August 26th, 2018 at 1:10 PM ^

I think the McMurphy story was more the lesson. You can waste $2.5 million on a talking head show no one watches and it's just wasted money. No one cares. But sports fans still want ESPN because of the sports and those sports fans also want sports news. You can have 40 solid, experienced reporters for $2.5 million.

ESPN is still a money-making machine. It will be fine, as long as it doesn't start losing important rights packages or it stops trying to deliver sports news.

Definitely ESPN made a mistake in reading the natural SC decline and thought the news channel approach of featuring controversial talking heads was the right way to go. But there's still plenty of time to refocus and remember that the star of ESPN is represented by the S in its title - not in any individual personality.


August 26th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

I think the situation is mostly about that SC misread creating the outsized contract and role/expectations. 

Most people come (came at this point?) to SC for the highlights and stayed for the highlights, appreciating a good host when they got one. ESPN used to think people came for the highlights and stayed for the hosts. Now that the highlights are everywhere they try the personality driven come/stay for the hosts approach and that’s not it when half the TVs tuned to your program are in bars on mute. 

On the other bit I don’t know that ESPN is learning from McMurphy. New prez is kissing the NFL ring because they’re mad about reporting on concussions, CTE and the protest stuff we won’t go into here. Could see them responding to the PSU, MSU and OSU fan backlash over actual reporting by doing even less investigative reporting. Hope I’m wrong. 


August 26th, 2018 at 1:35 PM ^

Your first paragraph is spot on. I realize 2.5 million is a small figure to ESPN but even money making machines can fail. The network should have sent her packing with nothing just like CEOs who destroy companies should get paid nothing to leave. I never have understood the need to pay millions for failure and I never will.

If the contract did not have a performance clause and thus the reason for the payout then ESPN should alter their future contracts with on-air talent.


August 26th, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

I will say this....

As much as I am shocked to say it, at least she had a somewhat non-homer response to the MSU scandal.  More than we've received from Herbie on OSU.

It really says something when Hill is the rational one.



August 26th, 2018 at 3:15 PM ^

OK, when I read Herbie's statements it was more that he was confused about the investigation itself and not that he had any concerns about Meyer, but it could have been the context of the report I read it in and not his actual words.  Glad to hear otherwise.


August 26th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

Agree.  I definitely appreciated her takes on the MSU scandal.  Seems like the right call for her to leave.  She clearly wants to do more political stuff (her prerogative) and ESPN wants to appear as neutral.  She probably went a little far w/ her political comments, but TBH, that never bothered me as much as the other stuff.  She would refer to UM as "scUM" and make other comments that more or less embodied the typical Sparty stereotype.