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IRL (In Real Life) => Sports => Topic started by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:01:27 AM

Title: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:01:27 AM
Lots of layoffs coming today, mostly front-facing people.

Confirmed so far:

Ed Werden, NFL reporter
https://twitter.com/Edwerderespn/status/857225944221831168

Scott Burnside, NHL reporter
https://twitter.com/OvertimeScottB

Dana O'Neil, College hoops reporter
https://twitter.com/ESPNDanaOneil
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 09:12:02 AM
Wow. 100 people

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/layoffs-hit-espn-as-network-sheds-air-talent-997616
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:30:55 AM
Pierre LeBrun too. With him and Burnside, that's a major cut to NHL coverage
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:32:05 AM
Wow. 100 people

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/layoffs-hit-espn-as-network-sheds-air-talent-997616

Deitsch & Miller have both been talking about layoffs coming for weeks, so it didn't sneak up on anyone. But it still sucks when you see the names come across the wire
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:35:15 AM
John Buccigross - another hockey stalwart
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Windigo on April 26, 2017, 09:42:50 AM
So what's the scoop on why?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 09:44:10 AM
So what's the scoop on why?

$$
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:45:18 AM
http://deadspin.com/a-running-list-of-espn-layoffs-1794664091


So what's the scoop on why?

Money.  They spent a shit-ton of money bidding against themselves for on-air rights to games (esp NFL and NBA) and with subscribers cutting the cord on cable, they're not expanding at a ridiculous rate like they used to, so Disney (corporate parent) is wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 09:47:36 AM
John Buccigross - another hockey stalwart

apparently they're now 'walking back' on Buccigross and he's not out
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Windigo on April 26, 2017, 09:48:11 AM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 09:52:09 AM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Windigo on April 26, 2017, 09:59:52 AM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.

Next they'll outsource to China and India.

"Elephant Polo Quarter Finals. Coming up next!"
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: DoctorQuest on April 26, 2017, 10:00:39 AM
ESPN needs to disconnect from cable themselves. I think they would be better served with independent streaming services that folks could subscribe to without a cable subscription. Maybe not. I am not qualified to run the numbers. I was ESPNless for a bit until I signed up for Sling TV. I missed it a bit but not enough to pay my cable company for way more channels than I need just to get ESPN channels.

The bottom line is you can watch a buttload of sports without ESPN. Or I don't mind watching some games after the fact on WatchESPN.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 26, 2017, 10:09:26 AM
DQ, that's assuming enough people could get fast enough internet access that isn't capped.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 10:10:15 AM
A bunch of college football reporters getting whacked.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: DoctorQuest on April 26, 2017, 10:37:12 AM
DQ, that's assuming enough people could get fast enough internet access that isn't capped.

Agreed. Very good point.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 10:43:17 AM
Speaking of cord cutting

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170425/10063437234/cord-cutting-is-very-real-25-americans-wont-subscribe-to-traditional-cable-next-year.shtml
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 26, 2017, 10:54:26 AM
Speaking of cord cutting

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170425/10063437234/cord-cutting-is-very-real-25-americans-wont-subscribe-to-traditional-cable-next-year.shtml

DSLReports.com has been writing about this for some time.  The article above talks about cables monopoly on broadband.  We just signed up for a service from AT&T call Wireless Home Phone & Internet Rural Plan.  There were 2 options, a 250gb/month for $60 plan and a 500gb/month for $100 plan.  We went with the 250gb plan.  In exchange we're our Frontier home phone service to the new service and dropping our sub 1mb DSL line, for the same costs. 

Dish also has a lot of spectrum that they own.  There's been a lot of speculation on what they plan on doing with it. You've also got T-Mobile doing a lot with plans.

I'm not sure those cable monopolies are as secure as some think.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 11:58:57 AM
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/latest-espn-layoffs-part-effort-160053237.html

I can't remember that last time I considered Sports Center must-see tv. At least 15 years.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 12:03:07 PM
This sounds terrible


Quote
"ESPN executives are moving forward with the plan to shift Mike Greenberg — one-half of the long-running 'Mike & Mike' radio show on ESPN Radio — into a new role as the lead host of a television show that would air in the mornings on ESPN. The new show will have elements of 'SportsCenter' — which currently airs at that time — as well as a traditional morning show. It is expected to be based in New York City. The new program would put an end to end to Greenberg's on-air partnership with Mike Golic, which began in October 1998."
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 12:37:43 PM
That's not new
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 12:51:50 PM
That's not new

Still sounds awful.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 01:17:20 PM
Some BIG names getting whacked now...

Jayson Stark
Jay Crawford
Danny Knell
Len Elmore
Trent Dilfer
Jane McManus
Jim Bowden

plus the guys above... 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 01:21:54 PM
ouch
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 01:25:47 PM
Can't say I'm sad to see Dilfer go.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 03:01:31 PM
Roger Cossack (legal analyst) gone now, too
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 04:49:27 PM
Darren Hayes
Greg Ostendorf

holy crap...  Dr Jerry Punch!  Damn, maybe they can get him back on Raycom sports as the sideline guy for the ACC game of the week here
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 04:58:49 PM
What a blood bath.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 05:25:06 PM
There's still reports coming in from folks who were waiting to talk to family before going public.  There will still be announcements into the night.

ESPN isn't releasing a list (they might later), so it's up to the indiv's to announce that they were laid off
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Staggerwing on April 26, 2017, 06:10:09 PM
Sounds like it's enough folks to staff a rival network. Hmm...
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 06:13:46 PM
http://deadspin.com/espns-latest-layoffs-are-just-a-way-to-buy-time-1794678629
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bbmike on April 26, 2017, 06:14:32 PM
Maybe they could have saved some money by not having so many hosts for a show? Do we really need 5 or more people to host College Gameday or NFL football?  ::)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 06:16:16 PM
Sounds like it's enough folks to staff a rival network. Hmm...

You mean like Cowherd, Bayless, Broussard, Gottlieb, Klatt, Glazer, Wright, Rosenthal, Whitlock, Carter, Mandel, and Feldman?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 06:18:57 PM
Maybe they could have saved some money by not having so many hosts for a show? Do we really need 5 or more people to host College Gameday or NFL football?  ::)

They could've save the money by not upping their NBA rights fee from $400mil to $1.4bil
Yes, they went up $1bil over a decade for a league that really had no other viable suitors.

They're paying more for the NFL than Fox is, and they get a crappier schedule, no Super Bowls, and fewer playoff games.

They could prop up some bad decisions with their guaranteed subscriber rights fees (roughly $6/mo for the main channel, less for the other).  They can't prop up multiple bad decisions with subscriber fees that are tanking.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 06:36:18 PM
I wonder what Scott Van Pelt is thinking today

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/09/07/dont-tell-scott-van-pelt-that-espn-is-dying/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/09/07/dont-tell-scott-van-pelt-that-espn-is-dying/)

Quote
I look at it this way: [Stories like that are] like a Mad Lib: We’re going to reference cord-cutting, we’re going to reference the names of the high-profile talent who have left, then we’re going to mention that a bunch of people were let go, and then we’re going to mention ratings. … And the picture that it begins to paint is, ‘We’re [in trouble],’ ” Van Pelt said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “And then you see in the third quarter ESPN made $5.9 billion. I would put it this way, the analogy I would make is: Warren Buffet lost $50 million. He’s still a billionaire and he still has more money than the people he’s in common with that it’s not even close. So my push-back and my fatigue with this, and it’s real fatigue — I’m really tired of being painted as some sort of failing, sinking ship.”
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 06:41:59 PM
I'm going to find out tomorrow morning.  I'm DVR'ing his show tonight b/c I'm not staying up past midnight to see it
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on April 26, 2017, 06:56:33 PM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.

But the ones leaving weren't watching ESPN anyway. The problem is Sports Center.With all the highlights, scores and stats available immediately on line it's outdated. They need to find a replacement for it.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 07:07:57 PM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.

But the ones leaving weren't watching ESPN anyway. The problem is Sports Center.With all the highlights, scores and stats available immediately on line it's outdated. They need to find a replacement for it.

Doesn't matter rather they watch or not. ESPN gets a fee from cable companies on a per subscriber basis. Approximately $7 of your monthly cable bill goes to ESPN whether you watch it or not. So ESPN is getting $70 million less per month in subscriber fees than it was 3 years ago.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 26, 2017, 07:59:11 PM
Doug Glanville's gone, too
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on April 26, 2017, 08:41:55 PM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.

But the ones leaving weren't watching ESPN anyway. The problem is Sports Center.With all the highlights, scores and stats available immediately on line it's outdated. They need to find a replacement for it.

Doesn't matter rather they watch or not. ESPN gets a fee from cable companies on a per subscriber basis. Approximately $7 of your monthly cable bill goes to ESPN whether you watch it or not. So ESPN is getting $70 million less per month in subscriber fees than it was 3 years ago.

That's true but it is not anything ESPN can control. When someone cancels their cable every station loses money. The fact that ESPN gets way more per subscriber than any other network just shows how valuable it is to cable.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2017, 08:48:06 PM
wanting to see payroll come down to help balance things out

and therefore dropping show/production quality and losing more subscribers....

They've been hemorrhaging subscribers for the past few years. The payroll dumps were inevitable.

But the ones leaving weren't watching ESPN anyway. The problem is Sports Center.With all the highlights, scores and stats available immediately on line it's outdated. They need to find a replacement for it.

Doesn't matter rather they watch or not. ESPN gets a fee from cable companies on a per subscriber basis. Approximately $7 of your monthly cable bill goes to ESPN whether you watch it or not. So ESPN is getting $70 million less per month in subscriber fees than it was 3 years ago.

