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Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

‘Hard-Nosed’ Sports Reporter, Still Hit On in the Locker Room, Gets CNN Back in the Game

nicholsWomen in sports journalism have come a long way, says CNN’s Rachel Nichols, but they have a long way to go.

“The very fact I’m allowed to go into the locker room after the game, with no one questioning it, shows significant progress,” says Nichols, 40, whose new weekly program, “Unguarded,” debuts Friday at 10:30 p.m. on CNN and CNN International.

On the other hand, athletes’ “attitudes and prejudices still need some work,” Nichols says. “When I meet players for the first time, they can be a bit guarded. Right off the bat, they assume you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s harder to get the story sometimes.”

“Unguarded” will feature a long-form interview with an athlete as well as a panel discussion that will include entertainment stars in addition to jocks. For the opener, Nichols accompanied NBA star Lebron James in August on his annual promotional trip to China.

Sports have been a long time coming to CNN. The network has not had a dedicated sports show since “Sports Tonight,” a traditional daily roundup that began with CNN’s launch in 1980. Pre-empted by 9/11 coverage, it never returned.

Under CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker, “there’s a broadening of what CNN can be,” says Nichols, a veteran of ESPN and The Washington Post. “We’re moving to focus on more than just politics. When you pick up a newspaper, you want to be able to leaf through other sections. My show is part of that.”

Nichols joined CNN in January after a nine-year run at ESPN. Also a reporter for Turner Sports, she covers a wide variety of assignments, from major league baseball to the NBA to the Super Bowl. Also, she will be part of Turner’s Olympics team.

When it comes to football, Nichols acknowledges that women generally report from the sidelines while men occupy the more glamorous booth. (At ESPN, she did the former for “Monday Night Football.”) It’s an underrated gig, she insists.

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Mediabistro Course

Online Production for Writers and Editors

Online Production for Writers and EditorsStarting July 17, learn how to create multi-dimensional content for your digital mediums! Taught by a multiplatform journalist, Darragh Worland will teach you how to create content that is multi-dimensional and editorially relevant, use the web to its full potential, create stories that have social media campaigns built in and increase your value as as an employee. Register now! 
 

Fiesta Bowl Moved Up To Jan. 2

With the NFL lockout resolved, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl has been moved up from Jan. 5 to Jan. 2.

The BCS originally left the evening of Jan. 2 free in case the NFL had to push their season back due to the lockout.

The Fiesta Bowl will now be played right after the Rose Bowl, which is on Jan. 2 next year because New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday.

 

 

ESPN's Beadle Questioned by Bosses About Alleged Unseemly Behavior at ESPY's

Deadspin is reporting that ESPN SportsNation co-host Michelle Beadle was called into the principal’s office by Bristol brass and questioned about her behavior at an ESPY’s after-party two weeks ago, when ESPN co-workers alleged that Beadle was drinking heavily, using drugs and making inappropriate comments to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, including the comment, “I just wanna get fucked.”

According to Beadle, John Walsh, ESPN’s executive vice president, had asked (Vice President of Content Integration and Strategic Planning) Marcia Keegan to meet with Beadle to address the rumors. Keegan told Beadle that co-workers had accused her of being drunk and using drugs at the ESPY after-parties. Keegan also asked if she had said anything inappropriate to Rodgers at a nightclub where the two had been seen together.

“I saw and talked to Aaron the first night I was there,” Beadle said. “I don’t know the guy or anything, but we [she and her girlfriends] were hanging out with him. But Marcia told me that she heard I had apparently blurted out in front of him, ‘I just wanna get fucked’ very loudly.”

Annoyed and incensed at this point, Beadle demanded that Keegan tell her which of her Bristol colleagues had spread the rumors. She wanted to get a lawyer, she told Keegan, and sue whomever it was for slander. Keegan did not tell her, and Beadle calmed down and resumed her Bristol duties, certain that this incident was behind her. Until, of course, (Deadspin) heard about the rumors and received confirmation that she had been approached by one of her bosses about it.

Still, a source who was present at some of those ESPY after-parties maintains that Beadle had gotten obnoxiously hammered and that at one point she put the moves on Aaron Rodgers. Rebuffed, she went on to fuck his teammate Clay Matthews instead, the source said.

