(Outkick the Coverage) Last night Outkick broke the news that Linda Cohn, one of the most respected women to ever work at ESPN and the person who has hosted more SportsCenters over the past 25 years than any other current employee, was called and told by ESPN president John Skipper not to come to work after she went on the radio in New York City this past April and said as follows:
“They definitely overpaid for many of these products, whether it’s the NBA or starting up networks like the Pac-12 Network and SEC Network,” she said on WABC’s “Bernie and Sid Show.” “It’s well documented … They [also] did not see that they would lose all these subscribers [to competitors like Netflix.]
But it was more than just that. Politics played a part, as did the network’s move away from strictly covering sports.
I felt that the old school viewers were put in a corner and not appreciated with all these other changes. And they forgot their core. You can never forget your core and be grateful for your core group.”
— Outkick the Coverage (@Outkick) September 13, 2017
As comments go, virtually no one could disagree with any of what she said. ESPN did overpay for the NBA and other sports rights, it’s why they are firing hundreds of employees. And ESPN’s ratings have definitely plummeted over the past couple of years at the same time that they have lost over 13 million cable subscribers. Studies have clearly shown that conservatives have felt alienated by ESPN’s leftward turn and have abandoned the network in droves as well.
Everything that Cohn said was supported by ample data.
But her opinion still wasn’t acceptable to ESPN’s bosses, who have been arguing, and losing the public battle, that ESPN hasn’t adopted a left wing mantra….