I had surgery to remove a sebaceous cyst today so the blogging was minimal today. Trying to catch up now.
Here are some links.
Big buzz today regarding Bob Costas’ interview of Jerry Sandusky on Rock Center with Brian Williams last night.
Let’s get some links on that first.
Bob went on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss what was said, what wasn’t said and what you didn’t see on last night’s Sandusky interview.
Bill Carter of the New York Times has the story on how Costas got Jerry Sandusky on the phone.
Alan Sepinwall of HitFlix says Costas got the job done in his Sandusky interview.
Rebecca Ford of the Hollywood Reporter says Costas is being universally praised for last night’s interview.
At the Atlantic Wire, Dashiell Bennett wants to know why Sandusky agreed to do the interview.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports recaps the interview and tells us what it all means.
Mark Perigard of the Boston Herald says the Costas interview was the best one this year to date.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun writes that Costas gave Rock Center its signature moment.
Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times says Sandusky really didn’t help himself and might have made things worse.
While the interview got a lot of buzz, Ann Oldenberg of USA Today notes that it still lost in the ratings to ABC’s heavily promoted Gabby Giffords interview.
Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly says CBS got the last laugh over all of the networks when all was said and done.
Brian Lowry at Fox Sports reviews ESPN’s production of Saturday’s Nebraska-Penn State game.
Philadelphia sports radio talk show host Michael Bradley writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center that the Penn State story proves the need for in-depth reporting.
Now to other stories.
Lucia Moses at Adweek notes that corporate cousins HBO and Sports Illustrated will team up for a new TV series to air in 2013.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life talks with the CEO of a sports and entertainment agency on the impact of the NBA lockout on fans and the league’s TV partners.
Carolyn Braff of Sports Video Group profiles former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol as he’s about to be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir says UFC is suing New York to open up the state for mixed martial arts. Currently, UFC and other MMA events are banned in New York.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at NFL Network’s new announcing team for Thursday Night Football.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Presidents Cup TV schedule on Golf Channel and NBC.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that one local radio station has released its high school basketball schedule.
At the Houston Chronicle, David Barron has the overnight ratings for some of the weekend’s sporting events.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Steelers-Bengals game on Sunday drew big ratings locally.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal writes that the Green Bay blowout of the Vikings hurt ESPN’s ratings for Monday Night Football.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman tells Bulls fans there’s still hope for an NBA season.
Michael Martinez of the Reno Gazette Journal says TV station KTVN resumed newscasts Monday with tributes to the late sportscaster, JK Metzker.
Gazette-Journal columnist Dan Hinxman has some advice for Metzker’s three young sons.
Joe Favorito says “Movember” is gaining momentum.
Bob’s Blitz has the great video of Al Michaels and his son trashing CBS’ Boomer Esiason on the Howard Stern show yesterday.
And I’ll end it there for now.
Bob Costas had the first interview with former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the man charged with 40 counts of child molestation. On NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, Costas questioned both Sandusky and his attorney on the allegations and their claims that Sandusky is being falsely accused.
We have the segment in its entirety so you can watch and judge for yourself on how Sandusky came across. Costas showed why he’s one of the best interviewers, bar none.
We’ll have reaction in the morning.
UPDATE, 8:45 a.m.: NBC News has sent the transcript of the interview and we have it posted below.
TRANSCRIPT: “ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS” BOB COSTAS, JERRY SANDUSKY AND JOE AMENDOLA
Sandusky Breaks His Silence in an Exclusive Interview
New York, NY – November 14, 2011 – In an exclusive interview with Bob Costas for NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky speaks for the first time. Sandusky spoke to Costas via phone, his attorney Joe Amendola was in studio.
BOB COSTAS: Mr. Sandusky, there’s a 40-count indictment. The grand jury report contains specific detail. There are multiple accusers, multiple eyewitnesses to various aspects of the abuse. A reasonable person says where there’s this much smoke, there must be plenty of fire. What do you say?
JERRY SANDUSKY: I say that I am innocent of those charges.
BOB COSTAS: Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Well I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg. Without intent of sexual contact. But – so if you look at it that way – there are things that wouldn’t – you know, would be accurate.
BOB COSTAS: Are you denying that you had any inappropriate sexual contact with any of these underage boys?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Yes, I– yes I am.
BOB COSTAS: Never touched their genitals? Never engaged in oral sex?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Right.
