Richard Deitsch of SI.com did a Q/A with Jim Brady, ESPN’s new public editor. He also asked media critics about what they would like to see from Brady.
Here is my contribution:
First and foremost, I would like to see the new ESPN public editor write with greater frequency and even on a regular schedule. Previously, I always felt wanting more from the ombudsman. It was frustrating that the critiques seemed to appear like some random package dropped off by the mailman. There is plenty to write about at ESPN, and a regular schedule could force Brady to take a deeper dive into the issues that went untouched by his predecessors. In the near term, I would like read what Brady has to say about the demise of Grantland. It seems like a good starting point for a first column. Ultimately, I will be interested in Brady’s views on ESPN’s journalism in light of the network’s TV right deals with the various leagues. The scrutiny is more intense than ever and that will include Brady’s perspectives on this issue.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing noted the transition with the selection of Brady.
The most interesting thing about Brady’s hire by ESPN is the shift to someone with such digital expertise. It’s a distinct turn away from previous ombudsmen with more traditional print or television experience for the role like Robert Lipsyte. The new title of “public editor” makes me think we’ll see a pivot as well. I’d expect Brady to focus on some of the big-picture issues facing ESPN like their increased focus on digital and their place in an ever-changing media world instead of getting knee-deep in what Curt Schilling is tweeting or which NBA player Stephen A. Smith is issuing ominous threats to this week. Given the sweeping changes that will probably take place over the next decade, it’s a forward-thinking move.