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Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront All About Viewership, Wrestling and New Tech

“Shared experiences and human connection fueled by can’t miss moments driving the cultural conversation. That’s what makes us different.”

Derek Futterman



Warner Bros. Discovery displayed its strong portfolio of brands at its annual Upfront event on Wednesday from The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Due to the continuing Writers Guild of America strike, however, the company chose to have none of its talent make in-person appearances at the event. Outside of the venue, members of the organization picketed in a show of expostulation as a result of the inability to reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

While some of its programming has undoubtedly been affected, the company is confident that it can continue to penetrate forward and bring audiences plenty of compelling and engaging content. Throughout the 90-minute presentation, the Max streaming service was at the forefront and a significant talking point for all of the company’s executives. It is the culmination of the merger between Warner Bros., Inc. and Discovery, Inc. last April, and a moment the company has been preparing for over the last year.

“Shared experiences and human connection fueled by can’t miss moments driving the cultural conversation. That’s what makes us different,”  Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer at Warner Bros. Discovery, said. “We’re determined to capitalize on these differences, shake things up and take some big swings. That’s what it means to dream bold here.”

Warner Bros. Discovery Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav was present at the event, but did not address the crowd and was instead merely acknowledged at its start. He and other attendees watched as Steinlauf shared how Max will augment the linear portfolio of the company, which boasts six of the top 10 cable networks including TNT, TBS, TLC, Discovery, Food Network, and HGTV. 

On Sunday, May 9, the company earned a 59 audience share fueled by NBA and NHL playoff broadcasts. It has determined through research that its aggregate properties reach 90% of U.S. households monthly. Moreover, the company reaches 85% of adults age 25-54, and has 41 of the top 100 shows that drive online searches following an advertisement. The new WBD Stream digital video product suite will give advertisers the ability to integrate direct and programmatic marketplace campaigns throughout the company’s portfolio.

“WBD Stream represents a critical step forward in our journey to provide our advertising partners with simple, high-quality digital products that reach engaged and passionate audiences, wherever they choose to watch our content,” said Jim Kelly, Executive Vice President of Digital Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising for Warner Bros. Discovery in a statement. “This offering pairs well for partners advertising across our premium streaming services Max and discovery+ and extends advertisers’ incremental reach to connect with fervent fans who watch their favorite shows, series and sports, again and again.”

As it pertains to sports media, this type of innovation is significant because of the wide array of programming Warner Bros. Discovery plans to bring to consumers over the next calendar year. TNT is the exclusive home of the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference Finals and broadcast the first game of the series Wednesday night with an announcing team of Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Stan Van Gundy and Allie LaForce. The Emmy Award-winning studio program Inside the NBA will be on-site to cover the series, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.

“Our secret sauce is our approach to production,” said Luis Silberwasser at his first Upfront as chairman and chief executive officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “We harness chemistry both in front of and behind the camera, and our shows are unique because we have the time and the resources to focus on quality over quantity.”

During the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, O’Neal’s “Shaq Cam” videos presented on Bleacher Report went viral and generated substantial engagement. As a result, O’Neal is expanding his partnership with the brand to create more “Shaq Cam” experiences next year. Combined with an unparalleled selection of audio and video distinctly tailored to digital platforms, including interview-based series with athletes Von Miller and Mookie Betts, NFL draft shows and immersive chat rooms, it seeks to shape the future of both content and consumer interaction in sports media.

This year, viewership for the NBA Playoffs on TNT is at its highest mark in nine years, including the most-viewed NBA Conference Semifinals since 2012. In fact, its telecast of Game 5 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors averaged 7.5 million viewers, making it the No. 1 television program of the day.

In addition to basketball, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports will broadcast the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in network history, concluding the second year of its seven-year media rights agreement with the NHL. Before that starts though, TNT will present the Eastern Conference Finals between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes with Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk, Keith Jones and Jackie Redmond on the call. Studio coverage will be hosted by Liam McHugh, who will be joined by analysts Paul Bissonnette, Anson Carter, Wayne Gretzky and Henrik Lundqvist. Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will serve as a guest analyst for Game 2 of the series. There will also be plenty of highlights disseminated across Bleacher Report’s Open Ice digital platform, reaching an expansive younger demographic.