BOB COSTAS: What about Mike McQueary, the grad assistant who in 2002 walked into the shower where he says in specific detail that you were forcibly raping a boy who appeared to be ten or 11 years old? That his hands were up against the shower wall and he heard rhythmic slap, slap, slapping sounds and he described that as a rape?
JERRY SANDUSKY: I would say that that’s false.
BOB COSTAS: What would be his motive to lie?
JERRY SANDUSKY: You’d have to ask him that.
BOB COSTAS: What did happen in the shower the night that Mike McQueary happened upon you and the young boy?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Okay, we– we were showing and– and horsing around. And he actually turned all the showers on and was– actually sliding– across the– the floor. And we were– as I recall possibly like snapping a towel, horseplay.
BOB COSTAS: In 1998, a mother confronts you about taking a shower with her son and inappropriately touching him. Two detectives eavesdrop on a conversation with you, and you admit that maybe your private parts touched her son. What happened there?
JERRY SANDUSKY: I can’t exactly recall what was said there. In terms of– what I did say was that if he felt that way, then I was wrong,
BOB COSTAS: During one of those conversations, you said, “I understand, I was wrong, I wish I could get forgiveness,” speaking now with the mother. “I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” A guy falsely accused or a guy whose actions have been misinterpreted doesn’t respond that way, does he?
JERRY SANDUSKY: I don’t know. I didn’t say, to my recollection that I wish I were dead. I was hopeful that we could reconcile things.
BOB COSTAS: Shortly after that in 2000, a janitor said that he saw you performing oral sex on a young boy in the showers– in the Penn State locker facility. Did that happen?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No.
BOB COSTAS: How could somebody think they saw something as extreme and shocking as that when it hadn’t occurred, and what would possibly be their motivation to fabricate it?
JERRY SANDUSKY: You’d have to ask them.
BOB COSTAS: It seems that if all of these accusations are false, you are the unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about.
JERRY SANDUSKY: (LAUGHS) I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t think that these have been the best days of my life.
BOB COSTAS: You said a few days ago much more is going to come out in our defense. In broad terms, what?
JOE AMENDOLA: We expect we’re going to have a number of kids. Now how many of those so-called eight kids, we’re not sure. But we anticipate we’re going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say this never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred. In fact, one of the toughest allegations — the McQueary violations — what McQueary said he saw, we have information that that child says that never happened. Now grown up… now the person’s in his twenties.
BOB COSTAS: Until now, we were told that that alleged victim could not be identified, you have iden–?
JOSEPH AMENDOLA: By the commonwealth.
BOB COSTAS: You have identified?
JOSEPH AMENDOLA: We think we have
BOB COSTAS: So you found him, the commonwealth has not?
JOSEPH AMENDOLA: Interesting, isn’t it?
BOB COSTAS: Would you allow your own children to be alone with your client?
JOE AMENDOLA: Absolutely. I believe in Jerry’s innocence. Quite honestly, Bob, that’s why I’m involved in the case.
BOB COSTAS: You believe in his innocence?
JOE AMENDOLA: His innocence.
BOB COSTAS: To your knowledge did Joe Paterno at any time ever speak to you directly about your behavior?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No.
BOB COSTAS: Never?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No.
BOB COSTAS: He never asked you about what you might have done? He never asked you if you needed help? If you needed counseling?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No. No.
BOB COSTAS: Never? Never expressed disapproval of any kind?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No.
BOB COSTAS: How do you feel about what has happened to Penn State to Joe Paterno, and to the Penn State football program and your part in it?
JERRY SANDUSKY: How would you think that I would feel about a university that I attended, about people that I’ve worked with, about people that I care so much about? And I mean how do you think I would feel about it? I feel horrible.
BOB COSTAS: You feel horrible. Do you feel culpable?
JERRY SANDUSKY: I’m not sure I know what you mean.
BOB COSTAS: Do you feel guilty? Do you feel as if it’s your fault?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Guilty–?
BOB COSTAS: This is your fault?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No I don’t think it’s my fault. I’ve obviously played a part in this.
BOB COSTAS: How would you define the part you played? What are you willing to concede that you’ve done that was wrong and you wish you had not done it?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Well, in retrospect, I– you know, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids. You know
BOB COSTAS: That’s it?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Well that– yeah, that’s what hits me the most.
BOB COSTAS: Are you a pedophile?
