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Stephen A. Smith Named Recipient of Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement from Los Angeles Press Club

“Stephen A. Smith is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in the country and brings unparalleled passion to his job.”

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Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith will be honored as the recipient of the 2024 Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement given by the Los Angeles Press Club. As a featured commentator and executive producer on the ESPN morning show First Take, Smith has kept the audience both informed and entertained for over a decade. The show averaged 496,000 viewers last year, making it its most-watched year in show history, and it continues to bolster its digital media presence through engagement across various platforms. Smith is also in the second year of serving as a studio analyst for NBA Countdown and is frequently on-site for several marquee matchups, including the NBA Finals and In-Season Tournament Championship.

Outside of his work with ESPN, Smith hosts The Stephen A. Smith Show podcast at least three times per week where he welcomes luminaries from sports, entertainment and news for enlightening and invigorating conversations. Smith also released a best-selling memoir titled “Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes” detailing his career in sports media and upbringing.

In the years prior to his television work, Smith served as a print reporter for several local newspapers, including the Winston-Salem Journal, New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith was named a general sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer while he was also hosting a weekday radio program for ESPN New York with Brandon Tierney. Over the years, Smith has broken a variety of stories across multiple platforms, including the retirement of Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson. Smith joined First Take with Skip Bayless on ESPN after returning for his second stint with the network, before which he guest hosted several shows and worked with FOX Sports Radio.

Smith will receive this award as part of the 66th SoCal Journalism Awards Gala, which takes place on June 23 in Los Angeles.

“Stephen A. Smith is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in the country and brings unparalleled passion to his job,” Lisa Richwine, president of the Los Angeles Press Club, said in a statement.

The Quinn Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Los Angeles Press Club and has recognized several trailblazers in the industry, including Otis Chandler, Walter Cronkite, Willow Bay, Lester Holt, Andrea Mitchell and David Ono. The award is named in honor of Joseph Quinn, who was an experienced reporter, war correspondent and editor who went on to own City News Service starting in the mid-1950s.

“In the ever-evolving landscape of sports and media, Stephen A. Smith stands tall as a trailblazer, entertaining audiences with his unparalleled charisma, expertise and unwavering dedication,” the Los Angeles Press Club stated in his biography. “With each endeavor he embarks upon, Smith continues to redefine the boundaries of what it means to be a true maverick in the industry.”

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ESPN Names NFL Draft Broadcast Teams; Nick Saban to Debut on ABC

ABC will feature the College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, who will be joined by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who will join the crew this fall.

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Logo for the 2024 NFL Draft

ESPN has announced their commentator teams for their extensive coverage of the NFL Draft. Coverage will take place on both ESPN and ABC as well as ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.

The NFL Draft takes place April 25-27 and on the first two days, ABC will feature the College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, who will be joined by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who will join the crew this fall. Field Yates, Laura Rutledge and Pete Thamel will also be part of the ABC team.

On ESPN, Mike Greenberg will host alongside Mel Kiper, Jr., Booger McFarland, Louis Riddick, Molly McGrath and Adam Schefter. Both ESPN and ABC will start coverage on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

A number of ESPN football reporters will also report from various team sites including Courtney Cronin who will be with the Chicago Bears who have the No. 1 overall pick.

ESPN Radio will feature Chris Canty and Chris Carlin along with Ian Fitsimmons, Jordan Reid and Mike Tannenbaum. ESPN Deportes will have a team of Sebastian M. Christensen, Carols Nava, Miguel Pasquel, Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega.

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DraftKings Network to Introduce ‘Good Follow’ Women-Led Show on June 7

“Engagement with women’s sports is at an all-time high, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our programming to include a women-centric sports show to our content portfolio.”

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Courtesy: DraftKings

DraftKings Network will be introducing a new one-hour, weekly women-led sports show, adding to its slate of sports content and programming. The show will be titled Good Follow and debut on June 7 at 8 p.m. EST on DraftKings Network. Award-winning content creator Megan Reyes has been named the host of the show, which will blend news and pre-produced segments into interviews and discussion surrounding women’s sports. Additionally, former Texas Southern University golfer Logan Hackett will contribute to the show and look at the biggest events in sports as well.

“Engagement with women’s sports is at an all-time high, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our programming to include a women-centric sports show to our content portfolio,” Stacie McCollum, vice president of content at DraftKings, said in a statement. “At the core, a ‘Good Follow’ is someone who unapologetically moves culture forward within or adjacent to women’s sports. Our approach to this show aligns with growth trends we’re seeing within the space and from our customers as they interact with women’s sports across all our products.”

Ahead of the program’s debut on DraftKings Network, the show will be posted on social media platforms, including Instagram, X, Facebook and TikTok, for daily women’s sports content. This will include coverage from the WNBA Draft on April 15, which will take place from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y. Lucy Rohden and other contributing personalities from Meadowlark Media will be on site for coverage to record content and interviews with draftees into the league. Furthermore, there will be additional behind-the-scenes features and access to those making an impact in women’s sports.

DraftKings Network is a free ad-supported television (FAST) channel that is available to watch for free through various services, including Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel and Google TV. Consumers can also find the programming on DKNetwork.com and YouTube and as audio on major podcasting platforms.

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ESPN Films Creating Stuart Scott ‘30 for 30’

“ The 30 for 30 film will explore Scott’s rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, a painful divorce and his fight against cancer, which ultimately took his life.”

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ESPN Films has announced plans for an upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on former SportsCenter star Stuart Scott. The film will be directed by Andre Gaines.

According to Deadline, the film will detail how Scott shattered preconceived notions of how on-air talent were expected to look, talk, act, and think. It’ll also highlight how hip-hop and Black culture were brought into the sports media mainstream.

“Stuart Scott transcended broadcasting, journalism, sports and culture in ways that we’re only beginning to really understand and appreciate now,” said Andre Gaines. “He made his mark on so many people, especially young black men, and his legend has only grown since his passing. The opportunity I’ve had now to examine his life, visit his home, get to know his daughters Taelor and Sydni, and understand how incredibly vast and rich a life Stuart lived, I can only hope that audiences find the same catharsis I’ve already experienced in making this film.”

Vice President and Executive Producer of ESPN Films Marsha Cooke added, “We pride ourselves on telling the stories of true originals who changed the world, and Stuart epitomized that in so many ways. This film is the perfect tribute to a man who touched lives in front of and behind the camera. Andre Gaines has begun crafting a film that will shine a new light on who Stuart really was–from his relationship with Taelor and Sydni to the many people who saw the world differently just from spending time with him. The film will be Stuart through and through–funny, smart, edgy, touching, and transformational.”

Scott passed away at the age of 49 in January 2015 following a battle with cancer. His style and memorable catchphrases helped ESPN attract new fans, influence broadcasters, and put a modern twist on the network’s signature show.

The 30 for 30 film will explore his rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, the pain of a divorce and his fight with cancer that ultimately took his life. Scott’s daughters Taelor and Syndi will also lend their voices to the tribute to their father.

A release date has not yet been announced.

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