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SBD/April 19, 2017/Media
ESPN Explains Decision To Use Majority Of Morning Coverage On Hernandez' Death
Published April 19, 2017
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FOREVER TIED TOGETHER: Hernandez’ death comes on the same day the Patriots are slated to visit the White House and meet with President Trump to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl LI victory. King said the “confluence of events” certainly factored into the decision to go heavy on Hernandez coverage. He added the tone around the Pats’ visit will become more jovial as the day progresses. At least one ESPN personality was taken aback that the team would proceed with the White House visit. Bob Ley on-air this morning said, “I am stunned -- stunned -- that they’re going to go ahead with the ceremony today.” He added what should be a celebratory event will “forever be linked” to Hernandez’ death. King noted ESPN “spent a lot of energy trying not to draw conclusions” about the timing of the hanging.
GOING BEYOND SPORTS NETWORKS: "SportsCenter” certainly was not the only news outlet to cover the Hernandez death, as all three network morning shows led today’s broadcasts with at least a passing mention of the breaking news. FS1’s “Undisputed,” NBCSN’s “PFT Live” and ESPN’s “First Take” also devoted their first segments to Hernandez. King said news outlets such as ESPN have a "responsibility" to cover stories that stray away from the playing field and noted it often is just a "matter of feel" for how long to stay with such a story. Curiously, NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” did not appear to go in-depth on the news, mentioning it only during news briefs. An NFL Network spokesperson noted the net did broadcast live from outside Hernandez' house when he was first arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in '13.