JERRY SANDUSKY: No.
BOB COSTAS: Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?
JERRY SANDUSKY: Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?
BOB COSTAS: Yes.
JERRY SANDUSKY: Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.
BOB COSTAS: Obviously you’re entitled to a presumption of innocence and you’ll receive a vigorous defense. On the other hand, there is a tremendous amount of information out there and fair-minded common sense people have concluded that you are guilty of monstrous acts. And they are particularly unforgiving with the type of crimes that have been alleged here. And so millions of Americans who didn’t know Jerry Sandusky’s name until a week ago now regard you not only as a criminal, but I say this I think in a considered way, but as some sort of monster. How do you respond to them?
JERRY SANDUSKY: And I don’t know what I can say or what I could say that would make anybody feel any different now. I would just say that if somehow people could hang out until my attorney has a chance to fight, you know, for my innocence. That’s about all I could ask right now. And you know, obviously, it’s a huge challenge.
And that is where we’ll end it. One of the more dramatic interviews I have seen and heard. Costas stepped up to the plate with the interview. Sandusky certainly did not help himself and neither did his attorney.
After not being able to provide linkage for a few days, let’s get back to it. I probably won’t be able to do the links as I have to undergo a medical procedure. Nothing serious. I should be back on Wednesday.
Let’s do your links.
Sports Business Daily looks over the reviews of ESPN’s handling of Penn State’s first game since the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.
Tripp Mickle and John Ourand at Sports Business Journal say YouTube is now entering the sports media rights landscape.
Tripp says Versus will air over 30 hours of action sports programming as NBC Sports retakes ownership of the Dew Tour
Jason Belzer and Darren Heitner of Collegiate Sports Advisors write in Sports Business Journal that colleges and universities should not force a social media blackout on their student-athletes.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy says the NFL pregame show analysts either praised or criticized Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson depending on their former positions.
Mike writes Saturday’s Nebraska-Penn State game got higher ratings for ESPN.
Ben Grossman at Broadcasting & Cable says a quick knockout in Fox’s airing of its first UFC bout wasn’t as bad as originally thought.
At Yahoo! Sports, Maggie Hendricks reviews Fox’s first production of a UFC card.
Dave Meltzer of Yahoo says UFC on Fox delivered a ratings punch.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski tells us what the NHL’s hiring of Ross Greenburg, formerly of HBO Sports, will mean for the league.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Saturday’s Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez might have set up a big payday for the Pacman to fight Floyd Mayweather on pay per view next year.
Mike says NFL Network received the most viewers ever for a Thursday Night Football season opener.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter says Sunday Night Football won the ratings for NBC.
The Reporter notes that several advertisers have pulled their ads from upcoming Penn State football games on ESPN’s networks.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life says sports continues to draw viewers on what normally are dead Saturday nights.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid says Gus Johnson was being Gus when USC pulled off a fake punt during its game against Washington on Saturday.
Sports Video Group says NBC will air the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials later this year.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has what former Penn State coach Joe Paterno should have said last week.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at UFC on Fox’s preliminary ratings.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post feels it’s hard to love college football.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 11 NFL TV schedule for the Capital Region.
Pete says Time Warner Cable will carry all local high school football regional playoff games.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes that Versus and HDNet will combine for a Thanksgiving holiday college basketball tournament.
Deborah Ann Tripoldi of the Nutley (NJ) Sun writes that Friend of Fang’s Bites Tina Cervasio was inducted into a local Hall of Fame.
Laura Nachman says a Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reporter is now engaged.
The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News has the remarks of ESPN’s Jon Ritchie about accused child molester Jerry Sandusky. Ritchie grew up near Penn State.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun is still not a fan of CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf especially when they call Ravens games.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with an official with NCAA.com about the streaming of over 20 championships.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times says ESPN got the job done for Nebraska-Penn State on Saturday.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says Texans fans wanting to watch yesterday’s game against the Bucs in the Rio Grande Valley of the Lone Star State were SOL.
Fang’s Bites welcomes back Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News as we have not linked to him in a very long time. Jerry reports on a sudden switch on the local CBS affiliate that left Cowboys fans angry.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that the ESPN on ABC crew assigned to Texas Tech-Oklahoma State had plenty of time to fill.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN’s Monday Night Football open for tonight’s Packers-Vikings game will honor the military.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Big Ten Conference has removed Joe Paterno’s name from its championship trophy.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a lengthy conversation with embattled Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin about his two drunken driving arrests.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post talks with a local news anchor who would like to return to his old sports roots.
