SBD/July 17, 2017/Media

People & Personalities: Mike Tirico Reluctant To Talk Race; FS1 Adding Jenna Wolfe?

Tirico has been hesitant to discuss race throughout his broadcasting career
In N.Y., Juliet Macur wrote if someone asks NBC's Mike Tirico "deeper questions about his background, or about his being one of the most prominent broadcasters of African-American lineage on television, he doesn’t want to engage." He has been "dealing with questions about his race for years, most of the time wearily." Tirico describes himself as "mixed race." Tirico: "Why do I have to check any box? If we live in a world where we’re not supposed to judge, why should anyone care about identifying?" He added, “The race question in America is one that probably never produces a satisfactory answer for those who are asking the questions” (N.Y. TIMES, 7/16).

SEARCHING FOR TALENT: SPORTING NEWS' Michael McCarthy cited sources as saying that FS1 "may add a female co-host to its new national morning show," as it has "been in talks to add former 'Today' correspondent/anchor Jenna Wolfe, among others." Sources added that Wolfe is "described as a 'finalist' for the job after she 'killed' her audition to join Cris Carter and Nick Wright on FS1's planned 'First Things First.'" The "funny, vivacious Wolfe could be a big addition" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/16). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Bob Raissman reported months before he was fired, former Fox Sports National Networks President Jamie Horowitz attempted to make Fox Sports radio’s Clay Travis the "next 'star' of the network by giving him his own television show." But there "was a catch: All Travis had to do to land the gig was ditch" talk of politics on his show (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16).

MAKING A RACQUET
: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes ESPN’s analyst "overkill" at Wimbledon was a "smack in face to those" recently laid off. Mushnick: "Imagine being among the estimated 100 ESPN employees laid off this year for cost cutting, then seeing and hearing from seven ... pre-match analysts who were in England to comment on Saturday’s Venus Williams-Garbine Muguruza Wimbledon final." Then "add the in-match commentators, Chris Fowler and Chris Evert, and there were nine ESPN people heard on just one match played between just two women" (N.Y. POST, 7/17).
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