That's true but it is not anything ESPN can control. When someone cancels their cable every station loses money. The fact that ESPN gets way more per subscriber than any other network just shows how valuable it is to cable.

They can't completely control it, but what they can do is provide compelling content that helps retain subscribers.

Regardless of what is within their control, the reality is they are collecting almost $1 billion dollars less in annual subscriber fees than they were just three years ago.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 27, 2017, 12:55:40 PM
and paying way more than necessary for their rights fees for some leagues, like the NBA and a bad NFL deal
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 27, 2017, 12:57:29 PM
You can add

Andy Katz
David Ching
David Lombardi
Britt McHenry
Charles Arbuckle

to the list
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bbmike on April 27, 2017, 01:08:03 PM
^Britt McHenry did sports for WJLA here in DC for a while. She's probably wishing she had stayed there.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 27, 2017, 01:10:08 PM
I liked Charles Arbuckle.  Miss him on the college football discussion shows. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on April 27, 2017, 01:44:50 PM

They can't completely control it, but what they can do is provide compelling content that helps retain subscribers.

Regardless of what is within their control, the reality is they are collecting almost $1 billion dollars less in annual subscriber fees than they were just three years ago.

That's their issue with Sports Center. It was the flagship show but now there is no need for a highlight show, you can get it all on the internet anytime you want. The games are compelling content to those who are interested in watching live sports but re-runs of live games isn't in much demand so they have to find something else to fill the hours. They could also probably do with fewer channels, they have 4-5 of them.

They would be losing the subscriber fees even if their content was the most compelling on the planet, people are dropping cable and it effect every cable channel.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 27, 2017, 05:34:40 PM
The Federalist gives a pretty good summary on why ESPN is struggling;

http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/26/the-real-story-behind-espns-wednesday-massacre/

Quote
ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, became the worldwide leader in sports layoffs on Wednesday morning after news leaked that the cable network was in the process of laying off 100 staffers, most of whom are reported to be on-air talent.

The layoff reports came as no surprise to those who have followed ESPN and its on- and off-air struggles to profitably provide the kind of content that most sports fans want to watch. Shortly after the mass layoff reports were confirmed, the Internet hot takes began. ESPN is failing because of cord-cutting, because it has too much politics, because it has too little politics, because sports fans are racists, you name it.

So what’s the real reason the network felt forced to slash its payroll overnight? There is no one reason. There are a number of factors, each of which has been multiplied by poor strategic decisions. ESPN would have you believe that the network is a victim of circumstances, caught up in an industry whirlwind over which it has no control.

Maybe, but that’s hardly the whole story. The real reasons aren’t all that complicated, but they’re not as simple as much of the social media hand-wringing would have you believe.

ESPN isn’t struggling because of one thing. It’s struggling because of a bunch of different things happening simultaneously. Some are outside of its control, and some are not. Here are the big reasons for these mass layoffs.

1) ESPN Overpaid for Broadcast Rights

In a nutshell, ESPN committed to paying massive long-term fixed costs for the right to air professional sports events, namely NFL and NBA games. Sports reporter Clay Travis of Outkick has been banging the drum on this score for quite some time, much to ESPN’s chagrin (Just last month Travis predicted Wednesday’s mass layoffs only to have ESPN sic its PR hounds on him and accuse him of making it all up).

In accounting terms, the network committed to high long-term fixed costs (broadcast rights) in exchange for declining variable revenues (cable subscription fees and advertising dollars). You don’t have to be a mathematician to see the problems with this formula for success. Even if ESPN is making decent money right now, the music is eventually going to stop, people are going to stop dancing, and somebody’s going to be stuck without a chair.

Here’s how Travis sums up the problem:

The simple truth of the matter is this — ESPN spent way too much on sports rights just as its cable and satellite subscriptions began to collapse. On track for $8 billion in programming costs in 2017, ESPN will rack up its 15 millionth lost subscriber since 2011. Every single day so far in 2017 over 10,000 people have left ESPN. The numbers are astonishing and the collapse is rapid. All those lost subscribers add up to big money — that’s over $1.3 billion a year in money that comes off ESPN’s books every year.

And ESPN is on the hook for billions and billions a year for all the years ahead. That’s guaranteed payments to leagues that ESPN can’t escape no matter how many employees it fires.

As I’ve written before, if the current subscriber loss trajectory keeps up ESPN will begin losing money by 2021. And if the subscriber losses accelerate it will happen even sooner than that.

Rising fixed costs and risky, declining revenues are the root of all of ESPN’s problems. Overpriced broadcast rights are certainly the biggest piece in that financial puzzle, but they’re not the only one. Salaries are also a pretty heavy fixed cost, and one the network decided to slash. Will that decision improve the financial picture, at least on the costs side? Maybe. But ESPN could fire every single person on staff and still not make the numbers work. When your ship is sinking, tossing a few deck chairs over the side isn’t going to accomplish much.

We’ve identified and addressed ESPN’s main cost problem. But what about its revenue problems? What is causing those?

2) Cable Cord-Cutting

ESPN is hemorrhaging subscribers. There is no debate about this fact. In just the last six years, the Connecticut-based sports network has lost 12 million subscribers. At roughly $7 paid out monthly to ESPN per subscriber, that’s nearly $100 million in lost revenue each month going forward for eternity. The big question is: Why are those viewers no longer choosing to pay for cable, and by extension choosing to pay Disney for the privilege of having ESPN on their cable box? Is it because they’re tired of paying for cable, or because they’re tired of paying for ESPN?

ESPN and Disney executives will tell you it’s obviously the former and has nothing whatsoever to do with ESPN. The Internet has changed things, they’ll say, and services like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix have made cable, and its exorbitant monthly fees, less necessary.

There’s clearly some truth to this. Cord-cutting is a sweeping dynamic, and ESPN just happens to be the biggest chunk getting pushed into the dustpan. But ESPN’s public rhetoric about cord-cutting having nothing to do with ESPN completely contradicts the corporation’s rhetoric about negotiating fees from and services to cable providers.
That’s because Disney, ESPN’s parent, uses the popularity of ESPN’s live sports programming to force cable companies into carrying and paying for a large swath of less popular Disney-owned networks. The message? If you want ESPN, then you’re not only going to pay Disney for it, you’re also going to pay for A&E and Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network and History and Freeform and Disney Junior and Disney XD and Vice. It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan to watch a second of any of those networks: if you want to watch college football for three months in the fall, you’re going to pay for the unrelated also-ran networks whether you like it or not.

ESPN knows people will pay for cable just to get ESPN, hence its near-extortion of cable companies into carrying myriad other Disney-owned channels. Given this fact, how can ESPN claim that cord-cutting has nothing to do with ESPN? If people are plugging the cord in just to get ESPN, then you can pretty much guarantee ESPN is very much a part of the cord-cutting conversation. ESPN can’t have it both ways.

Is a ton of cord-cutting happening regardless of what ESPN’s doing? Absolutely. Is the network a mere blameless bystander in the cord-cutting? Not at all. If ESPN wants to claim responsibility for bringing people into the cable fold, then it must also take responsibility when a diehard sports fan finally decides that ESPN’s just not worth the cost of cable anymore. This brings us to the next cause of these revenue problems.

3) Declining ESPN Ratings

ESPN isn’t just losing millions of cable subscribers, many of whom probably never even watched the network despite paying for it. It’s also losing viewers. According to Broadcast & Cable, a TV industry trade publication, ESPN’s ratings are down 7 percent this year, and ESPN2’s ratings are down a whopping 34 percent. What gives?

If you talk to sports fans and to people who have watched ESPN religiously for most of their lives, they’ll tell you the problem is the lack of sports and a surplus of shows featuring people screaming at each other. The near-universal sentiment of former ESPN addicts I’ve spoken to is that the content provider sidelined actual sports in favor of carnival barkers. Sure, you clicked over to ESPN to watch sports, but what you’re actually going to get are “Crossfire”-esque segments of non-athletes making dumb arguments about topics you don’t care about.

One industry insider told me that it’s as if network executives looked at the popularity of local and regional sports talk radio and decided that ESPN needed to replicate that model on television to be successful. If that’s what they actually thought, they were wrong.

Passively listening to a radio show while you’re at work or in your car and unable to watch a live game is a very different thing than wanting to watch some game highlights during the whopping 30 minutes of free time you have to do nothing at home each night. The two aren’t perfect substitutes for each other, yet ESPN’s programming decisions suggest the network thinks talking heads are as big a draw as actual athletes competing on the field. And all this after spending $8 billion to get the rights to air those competitions?

It’s madness. ESPN went from the worldwide leader in sports to yet another expensive network of dumb people yelling dumb things at other dumb people, all the while forgetting that the most popular entertainment form of people yelling about sports stuff for several hours a day — sports talk radio — is free. This brings us to the final major reason for ESPN’s current predicament.

4) Politics

With all this in mind, it’s not at all surprising that ESPN decided to retreat into the fever swamp of leftist politics to save itself. An obsession with politics didn’t doom ESPN, but it’s going to make it extremely difficult for ESPN to dig itself out.

An obsession with politics didn’t doom ESPN, but it’s going to make it extremely difficult for ESPN to dig itself out.

The industry insider I spoke to said the focus on politics was a symptom, rather than a root cause, of all these current issues. According to this insider, ESPN executives saw the writing on the wall — higher costs, subscriber losses, lower ratings — and decided that it needed a bigger content pie to attract more content consumers. Sports is too small, so why not try for a real mass audience by broadening the network’s focus to include news and politics? If X number of people like sports, and Y number of people like politics, then surely combining sports and politics will lead to a much bigger audience, thereby solving the company’s financial dilemma.

This view, of course, ignores how people consume political news. The diehards who love political news don’t turn on the TV or open the laptop and navigate to sites with zero bias that just play it straight. Why? Because those kinds of political news and commentary providers don’t exist. Because that’s not what political junkies want.