Sad story out of Reno, NV as KTVN sports anchor JK Metzker died Sunday after being hit by a car. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.
Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal rememebers Metzker as a friend outside of the newsroom.
Lenita Powers of the Gazette-Journal says Metzker was loved in the local market.
Powers writes that KTVN canceled its newscasts on Sunday to grieve over Metzker’s death.
KTVN meteorologist Mike Alger says Metzker was a true friend.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says UFC isn’t leaving the sports landscape anytime soon.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says it’s time for the NHL to have a Red Zone Channel. I agree.
Sports Media Watch says NBA TV will premiere a new roundtable discussion program as the 2011-12 season looks more in doubt.
SMW says ABC’s Saturday Night Football received a record ratings low opposite LSU-Alabama on CBS.
The Big Lead has NBC’s Al Michaels talking the Penn State story with Sirius XM’s Howard Stern.
And we’ll leave it there. Lots of links for you to digest today.
A quickie post on the ratings for some of the events over the weekend. These are overnight ratings numbers. We expect final ratings later.
First for the Nebraska-Penn State game on ESPN, the game received the network’s highest overnight rating for the noon ET Saturday slot for college football since 2001. With the curiosity over how the game would be handled in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation story, only natural for the network to receive a high rating. Mike McCarthy of USA Today has that news and a link to a story in his tweet.
That game was up 120% from last year’s Week 11 college football contest.
As for the Saturday Night Football game on ABC, that received very good ratings. Oregon-Stanford got a 5.9 overnight rating according to Mike Humes of ESPN public relations.
That beat out UFC on Fox’s overnight rating of 3.1. Final numbers on Saturday primetime should be out later today or early tomorrow.
And for the Carrier Classic, the college basketball game between Michigan State and North Carolina played on the USS Carl Vinson, the first-ever regular season contest played on a Navy aircraft carrier, that received respectable numbers for ESPN on Friday. This tweet is from Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily.
Overall, sports did quite well on TV during the Veterans Day weekend. More stuff on the way.
I believe this is the second or third time I have posted a Sunday network news program transcript. The other times have been for Super Bowl interviews on the Sunday news programs. This one deals with the Penn State story and comes from ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour. This morning, the University of Rhode Island Journalism graduate talked with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and USA Today’s Christine Brennan about the developments last week at Penn State regarding the alleged child molestations by former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
I mention Amanpour’s URI connection only for the fact that she and I attended URI at the same time, but she attended school in Providence while I was in Kingston, so we never met. I did know CNN’s John King who went to URI , but that’s neither here nor there.
Here’s the press release.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2011
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks with Christiane Amanpour about the sex abuse scandal at Penn State that has exploded into public view. Plus, USA Today columnist and ABC News contributor Christine Brennan provides her insights on the sex abuse investigation and the culture of college football.
A transcript of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” airing this morning, November 13, 2011 on ABC News is below.
Christiane Amanpour is the anchor of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Rick Kaplan is the executive producer. The program airs Sundays on the ABC Television Network (check local listings). Visit the “This Week” website to read more about the show at: www.abcnews.go.com/thisweek
AMANPOUR: So an eventful week on the campaign trail, but not enough to eclipse the story that continues to shock America, the unfolding scandal at Penn State, the outrage of a revered coach and esteemed university president looking the other way as an alleged pedophile preyed on children.
Yesterday, the Nittany Lions took to the field for the first time since the sordid story spilled into the open. Before kickoff, a moment of silence, as players dropped to their knees in recognition of the young victims. The (Nittany) Lions lost the game, their first without Coach Joe Paterno. And this morning, emotions on campus and around the state remain raw.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating accused sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, and he joins me now from Harrisburg. Governor, thank you for joining me.
CORBETT: Thank you for having me on, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Let — let me just ask you, why do you think it took this sort of public shaming for the university to finally act? Why do you think everyone, basically, hid this thing for so long, from the president to Coach Paterno?
CORBETT: Well, Christiane, first, I have to put on the record that it’s hard for me to talk about a lot of the — the past. We have to look to the future, because I was the attorney general involved in the investigation. I have certain ethical rules that I have to follow.
