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Nate Burleson: I Didn’t Want CBS To Treat Me Like a Sports Guy

“I said look, I don’t want the glamour assignments. I want you to send me into the thick of it.”

Ricky Keeler

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Paul Filo/CBS

When celebrities go out to places where they are easily recognizable, they want to be treated as if they were just a regular person. Well, that was the case for Nate Burleson as well when he started at CBS This Morning in September. 

On the latest edition of the 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt podcast, Burleson talked about his first week and some of the heavy stories he had to cover such as the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, and the 20-year remembrance of 9/11. He appreciated that the crew at CBS This Morning put him on the impactful stories right out of the gate and didn’t treat him as someone just coming from a sports background.

“They didn’t have me start off by saying hey what’s up man, I’m Nate, and we are over here in Times Square. That wasn’t it. They were like we hired him for a reason, we know how intelligent he is, let’s give him the same assignments we give everyone else. If he is coming in talking about topics that aren’t impactful, then why is he here? That week one was a good start,” said Burleson. 

Nate Burleson mentioned that when he was in the pitch meetings with CBS, he wanted to be on the serious stories and eventually, he wants to get those opportunities to go to some “really gritty places” and “experience unique food and cultures.” 

“One of the things we talked about when we had our pitch meeting was all of the things I am interested in. I said look, I don’t want the glamour assignments. I want you to send me into the thick of it. So, hopefully, I get to experience that when I am on assignment doing pieces, features, and essays for CBS Mornings.”

When Burleson isn’t on CBS This Morning, he is previewing games on Sunday on The NFL Today. He says that he sees the DNA of another successful pregame show in their own.

“If you like NBA on TNT, you would most likely like our show. The reason I say that is because you see Chuck and Shaq go at it and they bicker all show long, that’s the same exact thing that Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason do. Not just on the show, but be a fly on the wall during the commercial break. There is this atmosphere of a true locker room even though we are all from different eras, we all sit there and rib each other like we played together.” 

With the way Nate Burleson can have fun talking about football or being serious when talking about the news, he is becoming one of the more versatile people in the industry and he is happy to be given the chance to not be seen as just the ex-NFL athlete. 

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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