ESPN debuted its “future-proofed” new SportsCenter set on Sunday night, the crown jewel in a massive new digital facility that cost a reported $125 million.
Stuart Scott and Steve Levy anchored the first broadcast on the shiny new set, surrounded by dozens of video monitors and accompanied by a reworked SportsCenter theme. The pair joked about the cavernous space, with Scott making echo noises during one segment to reflect his distance from Levy.
But the futuristic set may have been overshadowed on Sunday night by the debut of ESPN’s revamped Bottom Line. While the set is out of view during highlight packages and taped pieces, the ticker is omnipresent, scrolling throughout the show.
The new look is sharp and clean, with obvious inspiration from Apple products. It features a new, bigger font (called Swiss), brighter colors for team logos and a smoother scroll. The same font and style is also being used for graphics packages.
The old Bottom Line and SportsCenter graphics were perfectly acceptable, but this is a clear upgrade.
For more visit USA Today where this story was first published.
YES Network’s Paul O’Neill Appearance Canceled by WFAN While on Hold
WFAN’s Brandon Tierney cancels interview with former Yankee Paul O’Neill for not wanting to discuss Josh Donaldson-Tim Anderson feud.
The former New York Yankee outfielder and YES Network analyst Paul O’Neill was scheduled to do a promotional interview of his new book, “Swing and a Hit,” on WFAN on Monday. Instead, show host Brandon Tierney of Tiki & Tierney cancelled on O’Neill while the slugger was on hold.
The issue stemmed over a hot topic over the weekend concerning the New York Yankees’ Josh Donaldson feud with Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox. Donaldson referred to Anderson as “Jackie.” O’Neill revealed to producers just before coming on to the air that he was not interested in discussing the issue when the show brought him on. Tiki and Tierney had spent the majority of their first two hours discussing the debate and when Tierney head that O’Neill was opting out of the discussion, he dropped the interview.
Tierney revealed his decision on-air. The audio explanation begins around the 27:55 mark of the podcast version of their program and in it.
“We were supposed to have him on right now and he is on hold, OK,” said Tierney.
“He has a new book coming out, called, ‘Swing and a Hit.’ And Jack Curry wrote it, along with Paul. We were told and Tiki, you don’t even know this because I was going through this while you were finishing up your thought on the air. We were told we can not ask anything about Donaldson and Anderson.
And I I said, ‘We can’t do the interview if that is the case.’ I said, ‘Please tell Paul, we will navigate this responsibly. We will not belabor it. But I can’t have Paul O’Neill on the show after we spent an hour and 35 minutes talking about Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson and not ask him about what transpired. That sucks. No disrespect to Paul. I love him. Truly, my second all-time favorite Yankee. We have a responsibility to the show. That’s the way it’s got to be.”
Tierney has been with Tiki Barber for nearly nine years and together they know the New York market well. This was clearly a decision made for the continuity of the show and making a content decision like that on the fly is tough one to make.
Tierney tweeted later: My #1 priority is the show. The audience. That will never change. When we accept dictated terms of what we can/cannot ask–and we accept–all credibility is lost. That will never happen. To avoid the biggest topic of the weekend, simply cannot have it. No disrespect at all.”
Boomer & Gio: HBO Deshaun Watson Story Will Make Things Worse For NFL
“Real Sports is a very reputable TV news sports show and if they’ve got this 20-minute piece on how horrible a person Deshaun Watson is, that’s gonna factor into a lot of these other things.”
The NFL still hasn’t handed down a decision on whether or for how long to suspend Browns’ quarterback Deshaun Watson following 23 accusations of sexual misconduct. That is a problem, according to Boomer & Gio, and the WFAN morning duo thinks that problem is only about to get worse.
On Monday morning, Gregg Giannotti mentioned that HBO is set to air an episode of Real Sports on Tuesday. It will feature an interview with multiple women that have filed civil suits against Watson.
Watson’s lawyers believe that the league will make its decision regarding punishment in the next two months. Giannotti thinks the fallout from the HBO show may force it to act quicker.
“Let’s say it’s a horrible piece against Deshaun Watson,” Gregg Giannotti suggested. “Now that’s gonna be a part of the decision-making process. You know it is, because the NFL from a PR standpoint is always very conscious of those kinds of things. And Real Sports is a very reputable TV news sports show and if they’ve got this 20-minute piece on how horrible a person Deshaun Watson is, that’s gonna factor into a lot of these other things.”
Deshaun Watson sat out all of last year. Boomer Esiason said the fact that it is May and we do not have a decision on discipline only makes sense because of the team involved. He laughed saying that only the Cleveland Browns could guarantee a record amount of money to a player they have no idea will be available.
He agreed with Gio’s assessment. Watson’s lawyers have already acknowledged that they do not expect the Real Sports segment to do their client any favors. Esiason said there will be a whole new group of people waking up on Wednesday questioning league leadership.
“It’s gonna further inflame a fan base maybe, or female fans, against Deshaun Watson. It’s not gonna be good. It’s just not.”
Mark Chernoff Joins 107.1 The Boss in New Jersey
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the radio at 107.1 The Boss, and to being able to live in both the Sports and Rock worlds.”
Mark Chernoff has found a new radio home. The former brand manager of the iconic WFAN is now part of Robby & Rochelle In The Morning on 107.1 The Boss in Monmouth/Ocean, New Jersey.
Chernoff makes his debut on May 31 as the show’s sports anchor. He will also be available to cover swing shifts as needed on the station.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the radio at 107.1 The Boss, and to being able to live in both the Sports and Rock worlds,” he said. “Many thanks to Robby and Rochelle for inviting me into THEIR world.”
It was the end of June 2021 when Mark Chernoff left WFAN. He spent 28 years there as program director. He also served as the VP of Sports Programming for Audacy. He was succeeded in that role by Spike Eskin, who Audacy brought to New York from its Philadelphia sports talker, 94 WIP.
Prior to CBS Radio being acquired by then-Entercom, Chernoff also served as VP of Sports Programming for that company and played an integral role for its push into FM sports talk in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century.
“Mark is an exceptional talent and a brilliant strategic mind who I’ve long respected. I’m thrilled to have him join our team of outstanding broadcasters at Press!” said Robby Bridges, who also serves as PD of 107.1 The Boss.