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Previously on SMJ
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for a brand-spanking-new edition of Sports Media Weekly.
We begin the show by looking at the news out of CBS this week announcing that Greg Anthony and Clark Kellogg will be swapping roles on the network’s coverage of college basketball. Anthony will move to the sidelines along side Jim Nantz while Kellogg will return to his previous role as studio analyst.
Next we see through the release earlier this week from ESPN showing their viewership increases for the past month beginning August 17th…ironically the same day Fox Sports 1 launched. Coincidence…we think not. We follow with the news from Steve Lapore of SB Nation that Fox Sports 1 has begun tinkering with its line-up.
We shift gears to online journalism and the news of the Bleacher Report‘s recent roster moves to bolster its NBA coverage. The most notable hire was of Howard Beck, formerly of the New York Times.
We close the segment by looking at the apparent apology from the CBS affiliate in Orlando seeking in forcing viewers there to watch the away games of the Jacksonville Jaguars as required by the NFL.
For the second half of the show Ken talks with Michelle Beadle of NBC Sports. Michelle is very candid about the changes made to her show The Crossover and talks about her ideas for expanding her role at the network.
We have a full agenda for this weeks Sports Media Weekly program.
We begin the show with news from the NFL, which saw a total of 108 million viewers watch action from week one, the largest combined audience to watch the first week of the regular season ever.
We follow by looking at some of the new NFL Sunday pre-game shows and how, despite the rising number of these programs, viewers never seem to get enough of the NFL.
Next we bring up the news that Peter King of SI and Bill Simmons of ESPN will no longer refer to the Washington NFL football team as the Redskins, joining those who feel the name is offensive to the Native American community. We discuss how, and who, could tip the scales in forcing the NFL and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name.
With Time Warner and CBS resolving their issues over carriage fees just before the beginning of the NFL season, we hypothesize whether the NFL will be a factor as ESPN and the Dish Network head toward their contract expiring on September 30th.
We move to baseball and the impact the Yankees, and the suspension-appealing Alex Rodriquez, will have on the buzz around this post-season if they are able to secure one of the two American league Wild Card spots.
We conclude the news segment looking at the investigative report by Sports Illustrated on the Oklahoma State football program and whether these pieces ever have legs in exposing broader problems in the college ranks.
In the second half of the show Ken talks with CBS Sports reporter Tracy Wolfson. Tracy will be working perhaps the two top football games of the week; the SEC match-up between Alabama and Texas A&M and the Manning Bowl featuring Peyton and Eli Sunday in New York.
Matt and I preview the upcoming NFL season and the glut of studio programs across multiple sports networks.
We look back at the debut of Olbermann on ESPN2 and how Keith is making a compelling effort to divert viewers from the traditional late-night sports highlight shows.
We move onto the practice of ESPN and others to either fabricate stories to boost viewership, or in the case of Mark May and Skip Bayless, make-up facts about the Notre Dame/Michigan rivalry that do not exist.
Matt and I wrap up the segment looking at the New York sports media’s disdain for Jets coach Rex Ryan and the slow ratings start for Fox Sports 1
Ken takes over the second half of the show by interviewing author James Andrew Miller. The pair discuss the movements at ESPN, including the behind-the-scenes re-acquisition of Olbermann.
We have multiple guests on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.
Our top story of the week is still evolving as it was announced late today that ESPN is backing our of its partnership with PBS’ Frontline show in producing an investigative documentary on concussions in the NFL. ESPN claims the move is over a lack of editorial control on the project. We speculate that there must have been a major disagreement between the parties. We will follow the story as it progresses.
We then look at last Saturday’s launch of Fox Sports 1. The three of us agree that as much as people want to send out flash judgments of what they’ve seen over the first five days on the air, it’s better to judge the success of the network over the long haul.
We wrap-up the news segment by reviewing my trip yesterday to ESPN as part of the network’s Media Day. We discuss the state of ESPN, particularly through the words of ESPN President John Skipper, who held an hour-long Q&A session with reporters over lunch.
The day at ESPN also included panels on college football, the NFL, and a look at ESPN’s new digital studio, which will host SportsCenter beginning next year.
The second half of the show features my interviews with four members of ESPN:
PROGRAMMING NOTE- There will no Sports Media Weekly program next week. Ken and I will return after Labor Day.
ESPN held its media today at the Bristol campus. I was fortunate enough to attend and will be posting interviews over the next day or so.
One of the highlights of the day was a lunch-time Q&A session by ESPN President John Skipper. Skipper took questions from the assembled media for over an hour and touched upon a number of topics…from the competition from Fox Sports 1, to the re-hiring of Keith Olbermann and Jason Whitlock, to the escalation of rights fees, and to the likelihood of live sports content migrating exclusively online.
Instead of picking out the highlights of Skipper’s comments I thought it best to post his entire Q&A session as a podcast. The podcast is a long listen at over an hour, but gives us a good look at the state of ESPN.