It was another big year in sports media, and The Big Lead staff has announced their picks for the sports media awards of the year.
The Sports Personality of the year went to NBC Sports’ Maria Taylor. Taylor was surrounded by controversy this whole year, but remained professional and on her game regardless. Taylor also made a move this year after 8 years at ESPN. She has been a part of Summer Olympics coverage as well as the host of Football Night in America, and will contribute heavily to this year’s Super Bowl coverage on the network. Taylor beat out Dan Le Batard, Stephen A. Smith, and Mike Greenberg for the award.
The best Radio Show of the year went to The Pat McAfee Show, beating out The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Tiki and Tierney, and The Dan Patrick Show. McAfee has really emerged this year as a staple in the sports radio world with his natural charisma and humor that turns any guest into an interesting listen.
The Biggest Sports Media Acquisition went to Peyton and Eli Manning for their role in the Manningcast, ESPN 2’ss alternate feed for Monday Night Football. The NFL and ESPN hit a gold mine this year with a new and interesting format to a familiar product. Many other networks and sports leagues will be trying to replicate their success for years to come. The Manning brothers beat out some other notable acquisitions for the award including Ariel Helwani, Drew Brees, and Maria Taylor.
Here is a list of the other awards that were given out throughout the year by The Big Lead.
Best Game Analyst: Jeff Van Gundy
Best Play-by-Play Announcer: Joe Buck
Newcomer of the Year: Aqib Talib
Sportswriter of the Year: Tyler Tynes
Best Podcast: Pardon My Take
Insider of the Year: Adam Schefter
Best Sports Media Reporter: Andrew Marchand
Most Versatile Sports Media Member: Mina Kimes
Sports Media Event of the Year: Dan Le Batard for “Freedumb”
Sports Book Author of the Year: Mirin Fader
Best Studio Show: NFL RedZone
Best Sports Television Series: Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Meme of the Year: Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jackie MacMullan
Reice Shipley is a daily news writer and social media assistant for BSM. He is a graduate of Ithaca University, contributor to the Syracuse Mets, and aspires to work behind the scenes in sports media in the future. He can be found on Twitter @Reice_Shipley18 or you may reach him by email at RShipley@ithaca.edu.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing 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 and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.