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Jamie Erdahl: Melissa Stark Gave Me Courage To Leave Sideline Role

“…the biggest difference is that my job at CBS was to support the broadcast as the game unfolded and this job with Good Morning Football is talent. We get to talk, we get to have our opinions.

Ricky Keeler

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Starting on July 25, Jamie Erdahl will be the new host of Good Morning Football on NFL Network as she takes over for Kay Adams. It is a new challenge for Erdahl as she goes from sideline reporting to being able to voice her own opinions on a daily basis.

Erdahl was a guest on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast and she said she wanted to go for this job because she wanted this challenge of trying something different in her career:

“I like a challenge. It’s different from what I’ve done for eight years at CBS. It was eight amazing years. I did some really cool stuff, but the biggest difference is that my job at CBS was to support the broadcast as the game unfolded and this job with Good Morning Football is talent. We get to talk, we get to have our opinions. We jump off the news, we jump off everything that’s happening in the NFL. I think eight years ago, I would have thought I could have done this job, but I bet I wouldn’t be as good at it as I will be today hopefully. It just felt like time to broaden beyond sideline reporting.”

When Melissa Stark was named as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football on NBC, it showed Erdahl she can take this chance because she could always go back to being a sideline reporter down the road:

“I circle back to what I would have thought about this job five years ago. I think if you had told me you got to leave your sideline job to go do something like this, I would have been like you never leave the sidelines, you’ll never get back. I see Melissa do this and that felt like a huge turning point for me to see somebody go away from the sidelines and come back in such a prominent role. It really showed me that you can do new things and grow and you can go back If you wanted to….I’m really excited about how broad my voice can be now.”

One of the more interesting things that Erdahl revealed on the podcast was that she did not sit on set with Peter Schrager or Kyle Brandt until she got the job:

“We did not sit at a set together until after I had the job. I don’t know what that means in terms of their process or decision-making. I certainly spoke with a lot of executives, but the first time I met Peter and Kyle was a week or 2 after I got the job. We did one secret show that we kind of joke about now.”

As Erdahl heads into her new role, she is ready to voice her opinions about the NFL and it’s something she has done some self-work on as she transitions from the sidelines:

That was an interesting conversation I had with Michael Davies along the way. He really made sure I understood how talent-based this show is. I’ve done some self-work to make sure I’m prepared for that. I’m just really excited and happy and ready for something different….I’m very happy to talk about the NFL for three hours a day.”

“I’m still the person who bickers with their husband or his buddies about fantasy football. It’s still part of me. You can’t fake it for three hours on TV. You better be true to yourself or else it’s going to be hard to keep that facade. I’m excited and happy that it’s already a part of me. I can be opinionated. Whether or not I can support that and not make a fool of myself remains to be seen. But, it’s there. I’ve always been able to do it. I just haven’t needed to.”

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Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

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The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

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Stephen A. Smith Says He Wants Mike Francesa on First Take

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Mike Francesa

Stephen A. Smith seems to be looking to debate every major media personality with big opinions and he has set his eyes on Mike Francesa.

Smith was on First Take on Wednesday with weekly guest Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and chastising Russo for being upset with Aaron Rodgers calling out his wide receivers. That’s when Smith brought up the former WFAN tandem of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“The thing that disappoints me about you,” Smith said to Russo, “you’re upset with honesty. You are not only hosting your own radio show, you have your own channel.”

Smith continued, “You are one of the pioneers if not THE pioneer with Mike Francesa, who, by the way, I got to get him on this show one day too, with you. You understand what I’m saying? I mean it would be my honor to have Mike Francesa too.”

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

Smith returned once more with “I ain’t scared. I’m never gonna beat him, but I’ll try, damn it.”

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Had To Wait Until My Mother Passed to Write My Book’

“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book.”

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An autobiography from Stephen A. Smith is due in stores early next year. Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes is an all-encompassing look at the First Take star’s life from his childhood to today.

Smith appreciates privacy and has been hesitant to talk about his personal life in the past. Occasionally he has made exceptions for shows hosted by friends and people in the business that he respects.

On Wednesday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that was largely due to a promise he made to his mother.

“She told me never to write a book until she passed away, because she knows I’m gonna say what I need to say,” he told Molly Qerim and Chris Russo. “I’m gonna speak my mind and I’m gonna speak my truth. There are things in there that she would not have wanted me to reveal while she was alive.”

He added that writing it made him more uncomfortable than he anticipated.

“There’s a lot in there that I didn’t want to tell, but if you gonna write a book, you gotta tell it.”

Russo joked that clearly Smith is excited. He had texted the New York radio legend the cover and some information about the book earlier in the summer.

Qerim has received some of that material too. She told Smith that what she has seen and read is very impressive.

“This is huge, and I’m proud of you. It’s hard to tell. I know you’ve kept your personal life close to the vest. For you to open up, I think people are going to respect you even more when they learn more about you.”

Stephen A. Smith noted that in addition to his childhood and his professional triumphs, the book will also revisit the controversies that surrounded him at points in his career. He noted the goal of the book was not necessarily to make him look good, but to help people better understand the man they see on TV each morning.

“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book,” Smith said.

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