SBD/November 11, 2013/Media

How It's Playing: NFL Pregame Shows, Morning News Shows Heavy On Bullying Issue

NFL Network was "reluctant to tackle the Incognito/Martin story on NFL GameDay Morning, waiting a full hour to really get into it," according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. NFL pregame shows on CBS, Fox and ESPN each opened their telecasts with the bullying story, but the "turmoil led to great creativity (or was it a diversionary tactic) in NFLN’s promo" for the Dolphins-Buccaneers "MNF" game. A voice over says, "Let's stop talking about the Dolphins. Let's start watching them play." ESPN "faces a challenge" as the game is "nothing more than a sidebar to what’s going down in Miami." Raissman: "So, how will the network fill its extended pregame? It has to go heavy on Martin-Incognito. But if all ESPN can deliver is rehash, it has a problem." (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/11). SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted NFL Network "held a series of roundtable discussions Sunday including whether the Incognito-Martin situation will change anything in the NFL, race relations in the league and what constitutes the current locker room ethos." This was "intelligent dialogue that provided the viewer with insight and interesting takeaways." NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp has "been excellent on the Martin-Incognito story." Viewers also should give "kudos to CBS's The NFL Today for approaching the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story with significant heft on Sunday." After spending "more airtime last week promoting Mike and Molly actor Billy Gardell than a substantive discussion on NFL locker room culture, the NFL Today went after the Incognito-Martin story with gusto." CBS' Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher were "as good as they've ever been on the show." Deitsch: "Particularly worth noting were Sharpe's comments on race, the 'n-word' and locker room dynamics" (SI.com, 11/10). In L.A., Dan Loumena wrote Fox Sports "mostly played it straight leading up to the exclusive interview, although analyst Jimmy Johnson was quite clear that Martin was likely the one with a problem" (LATIMES.com, 11/10). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes, "No voice has been stronger on the Sunday morning pregame shows than that of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown analyst Tom Jackson" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/11). THE DAILY offered a summary of how each NFL pregame show covered the issue during yesterday's programming.

MONDAY MEDIA MONITOR: This morning's editions of ABC's "GMA," "CBS This Morning" and NBC's "Today" all teased reports in the opening segment of the broadcasts on Incognito's interview with Jay Glazer and the ongoing scandal surrounding the bullying issues in the Dolphins locker room. "GMA" and "Today" aired reports on Incognito in the first eight minutes of their broadcasts, while "CBS This Morning" aired its report 33 minutes into the telecast. ABC's Matt Guttman reported live from Miami, and "GMA" aired a taped report and clips from the interview. Following the taped report, ESPN's Schefter appeared live via satellite to discuss the Dolphins' ongoing scandal. CBS' Mark Strassmann reported live from Tampa where the Dolphins will play the Buccaneers tonight, followed by a taped report featuring excerpts from the Glazer interview. After Strassmann's report, CBS' James Brown appeared live via satellite to discuss the Dolphins situation. NBC's Kerry Sanders reported live from Tampa, followed by a taped report that included excerpts from Incognito's interview with Glazer (Paul Sanford, Television Editor).
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