Liberals want news from liberals, and conservatives want news from conservatives. The Balkanization of political news and commentary didn’t happen by accident. People in this business know you have to pick a side. That works in political news. It doesn’t work if you have a bipartisan mass media audience.

Instead of expanding its pie by combining two types of mass media content, ESPN ended up communicating to half its audience that it didn’t respect them. How? By committing itself entirely not to political news, but to unceasing left-wing political commentary.

Instead of expanding its pie by combining two types of mass media content, ESPN ended up communicating to half its audience that it didn’t respect them.
You want to watch the Lakers game? Okay, but first you’re going to hear about Caitlyn Jenner. Want some NFL highlights? We’ll get to those eventually, but coming up next will be a discussion about how North Carolina is run by racist, homophobic bigots. You want to see the box scores of today’s baseball games? You can watch those at the bottom of the hour, but right now some D-list network talent would like to lecture you about gun control. After that we’ll have a panel discussion about how much courage it takes to turn your back on the American flag.

The most interesting aspect of the mass layoffs on Wednesday isn’t that they happened, it’s who the network targeted. Not the high-priced carnival barkers and the know-nothing loudmouths doing their best to make Rachel Maddow proud. Nope. ESPN targeted sports reporters. In an effort to cut some fat from its bottom line, ESPN exchanged a scalpel for a chainsaw, skipped the fat entirely, and went straight to cutting out muscle.

If ESPN wants to once again be the worldwide leader in sports, it should refocus on covering sports, which used to be a refuge from politics and the news. America is politicized enough already, and if its citizens want political news, several cable outlets do political news far better than ESPN ever could. Instead of doing sports and politics poorly, perhaps the network could return to the thing that it used to do better than everyone else in the world: cover live sports.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 27, 2017, 05:44:14 PM
^great article. Thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 27, 2017, 05:59:49 PM
On cord cutting.

We have Dish Network.  Last fall, we switched our subscription from a regular package that included ESPN to their new Flex plan.  The Flex plan doesn't include any sports.  But you can add packages.  So for $10, we added ESPN for the remainder of the college football season.  Then last month, we turned off the ESPN package and switched to the sports package that included Big10, PAC12, and SEC networks.  My daughter loves softball and we get a lot more games, plus a bunch of other spring college sports.  Both packages are the same cost, $10 per month.  This fall, when football starts again, we'll most likely switch back to ESPN.

It wasn't too long ago that ESPN was THE place to watch college football.  Now, in addition to ESPN, there is Fox Sports, Big10, Pac12, SEC, and Longhorn.  It's not that they don't have wall to wall games from 12 EST until well after midnight on two or three channels, it's that many of the games are on other channels.  If you lose a lot of views because the Ohio State/Indiana game is on Big10 network, that's going to affect your advertiser dollars. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 27, 2017, 06:00:19 PM
^great article. Thanks for posting it.

Any thing for you dear.   :-*
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 27, 2017, 06:05:39 PM
^great article. Thanks for posting it.

Any thing for you dear.   :-*

Awwww   :smitten:
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bbmike on April 27, 2017, 06:30:30 PM
Dang!
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 27, 2017, 06:32:25 PM
Don't be jelly.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on April 28, 2017, 02:49:06 PM
Why couldn't they fire Dan LeBatard?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 28, 2017, 04:43:17 PM
Why couldn't they fire Dan LeBatard?

He's relatively cheap for the money he pulls in with both the radio and TV shows.

Many of the folks that got fired just had contracts paying more than they were worth.  It wasn't that they whacked the worst of them; they whacked the most overpriced of the staff.  That means some really talented people (Stark, Arbuckle, the entire NHL team) are all available.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on April 28, 2017, 06:57:12 PM
Quote
In appearing on 77 WABC’s "Bernie and Sid" show, Cohn had some rather interesting remarks when asked if the increasingly political nature of ESPN itself played a role in the layoffs.

“That is definitely a percentage of it,” Cohn said Thursday (h/t NY Post). “I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.”

There’s definitely some out there who believe that sports figures have the right to voice their opinions on the societal and political issues of the day. There’s also another train of thought out there that suggests consumers use sports as a way to separate themselves from the increasingly polarized world we see today.

For many, sports acts as an entertainment outlet. If you are strongly supportive of a specific social issue and see someone within the industry dog on your beliefs, it will likely turn you off as a consumer. That’s basic human nature.

While the political stances of ESPN and some of its contributors may have played a role here, the company has long been seeing its viewership go by the wayside. Primarily, this has to do with consumers going with cord-cutter options, shutting out the cable and satellite television industries in the process.

ESPN’s relatively expensive relationship with the NFL, MLB and NBA also plays a role here. The idea behind this week’s layoffs was to get individuals onboard that can handle cross-platform.

The interesting dynamic here is that those who were given their walking papers this week didn’t necessarily dip their toes into the political spectrum of today. They included long-time NFL reporter Ed Werder, former football player Trent Dilfer, MLB’s Jayson Stark and college basketball’s Andy Katz.

Still, some of the most-divisive on-air and print talents at ESPN remain. This seems to indicate that the layoffs had more to do with the economic situation at the four-letter network instead of politics itself.

Cohn’s comments are still rather interesting in that she is someone on the inside and knows more than us what is happening behind the scenes in Connecticut.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 28, 2017, 07:09:56 PM
What's crazy about the cross-platform consideration is that Stark & Katz were both multi-faceted guys who wrote regular, excellent web columns, showed up on a lot of radio shows, and were regulars on the pre-game shows for their respective sports.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 28, 2017, 07:10:50 PM
add to the list:

Mark May (who no one will miss)

Marc Stein (who a lot of people will miss)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on April 28, 2017, 07:47:06 PM
Why couldn't they fire Dan LeBatard?

What don't you like about LeBatard?  I think he's pretty funny.  Not a big fan of Stu, but, the show works pretty well as constructed, to my way of thinking.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 28, 2017, 08:09:26 PM
Lebatard has a few too many recurring 'in' jokes for my liking

When they interview outside guests, it's a decent show
When they chat amongst themselves, or start arguing over what's on their Twitter feeds, I change stations.

Fortunately, both Dan Patrick and Mike Florio are on opposite Lebatard around here
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on April 28, 2017, 09:03:38 PM
I used to listen to Dan Patrick when he was with Dibble on ESPNRadio.  I liked it just fine, but, I'm really tired of listening to people talk about things I don't care about in sports: who's the 5 all time greatest players?  Which current guy is better than the other?  What did this athlete/coach/owner say that doesn't really make a *uck in the real world that we are now going to blow up and obsess over until the next athlete/coach/owner makes an equally stupid and meaningless statement.  At least LeBatard talks about interesting things to me.  And the inside jokes are annoying are only annoying until you get them.  Then it's hysterical.  Like trying to get Greg Cody to give an answer just as the hard break is coming up so he's in mid-sentence when it hits.  Or when Ron Magill from Zoo Miami comes on.  He's got a great sense of humor and the questions he gets asked by the listeners are usually pretty good.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on April 30, 2017, 08:53:45 PM
here's a sport-by-sport rundown of who got whacked

http://awfulannouncing.com/espn/confirmed-espn-layoffs-constantly-updated.html

NBA and MLB took serious hits.
Hockey might as well not exist on ESPN anymore.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on May 03, 2017, 09:56:33 AM
Here is another good article: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/02/did-too-much-caitlyn-jenner-doom-espn-215093

I've been reading about ESPN as a business model for a couple of years in the Wall St. Journal.

Here is my take, which is a combination of what a couple of you pointed out plus a little something.

ESPN paid a ton of money for broadcast rights.  This gave them a high fixed cost.  They got hit by cord cutting hard.

Next, as Marty Ward has pointed out SportsCenter was a big proportion of their programming.  And with smart phones and internet video clips a lot of what made Sports Center unique was gone.  ESPN then had a huge programming gap to fill.

They filled the programming gap by having a couple of guys sit at a table and yell at each other over issues of the day.  Not that interesting because who really cares about that?  This type of programming tended to drift into politics.  They also overtly went into politics on some of their shows.  That irritated a chunk of their audience. 

The program my wife and I used to watch was Baseball Tonight.  But the quality of that really started sinking and we stopped watching.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 10:15:25 AM

The program my wife and I used to watch was Baseball Tonight.  But the quality of that really started sinking and we stopped watching.

I use to watch that too but now with MLB network I can get it basically any time. When ESPN started they were it for sports highlights and news. Now there are dozens of sports networks plus the internet to choose where to get the highlights and discussions from. They are certainly going to be hurting for a while.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 03, 2017, 10:30:45 AM
They filled the programming gap by having a couple of guys sit at a table and yell at each other over issues of the day.  Not that interesting because who really cares about that?  This type of programming tended to drift into politics.  They also overtly went into politics on some of their shows.  That irritated a chunk of their audience.

Most of the debate shows - First Take, Around the Horn, PTI, and before that, The Sports Reporters - stayed largely away from politics / social issues, with only a few personality exceptions, most of whom are no longer at ESPN (Whitlock, for instance).

The 'problem' with the debate shows goes back to the highlights issue mentioned above.  You used to get Sportscenter on a loop in the mornings, from about 5am-noon or so, Eastern.  They'd re-run the 1 hour show for about 4-5 hours, then do a new morning edition that would run for 2-3 hours, too.  They did that b/c as a viewer you knew that you could always turn on ESPN at any point in time and see the highlights and get some comments on the games, and if you had an hour, you could come right back around to where you started watching, and catch up with everything.

Now, you don't need to do that.  I don't need to give up and hour to get all the scores, when I only care about half of them.  I don't need to sit thru 10 different shallow TV-length analyses when I can get 4 in-depth ones online for the sports I care about.

