Phil Rosenthall of the Chicago Tribune reports that ESPN is staying in business with Jason Benetti. The multi-sport play-by-play man has a new contract with the network.
Benetti will still be employed as the television voice of the Chicago White Sox, but Rosenthall reports that he “will continue to call college football and basketball along with Major League Baseball on the side for the sports media giant.”
“I’m not afraid to put him on any game with any partner,” ESPN’s senior coordinating producer David Ceisler told the Tribune. “He’s as big a player on our staff as anybody. We have some seasoned teams that have worked together longer, but I know there are producers and analysts who are excited when they see his name on the schedule. He’s a go-to guy for me. He really is.”
Ceisler and Benetti work together during college basketball season. It may be where Benetti stands out the most to the ESPN audience, given his humorous back-and-forths when paired with Bill Walton.
This week, Benetti can be seen on ESPN+. He is anchoring the OTT service’s whip-around MLB Playoff coverage called Squeeze Play.
Joe Girardi Joining Marquee Sports Network
“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi.
Marquee Sports Network has announced that former Chicago Cubs catcher, and Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies manager Joe Girardi is joining the network as a game analyst. Girardi will work this weekends series between the Cubs and Brewers, as well as a series against the Marlins in September.
Girardi has previously worked as an analyst for YES Network, MLB Network, and Fox Sports.
“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi. “Growing up a Cubs fan and then having the chance to play for the team for a number of years, I’m honored to now have the opportunity to broadcast from the historic television broadcast booth.”
After a three-time World Series winner as a player, Girardi spent 15 seasons in the big leagues, seven of which came with the Cubs. The former catcher has spent parts of 14 seasons as a manager with the Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies. Girardi was fired as the manager of the Phillies on June 3rd.
“We’re pleased to welcome Joe Girardi to the Marquee Sports Network team,” said Marquee Sports Network General Manager, Mike McCarthy. “His insights as a long-time Cubs player and big league manager will be a valuable addition to the broadcasts. Welcome Joe!”
ACC Network Expands Women’s Basketball, Baseball Tournament Coverage
A report from Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips was the driving force in the move to ACC Network.
ESPN and Raycom have struck a deal to make ACC Network the television home of the women’s basketball and baseball tournaments, beginning with the 2023 season.
A report from Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips was the driving force in the move to ACC Network. Previously, the championship events had been distributed on Bally Sports South, which confused viewers.
“We are thrilled. This is a significant moment that will enhance these premier events and provide much-needed access to our fans,” Phillips said. “We appreciate ESPN, Raycom Sports, and Bally for mutually agreeing to make this happen.”
ESPN or ESPN2 will continue to carry the championship games for both the women’s basketball and baseball tournaments.
Michael McCarthy: Craig Carton Will Debut On FS1 Within Month, Nick Wright Not Leaving
“That doesn’t mean viewers should expect Wright to be Craig Carton’s partner on television.”
Michael McCarthy is the guest this week on The Jason Barrett Podcast. The Front Office Sports scribe is plugged into what is happening at FOX, and Barrett asked him to shed some light on the morning situation at FS1.
Jenna Wolfe recently announced her departure from First Things First. It is widely assumed that it is the first of many changes on the show to make way for WFAN’s Craig Carton, who will be starting his own morning show for the company.
“I think that Carton’s gonna get on the air literally within the next month,” McCarthy said. “I think the Jenna Wolfe move was the first in re-casting. It wouldn’t really surprise me to see some of the people from First Things First pop up on other shows.”
There is bound to be speculation about who is and isn’t safe amongst the First Things First cast. Michael McCarthy said one name no one needs to be worried about is Nick Wright.
McCarthy says he has been told by multiple people that FOX is high on Wright and has big plans for him.
“They think of him as the next Skip, the next Cowherd. So I think if anyone is sitting in a position to either of those talents at FOX, it’s Nick Wright. That’s how highly they think about him.”
That doesn’t mean viewers should expect Wright to be Craig Carton’s partner on television. McCarthy, who is a New Yorker, knows that not everyone is capable of being a good partner to the WFAN afternoon host. Not only is Nick Wright likely not a good fit for the role, but McCarthy couldn’t say who currently on the FOX payroll is.
“You really have to be secondary to [Carton’s] personality. He’s the show. So if you’re an Acho or a Marcellus or something like that, used to being the show, and you get together with a Carton, Carton’s gonna try and dominate the show. There could be a real clash of egos there.”