Sports TV News
Rachel Nichols Removed From NBA Finals Sideline Reporting Role
The ESPN personality has been in the news for her comments on Maria Taylor.
Amidst the roiling controversy at ESPN, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports the network is taking Rachel Nichols off her NBA Finals sideline reporting role and replacing her with Malika Andrews. ESPN released a statement on the lineup change.
“We believe this is the best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals. Rachel will continue to host The Jump.”
A New York Times Piece released Sunday detailed conversations between Nichols and adviser to Lebron James, Adam Mendelsohn, where Nichols accused ESPN of making Maria Taylor the NBA Countdown host because of diversity pressure last year.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world—she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in the audio clip obtained by The New York Times. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity—which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it—like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else.”
“You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away,” Nichols added.
The host of The Jump addressed the elephant in the room on Monday with an apology that social media widely criticized for not addressing any of the things said in the leaked audio.
“So the first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story,” Nichols said to open The Jump. “I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals. But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN. How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team.”
Game One of the 2021 NBA Finals begins at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.
Sports TV News
Bleav To Launch 2 FuboTV Channels
“Over 1,000 hours of original content is produced by Bleav each month.”
Sports and entertainment media production company Bleav has officially launched two channels available now on FuboTV.
Bleav Sports and Bleav Football will utilize content from its podcast network to comprise programming on the TV side.
“We are excited to be partnering with Fubo, one of the premiere companies for sports streaming,” Bleav president Eric Weinberger said.
Over 1,000 hours of original content is produced by Bleav each month. Former NFL and NBA standouts like Ahman Green, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, LenDale White, Ike Taylor and Jonathan Stewart are just some of the hosts for Bleav.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on Root Sports Northwest for the last two years.