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Bob Costas: David Letterman Wanted Me to Follow Him To CBS

“At a different crossroads in my life, I undoubtedly would have done it.”

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Brett Davis USA TODAY Sports

Bob Costas recently appeared on the Marchand and Ourand podcast to discuss discuss his career, favorite interviews, favorite players, and more.

During this, he announced that he received very interesting offer that he was considering heavily that would have changed the course of his career.

“I never mentioned this for 20, 30 years, but I have mentioned it a couple of times because I’ve been asked,” said Costas. “I guess it’s far enough in the rearview mirror, but, when David Letterman left NBC after Jay Leno got The Tonight Show rather than David, and went to CBS, part of the deal was that he controlled the hour after his. 

“And to sweeten the pot, CBS offered me a correspondent spot on 60 Minutes. So I would have done the hour after David Letterman and then a correspondent on 60 Minutes and it was very, very tempting.” said Costas.

Costas said that in a different point in his life, he may have taken the offer. “But at that time NBC had a treasure trove of sports riches. I had a very close relationship with [NBC Sports chairman] Dick Ebersol.”

Costas said that another reason that he did not take the offer was his kids.

“As corny as it sounds, you can say to a little kid, ‘hey, wanna go to the ballgame? We’ll stand by the batting cage, we’ll say hi to Ozzie Smith.’ ‘Wanna go to the Bulls game? Well, we’ll watch Michael Jordan.’ Or ‘lets everybody go to the Olympics.’ It’s a little harder to have a kid’s attitude perk up when you say, ‘I’m interviewing the Secretary of State, wanna come along?’ That was actually part of the decision.”

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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