“We maximize our sports rights across all the platforms to establish an emotional connection with fans, and we do it better than anyone else,” Silberwasser expressed, “through powerful storytelling, the most authentic talent and by embracing the intersection of sports and culture.”

Before turning the presentation over to a pre-recorded video from the cast of Inside the NBA, Silberwasser made mention of the network’s presentation of March Madness. Next year, TBS will be the home of the NCAA Men’s Final Four and National Championship Game, fostering more unforgettable and captivating play sports fans will not want to miss. Both Smith and Barkley said that they enjoy March Madness the most out of all events the network presents each year, evidenced by Barkley’s reaction when Villanova won the tournament in 2016.

“It’s special,” O’Neal said regarding how it feels to win a championship. “[It’s] special for your family, for your teammates [and] for the city. To finally get to the top of the apex is a great feeling.”

“It’s a culmination of your work, not from that moment, but from many moments,” Smith added. “It’s almost a reflective kind of feeling.”

Prior to the start of college basketball season though, TBS will present Major League Baseball postseason games, including the National League Division Series and National League Championship Series. Throughout the regular season, TBS presents 26 Tuesday night MLB games, including postseason rematches and battles between rivals. Its lead broadcast team features Brian Anderson, Ron Darling and Lauren Shehadi, with in-studio contributions from Jimmy Rollins, Pedro Martínez and Curtis Granderson among others.

Just a few weeks before the MLB All-Star Game, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports will present its eighth iteration of Capital One’s The Match from Wynn Las Vegas, featuring Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs vs. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. 

There will be more information regarding the presentation of the event disclosed at a later date, but previous editions have made use of drone cameras, open microphones and comprehensive digital coverage. The Match is played and presented for a good cause, raising over $35 million for philanthropic organizations and donating over 27 million meals to Feeding America.

The Inside the NBA cast accentuated the importance of advertisers and their partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports to ensure the brand can continue cultivating new content and engaging sports fans, blending tradition with innovation. Each part of the presentation promulgated the new and enhanced Max streaming service, set to launch next Tuesday, May 23.

“I asked Shaq one day and I said, ‘Hey man. You’ve got a lot of endorsements. How do you do it?,’” Smith said. “He said, ‘No Kenny, I have a lot of partnerships.’ He said, ‘When you look at it as a partnership, you’re going to give them ideas. You’re going to get feedback and then you’re going to create something great.’ I learned a piece of business from him, and I think as what we are, we are great partners.”

“No disrespect to Kenny – me and Shaq are in a position [where] we can pick and choose what we want to do,” added Barkley, offering a moment of levity to the packed crowd. “I’ve turned down some things. Both Shaq and myself are so lucky that we get a lot of endorsements, but it’s always going to be stuff I truly believe in.”

In addition to his role on Inside the NBA, Barkley will be teaming up with CBS News journalist Gayle King for a new weekly prime time show titled King Charles. In a prerecorded video, Barkley’s colleagues offered alternative names for the program, along with advice for King on how to best work with him. It will feature a new on-screen look with a revamped graphics package across CNN, one that network CEO Chris Licht referred to as a “long overdue makeover.”

“We’re all excited for the debut of King Charles later this year, and you can always expect the unexpected with those two,” Silberwasser said. “It is such a great example of harnessing the strength of the WBD portfolio to create compelling new content.”

What was arguably a presentation devoid of new programming and sports news had a big finish when All Elite Wrestling unveiled its third television show titled AEW: Collision. The two-hour, live program will air on Saturdays from 8 to 10 p.m. EST and premiere on Saturday, June 17, making it the first time a Turner network will feature Saturday night wrestling in over two decades. 

“We’re doubling-down on wrestling with AEW: Collision, which gives fans two more hours every week,” said Jason Sarlanis, President, Turner Networks, ID and HLN, linear and streaming in a statement.  “AEW’s roster of talent has expanded so quickly that we felt it needed another night to bring our audience the epic rivalries, unforgettable matches and stars they love to watch.  Adding Collision to our programming mix on TNT will allow us to satisfy the massive demand we’ve felt from our hardcore fanbase and be the ultimate complement to AEW: Dynamite on TBS.”

Through its professional sports rights, digital brands and additional entertainment, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports aspires to continue pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to consume live sports. Just how it will be implemented in the Max streaming service remains to be seen, but it will ostensibly continue to operate with consumer affinity at the forefront centered around exhibiting some of the best athletes and talent sports media has to offer.

