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Mike Golic Jr. on Broadcasting Start: ‘I’m Just Looking to Get My Foot in the Door’

“You want trial-by-fire where you learn if you want to do this or not? Go interview a bunch of fifth graders who have no idea.”

Ricky Keeler

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While Mike Golic Jr. was trying to pursue a career in the NFL, he was also preparing for what life would be like after football as a film and television major at Notre Dame. It ended up leading to a good 6.5 years at ESPN.

Golic Jr. was a guest on the Inside The Garage podcast on The Volume and talked about the experience he received at Notre Dame and an interesting internship that he took part in.

My last year, I did an internship with Notre Dame camps where I was doing content for all of their YouTube pages for the different camps around campus basically for the parents that were sending their kids there,” Golic explained. “You want trial-by-fire where you learn if you want to do this or not? Go interview a bunch of fifth graders who have no idea.”

As Golic Jr.’s professional career continued, he took any opportunities whenever he could, including some spots at ESPN Radio in New York while playing minor league football.

“Along the way, I had kind of been doing stuff as I went because of my dad and how long the morning show had been going, it meant I already knew people that were in some other places,” said Golic. “I’m in Staten Island playing minor league football and I’m going into ESPN Radio’s affiliate on the weekends there because my dad’s old producer is the programming director now and he’s like, let’s get you some reps on-air here. Come and do two hours with one of our hosts out there.” 

After his football career was over, Golic Jr. went to ESPN looking for any opportunity to get his foot in the door. That opportunity ended up being something unfamiliar to him, a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET fantasy football show on Sundays.

“I went to my dad, went to the people I knew at ESPN and was like, do you guys have anything that I can do here? I don’t care what it is. I’m just looking to get my foot in the door,” said Golic.

“For me, it ended up being a Sunday morning fantasy football radio show, The Fantasy Focus. They asked me if I was into fantasy football. I lied and told them yes. I had not played fantasy football a day in my life. I’ll get every magazine, I’ll learn as I go along, and I’ll figure it out on the fly. I got lucky because my connection happened to be a blood relative, but it was taking that first opportunity and making sure I did well enough with it to try and beget other opportunities. Stuff just started to snowball from there.” 

While at Notre Dame, Golic Jr. had the opportunity to talk to other Notre Dame people in sports media and he tries now to provide the same opportunities to students, even if they are not football players.

“One of the best things I can say about Coach Kelly and his tenure is Notre Dame football has come leaps and bounds in putting current players in front of alumni to do some of those things. We didn’t do as much of that when I was in college,” Golic said.

“I knew Notre Dame guys who were in sports media, but I was fortunate. I think now it’s in a place where I know for me even if it’s not football players, I’ve had Notre Dame students reach out to me that I’ve been able to put in touch with certain people to try and help them out to be someone who will watch a reel and give them feedback.”

Golic mentioned that he has his next gig lined up, but isn’t ready to announce it yet.

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Russell Dorsey Joins Yahoo Sports

The addition of Dorsey is the latest transaction made by Yahoo Sports to bolster its MLB coverage ahead of first pitch for the 2024 season.

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Russell Dorsey
Courtesy: La Vida Baseball

Russell Dorsey announced that he will be joining Yahoo Sports as its national insider for Major League Baseball. Dorsey shared the news on social media while attaching a video and thanked various executives with the company. Later on Tuesday, Dorsey published his first story for the company outlining what he believes are the five best moves from the Major League Baseball offseason excluding Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar who inked a record-breaking 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The addition of Dorsey is the latest transaction made by Yahoo Sports to bolster its MLB coverage ahead of first pitch for the 2024 season. Yahoo Sports added the “Céspedes Family BBQ” duo of Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman onto its editorial team, which renders them responsible for producing audio, visual and written content pertaining to the sport. Within his social media post, Dorsey shared his excitement to work alongside Mintz and Shusterman in his new role.

“As a baseball fan, I can’t wait to see the ways in which Russ, Jake and Jordan will shape and elevate our coverage of America’s Pastime,” Sam Farber, head of content at Yahoo Sports, said in a LinkedIn post.

