Sports TV News
Rece Davis: NFL Draft on ABC Is Much Different Than ESPN
“It has been shown according to research that at least a significant portion of the ABC audience is not necessarily hardcore football guys.”
Over the past few years, Rece Davis has hosted the NFL Draft coverage on ABC with the rest of the College GameDay crew. This year will be the fifth year that Davis leads the coverage that is a little different than the traditional broadcast on ESPN because it dives into the journeys of the players that are having their dream become a reality.
On the latest episode of the ESPN College GameDay podcast, Davis mentioned that the broadcast has received some criticism in recent years with some saying the stories have become way too sad and there were a lot of difficult stories.
“We got some criticism a couple of years ago because they said everything was sad and despondent in terms of the backstories. I think what happens is when you go in and interview players and you dig stuff up and you ask them ‘What’s the most significant thing in your life? What has led you to this moment?’, the human mind automatically goes to some type of obstacle that you’ve overcome. Because of that, we ended up with a lot of difficult stories about losing a loved one or some type of family problem that a player had had coming up.”
Davis mentioned that the ABC broadcast is designed to be different than ESPN because of research that has been done that people who watch the broadcast aren’t necessarily die-hard football fans.
“The traditional coverage on ESPN is more ‘He’s a three-technique, he’s going to fit into that scheme, they will use him this way’. On ABC, our mandate and charge has been to put more of the focus on the personal backstories and telling you a little bit about the guys because it has been shown according to research that at least a significant portion of the ABC audience is not necessarily hardcore football guys. They tune in to watch Grey’s Anatomy or something and goodness the draft is pre-empting my show and you want to give them a reason to watch as well.”
Due to hearing some of the criticism, Davis said that more of the stories are going to have a positive tone to them, in addition to the ones where players have to overcome obstacles to achieve their ultimate goal.
“We learned from that and so many more of the stories will be uplifting and fun in addition to telling stories about obstacles and problems that players have overcome to reach that dream night of hearing their name called in the NFL Draft. It will also be an opportunity for you to get to know them on a personal level a little bit and certainly, we will talk about how they fit in with your favorite team.”
The 2023 NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, April 27.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.