“How do we measure success?,” Silberwasser rhetorically asked. “By our ability to create value for our partners and, importantly, serve the sports fan. It’s as simple as that.”

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Tricia Whitaker Will Find The Story That Matters

“My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

Derek Futterman



Tricia Whitaker FNB
Courtesy: Apple

When St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run in his final season in the majors last September, the baseball world erupted in mass jubilation. Although the milestone achievement occurred during a road game, the fans still showered one of the sport’s quintessential athletes with praise as they witnessed the fourth player enter this exclusive pinnacle of power hitters. For fans watching from afar, they were treated with crisp, vivid footage of the moment since the matchup was exclusive to Apple TV+ as a part of its Friday Night Baseball slate of games.

The game broadcast featured field reporter Tricia Whitaker, who had just joined the Apple TV+ presentations to begin the second half of the season. Being there as one of the voices tasked with keeping viewers informed and captivated by the action was a special experience that she will never forget. 

“You’re talking about the best cameras in the entire world capturing one of the most iconic players ever,” Whitaker said. “I thought the call was amazing; I thought the quality of the shots was amazing [and] I’l never forget that broadcast, ever, because it was so cool.”

Whitaker grew up in Bloomington, Ind. and would journey to Wrigley Field with her father once per summer to watch the Chicago Cubs. Through those games, she realized that a ballpark was her ideal future workplace.

“We just didn’t have a ton of money, [so] I would sit in the nosebleeds with him once a summer and that was the biggest treat in the world,” Whitaker said. “I just realized that I loved telling stories and I loved sports, so I decided to do that.”

Whitaker’s journey in the industry genuinely began as an undergraduate student at Indiana University Bloomington where she adopted a mindset to seize any opportunities offered to her. Despite having no knowledge or previous reporting experience, she accepted a role to cover a tennis match and quickly started preparing. After one of her professors saw her nascent media acumen, they recommended she audition for the university’s student television station to hone her skills. Whitaker earned a spot and began covering Indiana Hoosiers basketball and football for the show Hoosier Sports Night. From there, she simply kept on accepting anything in her purview.

“Your best asset is your availability, so I basically just said ‘Yes’ to everything,” Whitaker articulated.

Once it became time to search for a full-time position, her experience and tenacity helped her land a role at WBAY-TV in Green Bay as a sports reporter and anchor. After two football seasons working there, Whitaker relocated closer to home to report for WTTV-TV Channel 4 in Indianapolis. The time was valuable for her to cultivate new relationships with those around the industry while strengthening existing ones, serving as a foundational aspect of her reporting. 

“If they don’t trust you to tell their stories, they’re not going to talk to you,” Whitaker said. “You have to be able to have a good relationship with the players; with the coaches and everybody involved.”

At the same time, Whitaker felt compelled to make a lasting contribution to Indiana University through teaching and inspiring the next generation of journalists. She is now an adjunct professor for the IU Media School and wants her students to know how integral it is to make themselves available while being open and willing to try new things to make inroads into the profession. 

“There’s always a story to be told, so even if it’s a random event that you don’t think anyone’s paying attention to, there’s people there; there’s human stories and their stories matter,” Whitaker said. “That’s what I always try to tell my students is [to] just find that story that makes people interested in it and find that story that matters.”

Over the years working in these dual roles, Whitaker became more skilled in her position and proceeded to audition to join the Tampa Bay Rays’ broadcast crew on Bally Sports Sun as a field reporter. When she received news that she had landed the coveted job, she remembers starting to cry in her closet while trying to organize her clothes. After all, Whitaker had just learned that she would get to perform the role she idolized when she was young. The access her role gives her to the players and coaches on the field is not taken for granted.

“I’ll interview hitting coaches about a guy’s hands and where they’ve moved and about his stance,” Whitaker said. “….In the next hit, I’ll tell a story about a guy who drinks a smoothie every day before the game and he feels [that] putting spinach in it has really made a difference or something like that. My reporting style is pretty much all of it, but I do like to do the human interest stories more than I like to do anything else because I think that’s unique.”

