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Gregg Giannotti: ‘The Athletic Looks Like Geniuses Now’

“It was a $550 million acquisition that The New York Times had of The Athletic, and they felt like having a full sports department was redundant.”

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Courtesy: The Athletic

The decision by The New York Times to close its sports department was big news in the media industry Monday. It was big news to New Yorkers too, even those that work in other professions. Tuesday morning, Gregg Giannotti said giving control of the paper’s sports coverage to The Athletic was disappointing but understandable.

“They bought The Athletic and they basically said, we’re going to have The Athletic run our sports from now on,” he said on WFAN’s Boomer & Gio. “It was a $550 million acquisition that The New York Times had of The Athletic, and they felt like having a full sports department was redundant.”

From the Athletic’s perspective, Giannotti thinks what happened on Monday is a sort of proof of concept.

The Athletic came in and they kind of rolled the dice. I mean, they basically spent a ton of money poaching beat writers from all over the place and paying them and beat writers from these newspapers were like, ‘Listen, I’m not going to get paid with the future newspapers. I don’t know where it’s going to go. I’m going to go with this company’ and then The New York Times ends up buying The Athletic.”

Newspapers in markets across the country are trying to figure out how to sustain themselves. Layoffs, closures and limited publishing schedules have all been the results of these businesses trying to sustain themselves with a “business as usual” approach.

Giannotti, like others in the media sphere, did lament the end of a dedicated sports department at The New York Times. He took a bit of a different tone though, because he saw reason to praise The Athletic too.

He said that what The Athletic seemed to figure out was that journalism has to be valuable to more than just the audience these days. The site was worth $550 million to The New York Times because it solved both staffing and subscription issues.

“The Athletic looks like geniuses now, because that seems to be more of the sustainable model for sportswriting than the traditional newspaper model.”

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SiriusXM Announces Broadcast Plans for 108th Indy 500

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team.

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SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation
(Illustration) | SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation Logo – Courtesy: SiriusXM | Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Courtesy: VisitIndy

SiriusXM has announced programming for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place on Sunday, May 26 with a scheduled green flag drop at 12:45 p.m. EST. As the field of 33 cars gets set to compete for the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy, SiriusXM will bring consumers wall-to-wall coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pre-race coverage will commence at 11 a.m. EST on SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation, channel No. 218, along with NBC Sports Audio on SiriusXM channel No. 85. Both platforms are available to subscribers nationwide both in their motor vehicles and on the SiriusXM App.

The broadcast outlet will air the live call of the race on Sunday, along with live coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Miller Lite Carb Day Practice session on Friday at 11 a.m. EST. After the practice session concludes, six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner and 11-time Indianapolis 500 race participant James Hinchcliffe will host his podcast, Off Track with Hinch and Rossi, live outside the Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hinchcliffe’s co-host, Alexander Rossi, is part of the field within Sunday’s race. Leading up to the race, SiriusXM will also have a “Greatest Day in Motorsports” page on its app to access coverage for the Indianapolis 500 race and practices, along with driver interviews from media day and additional content.

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team in the Indy 500 field. The company colors will be present on car No. 60 (Felix Rosenqvist), No. 66 (Tom Blomqvist) and No. 06 (Helio Castroneves). Castroneves is racing to become the first driver to win five Indianapolis 500 races. On the day after the race, Diplo’s Revolution on SiriusXM channel No. 53 will broadcast live from the Indy 500 Coors Light Snake Pit. The station will have live performances from Gryffin, Sullivan King and Timmy Trumpet.

SiriusXM is running a Listen Free event from May 23 to June 4, which allows everyone to hear the SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation channel and SiriusXM’s Indianapolis 500 coverage without a subscription.

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Jonathan Hood: ‘I Don’t Understand the Chip on the Shoulder from John Schriffen’

“If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

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Photos of Jonathan Hood and John Schriffen

The Chicago White Sox have not been much to talk about this season; however, their new television play-by-play voice has been talked about a lot in the first quarter of the baseball season. John Schriffen had big shoes to fill when he took over for fan-favorite Jason Benetti and some have been critical of his upbeat style while others have taken him to task for particular things he has said. This was a topic on the Kap & J. Hood morning show ESPN Chicago with Daniel Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.

Kaplan and Hood played a recent clip of Schriffen where fill-in analyst Gordon Beckham had made a mistake during an ad read. After the read Schriffen remarked, “If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

“That is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard…that’s just a dumb comment, dumb,” said Kaplan.

Hood added, “He has, what I consider to be a dream job. To be the voice of a team is just amazing. People turn to you, especially during these dark times for the White Sox, for some optimism, some entertainment, some hope. And you decide that you want to be able to take time out of the broadcast to address criticism that you’ve received as the voice of the White Sox?

“…You always have big shoes to fill when you are the new guy. And so, for you to step on the rest of the Chicago media, saying people that clip things you say are ‘radio losers’ and ‘they don’t matter’ you’re not currying favor with your listeners or the people that are supposed to be here to support you.”

Kaplan added, “All you did was set yourself up for that to be another drop that continues to get played on multiple stations.”

Hood talked about the difficulty of being in a new market and mentioned Benetti had not had the smoothest of transitions taking over for Hawk Harrelson. Still, Hood said he is just not understanding why Schriffen would go after the media. Hood said, “I don’t understand the chip on the shoulder from John Schriffen…I don’t get that, I don’t understand that…No one is out to get John Schriffen…he is new to this city, he is new as a White Sox broadcaster. What I would say to him is “what is the point of all of it if you’re arguing with The Score or you’re arguing with us about clips?’ How about just focus on being the best broadcaster you can be.”

Kaplan later said he would probably react similarly to how Schiffren has to some of the criticism saying, “I actually sort of respect Schriffen doing it, I just think he did it in the wrong place. You shouldn’t do it on the broadcast.”

Hood added, “It’s just not been a good start for him.”

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Fred Toucher Takes a Jab at Rich Shertenlieb

“At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it.”

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Photos of Fred Toucher Rich Shertenlieb

Boston radio had a major change this morning when former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb started his new morning show, The Rich Shertenlieb Show, on 100.7 WZLX. Shertenlieb was paired with Fred Toucher for 17 years before leaving the station just over six months ago.

On his debut show on the classic rock station, Shertenlieb addressed a feud he had with his former employer over access to social media accounts which he says were personal accounts he had started. He said he spent “five figures” with an attorney but then gave up and gave access to the station. “My rationale was this,” he said. “Instead of me spending all that money paying attorneys to fight this why not spend that money in a much better place…The minute I get back my 150,000 followers…I am writing a check to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.” Shertenlieb’s X account currently has 18,000 followers.

Fred Toucher and Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole came out of a break during Toucher & Hardy talking about how someone told Toucher old promos for Toucher & Rich had accidentally aired that weekend and joked about putting their boss “on blast.” Then Toucher says, “At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it…If you listen to me, I’ll give you a chunk of change to charity.”

Shertenlieb hosts his new show with Boston television personality and sportswriter Michael Hurley on a full-time basis and has a rotating cast that includes former New England Patriot Ted Johnson, Charlotte Wilder, formerly of FOX Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal.

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