Notes From Bristol: Could Change Be Coming For "High Noon"?
In DC, Ben Strauss writes ESPN's "High Noon" often "tackles sports in a different way than more traditional debate shows," but the net "has a coming decision to make" about the program. Both Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre have "contracts that expire in early spring, and the network is now testing the show in front of focus groups." While "High Noon" is "no ratings juggernaut," it also is "not cheap to produce." Sources said that the combined salaries for Jones and Torre are "north" of $3M (WASHINGTON POST, 11/14).
READY FOR SOMETHING NEW: THE BIG LEAD's Burack & Glasspiegel cited sources as saying that Trey Wingo "hopes to leave 'Golic & Wingo' on ESPN Radio by the time next football season rolls around." It is "currently unknown whether or not he will remain with ESPN," after having been with the net since '97, as his contract expires in late '20. If Wingo "does stay at ESPN, one potential suite of roles could include continuing to host the NFL Draft, part-time host of NFL Live, and various other NFL features" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 11/12).
SIMPLY THE BEST: THE RINGER's Bryan Curtis notes there was "almost no backlash" to Stephen A. Smith's new $8M-a-year contract. For someone who was once the "most polarizing man on sports TV, reactions to Smith now land somewhere between wary-admiration and full-blown love." Curtis: "America has a Strange New Respect for Stephen A." As the "new king of ESPN, Smith is the same opinionator he always was." Still, this "undersells how good Smith is at the performative parts of opinion TV" (THERINGER.com, 11/14).