No one was watching Sportscenter, but at least someone was watching the debate shows.

You and I think they suck, but I'm guessing we're not fond of The Bachelor, either, and it's shown some staying power, too, so someone thinks it's worth putting on TV.
The cost to produce the debate shows is much lower too, since they don't need to pay as many highlight rights.

But the net effect was to drive more people away from watching.

So you had cord-cutters that pulled $ out of the guaranteed bottom line
But you also have channel-changers, and they're pulling $ out of the variable bottom line, and the viewership from the live games hasn't proven large enough to support the exorbitant rights fees ESPN has paid.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 11:13:05 AM
With games on 3-4 days and at all times MNF is not the draw that it use to be. If the NFL cans the Thursday night game and they get better match-ups then maybe MNF will become more of a thing. I wouldn't be surprised if ESPN starts streaming MNF to get back some of the cord cutters.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 03, 2017, 11:18:39 AM
ESPN is paying $1.8bil for their NFL package of 17 games, 1-2 playoff games, and no Super Bowls, and they get crap games, especially late in the season

Fox is paying $1.1bil for 2 games/week, plus playoffs, plus Super Bowl, and they aren't worried about cord-cutters
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 12:58:13 PM
ESPN is paying $1.8bil for their NFL package of 17 games, 1-2 playoff games, and no Super Bowls, and they get crap games, especially late in the season

Fox is paying $1.1bil for 2 games/week, plus playoffs, plus Super Bowl, and they aren't worried about cord-cutters

Fox is available over the air so cord cutters don't matter as much, they still take a hit but not as big as ESPN. And they don't get as much per subscriber as ESPN either.

Don't forget ESPN got the draft as part of their deal (which is becoming a pretty big thing)and they have the option of getting nfl playoff games added. You can also stream MNF from Watch ESPN which should help them with some of the cord cutters, provided the games get better.
Sure they overpaid but when you sign a long term deal that is always a risk. Ask the the Yankees about the A-Rod deal. Was he worth $250 million for 10 years or would they have made out better overpaying him even more at $30 million/year for 5 years?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on May 03, 2017, 01:28:28 PM
I think you can only get WatchESPN if you have an active TV subscription to ESPN. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 01:42:18 PM
I think you can only get WatchESPN if you have an active TV subscription to ESPN.

You can get it on Sling TV. Not sure about Hulu and others.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 01:53:31 PM
Most of their programming is not available simply by having a streaming provider, you need cable/satellite, but it look like they make an exception with MNF.

"Yes, Monday Night Football will be available to subscribers, via authentication, on WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN on Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Windows 8, iPads and Android tablets, but NOT on phones at this time."

http://support.espn.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/Will-Monday-Night-Football-be-available-on-WatchESPN?section=WatchESPN
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 01:56:52 PM
Quality of the games is going to be key for ESPN and the NFL. MNF has mostly had garbage games the past couple seasons. And easily half to two-thirds of all NFL games in a given week are basically unwatchable. The league can fiddle around with the rules all they want, but the product on the field needs to improve.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on May 03, 2017, 01:59:39 PM
I think you can only get WatchESPN if you have an active TV subscription to ESPN.

You can get it on Sling TV. Not sure about Hulu and others.

Sling is a paid TV subscription.  The difference is that it's streamed and not delivered with satellite or cable. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 02:59:25 PM
Quality of the games is going to be key for ESPN and the NFL. MNF has mostly had garbage games the past couple seasons. And easily half to two-thirds of all NFL games in a given week are basically unwatchable. The league can fiddle around with the rules all they want, but the product on the field needs to improve.

You got that right. I'll watch the Ravens play the Browns because I like the Ravens. I doubt many other would want that as the MNF game.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 03:02:30 PM
I think you can only get WatchESPN if you have an active TV subscription to ESPN.

You can get it on Sling TV. Not sure about Hulu and others.

Sling is a paid TV subscription.  The difference is that it's streamed and not delivered with satellite or cable.

And that is where a lot of cord cutters are going to. People who cut cords don't necessarily stop watching TV, they just watch it a different way. ESPN doesn't let cord cutters watch everything on Watch ESPN but they do let them watch MNF.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on May 03, 2017, 03:12:45 PM
I think you can only get WatchESPN if you have an active TV subscription to ESPN.

You can get it on Sling TV. Not sure about Hulu and others.

Sling is a paid TV subscription.  The difference is that it's streamed and not delivered with satellite or cable.

And that is where a lot of cord cutters are going to. People who cut cords don't necessarily stop watching TV, they just watch it a different way. ESPN doesn't let cord cutters watch everything on Watch ESPN but they do let them watch MNF.

If your paying for a service like Sling, your not cutting the cord, your still paying for the service just using a different method to have it delivered.  So if you have a Sling subscription with ESPN, then your still paying for ESPN and they're still getting paid for that subscription.  If no different if I get a physical copy of the Wall Street Journal or an electronic one, they're still getting paid, it's just he method if delivery is different. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 05:47:21 PM

If your paying for a service like Sling, your not cutting the cord, your still paying for the service just using a different method to have it delivered.  So if you have a Sling subscription with ESPN, then your still paying for ESPN and they're still getting paid for that subscription.  If no different if I get a physical copy of the Wall Street Journal or an electronic one, they're still getting paid, it's just he method if delivery is different.

That's true hey aren't free but ESPN isn't losing those subscribers and the fees aren't even close to what they get from cable and satellite. They are losing subscribers and fee from cable and satellite. Streaming services are who are picking up the cord cutters.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 05:50:09 PM
The problem is all the cord cutters who don't miss ESPN.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 05:51:59 PM
A billion per year in lost sub revenue is tough to make up.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 06:02:06 PM
The problem is all the cord cutters who don't miss ESPN.


or any of the other channels. Cord cutters are really changing the way TV is delivered.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 06:23:55 PM
The problem is all the cord cutters who don't miss ESPN.


or any of the other channels. Cord cutters are really changing the way TV is delivered.

True, but it hits ESPN a bit differently than the quilting channel.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 07:12:43 PM


True, but it hits ESPN a bit differently than the quilting channel.

Disney ain't hurting for cash and ESPN will take in over $7 billion in subscriber fee this year. They aren't going anywhere. The quilting channel may very well fold because of losing subscribers.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on May 03, 2017, 07:31:33 PM
The problem is all the cord cutters who don't miss ESPN.

That would be me.  I don't miss it one bit.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 07:34:50 PM


True, but it hits ESPN a bit differently than the quilting channel.

Disney ain't hurting for cash and ESPN will take in over $7 billion in subscriber fee this year. They aren't going anywhere. The quilting channel may very well fold because of losing subscribers.

All good then. Not sure why ESPN had been loping heads.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on May 03, 2017, 07:40:57 PM
Marty, you seem to think a company can lose 1 billion dollars in annual revenue and not suffer any consequences.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 08:25:13 PM


All good then. Not sure why ESPN had been loping heads.

Who did they let go that they needed to keep? They need new programming, more original programming and shows along the lines of 30 for 30 or outside the lines not another sports center type program.

I have 4 espn channels on my cable. That's 96 hours of programming per day they need to fill. From 8:00 to 1:00 there is nothing but sports center, mike & mike, dan le batard and 1st take on them. That is 20 hours of basically the same stuff. Its pretty much the same from 3:00 - 7:00 on 3 of the channels (the other begins showing college football reruns). That's another 12 hours of basically the same stuff as in the morning. Then starting at 11:00 pm to 8:00 it's basically the same stuff on 3 of the channels. That's another 27 hours. That's 59 hours of basically the same stuff repeated over and over. They need some new blood. They may have over paid but at least the live events are a reason to actually watch the channel.

Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on May 03, 2017, 08:26:40 PM
Marty, you seem to think a company can lose 1 billion dollars in annual revenue and not suffer any consequences.

They didn't lose anything, they made less than they did last year. They still had over $10 billion in revenue even after losing subscribers.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 11, 2017, 05:37:42 PM
(edit: just realized some of these are reposted)

https://medium.com/@kerith_burke/the-espn-cuts-and-the-despair-of-a-changing-landscape-cad1a1fde8db

https://theringer.com/espn-layoffs-d7fad2feb8d5

https://thefederalist.com/2017/04/26/the-real-story-behind-espns-wednesday-massacre/

https://medium.com/from-the-sidelines/espns-problem-isn-t-politics-it-s-false-narrative-d4f1b9b2ce0

https://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/05/02/espn-layoffs-ed-werder-state-sports-journalism

http://www.jeffpearlman.com/the-espn-carnage/

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-the-espn-layoffs-are-so-disappointing/
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on May 11, 2017, 06:29:44 PM
(edit: just realized some of these are reposted)

https://medium.com/@kerith_burke/the-espn-cuts-and-the-despair-of-a-changing-landscape-cad1a1fde8db

https://theringer.com/espn-layoffs-d7fad2feb8d5

https://thefederalist.com/2017/04/26/the-real-story-behind-espns-wednesday-massacre/

https://medium.com/from-the-sidelines/espns-problem-isn-t-politics-it-s-false-narrative-d4f1b9b2ce0

https://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/05/02/espn-layoffs-ed-werder-state-sports-journalism

http://www.jeffpearlman.com/the-espn-carnage/

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-the-espn-layoffs-are-so-disappointing/

I found the article from The Nation to be unintentionally funny.  They write about tangential sports stories ESPN did, the wonderful demographic progress in the newsroom - and then conclude that a liberal tilt was non-existent. 

Most of the stuff I've read (especially the Wall St. Journal) state that the problem was overpaying for broadcast rights, cable cutting in general, Sports Center not working so well in the internet age and as a contributing (but not the main factor) - leftist politics.  Two of the lefty sources claim that the righty sources are stating that politics is the main reason ESPN is having problems.  But I've not read anything that says that politics is anything more than one factor out of many.

