Plenty of sports radio shows and podcasts have been wrapping up the 2021-22 NFL season since Super Bowl LVI ended with the Los Angeles Rams winning.
There may be no better guest to look back at the past season and look ahead to both the offseason and next season than NBC’s Peter King. The Football Night in America columnist was a guest on Sports Talk Chicago/WCKG with host Jon Zaghloul this week.
Naturally, since the show is based in Chicago, the two discussed the Bears hiring new coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. But the Rams’ Super Bowl win and the Hall of Fame chances for Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford were also part of the conversation.
But from a sports media standpoint, Zaghloul also asked King about his long career covering the NFL and how his sportswriting career began. It may surprise some to know that King didn’t intend to cover sports when he studied journalism and preferred to cover baseball as a sportswriter.
How King eventually took the football beat, rather than baseball, made for an amusing and enlightening story. As he explained to Zaghloul, football — in this case, covering the Bengals for the Cincinnati Enquirer — came down to what he could see was a better work/life balance situation.
“When I started at the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1980, I was the back-up beat writer on the Cincinnati Reds,” King explained. “And at the time, they had four daily writers — the Dayton Daily News, the Dayton Journal-Herald, the Cincinnati Post, and the Cincinnati Enquirer.”
“So I became friends with all those guys, and every one of them was divorced,” he continued. “I was married, we were planning a family, we were thinking about it, and I just said, OK, it’s one thing to be the back-up guy on a team and you go for one 10-day road trip a year. It’s another to be gone for half of seven months every year. So I just decided that even though my sporting preference was baseball, I decided to go into a more sane lifestyle job and they had an opening to cover the Bengals in 1984.”
No one would dispute that King made the correct decision, considering where his career has gone covering the NFL. Yet it’s sobering to hear that quality of life and the ability to build a family factored in so early on for him. Work/life balance is something so many struggle with to this day, regardless of profession. Several baseball writers may hear King’s remarks and nod knowingly, even if they love covering the sport.
The entire conversation between King and Zaghloul is worth listening to. King has so much to say on both the NFL, covering the sport (including some insight into the Hall of Fame voting process), and the journalism profession overall.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.