We have a very special edition of Sports Media Weekly,
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show looking back at the strong ratings numbers for ESPN for Monday night’s BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Both of us wonder what might have been in terms of viewership had the game been competitive.
As a follow-up we look at the apology given by ESPN for the comments at the game made by Brent Musburger during a shot of Katherine Webb, the reigning Miss Alabama and the girlfriend of Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. Ken and I thought the apology was unwarranted.
We stay with ESPN in discussing the firing this week of First Take analyst Rob Parker, who had been suspended by ESPN last month for comments regarding the Redskins’ Robert Griffith III.
We wrap up our news segment by looking back at the NFL’s Wild Card weekend and ahead to the Divisional Playoffs this weekend.
We have multiple guests this week. Ken had the opportunity to travel to New York yesterday to meet with the CBS crew as it prepares for its coverage of Super Bowl XLVII. Joining Ken are CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, CBS Sports Radio co-hosts Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson, and play-by-play announcer and studio host Greg Gumbel.
ESPN today announced that it has suspended ESPN2 First Take analyst Rob Parker 30 days for comments he made last week about Redskins QB Robert Griffin III.
Here is the official statement from ESPN:
Marcia Keegan is a Vice President of Production for ESPN, who oversees First Take:
“ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode ofFirst Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
“To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it onFirst Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
Many have speculated that Parker would lose his job over the statements. I’m sure the leash will be extra sort when he returns.
It is also interesting what types of “editorial oversight” the network and producers will take to ensure these events do not happen again.
It is clear ESPN has taken to being more debate-driven, given that sports news does not get generated on a level to keep up with our 24/7 lifestyles. SportsCenter is stale after it first airs. This will be a big issue facing ESPN in the coming months as it struggles to find an information niche to fit into its multiple platforms.