One-on-one interviews with various members of the sports media world. Additionally, from time to time there will be narrative-driven podcasts in the style of Stephen Dubner's Freakonomics.
Episode 86: Tony Reali, ESPN
Tony Reali puts himself out there openly talking about life and dealing with anxiety. And he does it in an amazingly accessible way. I wanted to capture some of that experience on a podcast.
Most of the podcast focuses on some of Tony’s struggles and thinking on eating and weight management. But there are stories, a very brief but very solid Wilbon imitation and we finish up with Tony talking about new talent acquisition for “Around the Horn.”
Episode 85: Ben Strauss, The Washington Post
Great to finally have Ben on the podcast! Ben has reported extensively about ESPN & politics in the aftermath of Dan Le Batard’s comments. The bulk of the podcast is on those topics but we talked about a few other sports media topics (DAZN’s “ChangeUp”, Sunday Ticket and The Athletic) in the last 1/3rd of the podcast.
Ben’s recent deep dive on ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro and ESPN’s policy around politics. (htps://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/07/26/jimmy-pitaro-espn-president-politics/?utm_term=.41a350bb2e2c )
Ben’s story on DAZN’s “ChangeUp” and its economics (https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/09/dazns-baseball-show-is-redzone-mlb-test-network/?utm_term=.d76c07907808)
Ben’s full story archive at The Washington Post.
Ben on Twitter: @benjstrauss
Episode 84, Jonathan Tannenwald, The Philadelphia Inquirer
With the Women’s World Cup Soccer tournament beginning it was a pleasure to have the soccer beat writer from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jonathan Tannenwald, back on the podcast.
Topics discussed include the state of soccer, the state of MLS, how mostly it’s old white men like Zlatan Ibrahimović moving the MLS TV viewing and not the up and coming young Americans and South Americans, what it would take to get me to watch MLS, thoughts on Turner Sports’ coverage of UEFA Champions League. And of course, a big preview of the Women’s World Cup which includes the downsides of remote productions, Jonathan’s prediction to win it all, ratings predictions vs. 2015 and teams to watch.
Jonathan’s archive at the Inquirer (https://www.inquirer.com/author/tannenwald_jonathan/)
Jonathan on Twitter: @thegoalkeeper
Episode 83: Burke Magnus, ESPN
A pleasure to have ESPN EVP of Programming & Scheduling Burke Magnus back on the podcast. Topics discussed include: will the launch of ACCN mean fewer ACC games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News and ESPNU, the demands of Burke’s job, NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s comments about the NBA games being a TV show, what matters most in NBA finals (more games, not who’s playing), how the rise of OTT services (not just ESPN+) have changed the content acquisition landscape and how we’re still a ways off from seeing a full ESPN OTT offering. We conclude with my encouraging Burke to solve the empty seat situation on TV with CGI (Burke pushed back and imagined all the exploding heads in the media if they did it) and a Fox-friendly World Series prediction. Stay through the goodbyes for Burke’s true feelings on baby-fying the ESPN studio shows.
Episode 82: Kyle Brandt, NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football”
It was a blast to talk to “Good Morning Football’s” Kyle Brandt. We talked his “The Real World” beginnings, the NFL draft, and Kyle’s energy level. Kyle notes that never having played in the NFL and having to work with the likes of Nate Burleson and Kurt Warner drives him to always be seeking validation.
Kyle talked about the morning makeup of his co-workers (spoiler: according to Kyle, Nate is a 10 on TV but a “worthless in the mornings” 0 in the pre-show meetings. Kyle covered his time working with Jim Rome and then we talked NBA vs. NFL in the media, GMFB showing up on ESPN2, the AAF & XFL and Kyle’s Super Bowl pick for February.
@KyleBrandt on Twitter.
Episode 81: Nick Wright, FS1
It was a pleasure to finally talk FS1’s Nick Wright. We talked about Nick letting his hair grow out (seriously!), what the rising & grinding schedule is like for someone with a 6:30A TV show and a 6P radio show (Nick has a dual-sleep schedule that works for him), NBA vs. NFL, “the ratings don’t matter to your life” (a Bryan Curtis shoutout on my podcast!), the NBA conference finals, the best sports media outcome for Zion and Nick’s Super Bowl prediction.
@GetNickWright on Twitter.