But Brant, thanks for the links two of them gave me a good laugh.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 01, 2017, 04:40:48 AM
John Clayton
http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/john-clayton-espn-layoffs-trent-dilfer-ed-werder-sportscenter-the-professor/9465isqoefmg1ihos9tux9e6z
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 08, 2017, 05:17:21 AM
Bias at ESPN?

https://sports.yahoo.com/news/bias-isnt-just-espns-problem-153719108.html
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Bison on June 08, 2017, 07:00:19 AM
The sad part is ESPNs own article on the survey emphasized that 30%! of viewers thought they had a conservative bias.  The geniuses at ESPN think people are idiots and failed to mention that nearly 70% believed it had a liberal bias.  It was the 30% they kept emphasizing over and over.  Frankly ESPN can continue to tank for all I care. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on June 08, 2017, 07:01:40 AM
Frankly ESPN can continue to tank for all I care. 

Yep. I could care less about the fate of ESPN.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 08, 2017, 07:08:19 AM
The sad part is ESPNs own article on the survey emphasized that 30%! of viewers thought they had a conservative bias.  The geniuses at ESPN think people are idiots and failed to mention that nearly 70% believed it had a liberal bias.  It was the 30% they kept emphasizing over and over.  Frankly ESPN can continue to tank for all I care. 

No, you read the stats wrong
Here's the quote

Quote
Thirty percent – that would be three out of every ten – detected bias, meaning the vast majority – 70 percent – detected no bias. Of the “ESPN is biased” group, 63 percent detected a liberal bias, while 30 percent detected a conservative bias.

70% detected no bias at all, and 30% detected some.

Of those 30%, 63% leaned liberal and 30% leaned conservative.

So of the overall sample:

70% = No bias at all
19% = Liberal bias
9% = Conservative bias
Now, there's 7% of viewers who "detected a bias" (of that 30%) but didn't manage to fall into either the liberal or conservative camp, so not really sure what they were detecting.  They account for about 2% of the overall sample.

Yes, more people detected a liberal bias than a conservative one.  But fewer than 1-in-5 of the overall sample thought there was a liberal bias, and just under 1-in-10 thought ESPN leaned conservative.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on June 08, 2017, 07:10:13 AM
Gee, in that case I'll start watching ESPN more.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Bison on June 08, 2017, 07:23:32 AM
The ESPN article emphasized that 30%!!! of those who detected bias detetected conservative bias.  30%! Guys for realz! 30%!  We are so conservative!  They never mentioned the 70%.  The also never released the results.  So who the hell knows what the actual samples were for the survey. 

In other news, they are trying to court people by bringing back Hank Williams Jr. for Monday Night Football.  Remember they fired him for daring to criticize The One?  Yup that offsets the day time programming rants of Stephen A. Smith and other bigots. ESPN should cut some of the channels and only show sport events and reruns of those events.  Maybe a highlight show or two and drop the politics totally, because no one needs ESPN any longer in the age of the internet to watch or get sports news and certainly not for more political discussions. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on June 08, 2017, 07:28:55 AM
Stephen A. Smith is a good example. I think he's pretty bright guy and I enjoyed him when he focused on the NBA. I don't give a rat's ass about his social and political views. He's entitled to them, I just have no interest in watching a show about them.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 08, 2017, 07:39:29 AM
Stephen A. Smith is a good example. I think he's pretty bright guy and I enjoyed him when he focused on the NBA. I don't give a rat's ass about his social and political views. He's entitled to them, I just have no interest in watching a show about them.

I completely agree with you.

But those shout-fest shows are cheap to make, and they bring in higher ratings than anything else they've got available at that time.

Everyone on those shows is already under some kind of contract to ESPN, so the talent cost is a wash. They use their own studios / production crews, so no extra cost there.  In short, no rights fees/labor costs to make the show, and higher ratings than either SC reruns or whatever sporting events are available at that time of day. 

It's a no-brainer business decision, even if it's a lousy choice for viewers.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Bison on June 08, 2017, 07:44:17 AM
The one program that was decent was outside the lines.  It was limited to Sunday or Saturday mornings and wasn't at that time in your face SJW propaganda.  They did good stories in a 60 Minutes vein.  Sure some times it touched on politics, but not always and generally from a human interest story point of view.  I remember one on Evander Holyfield that was very good.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 08, 2017, 08:20:30 AM
The one program that was decent was outside the lines.  It was limited to Sunday or Saturday mornings and wasn't at that time in your face SJW propaganda.  They did good stories in a 60 Minutes vein.  Sure some times it touched on politics, but not always and generally from a human interest story point of view.  I remember one on Evander Holyfield that was very good.

they've actually expanded that one to OTL Daily now and it's going to be more prominent in the Fall schedule.


Of additional interest, this podcast talks about a bunch of the changes at ESPN, and talks explicitly about the perceived bias of the network.  Bob Ley is also one of the more politically/socially conservative guys at the network, too.  It's interesting to hear some of the war stories from two long-time ESPN staffers.
https://soundcloud.com/si-media-podcast-with-richard-deitsch/bob-ley-and-jeremy-schaap-of-espn
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 13, 2017, 08:01:45 AM
some pretty interesting perspective on what's happened at ESPN from Bill Simmons

Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 13, 2017, 08:43:10 PM
Is she saying Vox or Fox?  Cuz if it's Vox, Simmons is sunk.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 13, 2017, 09:21:05 PM
Vox

he's cut a deal to move The Ringer over there b/c their ad platform gives them better targeting / control.  Medium has mostly killed their ad-driven model, and most of The Ringer's ad revenue is from their extensive podcast network.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 13, 2017, 09:32:23 PM
Well, I was insinuating it would be their left lean that would sink him.  Everyone knows liberals hate sports.  How do you think we ended up with everyone gets a trophy?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 14, 2017, 04:32:17 AM
he's going to be on their back-end platform, but I think he's going to be his own branded site, like he is today on Medium.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 17, 2017, 11:56:54 AM
the day the right wing declared war on ESPN

http://awfulannouncing.com/espn/caitlyn-jenner-at-the-espys-the-night-the-right-wing-turned-on-espn.html
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on August 24, 2017, 05:55:25 AM
Looks like they should of added one more to the list

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/espn-ryen-russillo-arrested-criminal-entry-charge-article-1.3436269

ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo arrested after police find him drunk and naked in stranger's condo: report

Quote
Ryen Russillo was arrested for criminal entry in Wyoming early Wednesday morning, after police reportedly found him "highly intoxicated" and naked in a stranger's condo.

Two people were sleeping in Jackson, Wyo., when they heard someone enter their residence, according to Jackson Hole News & Guide. They asked the ESPN host to leave, but he did not.

Police arrived shortly afterward and arrested him, the report said.

“Occupants pointed the suspect out who was found in a bedroom,” Jackson Police Lt. Roger Schultz told the publication, who added that Russillo didn't know where he was and appeared "to have just walked in" the possibly unlocked condo.

“He couldn’t coherently answer any questions,” said Schultz, referring to Russillo as "intoxicated."

The affidavit states: "Officers found the defendant, later identified as Ryen August Russillo, lying on the bed in the south bedroom naked except for his pants around his ankles."

Russillo, 42, was reportedly taken into police custody at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday and being held in the Teton County Sheriff's Office. He now has to post a bond and if he doesn't, he'll face a judge within 48 hours.

 Criminal entry in Wyoming is a misdemeanor that's punishable up to six months in prison or a $750 fine.

Russillo had tweeted a photo from the West Coast this week when he shared a picture of Lava Lake in Montana.

He has been a part of ESPN Radio since 2006. From 2009-2015, Russillo co-hosted "The Scott Van Pelt Show" alongside Scott Van Pelt.

When Van Pelt left for "SportsCenter" in 2015, Russillo paired up with Danny Kanell for "Russillo and Kanell" from 2015-2017.

Russillo survived the ESPN layoffs in April and May, but his radio partner did not. At the time, rumors were going around he was going to have a lesser role at the network, which he shot down immediately on the air.

ESPN has said it is"looking into the report."
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on August 24, 2017, 06:06:53 AM
He's actually one of their better on air radio guys. He's not one to make ridiculous hot takes, and is very knowledgeable of a lot of the nuances of the rules and contracts and deals, especially with the NBA
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on August 24, 2017, 07:16:51 PM
Russillo ruined Van Pelt's show by being on it.  Then committed the cardinal sin of teaming up with that SEC hater, Kanell.  I do not wish him any harm or ill will, but, if he doesn't come back to ESPN, maybe now I can go back to listening during his time slot.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on August 24, 2017, 07:19:39 PM
You know Kanell is gone, right? 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on August 24, 2017, 07:32:14 PM
I do.  But Russillo was still there.  Filling the time slot I used to take so much joy out of hearing Van Pelt, solo, in.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on September 12, 2017, 02:16:33 PM
The decline of ESPN continues

http://thefederalist.com/2017/09/12/jemele-hill-tweets-bad-espn-show-is-worse/
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on September 14, 2017, 07:47:15 PM
It seems ESPN is determined to veer left and damn the consequences:

https://www.theringer.com/2017/9/13/16299136/jemele-hill-espn-michael-smith-sportscenter-the-six
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 14, 2017, 08:55:58 PM
See, we took very different things out of that article.

I read that the hosts are trying to dial it back out of deference to the show. (Admittedly I hardly ever watch as I don't enjoy Hill & Smith)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on September 14, 2017, 09:49:15 PM
See, we took very different things out of that article.