After each Rays win, Whitaker takes the field and interviews one of the players on the team. Earlier in the season, she remembers speaking with Rays outfielder Jose Siri after he drove in three runs against the Detroit Tigers; however, the broadcast was not on Bally Sports Sun. Instead, she was doing the interview for Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+, a national broadcast property the company pays MLB an estimated $85 million annually to carry. Going into the interview, Whitaker knew that she would need to appeal to more than just Rays fans and appropriately started the conversation by asking about the game.

Yet she also knew that it was “Salsa Night” at Comerica Park in Detroit and thanks to her work with the regional network, was cognizant of the fact that Siri likes to dance in the dugout. As a result, she concluded the interview with a request for Siri to demonstrate his salsa dancing skills, something that made an ordinary conversation stand out.

“I tried to personalize it a little bit to help people get to know Jose Siri a little bit better because I think that’s important,” Whitaker said. “….You make sure you talk about baseball, but then you add a little flair to it; add a little personality to it. Everybody loves salsa, right?”

The Apple broadcasts require Whitaker to prepare as she executes her role with the Rays, keeping her wholly invested and consumed by baseball. There are occasions where she is afforded the luxury of reporting on Rays games for her Friday night assignment, but they are rare. Therefore, she needs to become familiar with two teams by reviewing statistics, reading local reporting and conversing with those involved. She keeps her notes on her cell phone and makes lists of what she is going to do during the day to keep herself organized and focused.

Throughout the week, Whitaker actively prepares for the Friday night matchup and meets with her producer to contribute her ideas and learn about the macro vision of the broadcast. The Apple broadcast, aside from using high-caliber technology, also regularly equips microphones to place on players that allow viewers to hear what is transpiring on the field. Whitaker, along with play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and color commentator Ryan Spilborghs, coordinate with the production team throughout the game to present an insightful and compelling final product.

There was criticism of the Apple TV+ live game baseball broadcasts during its inaugural season, but the noise continues to diminish in its sophomore campaign. Whitaker views her role as accruing a confluence of stories about the game and more insightful looks at the personalities on the field. Before each contest, she interviews a player in the dugout and asks questions that put the season in context, granting a comprehensive understanding about a subset of their journey.

“We try to get their thoughts on the season so far at the plate, but also try to get to know them on a personal level,” Whitaker said. “My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

It is considerably more facile to execute such a task before the game than it is during gameplay because of the introduction of the pitch clock. While it has undoubtedly sped up the game and made the product more appealing for fans of all ages, its actualization threatened the viability of unique aspects of baseball broadcasts. The Apple TV+ crew may work together once per week, but over a 162-game season spanning parts of seven months, there is a perdurable bond and unyielding chemistry evident therein.

“Everybody on that crew – and I seriously mean this – is so supportive no matter who you are as long as you do your job well,” Whitaker said. “They don’t even think about the fact that I’m a female in sports [and] they just support me. They help me take constructive criticism because they care and because they truly see me as an equal.”

Whitaker has had the chance to report from Wrigley Field with Apple TV+ and vividly remembers her experience of stepping inside as a media member for the first time. It was a surreal full-circle moment that has been the result of years of determination and persistence to make it to the major leagues.

“I walked into Wrigley and I started to tear up because I remember when my dad and I used to go there and I was 12 years old,” Whitaker stated. “If you would have told me at 12 years old [that] I would be doing a national game at Wrigley, I would have told you [that] you were lying because I just wouldn’t have thought that was a possibility.”

Although Whitaker is receptive to potentially hosting regular sports programming in the future, she has found the joy in her roles with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Apple TV+. Being able to experience historic moments, including Pujols’ milestone home run, and then diving deeper into the situation makes the countless flights, hotel stays and lack of a genuine respite worthwhile. She hopes to continue seamlessly fulfilling her responsibility this Friday night when the New York Mets face the Philadelphia Phillies at 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST, exclusively on Apple TV+.

“There’s always a story to be told, and if you’re good at your job, you’re going to find that story even on a day where you’re like, ‘Oh gosh, there’s nothing going on,’” Whitaker said. “I take that pretty seriously.”

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Radio Advertising Can be the Secret Weapon For In-House Digital Marketers

“The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU.”

Jeff Caves



Courtesy: ETSY

Remember when in-house marketers were primarily focused on traditional media and needed help navigating the digital and social media landscape? Well, the tables are turning! 

