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Stephen A. Smith: There are Nuances of ‘New Media’ People Don’t Understand

“I don’t recall a particular pundit talking about a topic and drawing over 50 million views.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Stephen A. Smith
Courtesy: Justin Casterline, Getty Images

Stephen A. Smith has noticed that people are lumping Shannon Sharpe in with the new media crowd after his interview with comedian Katt Williams, but Stephen A. thinks it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

On The Stephen A. Smith Show on Monday, Smith dove deeper into the new media label, going back to Draymond Green coining the phrase with his podcast.

Stephen A. Smith said the new media label on Sharpe’s interview is part of this belief where some facts get challenged because of a lack of a proper perspective.

“You have conventional media, usually consisting of scribes, pundits, commentators, etc. who never played the game on the elite level (Draymond Green’s) obviously played the game at,” Smith said. “Therefore we’re absent of a perspective, devoid of the kind of content they’re capable of providing because they’re in the locker rooms, they’re wearing the uniforms, they’re actually experiencing some of the things that we chronicle. We’re not the ones doing that. So what would we know?

“Their definition of facts gets challenged by folks like Green as being false as opposed to factual,” he added.

Smith said he would refute that practice considering many in the old guard of media have their reliable sources, which are typically in the know in the locker room.

“True reporters, true insiders, get the information from the actual sources,” he said. “So just because you’re saying it yourself now, doesn’t mean that they were wrong to say what they said in the past if they got it from the sources before they disseminated that information. The information is still the information.”

Smith pointed out that Sharpe has gotten some blowback for his laid-back style of interview and lack of pressing questions, leading to Sharpe to come out and say he isn’t a journalist. Stephen A. said while he isn’t a journalist per se, new media seems to be a label that fits.

“But the reason why it’s applicable here when we talk about a cultural phenomenon is because I don’t recall an article, I don’t recall an interview on television, I don’t recall a commentator or a pundit speaking on a particular issue or having somebody speak on it and drawing over 50 million views. 50 million!” he said. “We’re talking all-time record.”

“When that’s our reality and we start talking about new media, well what does that mean ladies and gentlemen?” Smith continued. “You know what it means? It means something very simple. People are not allowing you to define what media is to them any longer. They’re telling you what it is to them.”

Smith concluded the point by saying you can debate the merits of what Katt Williams said and attack Shannon for not asking probing follow-up questions, but the important thing is that the viewers were able to get what they want out of it.

“What the American public at the very least is showing you and telling you is that what matters to them most is their truth. They don’t give a shit about the facts,” he said. “They care about what they believe based on what you’ve disseminated. They’re looking for dialogue, they’re looking for water cooler conversation. They’re looking for a discussion to have amongst themselves as opposed to truth.”

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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