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Pablo Torre: Sports and Media Executives ‘Very Aware and Very Afraid’ of Gen Z’s Lack of Interest in Sports

“The internet broke up and siloed everything…”

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of Pablo Torre
(Photo: Pablo Torre)

Are young people killing sports media and driving the declining interest in sports? Mina Kimes and Pablo Torre wouldn’t go that far.

On a recent edition of Pablo Torre Finds Out, Torre, Kimes, and Dan Le Batard talked about what some in sports feel is a troubling lack of interest in watching and following games on top of constantly evolving media consumption methods.

Le Batard felt like time was passing him by after reading a section of an Awful Announcing column from over the summer that pointed out that millennials have shifted away from the more traditional forms of media consumption. Millennials are more likely to get their sports information from social media, YouTube, and podcasts versus newspapers, TV, and radio.

But while there’s an even more staggering decline in interest in sports from Gen Z, Pablo Torre reasoned with Le Batard that seeing young people as so categorically different from the older generations doesn’t help address the root cause.

“I think there’s a difference between us not understanding the direction things are going, and I confess I wish I knew more about the direction things are going,” Torre said. “But Mina I also want to point out that to make them into the boogeyman is to also give them a compliment that they have not yet earned, which is admittedly the oldest thing I could possibly say.”

Kimes added that there’s a lack of clarity in sports media about what the answer is to connect the younger generations to sports, but part of the answer is recognizing that even though the methods in which information is consumed have changed, the root of the desire to seek out information hasn’t.

“I don’t think that it’s fundamentally changed all that much to be honest,” she said. “I still think they want the same moments and narratives and takes and discussion and deeper analysis. But how they want that delivered is something that we’re all trying to figure out.”

Pablo Torre said the rise of the internet age has done a good job of sectioning off areas of interest, giving people choices to follow things they like and not follow things they don’t like.

“I concur that this is something in the c-suites of all these sports, they are very aware of and they are very afraid of,” he said. “But I would draw a straighter line towards just the general fragmentation of everything as opposed to a specific allergy towards the product that we loved and got taught by our parents, or whoever it is indoctrinated us into the cult of sports.”

“If you were to sub out, and I don’t have the numbers on this of course, but sub in movies, television shows, anything, the internet broke up and siloed everything in a way that prevents the authority of institutions for most of which in media was sports, let alone journalistic institutions in media itself,” Torre added. “It just sort of shattered all of it and scattered it across the floor.”

Kimes said it was clear this was the death of monoculture.

“Sports have inhabited that space in a way that it used to be like certain movies and television shows, and as everything has fragmented, they’re suffering from the same thing,” Kimes said.

“I don’t think there’s anything inherent to the products necessarily that is turning them off, although maybe there’s some polling that shows the lack of youth participation and then concerns about broader silo issues – health – things like that might matter,” she added. “But I really think more it’s just they have more stuff to do and things to look at.

“And so naturally when you have a generation of people who are interested in like a ton of different things and have a ton of different things at their fingertips, they’re going to consume the big things a little bit less. And that doesn’t feel like it’s changing anytime soon. So there might be a world in the not-so-distant future where sports are still incredibly popular.”

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Sports Media Remembers Jerry West, NBA Champion and Executive, Who Passed Away at the Age of 86

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86. His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

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Jerry West
Courtesy: Tim Nwachukwu, Getty Images

Jerry West, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and executive who won a collective eight championships, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the LA Clippers announced. West, whose silhouette encompasses part of the National Basketball Association logo, was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and played in nine NBA Finals.

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86,” the LA Clippers organization said in a statement. “His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

Throughout his 14-year playing career, West was named an All-Star every season and is the only player to be named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals as a member of the losing team. West had been serving as a consultant for the LA Clippers since 2017 and previously worked in the front offices of the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for a third time as a contributor later this year.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, said in a statement. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments.  He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality, earning him the nickname ‘Mr. Clutch’.

“Jerry’s four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history.  He helped build eight championship teams during his tenure in the NBA – a legacy of achievement that mirrors his on-court excellence.  And he will be enshrined this October into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor, becoming the first person ever inducted as both a player and a contributor.