Dorsey recently served in a role by the same title for Bally Sports and also served as a co-host of The Rally alongside Brooke Fletcher. He was laid off by the regional sports network cluster after just over two years with the outlet, a role he balanced with his responsibilities for Apple TV+ on its Friday Night Baseball property.

Dorsey previously worked as a contributing writer for Forbes, responsible for covering the NBA and MLB by writing features, columns and analysis. Additionally, he worked as a contributing writer for Baseball Prospectus where he primarily focused on the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and facets of Major League Baseball. Dorsey has also had work published by the Chicago Tribune and The Daily Herald throughout his career in sports media.

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Sports Podcasting Company Blue Wire Raises Additional Funding

Blue Wire’s library of content features personalities such as Lolo Jones, Chris Long and Gilbert Arenas among others.

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Blue Wire

Blue Wire founder Kevin Jones has told Axios the sports podcasting company has raised new funding from Decathlon Capital. Jones did not offer more details on the total amount raised or the valuation it was based on.

Blue Wire had raised over $200,000 in a community fundraising round last year. Blue Wire was founded in 2018 and has raised $12 million since 2020. The company has primarily received its funding from former athletes, including former NBA guard Baron Davis, along with venture capitalists and Wynn Resorts. 

Jones said the investment from Decathlon would primarily be used for building proprietary technology to help podcasters run their businesses, hiring more salespeople and recruiting additional content creators.

Blue Wire’s library of content features personalities such as Lolo Jones, Chris Long and Gilbert Arenas among others.

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Richard Deitsch Forewarns Media Companies of ‘Athlete Generated Content’

“Athletes now have become their own media distributors, and now that content is competing against everybody else…It makes the space more challenging.”

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Richard Deitsch of The Athletic
Courtesy: Pat Mayo Experience

One sports media reporter has a message for established media entities — get ready for the age of “athlete-generated content.” During an appearance on The Pat Mayo Experience, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic discussed a variety of topics, including athlete-led production companies and how athletes can eschew traditional media companies and tell their own stories using their own production outfits. Deitsch cites players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Jason and Travis Kelce as athletes with their own platforms to distribute their messaging.

“Athletes now have become their own media distributors,” Deitsch said. “Whether it’s production companies owned by LeBron, the Kelce brothers have their own massive podcast entity now, Kevin Durant’s got his own production company, Steph Curry does…and that’s one thing that’s very, very new, is athlete-generated content, and now that content is competing against everybody else. It makes the space more challenging because there’s only so many advertising dollars to go around.”

LeBron James and Maverick Carter started SpringHill Company in 2020 and have since produced multiple fiction and non-fiction films, including What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Hustle, and Black Ice, among others. It also serves as the production company behind The Shop, LeBron and Carter’s pseudo-podcast where they interview guests and discuss current events in a barbershop environment.

Meanwhile, Durant co-owns Boardroom along with his business partner Rich Kleiman, a sports media and entertainment brand that features “premium video/audio, editorial, daily and weekly newsletters, showcasing how athletes, executives, musicians, and creators are moving the business world forward.” It is home to the Netflix property Two Distant Strangers, SWAGGER on Apple TV+, and the Emmy-nominated Showtime documentary NYC Point Gods.

Jason and Travis Kelce broke into the podcasting game during the 2022-23 season with their show New Heights, the name an homage to the pair’s hometown Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Last season, the show quickly rose to the top of the charts thanks to the pair’s obvious chemistry and the success of both teams. However, this season saw the podcast reach new heights (pun sort of intended) thanks to a budding romance between Travis and pop star Taylor Swift.

Travis used New Heights as a way to discuss the ongoing season while giving his growing audience a peek behind the curtain regarding his relationship. When asked about the show, Travis said, “The only way I’d do the show was with my brother,” while Jason has echoed similar sentiments in the past, crediting the show for improving the brothers’ relationship.

Possibly the largest athlete-owned production company that Deitsch failed to mention is Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, the company behind Peyton’s Place, Eli’s Places, and of course, the wildly popular “ManningCast” alternate Monday Night Football broadcast. Omaha has been adding new content for years thanks to the partnership with ESPN.

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