The next era of First Take begins Sept. 6, and ESPN revealed Stephen A. Smith’s new debate partners. The Michael Irvin fireworks are returning on a more regular basis as the Hall of Fame NFL receiver steps in as the Monday debate panelist. Fridays round out with former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow going head to head with Smith.
The rest of the week, a rotating cast of ESPN personalities join Smith and Qerim Rose, including Paul Finebaum, Keyshawn Johnson, Mina Kimes, Kimberley A. Martin, Monica McNutt, and more.
“This new format will pair Smith with new voices and perspectives every day of the week who will challenge him on their specific area of expertise in a completely new way,” First Take senior coordinating producer Antoine Lewis said in a press release. “Stephen A., Molly, and a lineup of A-list guests will definitely continue to provide fans with all they’ve come to expect from First Take and much more. We’re excited to get going!”
It’s a football focus for the two entrenched debate panelists. Irvin and Smith are debating all things NFL for the two-hour Monday shows this fall. While Tebow pops in on Fridays to prepare the audience for the college football weekend ahead.
The new cast follows Max Kellerman’s exit from the show on Sept. 1. Kellerman had been a main panelist since 2016 and now moves on to his own ESPN show and a key role on ESPN Radio’s new morning show, Keyshawn, JWill, and Max, debuting Sept. 7. There is no word yet on what the format of his new TV program is shaping up to be.
First Take has long been buoyed by the daily strength of two panelists. Now in 2021, Smith drives the conversation all over ESPN. We’ll find out if Irvin is any match for Smith in a regular setting on Sept. 7.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
CBS: Calling Meeting With Tony Romo ‘Intervention’ is ‘Complete Mischaracterization’
“We meet regularly with our on-air talent.”
An opening question in broadcasting circles is ‘What happened to Tony Romo?’, with even CBS reportedly pondering the issue.
During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast earlier this week, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand claimed CBS attempted “an intervention” with its lead NFL analyst.
The intended mission of several alleged meetings with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and CBS NFL producer Jim Rikhoff was to return Romo to his previous heights, which were widely regarded as the best NFL analyst in the business.
CBS Sports has responded to the insinuation that the meetings would be classified as an “intervention” with a strong denial.
“To call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent,” CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle told Marchand.
Marchand added that CBS Sports officials plan to attempt to rectify the issues it sees with Romo again this offseason. Romo — who signed a 10-year, $180 million contract with CBS Sports in 2020 — is slated to call Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 with Jim Nantz.
Cameron Maybin Joining Detroit Tigers TV Booth
“All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.”
After being dropped from the New York Yankees booth on YES Network, Cameron Maybin has a new television home with the Detroit Tigers.
The 35-year-old Maybin had three separate one-year stints with the Tigers during his 15-season big league career. Maybin was drafted by the franchise with the 10th overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft.
A report from the Detroit Free Press adds that the Tigers will rely on Craig Monroe as its primary color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard. Monroe played six of his nine MLB seasons in Detroit and was a member of the team’s 2006 World Series club.
Additionally, former Tigers relief pitcher Todd Jones will also join the broadcast crew on Bally Sports Detroit as an analyst for the 2023 season. Jones pitched for Detroit from 1997 through 2001 and also from 2006 through 2008.
“Tigers baseball is always a winner,” Bally Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Hammaren said Thursday in a statement. “All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.
“Our crew behind the scenes and our engaging talent on camera are the best in the business. Starting with spring training, we are committed to bringing Tigers fans the absolute best coverage all season long.”
The news of Maybin and Jones joining the Bally Sports Detroit booth comes on the heels of the network failing to reach an agreement with Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris to return to the network. The Free Press report claims Morris was offered a reduced role with the television broadcaster, but declined.
Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter
“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”
In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.
This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.
Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.
Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”
Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.
“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”
In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.
“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”
McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.
“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.