It has been a rough week in the sports media industry as ESPN announced on Thursday that they would be laying off 300 people and leaving 200 positions vacant. As the New York Times reported on Thursday, a lot of the cuts were in broadcast production, but some ESPN shows and personalities took to social media or used their own platform to address the sad news of the day at the network.
At the end of Thursday’s edition of The Jump, Rachel Nichols addressed the situation for about 24 seconds and said that the people she worked with were the best part about coming to work every day.
“I do want to tell the employees facing layoffs at ESPN today how much they are going to be missed…Just because it is happening everywhere doesn’t make it any less hard. I can say for sure the people are the best part about coming to work each day at ESPN. We are with you.”
This didn’t just apply to shows on the network. The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM in New York also addressed the situation as well. Here is what Kay had to say:
“This was a difficult day at ESPN. There were layoffs with the current economic situation. A lot of our colleagues on TV and radio did lose their jobs today. While we are sitting on the radio having fun and talking to you, we just want all of those who got that call and were spoken to in the office to know that our hearts are with you.”
Towards the end of Around The Horn, Tony Reali decided to take the last word to address the news and the people who were not sharing sympathy and compassion for the jobs that were lost.
“Today is a hard day for many in our family at this network just as it is for many in our country. If your response is anything but compassion, I don’t want to hear from you.”
Some ESPN personalities took to Twitter to address people who lost their jobs that have directly played an impact on their careers. Check out what Sarah Spain about one of the associate producers at ESPN Radio, Ali Bronson.
ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn took to Twitter as well to share personal experiences he had with 4 producers that were let go by the company:
Freddie Coleman also showed respect for hs friends and former co-workers affected by the layoffs by announcing that last night’s program on ESPN Radio with Ian Fitzsimmons would be dedicated to them.
It was not an easy day for anyone in the industry, so credit to those at ESPN who took the time to address the situation and share their stories about good people that have impacted them.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.
Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”
Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.
“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”
“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.
After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.
Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.
“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.