The rise of digital-savvy in-house marketers is opening up exciting opportunities for radio ad salespeople. As local businesses increasingly invest in digital marketing, some are fiding they need your expertise in radio advertising.

Borrell Associates has released their latest Business Barometer, and included in the findings was a slight but noticeable shift favoring traditional forms of broadcast media. Let’s dive into how sports and news radio ad salespeople can leverage this shift to target businesses with proficient digital marketing people on board who may need to know more about the potential of radio advertising.

1. Digital-Marketing Trending UP!

Borrell Associates’ recent findings indicate that businesses are increasingly proficient in digital marketing. They are adeptly managing their websites and social media channels, driving results through online campaigns. However, this digital surge doesn’t necessarily translate to expertise in traditional media, such as radio. Hey, do you know a business like that? And make sure you know of an outsourced digital agency you can refer who can handle your clients’ digital and social media for very few dollars. You can help manage the rest of the budget! 

2. Target In-House Buyers

Make a list of businesses you know that have in-house people who are digital-oriented or younger owners who handle mostly digital advertising independently. Or, how about the in-house marketing person who only takes on marketing initiatives like events or sales promotion and knows nothing about advertising? Get ’em! 

3. We create demand

One of the unique selling points of radio is its ability to generate demand and send more customers to Google or your client’s website. Digital marketing can often direct buyers seeking a specific purchase but can’t create lasting impressions and build demand and loyalty like your station. Use this advantage to demonstrate how radio can reinforce the brand story and enhance the effectiveness of digital campaigns.

4. Surround the listener

Recognize that businesses with digital marketing expertise may want holistic solutions. Sell packages that combine digital and radio advertising. Include your streaming endorsements with social media and geo-fencing. They get it and will be impressed with reaching their target audience across multiple touchpoints.

5. Be the Teacher

Your prospects may be experts in digital marketing, but they might not fully understand the potential of radio advertising. Take on the role of an educator. Provide resources, case studies, and success stories that showcase how your station and radio have boosted digital-savvy businesses’ results.

6. 1+1=3 for Creativity

Collaboration is key when working with clients with a digital marketing team. Involve them in the creative process of writing and producing radio ads. Creativity could be their strength, and they will bring fresh perspectives to your production.

The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU. Maybe your client is struggling with their digital strategy. Imagine that now they may be seeking you out to help them understand what they have already read about buying radio advertising. It’s time to adapt your approach and position radio as a complementary and powerful tool in the digital marketing person toolkit.

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Bill Parcells Shaped The Media By Giving Them Hell

“Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter.”

John Molori



Bill Parcells
Courtesy: AP Photo

Two of the most talked about media stories of the past couple of weeks intersect in the form of one legendary NFL head coach – Bill Parcells. 

In the wake of Aaron Rodgers’ potentially season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1 of the NFL season, many media pundits harkened back to 1999 when then-Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde suffered a similar injury in the first game of the season. Like Rodgers, Testaverde was a veteran signal-caller looking to bring the long-suffering Jets to a Super Bowl. 

One week after Rodgers’ injury, Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley was in the media mechanism for an exchange with a reporter after his club fell to 0-2. Staley took issue with a query about whether the team’s monumental playoff collapse last season versus Jacksonville has carried over to their slow start this season. 

ESPN’s First Take included video of Staley’s comment on their September 19 show building it up as some rash, heated interaction between coach and press. It was not. In fact, Staley merely directly answered the question asserting this season has nothing to do with last season. 

Both of these headlines find common ground in the person of Bill Parcells. Parcells was the head coach of the Jets in 1999 when Testaverde’s season ended in that fateful game vs. New England. In addition, he was notorious for some truly vitriolic run-ins with post-game reporters. 

Forget about Staley or even the infamous press conference rants of Jim Mora (“Playoffs!?”), Herm Edwards (“You play to win the game!”), and Dennis Green (“Crown ‘em!”). To the media, Parcells was Armageddon, Three Mile Island, and Hurricane Katrina rolled into one. Never has there been a football character so inexplicably loved and despised. 

In New England, Parcells’s arrival as head coach of the Patriots in 1993 signaled the turnaround of the franchise, but fans refuse to vote him into the team’s Hall of Fame because of his unceremonious jump from to the Jets after the 1996 season. 

