After a clip from Pardon My Take emerged on Thursday where FOX Sports and Amazon Prime Video host Charissa Thompson revealed that she used to fabricate sideline reports in certain situations. She was the subject of considerable vitriol from other sports media figures after her admission. Gregg Giannotti does not see the situation in quite the same way.
While he was working at KDKA in Pittsburgh, he served as the sideline reporter for broadcasts of the Pitt Panthers. Giannotti revealed a moment where he made up one of his reports. He claims had a strong enough relationship with former head coach Paul Chryst, he was forced to make up a report as a result of the coach’s television interview taking too long. He offered a proposition to the Pitt head coach.
“I said, ‘Listen, man. I’ve got 10 seconds. I don’t need to talk to you. Are you okay if I just make something up?,’” Giannotti said on Friday’s edition of Boomer & Gio on WFAN. “He laughs and he goes, ‘Yeah.’ When I heard that story, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”
The Pardon My Take admission isn’t the first time Charissa Thompson has shared that she fabricated reports. In an episode of the Calm Down podcast in January, Thompson admitted that she made up a sideline report when a coach commented on her perfume instead of answering her question about the adjustments his team would make at halftime. Her co-host, FOX sideline reporter Erin Andrews, admitted that she had done the same thing for a coach that she did not want to throw under the bus, deeming that he told her all the wrong things within the interview.
“We could make up reports,” Thompson said at the time. “You’re not going to say anything that’s going to put them in a bad spot.”
Gregg Giannotti noticed how Thompson’s statements were being perceived and believed that sideline reporters who conveyed their thoughts on the matter were reacting in such a way as to placate social media users.
Within his remarks, he stated how she did not mention a specific sideline reporter, instead disclosing what she would do while on the job. Boomer Esiason concurred that many of these professionals did not want to be seen within the same group as Thompson and articulated the reprehensible nature of the actions to protect their own credibility.
“So we’re going to have to react to that, which is exactly the point,” Giannotti said. “So everybody’s going to react to that stuff and then they’ll try to one-up each other – who was more disgusted by the next one – and if you didn’t say something, that was almost like you were co-signing that it was okay to make up reports like Charissa Thompson did.”
“I would think that the extreme fallout would be if an executive read all the commentary that basically undercuts what these people do for a living, and they started losing jobs because people don’t really care about the sideline reporter,” Esiason said. “If that’s exactly what is being written in social media, then they’ve got to protect their jobs is what they’re doing.”
Gregg Giannotti replied to Esiason’s assertion by articulating that he does not believe most television executives think in the same way as social media hounds. In fact, he infers that if executives had thought sideline reporters were not needed on a broadcast, they would have eliminated the position a long time ago. Esiason understands that people in the role are subject to a deluge of criticism from viewers and shots from writers alike, and he recognizes the battle that they have had to face.
“They have one of the best jobs ever,” Gregg Giannotti countered. “You get to hang out at football games, you’re on the air for a little bit, you’re on the sidelines, (and) you get to interact with coaches. Go ahead – take your shot.”
“That’s why they take it seriously,” Esiason averred. “They’re reacting to the hounds on social media is what they’re doing. I don’t think they’re really reacting to Charissa Thompson. Charissa started the conversation, yes, and then all of a sudden everybody started piling on.”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.