“That’s insane,” Beadle said. “I live a much more interesting life in other people’s minds.”

Stay tuned.

ESPN RISE is Renamed ESPN High School

ESPN RISE, a multiplatform brand launched in 2008 to produce and air content relevant to high school sports fans, has been renamed ESPN High School.

“ESPN is committed to providing the best high school sports content for fans while creating specific high-quality content and tools for the athlete themselves,” said Glenn Rosenbloom, vice president and general manager, ESPN High School. “By renaming this business, it clearly defines our mission and brings this property into better alignment with the rest of the ESPN networks and content platforms.”

The new brand will roll-out across ESPN platforms throughout August.

Cover of SEC Football Media Guide is No. 5 Jersey

In case the No. 5 jersey on the cover of the SEC football media guide was too subtle, the cover also includes the helpful line, “Home of FIVE consecutive BCS National Champions.”

Can you name all five? I’ll give you a hint: Vanderbilt is not one of them.

Seriously, props to the SEC for a little bragging. It’s all in good fun.

Fox Sports Chief Named to Board of Stats LLC

Eric Shanks, chief operating officer of Fox Sports Media Group and overseer of Fox Soccer, SPEED, Fuel TV and FoxSports.com, has been named as the fourth board member of Stats LLC, a leading provider of sports statistics and content.

Shanks joins Tom Curley and Ken Dale of the Associated Press and Gary Ehrlich of Fox Sports Enterprises to complete the board of STATS, which is co-owned by the Associated Press and News Corp.

“STATS is one of the most innovative companies in sports today,” said Shanks. “I feel privileged to join this exciting and dynamic team, and look forward to providing my expertise wherever possible.”

STATS chief executive officer Gary Walrath said, “We are fortunate to have the leadership, vision and tremendous expertise of Eric Shanks as we continue to advance STATS’s mission to revolutionise the way sports contests are viewed, understood and enjoyed.”

What To Watch: Charles Barkley On Feherty

Looking for something to watch Tuesday night besides the MLB All-Star Game?

Charles Barkley sits down with David Feherty Monday night on Feherty to discuss race and being a role model.

Feherty airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on The Golf Channel.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Breaks Viewership Record

The 2011 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN was the most-viewed competition ever, averaging 1,949,000 viewers.

Viewership was up 16 percent compared to last year’s 1,677,000 viewers and the 1.3 rating is tied with 2006 and 2007 as the highest rating for the contest.

Uniques on ESPN3.com were up 189 percent and total minutes consumed were up 321 percent over last year.

Just imagine what the ratings will be if Kobayashi takes on Joey Chestnut next year.

 

BBC Introduces 'Grunt-Reducing' Technology at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova would have a lot more fans (ya know, more than she already does) if watching her play tennis wasn’t as punishing on the ears as it’s easy on the eyes. Sharapova is one of the tennis world’s most notorious grunters, which makes watching her matches a trying affair. To keep you tuned in, the BBC has introduced technology called Wimbledon Net Mix, a device for the radio and Internet that lowers the volume of on-court sounds and raises the noise level of commentators; and they’re using it for the first time at Wimbledon.

The product is available for free on BBC Radio Player. For the time being it only allow listeners to adjust the sound on Centre Court matches.

For those watching on television, mute or changing the channel remain the top options to combat grunting.

 

 

Video: Eli And Peyton Manning's Trailer For Football Cops

Curious as to what Eli and Peyton Manning have done during the NFL lockout?

Fighting crime, of course.

Here’s the DirecTV trailer for Football Cops:

Peyton and Eli Manning star in this action-packed drama about two former pro football players who bring their unique brand of law enforcement to one of the country’s toughest neighborhoods. Mike Tahoe (Peyton Manning) was living the dream as a big league quarterback, until a personal tragedy brought him back to the mean streets of his childhood. Vowing to bring those who wronged him to swift justice, he enlists the help of his best friend, and biggest rival, C.J. Hunter (Eli Manning). Both grew up together as orphans in a home for wayward boys. Both overcame the odds to become huge sports stars. Now both are the only hope for the rugged streets they once again call home.

Love the mustaches, fellas.

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