Brent Musburger, Rick Reilly get demotions from ESPN and ABC
Brent Musberger will still technically work for ESPN. He's been assigned to the new ESPN-owned SEC Network, where he'll be the lead football commentator calling top SEC games alongside analyst Jesse Palmer.
But Rick Reilly and Brent Musburger have been reassigned at ABC and ESPN, Variety reports. "Rick Reilly, the longtime journalist who joined ESPN from Sports Illustrated in 2008, will no longer write his column for ESPN.com; instead working on a part-time basis for television only. He’ll write his final column June 30," Variety reports. "Brent Musburger, meanwhile, will no longer call ABC’s college football game of the week. He has been named anchor of ESPN’s new SEC Network alongside Jesse Palmer."
Both ABC and ESPN are owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, and these are classic Disney salary-slashing moves. Disney is a company that demands costs be cut even in times of record profits. It's just their business philosophy. Reilly and Musburger will both surely be replaced by younger guys with lower salaries.
Musburger, for instance, has 20 years at ABC under his belt. After 20 years, you've gotten a few salary raises.
Brent Musburger does his best to make it sound like working at the SEC Network is all that and a bag of Tostitos. "I’m delighted to be staying with ESPN, thrilled to be able to call the best football conference in the nation every week and am really looking forward to working with Jesse," Musburger told Variety.
Reilly, meanwhile is rumored to have been demoted because of a self-plagiarism scandal. But ESPN tells Deadspin that Reilly preferred for his workload to be reduced to part-time.