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ESPN deletes Chad Ford’s NBA draft board updates

Deadspin reported Saturday that ESPN NBA analyst Chad Ford has been retroactively editing his NBA draft boards, then updated the report Sunday claiming that the posts have been reverted to their original versions.

Ford puts out a yearly draft board ranking players in the upcoming NBA draft class.  However, Deadspin reported that Ford has been going back and updating his rankings “by slyly moving up players who turned out to be NBA stars and dropping those who’ve become busts.”

Deadspin noted when the edits were made, sometimes almost three years after the original post, and which players were moved up or down in rank.

Although ESPN has returned all draft boards to their original states, Deadspin shared screenshots of the edited versions.

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ESPN updates weekend radio lineup


In a press release Friday, ESPN announced updates to its weekend radio lineup that include eight new radio shows.  The new lineup provides new voices from around the country covering a variety of sports.  

Senior vice president of ESPN Audio, Mo Davenport, said the new voices “will soon be household names,” while Dave Roberts, vice president of network audio content, spoke about the diversity of the programs.

This lineup gives ESPN Radio listeners access to shows based throughout the country, all hosted by passionate sports fans who will draw upon their disparate experiences and backgrounds to provide entertaining programming. 

The eight new programs listed below, as well as the entire new weekend lineup, can be heard on “ESPN Radio and via the ESPN Radio app, the SportsCenter app,, SiriusXM, Apple iTunes, Slacker Radio and TuneIn.”

espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio 
Marty & McGee
Dave Rothenberg Show
Dickerson & Hood
Robin Lundberg
Coachman & Bretos
Ian Fitzsimmons
NBA Lockdown: Insiders

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Sports Illustrated lays off staff photographers

Sports Illustrated, known for its compelling sports photography and visual storytelling, confirmed Friday that the company has laid off its six remaining staff photographers, according to the National Press Photographers Association.

Photographers Robert Beck, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, David E. Klutho, John W. McDonough and Al Tielemans were let go at around noon on Thursday citing financial and editorial restructuring within the magazine, which was rumored to be undergoing financial hardships and budget cuts as early as last summer. The announcement also coincides with Time-Life publications’ move to a new location in New York City after it was learned that the company could no longer pay rent on the space.

Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith told NPPA that he hopes the photographers will still contribute visually to the magazine, just not in a full-time role. He also said the company’s commitment to visual sports journalism has not changed, just the work process in which photographers submit photos.

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Viacom and ESPN fined by FCC

In a statement on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission upheld its combined $1.4 million fine of Viacom and ESPN for “misusing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) warning tones.”

The networks violated FCC law in 2013 by broadcasting the tones outside of an emergency, in a promotion for the the movie “Olympus Has Fallen.”  

In March 2014, after FCC investigation and network cooperation, NBCUniversal, ESPN and Viacom were fined a combined $1,930,000. NBCUniversal was fined $530,000, ESPN $280,000 and Viacom $1,120,000.

NBCUniversal paid its fine, but both ESPN and Viacom argued their proposed fines and requested reductions. The FCC announced that it has rejected their arguments and the imposed fines must be paid in 30 days. 

Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, explained the serious nature of the EAS tones in Tuesday’s statement.

The public relies on this system to prepare them for real emergencies. Our action here sends a strong signal that use of the EAS tones for non-emergency purposes presents a danger to public safety which we will not tolerate.


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ESPN’s John Walsh to step down Feb. 1

According to James Andrew Miller, co-author of the book “Those Guys Have All The Fun,” ESPN Executive Vice President and Executive Editor John A. Walsh will step down at the end of the month, ending an era of work that has helped put ESPN on the pinnacle of the sports journalism industry.

Walsh has served as the company’s executive editor since 1990. During his time, he helped launch ESPN Radio and ESPN the Magazine, diversifying the company’s messages through the technological advances that have ravaged the media industry over the past two decades. Walsh was originally a consultant to the company before being hired full time in 1988 as managing editor, responsible for all news and informational programming. 

Walsh was the target of a Deadspin story in July 2014 in which Jay Mariotti and Sean Salisbury, former ESPN employees, videotaped Walsh drunk at a bar soliciting several women. According to the story, the pair used the video as blackmail to further their careers. The story suggested that he might retire at the end of the year, but did not specify a date. It seems that date has now been confirmed.

Walsh received his bachelors degree from the University of Scranton and his masters degree from the University of Missouri. He previously worked at Newsday, Rolling Stone, U.S. News and World Report, and Inside Sports magazine before settling in at ESPN.

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NBC to live stream Super Bowl

NBCUniversal has announced that it will live stream the Super Bowl in a campaign they are calling “Super Stream Sunday,” according to a press release from the company on Tuesday.

“Super Stream Sunday” is set to provide 11 consecutive hours of content, including Super Bowl XLIX, Katy Perry’s halftime performance, as well as pregame and postgame shows and an episode of “The Blacklist” following game activity.

The content will be accessible from desktops and tablets through NBC Sports Digital’s product NBC Sports Live Extra. The company does not have the rights to stream to mobile devices.

NBC Sports Live Extra first streamed a Super Bowl in 2012 with Super Bowl XLVI, but this year will also stream the halftime show for the first time. Allison Moore, GM and EVP of NBCUniversal’s TV Everywhere, explains the strategy behind offering free access to the content.

‘Super Stream Sunday’ builds off of NBCUniversal’s commitment to create broader TV Everywhere opportunities for our consumers. We are leveraging the massive digital reach of the Super Bowl to help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access.

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SI profiles writers who have covered all 48 Super Bowls

In a story this week, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated profiled the only three sports writers who have covered all 48 Super Bowls ahead of Super Bowl 49 in Arizona next week.

Jerry Green of the Detroit News, Jerry Izenberg and Dave Klein of the Newark Star-Ledger have covered every Super Bowl since the Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs in 1967, part of the 338 credentialed media members to cover that AFL-NFL World Championship Game in Los Angeles. All have worked for decades with major publications across the United States, and still remember vividly their first Super Bowl — specifically from the vantage point of how it has transformed into the most revered sporting event in the country.

Deitsch also did a story last week about the four photographers who have shot at every Super Bowl since 1967 — John Biever, Walter Iooss, Mickey Palmer, and Tony Tomsic.

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