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Rogers Commits $10 Million in Free Advertising As Part Of All In Initiative

“In addition to financial support, Rogers has also committed to making some cultural changes.”

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Rogers Sports and Media is launching it’s All In Initiative. It is the result of conversations with employees and media partners about racial inequality in Canada. Part of the initiative will be aiding small businesses and charities seeking racial equality in the country.

The company has set aside $10 million. It will give that money away to worthy charities and small businesses in the form of advertising and creative services.

Sharon Hinds has been hired to oversee All In. The money will be divided evenly between businesses and charities, with prizes being awarded throughout the next five years.

In addition to financial support, Rogers has also committed to making some cultural changes. Those include the formation of an internal Content Advisory Council, the introduction of recruitment strategies to improve diversity in leadership positions, and the launch of a mentorship and sponsorship program to give young people in “equity-seeking communities” guidance to enter the media business.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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Michael Smith Joining Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football Studio Coverage

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

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Michael Smith is joining Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football coverage, he tells USA Today.

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

He will work as a “news analyst” for the streaming platform’s studio show, a role he similarly held for ESPN‘s NFL Sunday Countdown. Former Countdown producer Amina Hussein is the head of on-air sports talent development for Prime.

Smith becomes the latest of a growing cast Prime Video has assembled for Thursday Night Football coverage. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will work in the broadcast booth, Kaylee Hartung will work the sidelines, Charissa Thompson will anchor the studio show with Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Andrew Whitworth, and Taylor Rooks will work as a feature reporter. Dude Perfect, a comedy group famous for social media “trick shot videos”, will reportedly offer a Manningcast-style alternate broadcast.

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