SBD/Issue 152/Sports Media

Out Of Print: Rick Reilly Dropping Column From ESPN The Magazine

Reilly Cutting Mag Column As He
Increases TV Work For ESPN

ESPN's Rick Reilly is "dropping his print column" from ESPN The Magazine, marking the "first time in more than a quarter century that Reilly won't be cranking out a regular column for a magazine," according to Keith Kelly of the N.Y. POST. Since joining ESPN in '07, Reilly has "done a lot more video," including appearances on, a video essay on the Sunday morning "SportsCenter," and hosting the one-hour program "Homecoming." ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief Gary Belsky said, "Rick has limitless talent, but limited time, so as he increases his TV work for ESPN, we've agreed to take one for the team and free him from his regular magazine duties." Reilly said, "Yes, the magazine decision was mine. I really like the magazine, but I was ready to try more TV and Internet. I will still contribute longer pieces to the magazine now and then." Reilly added that the "change in workload didn't alter the pay" of his reported five-year, $17M contract with ESPN (N.Y. POST, 4/21).

WHERE HE BELONGS: In DC, Leonard Shapiro wrote Chris Berman's new contract to stay at ESPN is "welcome news for television critics around the country ... who have taken a wide variety of shots at Berman for an even wider variety of reasons over the years." Berman is as "talented a sports communicator as there has ever been, one reason both the NFL Network and DirecTV made a run at acquiring his services in recent months." His popularity is "obviously off the charts after 30 years with the ESPN juggernaut, even if there are times Berman seems to be a walking, talking parody of himself on the air with much of the same old shtick he's been using forever." Berman starting tomorrow night will anchor ESPN's coverage of the NFL Draft, where he "does some of his best work." Alongside ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., Berman is "one of the main reasons it's become one of the most anticipated events on the NFL calendar" (, 4/20).

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