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Stephen A. Smith Doesn’t ‘Give a Damn’ When He’s Criticized

ESPN has suspended reporter and commentator Stephen A. Smith for remarks he made about domestic violence last week. ESPN president John Skipper, said that Smith’s remarks on the ESPN2 show “First Take” last Friday, “did not reflect our company’s view, or our values.”

In a 2011 Media Beat interview, Smith told us criticism doesn’t bother him: “In my heart of hearts, I really don’t give a damn. I cannot emphasize enough how little it bothers me. It bothers me when nobody’s criticizing me.”

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Isaac Lee Praises Fusion’s ‘Comprehensive, Truly Distinct’ World Cup Coverage

Fusion World Cup celebrationFusion staffers gathered in Miami last night to celebrate the end of the World Cup and welcome back the team who traveled to Brazil to lead the network’s coverage, including “Soccer Gods” hosts Nando Vila and Simon Carr and VP of news Mark Lima (pictured). In a note to staffers yesterday afternoon, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee called the World Cup coverage “comprehensive, truly distinct, and full of personality across our television and digital platforms”:

Nando and Simon did a terrific job anchoring our coverage in primetime with “The Soccer Gods” live from Copacabana Beach every night.  As two avid fans, they brought a level of passion, excitement, and humor to our coverage that struck exactly the right tone for Fusion. While they shined in front of the camera, it wouldn’t have been possible without Zach Rigg and Pablo Sanchis behind the scenes making them look good!

Fusion not only delivered a unique take on the action unfolding on the pitch every day, but it was the stories from the streets of Brazil that helped us stand out. From Mariana van Zeller watching the Brazil v Chile match in a favela with one of Brazil’s largest, most violent drug gangs to Pedro Andrade scoring interviews with some of the biggest soccer stars of all time includingPele and Marta. Jorge Ramos and Leon Krauze also contributed their unique insights both on “Soccer Gods” and by live-blogging several matches on Soccer.Fusion.net.

With the World Cup over and the midterm elections on the horizon, Fusion is building up its booking unit. Capital New York’s Alex Weprin has more on the new hires that will lead the effort to secure interviews with big-name guests.

Lee’s full note, after the jump. Read more

CBS News Swings and Misses on Jeter Tweet

While trying to commemorate Yankees legend Derek Jeter‘s final All-Star Game last night, CBS News swung and missed.

“Michael Jeter takes bow at his final All-Star game,” the CBS News tweet said linking to a story on Jeter (the tweet has since been deleted).

After some Twitter users had some fun with the mistake—including Slate’s Dave Weigel jokingly referencing journalism legend “Peter Kronkite”—CBS corrected itself.

On the field, Jeter went 2-for-2 leading off for the American League All-Star team, and scored a run. He was removed in the fourth inning to a standing ovation.

Germany or Argentina? Univision is Another Winner at the World Cup

SoccerGodsThe New York Times says the “biggest scorer” of the 2014 World Cup may be Univision.

An A1 story in today’s paper adds up what the World Cup has meant to the dominant Spanish-language U.S. network: Univision coverage has topped competitors ABC/ESPN in markets including Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. The network has averaged 80 million viewers, or about 60 percent more than the 2010 tournament. Univision has carried the World Cup since 1972. But this will be the final tournament until at least 2026. Univision rival, NBCU-owned Telemundo outbid Univision for the Spanish-language rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Over on Fusion, which is a joint venture between Univision and ABC, the host of “The Soccer Gods” Nando Vila and Simon Carr, gave their predictions for today’s Germany-Argentina final to Univison News anchor Jorge Ramos. Says Vila: “Simon, before the tournament, predicted that Germany was going to win. I predicted that Argentina was going to win… so we have a lot riding on this, mainly our entire credibility.”

Congressman Gets Bumped from MSNBC for LeBron James News

RussertWhile substituting for Andrea Mitchell this afternoon, Luke Russert cut a Congressman’s interview short to cover the big breaking news of the day: LeBron James returning to Cleveland.

Less than a minute into their interview, which started at 12:38pmET, Russert told Rep. Steve Israel, “We’ll have more from you later in the show, I’m sorry though, King James is making his decision known, and that bumps you out, but thank you so much for joining us.” Russert then went to a phoner with Cleveland sports radio host Mark Bishop.

Russert first reported the news of James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers at 12:29pmET.

Fox News Harris Faulkner interrupted an “Outnumbered” panel discussion to break the news at 12:27pmET.  CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield broke the news at 12:29pmET.

NBC Olympics Nominated for Four Primetime Emmys

LauerVieiraSochiAmong the Emmy nominations announced yesterday, NBC Sports is up for four Creative Arts Emmy nominations for the 2014 Sochi Opening Ceremony. The ceremony, hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and the New Yorker‘s David Remnick, earned nominations for Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special and Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video Control for a Miniseries.

“No single event captures the world’s attention and imagination like an Olympics Opening Ceremony,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics., who was EP of the Opening Cereomony coverage. “These nominations are a welcome recognition of a job well done by many people at NBC Olympics, and also by our wonderful partners.”

Lauer and Vieira, you’ll recall, also worked overtime during the Sochi games filling in for several days for the ailing Bob Costas during NBC’s primetime telecast. The winners of the 2014 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be announced Saturday, August 16.

Brazil President to Christiane Amanpour: Nightmares Not as Bad as World Cup Loss

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Brazil’s President said she could’ve never imagined Brazil’s resounding World Cup defeat.

“My nightmares never got so bad Christiane. They never went that far,” President Dilma Rousseff told Amanpour, responding to her question on whether she ever dreamed Brazil would suffer such a lopsided loss in the semi-finals.  Germany beat Brazil 7-1 yesterday.

Costas: NBC Should Say ‘Politically Correct BS’ on Sterling Controversy Spurring Race Dialogue

CostasWhile talking about the ramifications of Donald Sterling‘s controversial racial comments, Bob Costas noted some points people at his network should make.

“When people say, ‘well, this is an opportunity to open up a dialogue on race,’ here is where I think some people who work in this building ought to step up and say you know what, that’s a bunch of politically correct BS,” Costas said on “Up with Steve Kornacki” over the weekend.

Costas added that the less comfortable and more complicated truths about race relations in 2014 as compared to 1964 and 1984 is something media networks are less inclined to dig deep into.

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21.6 Million Watch US-Belgium Match on ESPN, Univision

tim howardBetween ESPN and Univision, 21.6 million viewers watched yesterday’s U.S.-Belgium World Cup match — 16.5 million on ESPN and another 5.1 million on Univision.

The game — a heartbreaking overtime loss for the U.S. team to Belgium — was the second most-viewed men’s soccer match in the United States ever, according to ESPN. ESPN’s telecast peaked from 5:30 to 6 p.m., during overtime, with 19.5 million viewers.

The game drew viewers away from cable news from 4-6pmET, too: Fox News averaged 1,249,000 total viewers and 127,000 A25-54 viewers during that two-hour block, while MSNBC averaged 280,000 total viewers and 53,000 A25-54 viewers and CNN had 247,000 and 28,000 viewers, respectively.

NBC News Tweets About Americans’ World Cup Disinterest Before USA Faces Belgium

NBC News releases its polling information semi-frequently, but a tweet this morning with poll data regarding Americans’ interest in the World Cup could be perceived as ill-timed, but also highly competitive. Think of it as opposition research, via Twitter. NBC competitors ABC, ESPN, and Univision, have the U.S. rights to World Cup games.

Team USA squares off against Belgium at 4pmET on ESPN… not NBC, or NBC Sports Network, or Telemundo.

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