ESPN Lauded For Revamped "E:60" Show; Why Did "Sports Reporters" Have To Go?
There "aren't enough words to praise just how good" the first episode of a revamped, hour-long "E:60" was, and if future weeks can match yesterday's show, then ESPN will have "perhaps the best show it has ever produced," according to Tom Jones of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. That "might seem like hyperbole, but it truly was a remarkable show, and it was heartening to witness a commitment to telling compelling stories, especially in the wake of recent massive layoffs." Yesterday showed ESPN "at its finest" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 5/15). "E:60" co-host Jeremy Schaap said of making Cowboys QB Dak Prescott a focus of the first episode, "We asked who are the biggest names in sports. If it's not Tom Brady, it's Dak. He is the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and has an amazing story." In Dallas, Barry Horn noted the Prescott piece preceded an "in-depth look at the Syrian national soccer team" (DALLASNEWS.com, 5/13).
OUT WITH THE OLD: In Chicago, Dan McGrath writes the cancellation of "The Sports Reporters" shows what the longtime program "didn't have was the right demographic" as ESPN "seeks to reinvent itself amid cord-cutting and other market forces that threaten its reliability as a money machine." McGrath: "Sad that the high-decibel bloviating of 'First Take' has spawned a cottage industry of imitators, while 'The Sports Reporters' -- a major player in the cross-pollination of print and broadcast sports coverage -- passes quietly and largely unmourned" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/15).