This is different: Fox Sports hires noted analyst to analyze ‘sincerity’ of athletes, coaches

Is this Fox Sports’ answer to Nate Silver?

The network is bringing in Frank Luntz to, get this, to assess “the validity and sincerity of what people say.”

What, coaches and athletes aren’t always sincere? Wish Fox Sports had Luntz for Tiger Woods’ famous “I’m Sorry” confession that aired on national TV.

Another question: Will Luntz analyze the sincerity of Fox’s analysts when they express their views on controversial topics? Are they holding back at criticizing former teammates or coaches? Now that would be interesting.

From the Fox Sports release:

World-renowned communications expert Dr. Frank Luntz, CEO of Luntz Global, an international research powerhouse, joins FOX Sports 1 as its exclusive sports communications analyst, effective immediately.  The announcement was made today by Scott Ackerson, FOX Sports 1’s Executive Vice President, News.

“Frank Luntz is an expert in reading between the lines and assessing the validity and sincerity of what people say, whether it’s said during press conferences or off-the-cuff,” said Ackerson. “We’re looking for him to apply his unique expertise to what’s said by sports newsmakers.  He’s also an expert in conducting focus group research that gets to the heart of what people are thinking.  He’s been measuring America’s political pulse for decades, and now he’ll be measuring its sports pulse.”

 Dr. Luntz’s contributions to FOX Sports 1, primarily during FOX SPORTS LIVE, the channel’s nightly program providing news, highlights and commentary, are essentially two-fold.  He is available either live in-studio or via remote location to provide analysis on breaking news, press conferences and current events pertaining to sports.  Separately, Dr. Luntz hosts a segment called Sound Off, which features taped focus group discussions featuring audience members that cover a range of sports topics.  Offering viewers independent analysis on important sports issues, Sound Off also gives fans an opportunity to be heard on the day’s most controversial sports topics.  Sound Off premieres tonight on FOX SPORTS LIVE (11:00 PM ET), with the panel addressing the question, “If you were an NFL GM, would you draft Michael Sam?”  Results are certain to create discussion and debate among the nation’s millions of sports fans.

“It may surprise people, but sports are my passion, and I love the excitement and intensity on and off the field,” offered Dr. Luntz.  “There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate to viewers, fans and players, and I plan to bring analysis and accountability to the language of sports and those who play them.”

If you watch Fox News, which I don’t, you are familiar with Luntz.  He has served as a Republican party strategist, helping to write Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” in the ’90s.

There’s this passage from a story on Luntz in The Atlantic:

Luntz is not sure what to do with his newfound awareness. He’s still best known for his political resume, but politics hasn’t been his principal business for some time: He still advises his friends here and there, but he no longer has any ongoing political contracts. (Corporations and television networks, not politicians, are his main sources of income.) He goes to as many NFL games as he can, where he sits in the owner’s box courtesy of onetime client Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, with whom he has developed a close rapport. “I don’t like this. I don’t like this,” he says, meaning D.C., the schmoozing, the negativity, the division. At football games, “People are happy, families are barbecuing outside, people are playing pitch and toss. A little too much beer, but you can’t have everything. They’re just happy and they’re celebrating with each other and it’s such a mix of people.” The first week of football season, he went to four games in eight days: Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night, and then Sunday again.




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