I read that the hosts are trying to dial it back out of deference to the show. (Admittedly I hardly ever watch as I don't enjoy Hill & Smith)

I'm seeing espn with a double-standard.  A right leaning public statement gets you fired, but a leftist rant does not.  I'm also seeing a lot more focus on athlete social media b.s. and less on on field performance.  I stopped viewing sports shows years ago.  I only read game reports on espn now.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 15, 2017, 04:11:26 AM
A right leaning public statement gets you fired, but a leftist rant does not.
http://www.businessinsider.com/espn-jemele-hill-curt-schilling-perceived-liberal-bias-2017-9

I'm also seeing a lot more focus on athlete social media b.s. and less on on field performance.  I stopped viewing sports shows years ago.  I only read game reports on espn now.
When the highlights are nearly-instantly available on Twitter or the team's websites (usually before the game is even done) the highlight shows need something else to fill the time.  People weren't watching highlights anymore so they tried something different.  With even fewer watching now, perhaps they'll change track again
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on September 15, 2017, 01:47:50 PM
I'm a non social media using dinosaur who wants to see highlights.  I will sometimes watch the SEC review show on the SEC network just to keep up with how all of the teams are doing.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 15, 2017, 01:50:34 PM
I'm a non social media using dinosaur who wants to see highlights.  I will sometimes watch the SEC review show on the SEC network just to keep up with how all of the teams are doing.

You should check out The Rally on watchstadium.com (or the Stadium TV channel, if you get it on one of your HD subchannels w/ the antenna)
I've been impressed with how well they give you highlights and some light analysis without going overboard on schtick or sermonizing



if you're in range of either of these, you can get it over-the-air for free
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadium_(sports_network)#Alabama
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bbmike on September 15, 2017, 03:37:10 PM
^If only someone would report the news like that...
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 15, 2017, 05:18:38 PM
^If only someone would report the news like that...

someone does - they're just hard to find unless you have an antenna
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bbmike on September 15, 2017, 05:22:52 PM
^Like Uncle Martin?  :D
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 19, 2017, 06:36:48 AM
The decline of ESPN continues

http://thefederalist.com/2017/09/12/jemele-hill-tweets-bad-espn-show-is-worse/

Interesting show of solidarity by a whole bunch of other sports reporters, but the best of the bunch was Jeff Pearlman

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2017/09/17/jemele-hill-donald-trump-twitter-tony-romo-jim-nantz-cbs-beth-mowins
Quote
Jeff Pearlman, writer, Bleacher Report:
Honestly, I was horrified by the way ESPN left one of its top employees (a genuinely good person who works her ass off) out to dry. Back when I was coming up at The Tennessean, my editors made clear that they might be angry with you, they might be frustrated with you—but they’d never not have your back in a public dispute or outcry. They would defend you, stand up for you, stand up for your name.

Here, ESPN clearly gathered its worst PR people in a huddle and said, “We need to handle this and separate ourselves from her.” That REALLY pissed me off.

One more thing: It’s easy for some to dismiss a movement when only one group participates. If the lone people standing up for LGBT rights are members of the LGBT community, critics can say, “It’s just a bunch of whiners.” Same here. I can picture people saying, “Enough with the whining from black journalists.” Well, I’m not African-American. I’m a white Jewish guy—and I’m genuinely furious about this.

Oh, last point—and the most important point. I spent two years researching a USFL book. That means a lot of Trump. And, politics aside, Jemele is right: Trump is as vile and disgusting as she wrote. There was nothing in her Tweets that rang untrue.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on September 19, 2017, 06:57:42 AM
She violated ESPN's policy against making political statements. They had no reason to defend or support her. And she wasn't just calling Trump a white supremacist, she extended it to anyone who voted for him. So I can't say I blame ESPN for distancing themselves from her statements.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on September 22, 2017, 08:06:56 AM
She violated ESPN's policy against making political statements. They had no reason to defend or support her. And she wasn't just calling Trump a white supremacist, she extended it to anyone who voted for him. So I can't say I blame ESPN for distancing themselves from her statements.

a more extended look into the situation, from ESPN's ombudsman
http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2

Some feedback / alternate POVs (PsOV?)

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2017/09/18/Media/ESPN.aspx
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on September 22, 2017, 08:12:50 AM
a more extended look into the situation, from ESPN's ombudsman
http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2

That is a remarkably candid analysis.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on September 22, 2017, 01:20:23 PM
I think EPSN would do well just to stick to sports and leave the political commentary to other Disney/ABC entities.  I understand that there will be some reporting of political activities as related to sports, ie kneeling at national anthem, and that activities that sports personalities are undertaking, like fund raising for disasters, working with kids, ect, will, and should, get reported on.

But when I turn on a sports show, I want the politics left behind.  I don't need someone making six figures to tell me that my view on life if wrong.  I'm tuning in to forget about all of the other crap for a few hours. 

If ESPN feels that they need to engage more in politics, then they should dedicate a show to it. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on September 24, 2017, 02:43:55 PM
a more extended look into the situation, from ESPN's ombudsman
http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2

That is a remarkably candid analysis.

I agree.  My take was an admission that esp is leftist, Hill violated policy, and she was not fried for a clear violation of policy.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on September 24, 2017, 04:12:00 PM
a more extended look into the situation, from ESPN's ombudsman
http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2

That is a remarkably candid analysis.

I agree.  My take was an admission that esp is leftist, Hill violated policy, and she was not fried for a clear violation of policy.

There were no repercussions for Hill.  No suspension, no verbal swat on the hands, nothing.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on September 24, 2017, 04:50:22 PM
a more extended look into the situation, from ESPN's ombudsman
http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2 (http://www.espn.com/blog/ombudsman/post/_/id/871/espn-awash-in-rising-political-tide-2)

That is a remarkably candid analysis.

I agree.  My take was an admission that esp is leftist, Hill violated policy, and she was not fried for a clear violation of policy.

There were no repercussions for Hill.  No suspension, no verbal swat on the hands, nothing.

And yet there are plenty of people who have said ESPN left her out to dry  ::)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on September 25, 2017, 08:33:20 PM
https://twitter.com/jemelehill/status/912433009441300480 (https://twitter.com/jemelehill/status/912433009441300480)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 13, 2017, 10:42:19 AM
https://www.theringer.com/bill-simmons/2017/10/13/16469520/espn-jemele-hill-suspension-week-6-nfl-picks
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on October 13, 2017, 11:29:14 AM
https://www.theringer.com/bill-simmons/2017/10/13/16469520/espn-jemele-hill-suspension-week-6-nfl-picks

That was an interesting read.  It seems that the lefties at ESPN really, really want to skewer Trump on sports news.  They are angry that there is pushback from viewers.  And the idiot thinks that Trump & ESPN are "silencing" people and violating freedom of expression and the first amendment.  His stating that a late night comedian is the "voice of the nation" is a really telling comment on his opinions.

It is real simple.  SportsCenter is a program about sports news.  ESPN decided that on-air talent's social media posts were part of their job.  Jenelle Hill really hates Trump, and goes on social media to whine about him.  Then the lefties get angry when ESPN gives her a two week paid vacation.  Simmons is correct that the talent on Sports Center is totally mismatched for the program.

I disagree with ESPN whacking Bill Simmons about opinions of NFL Operations.  If this is an opinion show and he is voicing sports opinions that are not divorced from reality - then he is doing his job.  But if you take the ESPN coin, then your controversial opinions should be related to the sports world and not US politics.

If ESPN wants Hill to spout off about politics, give her a Sports/Politics show and let her have at it.  If they don't want her to spout off about politics, tell her to shut up about it or be fired.  But if ESPN wants to allow their people to spout off about lefty politics and can people who spout off about righty politics, then they can kiss 50% of their audience goodbye. 
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on October 13, 2017, 11:35:11 AM
If ESPN wants Hill to spout off about politics, give her a Sports/Politics show and let her have at it.

That's pretty much what SC6 is. It wasn't conceived as a 'just the facts' Sports Center program. Hill and Michael Smith were brought in because they're opinionated.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: acctingman on October 13, 2017, 11:40:57 AM
They didn't fire her because she's black. ESPN firing her would open up a can of worms they don't want to deal with. Just my ignorant opinion.

This wasn't meant to offend or anything like that.

I just can't see ESPN firing a person of color with all this stuff going on. That was my ONLY point  :)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 13, 2017, 12:30:50 PM
It is real simple.  SportsCenter is a program about sports news. 

You don't remember the vitriol that Stuart Scott got when get first went on the air, do you?  He did nothing but sports.  That was it - just highlights, nothing else.  He was calling a late-night SportsCenter with Rich Eisen, and all they did was highlights - no commentary, no analysis, no nothing.  But because Stuart would punctuate great plays with "boo-yah" he got accused of being a ghetto thug hood who was ruining ESPN.

To a non-trivial percentage of the audience, SportsCenter stopped being about sports news as soon as an articulate, interesting black guy showed up using vocabulary they didn't approve of.  And it's been downhill ever since.


But if ESPN wants to allow their people to spout off about lefty politics and can people who spout off about righty politics, then they can kiss 50% of their audience goodbye. 

Curt Shilling was fired because he was told to stop, and then didn't stop. 
Jemelle Hill has very publicly been given 2 strikes - though most people think the second was more business-related than politics-related - but hasn't yet hit the Curt-Shilling-threshold.  We'll see what happens when she does.


If ESPN wants Hill to spout off about politics, give her a Sports/Politics show and let her have at it.
That's pretty much what SC6 is. It wasn't conceived as a 'just the facts' Sports Center program. Hill and Michael Smith were brought in because they're opinionated.

Not only that, but a "just the facts" SportsCenter at 6pm didn't have any viewers of any kind anyway.  It's not like they lost viewers b/c of Smith & Hill.  They never had the viewers in the first place.  So they decided to try something different.


