Sports TV News
Jackie MacMullan: ESPN Is An Entertainment Company Now
“She told Le Batard that while she enjoyed being a part of Around The Horn, it took a lot of effort if you wanted to do a great job on that show.”
Back in August, Jackie MacMullan made the decision to retire from her job at ESPN. MacMullan was well-known for her NBA coverage and as one of the contributors on Around The Horn from the time she joined ESPN in 2010 after her great career writing for The Boston Globe.
On the latest episode of South Beach Sessions, MacMullan joined Dan Le Batard to talk about her career as a pioneer in sports journalism. During this episode, she explained why she decided to retire from ESPN after signing a three-year deal the previous Fall.
“I have elderly parents, that’s a big one,” said MacMullan. “The day I retired, my poor 96-year-old dad fell on the day I retired, so he is my new full-time job. Part of me too was that the industry has changed. At ESPN for instance, they are an entertainment company in many ways and they should be. That’s where all their money lies. They are putting games on the air, it’s television.”
While MacMullan had known for doing a lot of television, she always viewed herself as a writer. She told Le Batard that while she enjoyed being a part of Around The Horn, it took a lot of effort if you wanted to do a great job on that show.
“My new contract that I had signed was heavily TV. I loved Around The Horn. Those guys were the greatest. They are going to be my friends for the rest of my life, but that show took a lot of effort if you wanted to be up-to-date on every sport, which I felt you needed to do if you wanted to do that show properly. It was a lot of time and effort.”
Even though Jackie MacMullan is no longer at ESPN, she mentioned to Le Batard that she is still going to work, her job is just going to be a little bit different now.
“ESPN treated me very well. There was no rancor. It was my choice. I walked away from two years of guaranteed money. I’m not sure I did the right thing. I finally got to the point in my career where I was being paid good money, but I haven’t looked back once and regretted it. I’m not saying I will never work again. I’m just telling you I will never work again like that. That’s not going to be the model.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
Sean McManus: LIV Golfers Won’t Get Different Treatment During The Masters
“We’re not gonna put our heads in the sand.”
CBS Sports is preparing for coverage of its 68th consecutive year of The Masters, but the 2023 event could prove to be unlike any before it, and CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus is cognizant of the situation.
After several former Masters champions departed the PGA Tour for the upstart LIV Golf, many pondered what that meant for the sport’s major championships. The Masters decided to continue to allow the golfers who are now playing exclusively with the Saudi-backed league to compete for the green jacket. McManus shared that CBS will continue the showcase the golfers as it always has.
“We’re not gonna cover up or hide anything,” McManus said, as reported by Golf Digest. “As I’ve said so often, our job is to cover the golf tournament. We’re not gonna show any different treatment for the golfers who have played on the LIV tour than we do the other golfers. And if there’s a pertinent point or something that we need to, or we feel that we should bring up in our coverage on Saturday and Sunday, or on our other coverage throughout the week, you know, we’re not gonna put our heads in the sand.
“Having said that, unless it really affects the story that’s taking place on the golf course, we’re not gonna go out of our way to cover it. I’m not sure there’s anything that we could add to the story as it already exists. We’ll cover it as, as is suitable.”
Sports TV News
NFL Owners Not Voting on Flex Scheduling For Thursday Night Football
“The owners have simply decided to wait until May to make their decision.”
Amazon will have to wait for flex scheduling. NFL owners decided to table a proposal that would allow the league to create more compelling matchups for Thursday Night Football later in the season.
That doesn’t mean flex scheduling won’t be a reality on Thursday nights this season. The owners have simply decided to wait until May to make their decision.
Earlier this week, Peter King of NBC Sports reported that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pushing the idea. Coaches have been outspoken about how much they dislike it, complaining about managing injuries and the competitive disadvantage that would come with finding out you suddenly have a shorter week of preparation than expected. According to King, Goodell is trying to make Amazon happy after the first season of Thursday Night Football failed to deliver projected audience numbers for Prime Video.
League owners did take a step they hope will lead to fewer games between losing teams. Last season, teams could only be scheduled once for a Thursday night game. The owners decided to bump that limit up to twice per season.
Goodell defended the proposal against accusations that the league is prioritizing revenue over player safety.
“We always look at the data with respect to injuries,” he told the media gathered at the league meetings. “That is what drove our decisions throughout the first 12 or so years of Thursday Night Football and how it’s evolved. I think the data was very clear: it doesn’t show a higher injury rate. But we recognize shorter weeks. We went through this with COVID, too.”
When the idea of flex scheduling is revisited in May, it will require the support of 24 team owners in order to become a reality.
Sports TV News
Eric Shanks Got Approval From Alex Rodriguez Before FOX Hired Derek Jeter
“Why wouldn’t we reach out?”
Derek Jeter is going to work a very limited schedule for FOX next season. Still, before he came on board, FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks wanted the support of Jeter’s former Yankees teammate and on-again/off-again friend Alex Rodriguez.
Andrew Marchand is reporting that Shanks reached out to ARod personally. Rodriguez gave his approval to the network.
“Why wouldn’t we reach out?” a Fox Sports spokesman said when The New York Post reached out for confirmation.
While Derek Jeter is now part of the FOX family, fans shouldn’t expect to see him every time baseball is on the network. He is only scheduled to work “marquee events”. This season, those include the London series, the All-Star Game, and the World Series.
He will be at the desk alongside Kevin Burkhardt, David Ortíz, and Rodriguez.