Media Circus (cont.)
6. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals wideout and mobile journalist: The Twitter battle between Pro Football Talk and Ochocinco was the most enjoyable media war of the month. ("We pointed out at PFT some of the things he said during a live USTREAM video broadcast," Florio said. "He then called us 'haters' on Twitter. I responded by asking why disagreement is automatically presumed to be 'hate,' and it kind of went downhill from there.") The Bengals' wideout morphed into a one-man mobile journalist in July, broadcasting live from training camp and tweeting seemingly every hour. His reporting included predicting Michael Vick's future home ("Mike Vick to the Vikings, yessssssss, I am the new ESPN/Telemundo/BET/Cooking Channel and whatever else you might want to add") and critiquing ESPN and PFT ("Ain't no reruns on my show like ESPN, pro football talk, sit down, I have the real access to the players, I am taking over!!!!"). He even provided parts of his training camp schedule.
7. ESPN, newsmaker: The network became the news in July nearly as frequently as it reported it, but I'll note something positive here: ESPN's decision to end its ban against the New York Post sportswriters shows Bristol is not an inflexible entity. The network's senior management made a thoughtful and correct reversal against a group that had no part in the Post's cheap and smarmy decision to splash blurred nude stills of Andrews. (The Post subsequently banned its staffers from freelancing for ESPN, as well as any other outlet.)
8. The New York Daily News and New York Post sports sections: Usually these papers are about as friendly as Eminem and Mariah Carey, but the two publications came together in support of Daily News sports reporter Adam Rubin, who was accused by Mets general manager Omar Minaya of lobbying for a front-office position. (Minaya has since apologized.)
Both papers ran pieces that defended the reporter, and (predictably) killed Minaya. As a daily reader of the Daily News, I've seen no instance where Rubin was soft on the Mets or angled his coverage to curry favor with the organization for a future gig. (In fact, he did the opposite with his coverage given his stories led to the firing of VP of player development Tony Bernazard.) Providing an interesting counter on Rubin and perceived conflicts of interest is former New York Times national baseball writer Murray Chass, now writing at MurrayChass.com
9. Adam Schefter, ESPN: For a guy not scheduled to work at ESPN until Aug. 17, Schefter has been busy tweeting NFL news and notes (such as reporting that Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had signed with the team and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs wore a T-shirt at camp that read: YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I HATE PITTSBURGH) and details about Adam Schefter (his Quakertown, Pa., motel had a fireplace and a Jacuzzi and he was pleased with his July 28 haircut). His ESPN entry heats up the already competitive NFL information battles. Somewhere, you know Jay Glazer is reading Schefter's tweets.
10. The New York Islanders: Long Islanders have come to expect little from their pro hockey franchise, but the drafting of minor league sensation John Tavares was the first glint of good news in years. Naturally, the Islanders being the Islanders, they countered that goodwill with two poor decisions. They fired radio announcers Chris King and Steve Mears and ended the team's sponsorship of the popular Islanders Point Blank blog, a unique bit of obsessive coverage by the team's PR director-turned-blogger Chris Botta. Both vehicles expanded the reach of the franchise to fans, with Botta's site generating 495,210 unique visitors for July. The Islanders will now feature a TV/radio simulcast with MSG broadcasters Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe. As Newsday's Greg Logan pointed out, Rose and Jaffe are an excellent team but their first responsibility must be to their television audience, which is a different broadcast in description, flow and tone.