An excerpt from my latest Chicago Tribune column:
This year’s winner of the good timing award goes to WLS-Ch.7 and WBBM-AM 780.
WLS signed on for a five-year package of Cubs games in December despite the team’s TV ratings sinking to historic lows in 2014. John Idler, WLS’s president and general manager, figured the ratings would rise dramatically at some point during the deal when the Cubs rebuild kicked in. However, he didn’t expect to hit the jackpot this year.
“The timeline has been accelerated,” Idler said. “The (2015) ratings definitely have exceeded our expectations.”
Meanwhile, WBBM says the station is experiencing ratings increases between 30 and 50 percent for its game broadcasts during the first year of its radio deal with the Cubs.
The Cubs turnaround has confirmed what everyone thought: They were a sleeping giant on the … Continue Reading
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily reports that my old pal Jason Whitlock is on his way out at ESPN and likely headed back to Fox Sports.
Jason Whitlock is negotiating to leave ESPN before his contract ends officially, possibly as early as the next few weeks, according to several sources. Whitlock has had informal talks with Fox Sports that could see him return to work with former ESPN exec Jamie Horowitz, who currently is Fox Sports National Networks President. Neither ESPN nor Fox Sports would comment. Whitlock’s possible role at Fox Sports is not known, but if he makes the move, it is expected to include both a TV role on FS1 and regular contributions on FoxSports.com.
In the wake of the Undefeated debacle, there’s no reason for ESPN to keep Whitlock. It makes an awkward situation even more … Continue Reading
Just when it was looking so good for Chicago’s North Side team, this happens.
However, since it is a regional cover, maybe the Cubs only will suffer from a partial jinx.
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Robert Klemko attended the session for NFL rookies in which Cris Carter made his foolish comment in 2014. Yet he didn’t write about it in his piece for MMQB.
Yesterday, he explained in a Twitlonger tweet. Here is an excerpt:
When Carter said the words, “have a fall guy” in what was a light-hearted and animated session that at times made league employees in attendance cringe, the NFL’s Kim Fields looked my way and said, “that can’t go in the story.” I was torn. I take pride in reporting every detail, even at the risk of damaging relationships. Earlier in my career I profiled a player who had a string of unreported violence in his life. Knowing these were not details the player or the agent wanted public, I published them anyway, because I judged those facts material to the
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Here is an excerpt from my story on Golfdigest.com:
Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Amateur saw (Joe) Buck and Fox Sports complete the first year of its 12-year deal with the USGA. Buck insists he already is looking forward to next year’s USGA slate and that viewers can expect to see an improvement in the quality of Fox’s golf presentation.
Buck is well aware of the knocks against Fox’s golf coverage, largely stemming from negative reactions to the U.S. Open. However, he maintains the crew made great strides this year. In an ideal situation, he says Fox would have been better served if the U.S. Open was its last tournament of the year, rather than one of its first.
“Absolutely,” Buck said. “We didn’t have that luxury. Everyone talks about reps. There’s no substitute for reps. Now that … Continue Reading
Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media:
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has the latest of what’s happening, or not happening, with ESPN’s Undefeated.
More than two years into the gestation of The Undefeated, ESPN’s website about sports and race, the site exists in digital limbo.
It has no start date. It has no permanent leader. Its seven writers are still reporting stories, but they must find editors in other parts of ESPN because the site lacks an editorial infrastructure.
For now, The Undefeated is a shell of what it aspires to be: Its home page serves only to link to eight articles, three of them posted since the departure of Jason Whitlock, the site’s founding editor in chief. Whitlock, who had been hired by ESPN’s president, John Skipper, was ousted two
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So I am walking through the various galleries at the Baseball Hall of Fame on a Wednesday morning, looking at Stan Musial’s locker and Sandy Koufax’s jersey, when all of the sudden I hear my name on the loud speaker.
“Come hear author Ed Sherman talk about his book on Babe Ruth’s Called Shot in the Bullpen Theater at 1,” the voice said.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine hearing my name ring out through the hallowed Halls of Cooperstown. And it didn’t just happen once. It happened several times prior to my chat.
Now that is a true bucket list moment.
All in all, it was one of the more memorable days of my career. Many thanks to Bruce Markusen for inviting me to speak during the Hall’s author series during the summer.
Also thanks to … Continue Reading
An excerpt from my latest column for Poynter.org.
When Mike Sherman of The Oklahoman served as the president of Associated Press Sports Editors in 2014-15, nobody wrote that he was the 39th man to hold that position.
However, there are numbers attached to Sherman’s successor. Each story dutifully notes that Mary Byrne is APSE’s third women president, and the first since 2000.
“I hate the fact that it’s still newsworthy,” Byrne said.
Byrne’s goal is to make it less newsworthy for the next wave of women in the business during what should be one of the most eventful and busiest periods of her career. Besides being inducted as APSE’s new president at its convention in San Diego in June, Byrne, the former USA Today’s managing editor for sports, also is in her early days at ESPN as its new senior … Continue Reading
My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana.
The smartest guy in the room doesn’t have a room—again.
Keith Olbermann did his final “Olbermann” show a few weeks ago on ESPN2. It was a quiet, amicable departure, which is somewhat of an upset given his history. He didn’t “napalm” any bridges as he did when he previously left ESPN.
ESPN termed it a “business decision.” The network determined Olbermann, with a hefty contract, wasn’t worth the ratings his show delivered.
There was speculation that Olbermann was let go because of his hard-line commentaries on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL clearly is ESPN’s most important business partner. It’s not a good thing to make Roger and friends too upset.
However, if ESPN tried to put a muzzle on Olbermann regarding Goodell, I would be stunned if … Continue Reading
Among the many things I never expected to do in my life is speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
So I was excited when Bruce Markusen invited me to participate in the Hall’s author series about my book, “Babe Ruth’s Called Shot.” It was a big thrill just seeing my name on the Hall of Fame’s home page with the write-up below. I look forward to sharing my experience in a future post.
I will be speaking at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. So as Harry Caray would say, “If you’re in the neighborhood, come on down.”
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