Magazine article Variety

ESPN Cuts Boost Rivals' Chances

Magazine article Variety

ESPN Cuts Boost Rivals' Chances

Article excerpt

The latest corporate restructuring at ESPN has flooded the sports media market with some very recognizable talent.

When Walt Disney's sports media juggernaut pink-slipped 100 anchors, writers and analysts last week, it made available some of the medium's most durable names: "SportsCenter" stalwarts, veteran baseball and hockey beat writers and masters of long-form sports storytelling. ESPN has positioned the move as one made to focus on personnel who fit a lineup devoted to personality-driven "SportsCenter" broadcasts and digital-video projects built around them.

But the network doesn't operate in a vacuum. There are scads of competitors - Fox Sports 1, NBCSN, CBS Sports Network, cable networks operated by the major sports leagues and sports sites like The Ringer, the sports and culture site under the aegis of former ESPN star Bill Simmons - that could provide a welcome home for those let go.

Below we look at a few of the people leaving ESPN and ponder where they might go.

Jay Crawford

'SportsCenter' anchor; age: 51

ESPN diehards may remember Crawford from his time hosting "Cold Pizza," the ESPN2 morning show that evolved into "First Take." His ability to mix sports news with a lighter take on events would make him a reliable host at a number of venues.

Jayson Stark

Baseball writer; age: 65

A former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Stark enjoys the sort of national reputation for big-league coverage that seems to be fading from sports media. His perspective would lend credibility to a radio broadcast or sports network. …

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