They didn't fire her because she's black. ESPN firing her would open up a can of worms they don't want to deal with. Just my ignorant opinion.
Or maybe they didn't fire her because she didn't say anything she could legitimately get fired for.  Unless you subscribe to the "Donald Trump must approve of all broadcasters" theory of media.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on October 13, 2017, 12:35:49 PM
If ESPN wants Hill to spout off about politics, give her a Sports/Politics show and let her have at it.
That's pretty much what SC6 is. It wasn't conceived as a 'just the facts' Sports Center program. Hill and Michael Smith were brought in because they're opinionated.

Not only that, but a "just the facts" SportsCenter at 6pm didn't have any viewers of any kind anyway.  It's not like they lost viewers b/c of Smith & Hill.  They never had the viewers in the first place.  So they decided to try something different.

It's a sucky time slot.  Local news, dinner, kids sports activities.  If it's meant to be a different type of show, then give it a new name.

Quote
They didn't fire her because she's black. ESPN firing her would open up a can of worms they don't want to deal with. Just my ignorant opinion.
Or maybe they didn't fire her because she didn't say anything she could legitimately get fired for.  Unless you subscribe to the "Donald Trump must approve of all broadcasters" theory of media.

Then why suspend her?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on October 13, 2017, 12:43:41 PM
Not only that, but a "just the facts" SportsCenter at 6pm didn't have any viewers of any kind anyway.  It's not like they lost viewers b/c of Smith & Hill.  They never had the viewers in the first place.  So they decided to try something different.

The ratings for SC6 have not been good at all. For all the hype and resources ESPN threw at SC6, it hasn't been a success from a ratings standpoint. In fact, the numbers are consistently down from the Lindsay Czarniak Sports Center (which was a snoozer).
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 13, 2017, 12:50:13 PM
Not only that, but a "just the facts" SportsCenter at 6pm didn't have any viewers of any kind anyway.  It's not like they lost viewers b/c of Smith & Hill.  They never had the viewers in the first place.  So they decided to try something different.

The ratings for SC6 have not been good at all. For all the hype and resources ESPN threw at SC6, it hasn't been a success from a ratings standpoint. In fact, the numbers are consistently down from the Lindsay Czarniak Sports Center (which was a snoozer).


they need to shit-can the show and find something else.  An 'evening news' of sports doesn't work when all your activity happens after the broadcast.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Marty Ward on October 13, 2017, 01:25:37 PM
It is real simple.  SportsCenter is a program about sports news. 

You don't remember the vitriol that Stuart Scott got when get first went on the air, do you? 


I don't remember it. What sort of harassment did he get in 1993? Certainly not mean tweets!
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 16, 2017, 09:06:31 AM
Hill might not be long for ESPN, much less SC6

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2017/10/15/jemele-hill-espn-sportscenter-future
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on October 16, 2017, 09:15:52 AM
Hill might not be long for ESPN, much less SC6

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2017/10/15/jemele-hill-espn-sportscenter-future


Good article. I don't really blame Jemele Hill for how this is playing out. EPSN needs to figure out what it wants from its talent and programming.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 16, 2017, 10:41:44 AM
EPSN needs to figure out what it wants from its talent and programming.

that was Bill Simmons' point in his article above...
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on November 30, 2017, 04:31:54 AM
https://www.si.com/tech-media/2017/11/29/espn-employee-layoffs-john-skipper
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on December 18, 2017, 09:09:54 AM
John Skipper has resigned

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/john-skipper-resigns-espn-president-george-bodenheimer-takes/story?id=51861176
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on December 18, 2017, 01:30:47 PM
this sounds very different today than when Miller originally did his interview w/ Skipper a while back

https://twitter.com/JimMiller/status/942827090008821768
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on December 18, 2017, 01:52:43 PM
I wonder if his substance abuse problem came from drinking heavily trying to cope with the decline of ESPN on his watch?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on December 18, 2017, 08:06:59 PM
https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/942923360023048197
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Arctic Blast on December 18, 2017, 10:54:28 PM
^^Will the next guy nuke Skip Bayless from orbit? If so, he's already ahead!
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on December 19, 2017, 04:14:53 AM
^^Will the next guy nuke Skip Bayless from orbit? If so, he's already ahead!

Bayless is at Fox Sports now; been gone for about 2 years now.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on December 19, 2017, 05:10:57 AM
Doesn't change that Skip Bayless should be nuked from orbit.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on December 19, 2017, 06:14:13 AM
Doesn't change that Skip Bayless should be nuked from orbit.

I agree 100000000000000000000%




(for good measure can we send Screamin' A Smith with him?)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Arctic Blast on December 19, 2017, 07:54:22 PM
^^Will the next guy nuke Skip Bayless from orbit? If so, he's already ahead!

Bayless is at Fox Sports now; been gone for about 2 years now.

That's fine. Does ESPN know where his studio is? Than they could still nuke him from orbit.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 03, 2018, 01:49:54 PM
Rusillo is leaving

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/12/ryen-russillo-espn-radio-departure-reason-announcement-video-media
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on January 03, 2018, 04:35:02 PM
That does not make me sad.  I haven't liked him since he became permanent on the Scott Van Pelt radio show.  I liked him even less when he got co-billing.  Even less when he got the show on his own.  And, somehow, found a way to find even more dislike for him when he partnered with Kanell.  To be fair to Ryen though, I despise Kanell even more than I do Rusillo. 

I knew he was gone when the local affiliate suddenly started promoting the Stephen A. Smith Show in Rusillo's time slot.  Which isn't any better, but, Stephen A. is occasionally entertaining.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 26, 2018, 06:59:45 PM
Hill is leaving SC6 for The Undefeated.  Says it's all her call

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/01/26/jemele-hill-leaving-sportscenter-sc6-for-undefeated
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on January 26, 2018, 07:11:41 PM
Hill is leaving SC6 for The Undefeated.  Says it's all her call

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/01/26/jemele-hill-leaving-sportscenter-sc6-for-undefeated

I read something similar from a different news source.  Time will tell.

My snap opinion is she had gotten a huge salary like Megan Kelly but is now without an airtime slot that makes it worth what they are paying her.  But again, time will tell.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 26, 2018, 08:25:18 PM
bottom line is that the job they were hired for is dying, and the failure of the show is not necessarily a failure of their style, but rather a failure of the entire concept
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on March 09, 2018, 10:50:21 AM
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jemele-hill-host-michael-smith-exits-sportscenter-1093209
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on March 09, 2018, 10:53:48 AM
That's one of the least-surprising moves of the past 2 years.  They were a bad fit for a news show.  They're a radio-show duo whose focus was always on opinions & analysis and trying to front a news show was a bad idea from the get-go.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on March 09, 2018, 10:57:37 AM
It was a terrible format for them. ESPN should have kept them together on His & Hers.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on March 15, 2018, 07:26:33 AM
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/john-skipper-details-his-espn-exit-a-cocaine-extortion-plot-1094657
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on May 25, 2018, 10:18:25 AM
Long, front page story on the WSJ today about ESPNs problems.  Weirdly enough, the story is out on the fox news website:
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/05/25/how-weakened-espn-became-consumed-by-politics.html

The story states that among ESPN overpaying for sports rights, having by far the most expensive channel on cable, and suffering from people deciding that ESPN was not worth it and either cutting the cable entirely or going to slim packages that:
1] John Skipper forced the leftist message through hires and his statements
2] John Skipper had a cocaine problem that was pretty severe.
3] John got mad at Jemele Hill about the Trump "white supremacist" tweet.  When he called her into his office he asked her if everyone at ESPN who voted for Trump was a racist.  She said that the Trump Voters were all benefiting from "privilege." 

4] Other factions at ESPN thought the network should avoid religion and politics entirely and felt Skipper was screwing everything up.

5] Skipper was the one responsible for giving Caitlin Jenner and the gay NFL player ESPY awards which also really irritated the "no politics" faction.

6] Then there were waves of layoffs and everyone got even angrier.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 25, 2018, 10:56:51 AM
Yes, but there are also significant counterpoints to the idea that subscribers are leaving because of politics

https://deadspin.com/there-is-no-evidence-whatsoever-that-espn-is-losing-sub-1826305140


Quote
The Wall Street Journal went deep on money problems in Bristol today in an article titled “How a Weakened ESPN Became Consumed by Politics.” The feature, like many others that have come before, presents as a fact that the Worldwide Leader is hemorrhaging subscribers due to a perceived shift to the left in its sports coverage. This view’s most prominent supporter is, of course, Donald Trump, and that he promotes it should be background enough for you to immediately question just how factual a fact this is. But if the Trump co-sign is not enough to convince you, there are some numbers—all of them culled from SportsTVRatings.com—that prove that this is, in fact, bullshit.

I'm not pulling the charts over here, but basically, everyone is losing subscribers, politics or not, because of cord-cutters.

Quote
Every single network has fewer subscribers in 2018 than they did in 2015; NBCSN only managed to lose 191,000 of them, 0.23 percent, which means it came out “ahead” of everyone else. ESPN fared pretty poorly over this period, which is to say that it performed just as badly as Fox News did. It had nowhere near the losses of NBATV, MLB Network, or Golf Channel.

(Fox Sports 1 is not included in this list, as it—along with Fox Sports 2—were rebranded channels that existed, and in some cases still exist, on different cable tiers; thus, their subscriber numbers are not quite comparable. FS1 lost 1 percent of its subscribers from 2015 to 2018, if you were wondering.)

Are conservatives similarly “fed up” with Brian Kenny’s political views? Those of NBATV’s The Starters? Teen Titans? Of course not. People are just unsubscribing to cable TV altogether, and doing so in growing numbers.

