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Skip Bayless Blasted By Colleagues For Criticism Of Dak Prescott

“It didn’t matter their network. It didn’t matter their platform. None of them sided with Bayless.”

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There’s never a good time to belittle someone’s struggle with depression. Thursday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Skip Bayless could not have picked a worse time to call Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott weak for talking about his struggles.

Prescott was in tears on a recent episode of the syndicated In Depth with Graham Bensinger as he discussed his brother’s suicide. It happened in April. Prescott said the combination of losing his brother and the shift in the world as a result of the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic in America made it hard for him to live his normal life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju5l9-w3vYw&feature=emb_title&ab_channel=GrahamBensinger

It was not a good enough explanation for Skip Bayless. The Undisputed co-host said that it is hard to be a quarterback in the NFL. He called it the single most important leadership position in sports. That is the reason he doesn’t have sympathy for Dak Prescott and he implied that Prescott’s coaches and teammates wouldn’t either.

“You know and I know, this sport that you play, it is dog eat dog,” Bayless said to co-host Shannon Sharpe. “It is no compassion. No quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can effect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spot.”

Bayless, who is no stranger to the label “hot take artist” was roundly condemned by his colleagues in the sports media. It didn’t matter their network. It didn’t matter their platform. None of them sided with Bayless.

One person that held off on condemnation for Bayless was ESPN’s Bomani Jones. Instead of rage, Jones said Bayless’s reaction to Dak Prescott’s struggle with depression made him feel empathy for the FS1 personality.

Skip Bayless has been largely silent on social media. So have his co-hosts Shannon Sharpe and Jenny Taft. No videos of the exchange appear on the Undisputed Twitter feed.

FOX issued a statement praising Dak Prescott for his honesty. The network also said “We do not agree with Skip Bayless’s opinion on Undisputed this morning. We have addressed the significance of this matter with Skip and how his insensitive comments were received internally at FOX and [by] our audience.”

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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