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Colin Cowherd: Fox Can Let It Rip, ESPN Has To Be Disney

“The two covered everything from how Cowherd deals with critics to the differences between his two most recent network stops.”

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Courtesy: FS1

Colin Cowherd is one of the rare top-tier media talents that has worked at both FOX and ESPN for extended periods. The Fox Sports Radio host opened up last week about his career and thoughts on the media landscape in an interview with Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the House of Strauss Substack.

The two covered everything from how Cowherd deals with critics to the differences between his two most recent network stops.

“I didn’t feel like I was in trouble a lot at ESPN,” Cowherd said about the power dynamics at the Disney-owned network. “ESPN is run by Disney and you could always feel the safety net of Disney hovering over ESPN. You could always feel Disney’s presence. Whether it was with budgets, topics, they avoided anything controversial. You were often encouraged to avoid a topic because they had their tentacles on everything.”

The different ownership structures are clear, and Cowherd appreciates the ability to take risks.

“They had so many leagues, so many commissioners,” Cowherd continued. “FOX is owned by a very entrepreneurial Australian family, the Murdochs. They have been in the crosshairs of criticism from day one on this soil. FOX News, Wall Street Journal, New York Post. They are entrepreneurial, they are naturally, innately, risk-takers.”

Cowherd sees a clear difference in how the two sides view social media—and the criticism it can spark.

“When I was at ESPN, that company was, there were times I thought it was run by social media,” Cowherd explained. “It was very reactionary to various media critics. I don’t even know if our bosses know half the media critics. Getting back to your question, I think there was just a different sensibility at ESPN. I was considered more of a loose cannon there, but at FOX, I’m just viewed as an employee.”

Cowherd is one of the industry’s leading opinionists, and he feels right at home in a place like FOX.

“At ESPN, SportsCenter was largely seen as a sports page, a bastion of journalism. The opinionists there were like ‘Ohhh, that’s a different part of the hospital, we don’t go down to that wing very often.’ Whereas at FOX, the entire brand now—we got out of the movie business—is opinion. ESPN.com is this journalistic enterprise. FOX is digital; FOX is opinion; FOX is sports; FOX is games; FOX is Super Bowls, World Series, the World Cup. I just think they are different companies, and I feel at FOX I can just let it rip. But at ESPN, I just always felt you could just feel the pressure of Disney on top of the company.”

Check out the full interview on House of Strauss here.

Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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Sports Radio News

DeAngelo Hall Explains His Exit From Commanders Radio Booth

“I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do.”

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Sports Illustrated

In a case of “you never know who’s listening”, 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. got a surprise on Wednesday. Former NFL pro-bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall texted Brian Mitchell of BMitch & Finlay that he was listening and wanted to join the program.

After discussing some opinions of the Commanders and other rivals on the field, Hall made a point to address leaving the team’s radio booth as a color analyst. In April it was announced that Hall would exit the broadcast booth. At the time it was reported that the decision was Hall’s. On BMitch & Finlay he added more context by explaining that, “it just felt like it wasn’t the right situation for myself.”

Hall went further by adding that a deciding factor for his decision seemed to be the team’s vision for the broadcast.

“I need to see it. I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do. And you know how I am guys, I speak my mind and I just asked to go my separate way. I still love the organization, I’m still rooting for them.”

The former Washington player joined Bram Weinstein and analyst Julie Donaldson when the Washington Commanders overhauled their entire broadcast crew after an organization-wide sexual harassment scandal mentioned former play-by-play voice Larry Michael.

Hall was sure to praise his former teammate taking his role. “But so hyped for London Fletcher. I told Julie and Fletch at separate times man, that Fletch was such a great teammate and an inspirational person in my life and my process of growing as a pro and as a man, that taught me so much about the game. I couldn’t be happier that she gets a hell of a replacement in London Fletcher.

“I’m hyped for those guys but I’m too pretty to be on the radio, guys, I need more face time,” Hall quipped. “I’m fighting to get in one of them booths. When you see Tom Brady making 10-for-375 I said ‘I’m in the wrong business.’ When you’re watching Tony and them guys I’m in the wrong business. I got to get off this radio and get my face in front of the tizzube.”

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