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Morris Leaves Grantland For Times

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The first big post-Simmons exit has taken place at Grantland.  Renowned critic Wesley Morris is moving from the ESPN vertical to the New York Times.

ESPN posted this short statement on their public relations site:

“Wesley spoke to us about this opportunity at the New York Times and his desire to pursue it. This is a unique opportunity, and is a testament to the level of success that Grantland has achieved and the extraordinarily talented team we have. Wesley is an outstanding writer and colleague and we wish him all the best.”

Morris was one of the biggest hires Bill Simmons made at Grantland that went a long way towards legitimizing the space as a place for top writers from all over the spectrum.  Morris left the Boston Globe in early 2013 to join Grantland after winning the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

Ever since ESPN parted ways with Bill Simmons, the future of Grantland has been somewhat murky.  Many of the site’s top writers were fiercely loyal to Simmons and reports have indicated that the staff’s response to interim editor-in-chief Chris Connolly’s tenure has been mixed at best.  There’s been a widespread belief that a serious exodus of Grantland talent could take place once Simmons was given the axe.  Morris is the first of Grantland’s big names to depart.

It’s hard to understate how important Morris was to Grantland as he immediately gave the site credibility on its pop culture flank.  Here was not just a talented writer, but a Pulitzer Prize winning critic, going to ESPN to write about the cultural arts.  That was a huge, huge deal for Grantland.  Now without Morris (and without Simmons), is Grantland a big enough draw to be able to attract those A-level writers?

Will others follow Morris out the door, either to a new Simmons venture or other places of employment?  Will Morris’ exit be the beginning of the floodgates opening or just one leak that can be plugged?  The answers to those questions may be the biggest factor in deciding the long-term future of Grantland.

Credit to Awful Announcing who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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