On the same day 100s of ESPN staff got layoff notices (maybe America doesn’t like sports after all?), it was announced that the guru of all things Crimson (University of Alabama reference) will be doing a TV radio simulcast.
ESPN is 80% owned by Disney and 20% by the Hearst Corporation (“Rosebud”). There is some speculation ESPN may have overpaid on its long term sports contracts and is being squeezed partly due to the new competition from CBS and NBC and losing Jim Rome.
Even if you’re like me and don’t care about sports, Paul Finebaum is a major figure in the culture of the Southeast (especially Alabama) and he is a bellweather about where radio is headed. Citadel and then Cumulus stuck it do him by not honoring the contractual arrangement he had (but that’s also the nature of what happens in bankruptcy) – so it looks like he’s headed more to cable TV and will anchor the new SEC Network.
Just think of all the money Lew Dickey just saved for Cumulus!