'ESPN 💯 Fired: Who Was Saved and Who Shouldn't Have!'- view from the Cheap Seats
The big news from the self proclaimed 'World Wide Leader in Sports' came swinging down like a hammer this week, as over 100 employees were fired. Most of the names were on-air personalities, and the reasoning is maddening.
Reports are that ESPN wants to go to more personality-driven programming, but failed to rid themselves of talent with no appeal and awful ratings. We'll take-on the decisions, but first, here's the list:
“SportsCenter” anchor Jay Crawford ESPNU anchor Brendan Fitzgerald “SportsCenter” anchor Chris Hassel “SportsCenter” anchor Darren Haynes Columnist Johnette Howard Columnist Melissa Isaacson Radio host Danny Kanell Reporter Andy Katz Radio host Robin Lundberg “Sports Center” anchor Jade McCarthy Reporter Britt McHenry Columnist Jane McManus “SportsCenter” anchor Jaymee Sire Correspondent Reese Waters
MLB on ESPN
MLB analyst Jim Bowden
MLB analyst Dallas Braden
MLB analyst Raul Ibanez Dodgers peporter Doug Padilla MLB writer Jayson Stark Baseball reporter Mark Saxon MLB analyst Doug Glanville
NBA on ESPN
New Orleans Pelicans reporter Justin Verrier Houston Rockets’ reporter Calvin Watkins NBA reporter Ethan Sherwood Strauss
NFL on ESPN
NFL analyst Trent Dilfer NFL analyst Ashley Fox NFL reporter Ed Werder
NHL on ESPN
NHL columnist Scott Burnside NHL columnist Pierre LeBrun Hockey writer Joe McDonald
Big Ten reporter Brian Bennett College basketball writer Eamonn Brennan College basketball reporter C.L. Brown SEC football reporter David Ching College football recruiting reporter Jeremy Crabtree College basketball analyst Len Elmore College sports reporter Chantel Jennings College football reporter Brett McMurphy Pac 12 reporter Ted Miller Big 12 reporter Max Olson College basketball reporter Dana O’Neil SEC Reporter Greg Ostendorf Predictive analytics expert Rufus Peabody Big Ten football reporter Jesse Temple SEC recruiting analyst Derek Tyson Big Ten football reporter Austin Ward
Boxing host Marysol Castro Legal analyst Roger Cossack Enterprise reporter Tom Farrey Soccer writer Mike Goodman Golf commentator Dottie Pepper Auto racing commentator Dr. Jerry Lee Punch Sports gambling writer Dave Tuley ESPN Dallas columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor............
Danny Kannel leaves with a vacancy to the Russillo and Kannel show. Russillo tweeted that he is staying, but no word who will co-host if anybody at all. They can think what they want, but that show needs a co-anchor. Kannel was a perfect fit, so it's a little surprising that one is forced out, while the other is kept. As good as Russillo can be, NOBODY will listen to him ramble on about how cool he thinks he is, and 12 months of NBA blathering. He's still way under qualified in the world of football talk, and is lost on the MLB diamond. Between that and the awful Dan Lebatard show and Bomani Jones's contributions, you can omit ESPN radio after 10amET, when Mike and Mike go off the air. Plus, the hot-smelly garbage that is 'Izzy and Spain' and ESPNW's 'The Trifecta', well let's just say ESPN executives DO NOT have their finger on the pulse of the everyday sports fan! These must be the same folks that believed the Clinton campaign numbers last summer.
As a big fan of Doug Glanville, that essentially ended any reason for me to try and catch the ESPN baseball coverage. It has consistently gone down hill the past several years. Putting ex-softball players in the booth? Jessica Mendoza tries to add color-commentary from her softball playing days in the middle of a Major League Baseball game. IT'S NOT THE SAME SPORT! Why the he'll don't we get Hulk Hogan to break down the UFC, or Michael Jordan to cover Wimbledon?!
First Take is now unwatchable. Skip Bayless, whether folks want to admit this or not, made that show. The chemistry between he and Stephen A. Smith was great. They kept each other in check. Point blank: Max Kellerman should be reassigned at the least. Maybe put him on SC-6 and find someone more engaging for First Take. My vote would be a throwback of sorts, Woody Paige. Maybe rotate him with a few others. Danny Kannel would have been great too, but of those that are still with the network, I'd like to see a rotation of Woody Paige, Mark Texierra (outstanding hire for BBT, by the way) and some of the Sports Reporters that are being let go like Mike Lupica.
The first thing ESPN has to do to help ratings is lose the political slant they've embraced the last several years. Most sports fans do not want politics mixed in with their sports. Not to mention, if you're going to go with political slants, folks watching the SEC, ACC and Big Ten ate not voting far left nowadays.