When that happened, Parcells again grasped the media spotlight stating, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.” He was referring to new owner Bob Kraft taking final say personnel decisions away from Parcells.

Like him or not, Parcells, known as The Tuna, rejuvenated five NFL franchises. The New York Giants were a mishmash of Joe Pisarciks and Earnest Grays before Parcells turned them into two-time champions.

Patriot fans actually cheered for the likes of Hugh Millen and Eugene Chung until Parcells came to town and brought in players like Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri, and Tedy Bruschi, laying the foundation for a dynasty.

And the Jets? They were living off the fumes of Joe Namath’s Brut 33 until Bill Parcells constructed a team that went from 1-15 in 1996 under Rich Kotite to 9-7 and 12-4 in 1997 and 1998 respectively with Parcells. 

The Cowboys were 5-11 under Dave Campo in 2002. The next year, they went 10-6 with Parcells. Miami was 1-15 in 2007. The next year, with Parcells as executive VP of Football ops, they won the AFC East with an 11-5 record.

The Catholic church has its Apostle’s Creed. Those who follow the gospel of The Tuna have A Parcells Creed, and it goes as follows: I believe if a reporter asks Parcells if he outcoached a colleague, that reporter will be called a “dumb ass.” I believe that the media are “commies” and “subversive from within” as Parcells once labeled them.

I believe in using the media to denigrate young players to keep their egos in check. After Jets QB Glenn Foley had a solid preseason performance a few years back, the New York media surrounded the redheaded QB as if he had won the Super Bowl. 

Parcells walked right in front of Foley and sarcastically asked, “Do you mind if I get past Sonny Jurgensen over here,” referring to the similarly redheaded Redskin quarterbacking legend.

In 1995, when all of New England was agog over a rookie running back named Curtis Martin, Parcells slyly commented to the press, “Well, we’re not carving his bust for Canton just yet.” And of course, there was the late Terry Glenn. When asked how the former Patriot wideout was recovering from an injury, the Tuna spouted, “She’s doing just fine.”

Parcells’ stints as a studio analyst on ESPN, although insightful, seemed out of place. He would sit there, dressed in a dark blue suit talking strategy with fellow ESPN gabber Steve Young. Honestly, he looked like a rotund funeral director searching for someone to embalm.

Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter. 

I interviewed Boston media personality Steve DeOssie about Parcells. DeOssie was the defensive signal caller for the New York Giants (1989-93) when Parcells was the team’s head coach. He again played for Parcells in New England in 1994.

He told me, “Parcells realizes that the media is the enemy. Let’s face it, the media cannot do anything positive for a team, but they can put stuff out there that could lose a game. The bottom line with Parcells is whether it helps his team win.”

“He loves the camera and the camera loves him. He enjoys that part of the business. The media can spin it any way they want. Parcells does not suffer fools gladly and a lot of media types don’t like being called out in press conferences.”

Another Boston media legend also gave me his reflections of Parcells. Bob Lobel is the most revered sports anchor of all-time in New England. He stated, “I did a one-on-one interview with Parcells awhile back. He is so down to earth yet has this aura. It’s easy to be in awe of him.”

The national perspective is similar. When Troy Aikman was an analyst for FOX Sports, the current Monday Night Football color commentator credited Parcells with restacking the Cowboys’ roster and bringing winning back to Dallas.

When asked about playing for Parcells with the Jets, FS1’s Keyshawn Johnson offered, “He taught me how to do things, how to pay attention.” 

Even people whom Parcells fired maintain a respect for him. Sirius NFL Radio’s Pat Kirwan was the director of player administration for the Jets when Parcells arrived in 1997. 

Kirwan told me, “Parcells rebuilds a franchise from top to bottom. He evaluates everyone from the trainers to the doctors to the equipment guys. In 1997 when Bill came to the Jets, I knew I was qualified, but I also knew that Bill would let me go.”

In a September 12, 2023 story, New York Post reporter Brian Costello interviewed Parcells about the Rodgers injury. 

This master of media mind games famous for the quote, “You don’t get any medal for trying,” revealed his visceral core telling Costello, “You are charged with winning games under any circumstances … They’re not canceling the games. They’re not canceling them. You’re coaching them. It’s your job to get your team ready to play to the best of their ability.”

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