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Jackie MacMullan: How Many More Times Do I Need To Be On Around The Horn?

“MacMullan wrapped up a writing career that spans nearly forty years since she first started with the Boston Globe in 1982.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

Jackie MacMullan retired from ESPN last week, but she’s not done with media entirely. She is still doing work for The Ringer over the coming months and appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast to discuss why she left ESPN. MacMullan wrapped up a writing career that spans nearly forty years since she first started with the Boston Globe in 1982.

The two discussed what’s next for MacMullan, why she chose to leave a year into her ESPN extension, and how to operate as a journalist in today’s media world.

“You have to be really all-in on this job…if you’re going to do it properly, you have to be all-in,” MacMullan said about leaving right now. “I was having a hard time doing that. I was having a hard time generating the enthusiasm.”

Simmons joked with her about his “fingers not working anymore,” and MacMullan acknowledged she’s ready to spend more time with her family. The departure also opens the door for a wide range of talented women to take her place on different platforms.

“Around the Horn has been my family for the eighteen-something years, but how many more times do I need to be on Around the Horn? We’ve got all these great young women, new voices on that show. I was the only woman on that show for a really long time, for way too long in my opinion.” 

MacMullan’s made nearly 900 appearances on the program and her final show on Aug. 30 marks the last time ESPN audiences will watch her as an employee.

“Now we have all these great young female voices: Mina Kimes, Monica McNutt, Sarah Spain, my girl Ramona [Shelburne] who breaks news all over, I’m gonna leave people out…Emily Kaplan, she’s just a star…Elle Duncan is another one. And it’s just their turn. It’s their turn.”

MacMullan dove into a few more topics with Simmons, including an upcoming project she is working on for The Ringer. She also discussed a potential podcast appearance with her, Simmons, and legendary sportswriter Bob Ryan.

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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