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Chris Russo: ESPN Was Not Happy I Told Howard Stern My First Take Salary

“Somebody from ESPN sent a text to my agent with two words: ‘Not helpful.’”

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Chris Russo First Take

Back in June, Howard Stern welcomed Chris Russo to his SiriusXM show. During the interview, the King of All Media got Mad Dog to reveal what his arrangement is with ESPN to make appearances on First Take each week.

Russo told Stern that he gets $10,000 per appearance. This week, he revealed to Jimmy Traina that ESPN was not happy he made the number public.

“I’ll probably get my wrist slapped again,” Russo said on the SI Media Podcast. “Somebody from ESPN sent a text to my agent with two words: ‘Not helpful.’ I never said that before. That will get me in trouble, too, but what the hell? It’s your show, nobody listens.”

In defense of Chris Russo, he and Stern have known each other for a long time. He made a startegic decision about what kind of headlines he was willing to make on the show.

“If you go on with Howard, he puts you on for an hour and 15 minutes, you gotta give him something. I’m not gonna go break down my sex life or anything like that. I gotta give him something that’s meaty, and that is meaty. He loves that stuff. That’s why I did it.”

The current arrangement between Russo and ESPN calls for 40 appearances on First Take. Will there be more appearances after episode 40? He says those discussions have not yet taken place.

Despite regularly ending up in heated arguments with athletes and other younger debators, Chris Russo did not miss a beat when Traina asked if he would want to do more with ESPN in the future.

“Why would I not? I love Stephen A. Outside of the commute, which is difficult, what’s there not to like?”

Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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FOX Scores Most-Watched PAC-12 Championship Game Ever

Jordan Bondurant

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Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game between Utah and USC drew the largest audience in the game’s history, according to FOX.

Over 6.2 million tuned in to watch the Utes dominate the Trojans 47-24 and dash USC’s hopes at making the College Football Playoff.

The network said viewership was up 45% compared to the 2021 title game, which aired on ABC and also featured Utah. The Utes won the conference crown in convincing fashion that year too, posting a 38-10 victory over Oregon.

The Pac-12 will be without USC and UCLA as member schools following the 2023 season. The Trojans and the Bruins will join the Big Ten in 2024.

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