With a largely captive audience thanks to a decades-long death grip on major sports league broadcast rights, ESPN rarely moves to introduce original programming that does anything but please its league broadcast partners. (And Roger Goodell always stays on 16.)
Hence, ESPN2 has long been a venue reserved for inconsequential game re-airs, production-free radio show simulcasts and cliche-worn, league-themed shows. Though if what I’ve been told in the past week is any indication, ESPN may actually be taking legitimate steps to reduce such programmed pablum. (Reduce, not eliminate.)
From multiple sources inside and outside ESPN, I’m hearing that the ratings success of ESPN2’s First Take and SportsNation has emboldened network executives to consider more substantial show concepts. Read more…
decade day I don’t watch ESPN2’s First Take, and something unbelievably offensive goes out live over the air! Thank goodness YouBeenBlinded.com never misses a minute, capturing a shameful remark from Barry Melrose this morning that sent shockwaves through Poultry Fecal Matter Advocacy groups worldwide .
The controversy started when show host Jay Crawford asked Melrose what he applied to his face to maintain his boyish visage.
Shawn Springs guested yesterday on ESPN’s First Take and was asked by host Reischea Canidate who he would rather avoid as an opponent in the Super Bowl in Miami, the Indianapolis Colts or New Orleans Saints:
(via the blog Game of Inches)
Springs: “Well if it was me, I would hope a hurricane comes through (laughs).”
We suppose that we can forgive Dana Jacobson this minor transgression, but it’s hilarious nonetheless. During ESPN’s “First Take” this morning, Jacobson referred to college basketball analyst Stephen Bardo thusly: “St. Louis is considered one of America’s greatest sports towns, but is it the best? Skip and Stephen A. will debate that, coming up next.” No, Stephen A. Smith has not returned to ESPN (he left the network on May 1 when his contract was not renewed). Don’t panic.
It was just an on-air flub. As AWFUL ANNOUNCING points out, “First Take” has been shuffling co-hosts with Skip Bayless since the departure of the Cheesy Doodled One. Bardo was teamed with Bayless today, his first name obviously overwhelming Jacobson with a wave of nostalgia (or she was hung over. Choose one). Video following the jump. Read more…
WOODY PAIGE’S LONG SHADOW CASTS PALL OVER BRISTOL: The MARTINSVILLE (IN) REPORTER-TIMES reports some shocking news today: ESPN reporter Dana Jacobson told a group of Indiana University students this week that lack of a makeup artist at ESPN’s Bristol studios is hurting the job she does on ESPN2’s ‘First Take’.
Excerpt: “With the mostly male cast, Jacobson said that as a woman, sometimes it was difficult to get simple things like makeup and her hair done. While the first incarnation of ‘First Take‘ - ‘Cold Pizza’ - was based in New York City, after it was reborn as ‘First Take’ in Connecticut, things changed.”
“In New York, she had her own hair and makeup people. During those two hours, she gained valuable prep time for upcoming interviews and segments on the show.”
We find Jacobsen’s confirmation of a lack of an on-set stylist curious considering the WWL sh**canned Woody Paige from the morning show some time ago (somewhere Woody is snickering into his 11am MT martini).