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Volume 21 No. 42
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NFL Network hires team for new morning show

Looking to mix edge with humor, the NFL has tapped the producer in charge of “Men In Blazers” and “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” to develop its new morning show.

Michael Davies’ effort is a three-hour morning show that launches Aug. 1 on NFL Network. It will be called “Good Morning Football” and will be shot in New York City out of CBS’s studios.

“We want to have fun with it and show footage that other people aren’t showing,” said Davies, executive producer of the show and president of Embassy Row. “Finding humor is going to be part of the show.”

The show will have four hosts: Kay Adams (hired from NBC), Peter Schrager (hired from Fox), Kyle Brandt (hired from “The Jim Rome Show”) and former player Nate Burleson. The show will be a mixture of breaking news and local stories that will touch on entertainment topics.

“The real job for me as a producer is to make content that becomes famous,” Davies said. “My object is to have what’s said on our air between 7-10 a.m. resonate all over the media. That’s the benchmark of success. Can we make what is said on the show resonate beyond the network?”

The NFL has had its share of problems with the morning time slot. It canceled its previous morning show, the news-and-opinion focused “NFL AM,” in May 2015. Last season, NFL Network put the news-based “NFL HQ” in that morning time slot during the season. “NFL AM” was produced from Los Angeles, meaning that it started at 4 a.m., local time. Network executives say that was one of the reasons why they decided to move production of the new show to New York, making it NFL Network’s first live show to be produced from the city.

“The network was ambitious with its former morning program, and part of that ambition was to do a live morning show from the West Coast,” said Jordan Levin, chief content officer, NFL Media. “There’s an energy to morning programming. The challenge is compounded when you have people who are literally doing the show in the middle of the night. You can feel and sense that morning energy is a little off. It isn’t connecting.”

The new show’s cast is considered young by morning TV standards — all are in their 30s. Davies said he plans to use digital and social media to help make sure that the audience stays younger, too.

“We want this to be more than a TV show,” he said. “We are a digital brand, as well. We expect our hosts to communicate with our audience on social media 24/7, 365. That is very important.”

— John Ourand