ESPN is quite different from its partners in the above data cohort, though: its monthly carriage fee of nearly $8.00 is absurdly high compared to that of, say, NFL Network (which bills subscribers $1.40 a month) or NBC Sports Network ($0.32). Given that we can clearly see that basic cable subscribers are cutting the cord in favor cheaper, online alternatives, it seems a much more rational projection to assume that people seeking to reduce their cable bills would start with the programming that constitutes such a large percentage of it.

That choice has only become possible through more recent diversifications of cable package options. Until quite recently, ESPN was essentially included in even the most basic of basic-cable packages; now, at least with my providers, it is part of a number of “tiers” subscribers can choose from—meaning that for the first time, you can subscribe to TNT, CNN, and the national broadcast networks without buying the “basic sports tier” of ESPN and its more-expensive associates.

This is just the first phase of an a la carte cable TV future, and that future rightfully should terrify ESPN and Disney executives. But that path is straightforward and pretty obvious; it’s a simple business story about an industry struggling into a period of disruption. If ESPN actually believes that “we’ve become too political” is the reason for its recent decline, they’re in even worse shape than they know.

The real irony of the cord cutters being the one that are hurting ESPN is that the bulk of the cord-cutting population are younger folks (below 30) who are more likely to focus on streaming options for entertainment and are not heavy sports consumers.  They also (so far) tend to trend further left than older generations.

So they folks that actually are dropping EPSN (or not signing up at all) are the very population that you'd think ESPN's supposed leftward shift would appeal to.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on May 25, 2018, 11:51:29 AM
^ You may be getting overly focused on politics.  My commentary started with high prices of cable and people cutting the cord for that reason.  The other stuff was about internal ESPN squabbles and not given as a major reason for dropping the service.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 25, 2018, 12:01:56 PM
^ You may be getting overly focused on politics.  My commentary started with high prices of cable and people cutting the cord for that reason.  The other stuff was about internal ESPN squabbles and not given as a major reason for dropping the service.

The "ESPN is losing subscribers because of politics" isn't a new narrative

Moreover, the "ESPN is playing too much with politics inside the fence" narrative has been discussed widely, including by ESPN's own ombudsmen
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 25, 2018, 12:07:39 PM
Long, front page story on the WSJ today about ESPNs problems.  Weirdly enough, the story is out on the fox news website:
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/05/25/how-weakened-espn-became-consumed-by-politics.html


I actually found it through my Google news feed

But it was the entire article and not just an excerpt
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on May 25, 2018, 12:30:17 PM
Theres a chart here that shows the cost of each channel per subscriber.

https://www.google.com/amp/variety.com/2017/tv/features/overcrowded-cable-sector-esquire-spike-fyi-1202012647/amp/?source=images
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 25, 2018, 01:53:16 PM
Theres a chart here that shows the cost of each channel per subscriber.

https://www.google.com/amp/variety.com/2017/tv/features/overcrowded-cable-sector-esquire-spike-fyi-1202012647/amp/?source=images

I think those are averages, though, because some cable carriers have negotiated specific deals for certain channels.



edit:

sorry, I just have to call out this nugget from the article!
Quote
while MTV returns to its roots with a focus on unscripted series
:DD :DD :DD :DD
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: OJsDad on May 25, 2018, 06:16:48 PM
Keith Oberman is back with ESPN.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on May 25, 2018, 09:24:03 PM
I love Olberman's Yankee passion.  And he was boss with Dan Patrick on SportsCenter back in the day.  But I think politics has really messed his mind up.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on May 26, 2018, 04:33:42 AM
Keith Oberman is back with ESPN.

is this the 6th or 7th time at this point?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on June 21, 2018, 11:39:33 AM
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/espns-internal-political-divide-bristol-tradition-woke-reformers-1121634
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 28, 2018, 10:10:26 AM
Le Batard and Stugotz re-upped.

The press release is hilarious  (my emphasis below)

https://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2018/06/dan-le-batard-and-jon-stugotz-weiner-sign-multiyear-agreements-to-remain-with-espn/

Quote
Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, hosts of the popular daytime ESPN Radio program The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz have signed multiyear agreements to remain with ESPN. The duo will continue to host their Miami-based program, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET, on ESPN Radio (and simulcast on ESPNEWS). Le Batard will also continue to co-host Highly Questionable alongside his father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard and another of a rotating crop of guest hosts. Le Batard will also conduct six longform interviews each year that will live across multiple ESPN platforms including TV and digital. Weiner will make appearances on SportsCenter and continue hosting and guesting on other ESPN Radio shows.

“ESPN has given us ridiculous freedom to have fun, and made us more popular than we deserve,” said Le Batard. “A whole lot of people have supported our nonsense in a way that isn’t always easy to support but easy to grow. As an added bonus – and we’re especially thankful for this – they also pay us.

Added Weiner: “I was hoping for the lifetime contract, to be honest. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe next time.”

Known for its offbeat take on sports and culture – and often welcoming guests as diverse as saxophonist Kenny G, the late actor Alan Thicke, writer Malcolm Gladwell, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers – The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is one of ESPN Radio’s top-rated programs. The show is heard by 2.2 million people a week in 258 stations in 151 markets, and its podcast, a daily digital offering of the original radio program, is the network’s No. 1-downloaded show-to-podcast product, with more than 53 million downloads in 2017.

ESPN Senior Vice President, Audio and Talent, Traug Keller said: “Dan and Stugotz have a chemistry and a viewpoint that is among the most unique in the business. They take what they do seriously, but not themselves, which bonds them with a growing group of loyal listeners. Dan’s sensibilities and intelligence combined with Stugotz’s incredible lack of either quality is a winning combination. I look forward to the stress of having to listen to the show in the years to come!

The Cuban-American Le Batard, who viewers may know as a frequent guest host on PTI, is known for being a witty contrarian with a distinctive voice among sports media personalities. He also hosts ESPN’s Highly Questionable, a half-hour weekday program formatted to showcase Le Batard’s “questionable” approach to sports commentary highlighting his thoughtful, humorous, and sometimes thoroughly misguided perspective on the world of professional sports. Highly Questionable features the relationship between Le Batard and his father “Papi,” as they comment on the day’s sports and pop culture headlines with a third, rotating co-host.

Weiner has served as the co-host of Le Batard since 2004. A sports broadcasting veteran of nearly 20 years, Stugotz counters host LeBatard’s thoughtful insights with self-deprecating humor and passionate takes on the latest sports headlines.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on June 28, 2018, 10:23:18 AM
Le Batard and Stugotz re-upped.

yay?
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on June 28, 2018, 10:42:09 AM
Le Batard and Stugotz re-upped.

yay?

I don't enjoy the show.  Le Batard's best moments are waaaaay too few and far between and I can find them later on Youtube or something.
It's good for me that it's on at a time I can ignore it (and usually tune into Dan Patrick instead).

I just thought the press release was entertaining, especially once the ESPN suits kept up with the chuckles.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 01, 2018, 10:54:28 AM
They do a really good show.  It beats the local crap they have on offer here.  Glad the boys will be around for a while longer.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 01, 2018, 12:39:40 PM
I know some people who love the show. They're not bad, just not my cup of tea. Dan always seems a little too excitable for my tastes. Dan Patrick is on at the same time here and I generally listen to him instead
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on July 01, 2018, 01:10:06 PM
I'd rather listen to pretty much anyone else than Le Batard. Maybe even Jim Rome.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: Gusington on July 01, 2018, 01:45:29 PM
No. Not Jim Rome.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 01, 2018, 02:05:10 PM
I'd rather listen to pretty much anyone else than Le Batard. Maybe even Jim Rome.

I'd put on static before Rome.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on July 01, 2018, 02:05:47 PM
I'd rather listen to pretty much anyone else than Le Batard. Maybe even Jim Rome.

I'd put on static before Rome.

So you'd listen to Le Batard.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 01, 2018, 04:20:55 PM
That's what I said
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 01, 2018, 09:39:50 PM
You people are entirely too highbrow for me.  I love Rome's radio show more than LeBatard's!
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: mirth on July 02, 2018, 05:39:43 AM
You people are entirely too highbrow for me.

Says the NPR listener.
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 02, 2018, 09:13:58 PM
You people are entirely too highbrow for me.

Says the NPR listener.

All Things Considered is direct from Democratic Party HQ.  It's mostly crap.  The Terry Gross interview show is good, when it's not political.  There's a local music show that is just killer and weird, The Invisible City.  A couple of other things are interesting if I catch them, but nothing consistently.  So, :P
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on July 03, 2018, 08:38:59 AM
You people are entirely too highbrow for me.

Says the NPR listener.

All Things Considered is direct from Democratic Party HQ.  It's mostly crap.  The Terry Gross interview show is good, when it's not political.  There's a local music show that is just killer and weird, The Invisible City.  A couple of other things are interesting if I catch them, but nothing consistently.  So, :P

Comrade!  You must listen to Radio Pravda News!
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: MetalDog on July 03, 2018, 08:10:23 PM
You people are entirely too highbrow for me.

Says the NPR listener.

All Things Considered is direct from Democratic Party HQ.  It's mostly crap.  The Terry Gross interview show is good, when it's not political.  There's a local music show that is just killer and weird, The Invisible City.  A couple of other things are interesting if I catch them, but nothing consistently.  So, :P

Comrade!  You must listen to Radio Pravda News!

I find that listening to NPR sharpens my bullshi* detector.  Occasionally, there's some choice nuggets. ;)
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 23, 2018, 10:29:31 AM
https://thespun.com/news/jemele-hill-announces-she-is-planning-on-leaving-espn
Title: Re: "Bloody" Day at ESPN today
Post by: airboy on July 23, 2018, 11:49:00 AM
https://thespun.com/news/jemele-hill-announces-she-is-planning-on-leaving-espn

Since there are few high paying journalist jobs, she is probably making a career mistake.  But more power to her.