Expanding The Playbook: ESPN Re-Signs Four NFL Analysts To Long-Term Deals
ESPN today announced that four "key members of the network's NFL coverage -- John Clayton, Mel Kiper Jr., Adam Schefter and Ed Werder -- have signed multi-year extensions," according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Kiper signed a six-year deal that will "keep him at ESPN through the summer of 2018.” Schefter's five-year extension "runs through the summer of 2017,” while Clayton and Werder each signed four-year deals. Kiper will continue to appear on the net's NFL Draft coverage "as well as pre-draft specials, and contribute to ESPN.com” Schefter, who joined the net in August '09, will see role “remain the same” with appearances across various platforms. Werder will have his role “expanded throughout ESPN's platforms including more appearances on SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown.” ESPN Senior VP & Exec Producer Mark Gross said that Werder will “now perform the dual role of reporter and league insider.” Clayton will also “continue to appear across multiple platforms including ESPN.com.” Deitsch notes the extensions provide ESPN “with a nice wave of publicity after a number of recent high-profile television side defections including Erin Andrews, Michelle Beadle, and Jim Rome” (SI.com, 7/11). Anchor Stuart Scott yesterday announced he had signed a multiyear extension with the net. USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes normally ESPN would "handle the signing of a longtime staff member to a new contract quietly." But after recent "exits by high-profile on-air talents" including Andrews and Beadle, ESPN "will begin announcing what happens to the vast majority of their personalities -- when they sign new contracts -- in part to combat the idea that the network is experiencing many desertions" (USA TODAY, 7/11).