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Jackie MacMullan Announces Retirement

“From headline columns on ESPN.com to countless appearances on SportsCenter. ‘Jackie Mac’ has been there every step of the way to inform sports fans.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

One of basketball’s guiding lights is retiring from ESPN at the end of the month. The network announced Jackie MacMullan is calling it a career after 40 years covering the NBA and sports at large.

ESPN hired Jackie MacMullan as a senior writer in 2010 after a storied career covering the Boston Celtics for the Boston Globe. She got her start at the newspaper in 1982 and covered events outside of the hardwood like the 1986 World Series, the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, and the 1988 Olympic Games.

ESPN featured MacMullan across their various platforms. From headline columns on ESPN.com to countless appearances on SportsCenter and Around the Horn. “Jackie Mac” has been there every step of the way to inform sports fans.

“I feel fortunate to have collaborated with so many incredibly talented people during my 10-plus years at ESPN,” Jackie MacMullan said in a statement released by ESPN. “Sometimes, you just know when you’re ready to dial it back, and this is the right time for me. I’m grateful for the memories, but especially for the friends, I’ve made along the way. Thank you to my ESPN colleagues for all of your support.”

Outside of writing, Jackie MacMullan is most well known for her almost 900 appearances on Around the Horn. The final time she appears on ESPN as an employee is fittingly during the show’s Aug. 31 episode.

“Jackie is a trailblazer not because she was one of the first women covering sports or the NBA,” ESPN senior deputy editor Christina Daglas said. “Rather, Jackie is a trailblazer because people talked about her without mentioning sex or gender. It was about the work, an incredible catalog of work, that has appeared on every ESPN platform. Simply put, Jackie is one of the greatest journalists ESPN has ever seen. And she did it all while providing mentorship to both editors and writers, ensuring whether she meant to or not, that pieces of her will remain here long after she exits.”

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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