ESPN, No Longer the Leader in Breaking News
In today's social media age, sports breaking news hits the internet in waves, and ESPN has been left in the dust. There are multiple sports media outlets other than ESPN who employ excellence in reporting and therefore, have been credited with breaking major news in trades, waiver claims, free-agent signings, etc. In the digital age, ESPN has not the talent and persona to compete in the breaking news category. They constantly update their site at a slower pace than most reliable columnists around the world.
Everyone notices ESPN's strategy. Hire former athletes for analysis on their respective sports and it will boost ratings. However, they either fail to recognize, or just don't care, that by placing an individual with inferior intellect in the spotlight, it hurts their reputation as well as those speaking into the camera (Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bobby Valentine to name a few). We can only hope and pray that ESPN is never given exclusive rights to broadcast the NFL each and every Sunday as they will almost assuredly allow Berman to call the games and a less than stellar staff to analyze it. Monday Night Football is quite enough. (Exception: Jon Gruden is phenomenal)
ESPN has taken a step backward whereas they were founded upon the principles as a reputable sports media company. They broke news stories. They made sure the overwhelming American population was well-informed without sugar coating their stories or cracking painfully idiotic jokes. Those days are long gone. They have continued to prove that their quest for ratings far exceeds their passion for sports. They have fallen behind in breaking stories online as they usually follow smaller, but more reputable, sports columnists in breaking news via twitter.
AOL's Fanhouse attempted to become a more trusted sports media outlet a few years back, but lacked the funds and the general interest of our nation for them switch allegiance, which is unfortunate because trusted columnists such as Kevin Blackistone, Jay Marrioti (before he went to prison) formed an impressive unit that was sure to rival the weaker links within ESPN's ranks. Without the necessary cable channel to allow for the easy transition for most sports enthusiasts, Fanhouse had no realistic chance.
It is time for another financially-backed sports media outlet to take the reins. NBC launched their Sports Network in time for the Olympics this summer. We can only hope for the return of Sports News to replace the ESPN Sports Charades Show...and, please, NBA on NBC.