.”
Rovell may not have loved the criticism, but he noted his trending status throughout the morning.
Adam Schefter Let Bruce Allen Approve Unpublished Story
“The Los Angeles Times reports that in the email, Schefter referred to Allen as “Mr. Editor” and asked if there was anything he needed “to be added, changed or tweaked” in the story.”
ESPN cannot be happy with the findings of the FBI’s investigation into the Washington Football Team. Less than a week after emails sent by Jon Gruden while he was the analyst on Monday Night Football showed the use of racist and abusive language, Adam Schefter is under a microscope.
The NFL insider sent former Washington Team President Bruce Allen an email seeking approval of a story that had yet to be published. The Los Angeles Times reports that in the email, Schefter referred to Allen as “Mr. Editor” and asked if there was anything he needed “to be added, changed or tweaked” in the story.
The exchange certainly does not look good for ESPN or Adam Schefter. However, some context may be necessary here. The role of an NFL Insider requires cultivating relationships with people that are or will become sources. The contents of the email may be unseemly, but not out of the ordinary.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote that becoming friendly with a source is very common, but he still thought the email from Schefter was cause for concern.
“It’s a fascinating glimpse into the sausage-making process as it relates to NFL news. And it’s definitely not normal for reporters to send entire stories to a source for a review, a fact-check, a proofread, or whatever.”
ESPN issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times that reads: “Without sharing all the specifics of the reporter’s process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL lockout, we believe that nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than providing fans the most accurate, fair and complete story.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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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