Oh, I Can’t Wait For the ESPN Book
May 17, 2011 4 Comments
From Michael Hiestand of USA Today:
Barnaby, an ex-NHL player, has added to an emerging narrative about ESPN. And it’s one that no corporate brand wants, let alone a Disney brand: Is ESPN running amok?
First, some facts. ESPN has about 6,500 workers, including about 1,000 commentators who regularly appear on-air or are online opinion givers who might go on-air. That workforce is far larger than the staffs of broadcast network divisions, which crank out far less TV tonnage than ESPN.
Also, episodes in which ESPN announcers did something that publicly cost them paychecks, or their jobs, seem disparate. Some involved ex-athletes, such as NBA analyst Jalen Rose recently being cited — and suspended — for suspicion of DUI. NFL analyst Sean Salisbury was suspended in 2006 and didn’t get his contract renewed in 2008. He later told USA TODAY he had publicly shown cellphone photos of his private parts. ESPN in 2006 fired baseball analyst Harold Reynolds, who sued for wrongful termination; the sides settled before trial. ESPN in 2009 fired baseball analyst Steve Phillips, an ex-big-league executive, and a 22-year-old production assistant after complaints about the pair’s tryst.