“I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life.  On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community.”

Members of the sports media industry reacted to the news throughout the day on Wednesday, reflecting on West’s life and impact in basketball and sports as a whole:

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Stephen and Dell Curry to Co-Host ‘Heat Check’ Podcast

Stephen Curry joins a growing list of active NBA players who have launched their own podcasts, some of whom include his teammate Draymond Green, LeBron James and Paul George.

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Heat Check
Courtesy: Audible, Unanimous Media

Unanimous Media is launching a new Audible podcast on Thursday, June 13 featuring Golden State Warriors guard and four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry and his father Dell Curry, who is a former Charlotte Hornets forward and current color commentator for the team’s television broadcasts. This new 10-part Audible Original, titled Heat Check, will “pull back the curtain on their family’s journey, told through the lens of a father and a son, while talking about the biggest names throughout NBA history.” News of the podcast was first reported by Marc J. Spears, senior writer for ESPN-owned Andscape.

Stephen and Dell Curry will reflect on the path to the NBA and several moments throughout their lives. The show will feature special guests, including Stephen’s mother Sonya, former NBA point guard Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, and Stephen and Dell’s agent Jeff Austin. Throughout the Audible Original series, the father-son duo will talk about how Dell established the groundwork for Stephen to excel playing professional basketball.

Curry joins a growing list of active NBA players who have launched their own podcasts, some of whom include his teammate Draymond Green, LeBron James and Paul George. Unanimous Media, which Stephen Curry co-founded with Erick Peyton in 2018, is also in the process of producing an animated sports comedy, titled GOAT, for Sony Pictures Animation. The film will be released theatrically on Feb. 13, 2026, aligning with the NBA All-Star Weekend taking place that year in Los Angeles, Calif.

The company also released the Stephen Curry: Underrated documentary last year and an animated version of the Good Times sitcom for Netflix. Other ventures in which the company has taken part include The Queen of Basketball award-winning documentary, the “I Have a Superpower” children’s book and Holey Moley on ABC. Unanimous Media has previously worked with Audible for its series, The Greatest Sports Stories Never Told, which was narrated by ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore.

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Alex Curry Leaves ‘Flippin’ Bats’ Podcast

“This was an incredible couple of years that we had on this show – so much fun.”

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Alex Curry
Courtesy: FOX Sports

Since the launch of Flippin’ Bats, the FOX Sports podcast has rapidly proliferated in eminence and popularity. Over its years on the air, the show has covered marquee events, such as the All-Star Game and World Series, and helped open a new digital space for FOX Sports last year in Los Angeles. Ben Verlander, former professional baseball player and brother of Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander, has hosted the show since its launch in 2021. Alex Curry, former reporter for Bally Sports West, was tabbed as the co-host of the program in the following year, forming a duo that sought to bring levity to the airwaves and celebrate the game of baseball.

After two years on the air, Curry will be leaving the Flippin’ Bats podcast as part of changes coming to the show. The show made the announcement within its most recent episode, during which Verlander revealed that the FOX Summer of Soccer would be taking over the digital studio for the time being, which surrounds coverage of UEFA EURO 2024 and CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 soccer tournaments. As a result, Flippin’ Bats will have a different schedule going forward, and Verlander implored listeners to make sure they are subscribed and following the show.

“With the schedule looking different and obviously the show moving from the studio, that is a wrap for me on Flippin’ Bats, and I just want to give a big thank you to the entire crew, community, fanbase,” Curry said. “This was an incredible couple of years that we had on this show – so much fun.”

Curry has filled in across various programs within the FS1 portfolio and also works as a radio host on FOX Sports Radio alongside Carmen Vitali on Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. EST. This move came after she joined the entity last summer and hosted a weekend program with Monse Bolaños, who is now working with Steve Hartman on Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m. EST. Curry stated that she would still be on FOX Sports Radio and that there would be more things coming up in the future.

“I am so grateful to have worked together,” Verlander said of Curry in a post on X. “She never failed to [bring] laughs and banter. Alex, you will be missed and I’m looking forward to seeing all of your future successes.”

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