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Colin Cowherd: Fox Can Let It Rip, ESPN Has To Be Disney

“The two covered everything from how Cowherd deals with critics to the differences between his two most recent network stops.”

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Courtesy: FS1

Colin Cowherd is one of the rare top-tier media talents that has worked at both FOX and ESPN for extended periods. The Fox Sports Radio host opened up last week about his career and thoughts on the media landscape in an interview with Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the House of Strauss Substack.

The two covered everything from how Cowherd deals with critics to the differences between his two most recent network stops.

“I didn’t feel like I was in trouble a lot at ESPN,” Cowherd said about the power dynamics at the Disney-owned network. “ESPN is run by Disney and you could always feel the safety net of Disney hovering over ESPN. You could always feel Disney’s presence. Whether it was with budgets, topics, they avoided anything controversial. You were often encouraged to avoid a topic because they had their tentacles on everything.”

The different ownership structures are clear, and Cowherd appreciates the ability to take risks.

“They had so many leagues, so many commissioners,” Cowherd continued. “FOX is owned by a very entrepreneurial Australian family, the Murdochs. They have been in the crosshairs of criticism from day one on this soil. FOX News, Wall Street Journal, New York Post. They are entrepreneurial, they are naturally, innately, risk-takers.”

Cowherd sees a clear difference in how the two sides view social media—and the criticism it can spark.

“When I was at ESPN, that company was, there were times I thought it was run by social media,” Cowherd explained. “It was very reactionary to various media critics. I don’t even know if our bosses know half the media critics. Getting back to your question, I think there was just a different sensibility at ESPN. I was considered more of a loose cannon there, but at FOX, I’m just viewed as an employee.”

Cowherd is one of the industry’s leading opinionists, and he feels right at home in a place like FOX.

“At ESPN, SportsCenter was largely seen as a sports page, a bastion of journalism. The opinionists there were like ‘Ohhh, that’s a different part of the hospital, we don’t go down to that wing very often.’ Whereas at FOX, the entire brand now—we got out of the movie business—is opinion. ESPN.com is this journalistic enterprise. FOX is digital; FOX is opinion; FOX is sports; FOX is games; FOX is Super Bowls, World Series, the World Cup. I just think they are different companies, and I feel at FOX I can just let it rip. But at ESPN, I just always felt you could just feel the pressure of Disney on top of the company.”

Check out the full interview on House of Strauss here.

Sports Radio News

Field of 68 After Dark Debuts On SiriusXM Next Week

“Listeners will hear a lineup of rotating voices that includes well-known media members, former standout players, and established college basketball coaches.”

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SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio is getting a new show on Monday. The channel will carry Field of 68 After Dark. The one-hour show is currently broadcast nightly at 11pm on the Field of 68 Media Network’s social channels and YouTube page.

Listeners will hear a lineup of rotating voices that includes well-known media members, former standout players, and established college basketball coaches. Rob Dauster and Jeff Goodman will make regular appearances. A press release says Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb will be part of the show at times as well.

“There’s a major void right now in this space with regard to college basketball,” Dauster said. “This will give diehard college basketball fans somewhere to go each night from the start of the season through the national title game to not only be informed, but also entertained.”

Field of 68 is a podcast and digital media network focused on college basketball. The network partnered with BetRivers last year to expand into the college football space as well.

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Sports Radio News

BetQL Audio Network Adds 3 Weekend Shows

“As football season turns the corner for the home stretch, we’re pleased to introduce three dynamic Sunday shows to help bettors get ready for all the action across the sports world.”

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Audacy, Inc. continues to expand its sports betting programming portfolio with its announcement of three new Sunday shows on the BetQL Audio Network. The shows will debut this Sunday, January 16 in a move made in accordance with the end of the National Football League season, further cementing a commitment to provide football fans, and sports fans as a whole, coverage aligning with their interests.

The first show, BetQL 5 Star Weekend, will be co-hosted by CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amdendolara and 93.7 The Fan’s Chris Mack, with 105.7 The Fan host Jeremy Conn joining the program as a guest host until February 20. The duo will use the BetQL star rating system to determine the best bets to make every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. E.S.T.

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday’s Bets with The Team 980 host Travis Thomas, along with BetQL Audio Network hosts Quinton Mayo and Michael Jenkins will be on the air. They will continue to preview and subsequently recap the action from a betting perspective throughout the day.

To close out the Sunday coverage, BetNation with Shaun Morash of CBS Sports Radio and Kevan Kenney of Audacy will wrap up the day and “take the pulse of the nation from a sports betting perspective.” Their program will air from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Following the conclusion of this program, Back to the Futures will continue in its 8 to 9 p.m. timeslot, with BetQL writer Lucy Burdge joining co-host Brandon Sprague.

“As football season turns the corner for the home stretch, we’re pleased to introduce three dynamic Sunday shows to help bettors get ready for all the action across the sports world,” said Audacy Vice President of Sports Matt Volk in a statement. “These three programs will continue to put fans in position to win on Sundays, no matter the season.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Patrick: I Was Still Looking For ESPN’s Approval After I Left

“Along with working at ESPN, both men related working at the network with the relationships they had with their fathers.”

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Dan Le Batard appeared on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday for an interview.  Le Batard and Patrick discussed each of their own experiences with ESPN.  Along with working at ESPN, both men related working at the network with the relationships they had with their fathers. 

Patrick claimed that ESPN became a sort of “father figure” to him as his father passed away when he was only 25 years old.  He continued to talk about how he wanted to make the network where he worked proud in the same way he wanted to make his father proud of him. 

“I kept looking for approval from ESPN and even when I left ESPN, I’m looking for approval as if to say, ‘man we never should’ve let you go’ so it was kind of weird.”

Le Batard explained how his father’s emotional limits made it hard for him to know whether Papí was proud of him, so he would look for that approval from the companies he worked for.  He also discussed the literal “freedom” his father gave him by moving his family from Cuba to the United States.  Le Batard’s father is fairly recognizable because he is actually a part of the show.

“To be able to share that with him and be grateful for it, I didn’t think I would ever repay the debt.  But I’m happy that I was able to show him the love that would feel like I’m trying to repay the debt because yes, I wanted that to be something that was proudly ours.  Mine and his.  It was supposed to be my tv show but I tell everyone ‘and then that ass stole it from me’.” 

It was a unique conversation for sports radio and a rare look into the emotional side of this business. Both men had very unique experiences with ESPN. It was interesting to hear their reflections on how that affected them both during their employment and after they each left.

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