But I would note that the board of trustees has appointed Ken Frazier to lead the investigation, along with my secretary of education, to determine exactly the question that you’re asking. What happened? Why did it happen? And most importantly, how does the university move on from here? I think that you saw yesterday a very good outpouring of support for everyone. When those two teams came together and, really, that whole stadium came together with those two teams.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me — let me ask you, because this is obviously massively serious. And I understand your ethical and legal obligations. However, don’t you think that the mere risk that somebody who you’ve been investigating for more than two years, the mere risk that he could have continued to abuse during this investigation, demanded a call to the police? Should that not have been, at the very least, something that the coach, that the president should have done?
CORBETT: We would have expected law enforcement to have been involved much sooner than it got involved. And as you know from newspaper reports, our office, as the attorney general became involved, not in a case related to the university, but in a case from a next-door county, Clinton County, and a school there, where Mr. Sandusky was helping out as a coach.
AMANPOUR: Do you think others are going to be held accountable? How far up do you think that this should go? Do you think Coach Paterno is going to face legal issues?
CORBETT: Well, as you know, again, Attorney General Linda Kelly has already said at this point that he’s not a subject of the investigation. And she stopped at that point. When you have investigations like this — and I’m not going to talk about this one — but the one thing you learn when you’re conducting investigations is that, as people face charges, they may start to cooperate, they may start talking about different things. The investigation is an ongoing one. So, because of that, I can’t make projections or speculation as to where this may go.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about the former graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnessed Sandusky actually raping a child at Penn State in 2002, but did not intervene. You have said that if you — if it had been you, you would have intervened. Why do you think that he didn’t? And why do you think that that was not taken up the chain of command?
CORBETT: That’s a good question for Coach McQueary, as to why something didn’t happen. I’m sure it’s going to be answered at some point in time during the course of the facts being revealed in this investigation over the course of a trial. Mr. McQueary is a witness in this trial. And I’m sure that the facts will be determined as to exactly how far up that knowledge was passed through the chain of command.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that Joe Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, instead of just allowing this rioting to go on, I mean, take some responsibility?
CORBETT: Well, it’s not for me to figure out what’s going through Joe Paterno’s mind. Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he’d just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State. And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him.
AMANPOUR: What do you think? Do you think adults should take responsibility for so brazenly failing children?
CORBETT: Well, in my role as attorney general, my role as a U.S. attorney, and now as governor, I believe adults should always stand up for children.
AMANPOUR: Governor, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
CORBETT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And clearly, in this case, they didn’t. For some perspective on the Penn State story, let’s bring in USA Today sportswriter Christine Brennan.
Christine, what happened? Is this really just yet another example of how hallowed these sports teams are, how untouchable they are on college campuses?
BRENNAN: Absolutely, Christiane. Let’s look at the culture of college football. McQueary, of course, is the man, as you just mentioned, who witnessed — allegedly witnessed this rape of a 10-year-old boy in the showers at Penn State. And I believe he thought he was doing a lot, that he was going above and beyond by going to Joe Paterno’s house the next day and telling the revered coach what he saw.
In this case, unfortunately, in this world of college football, Joe Paterno is bigger than the police. These college programs, people love them. People watch them. I’ve been around them for decades. And they kind of go into hibernation in July or August, and they come up for air in January, after the bowl games, and they’re living in an entirely different world than you and I.
And so the fact that this man saw this reprehensible thing and, as I said, I believe we’ll find out that he thought he was going above and beyond by going to Joe Paterno’s house on a day off to tell the coach. And I think that tells us all we need to know about how out-of-control college football programs are.
AMANPOUR: And discussing with my fellow round-tablers and others, I mean, at the very least perhaps he could have gone and stopped it, stopped what he was seeing happening in front of his eyes.
But let me ask you. Everybody’s sort talking about this as if it’s only just come out into the open. As you well know, the Harrisburg local newspaper started reporting this, you know, last March, March of this year, and yet nothing was said about it. It didn’t have a ripple effect. How do you explain that?
BRENNAN: It’s stunning, except for the fact that — and in the Internet day and age, too, of course, where you would think this story would get some traction. This is such a monumental disaster and such a window into the world of this fiefdom, this world of not only college football, but Penn State, where, as you know, the president of the university said after reading the grand jury — those 23 awful pages of the grand jury report, the president, Graham Spanier, said that — called the charges “groundless” and gave his unconditional support to the two men who now are gone from the team — or from the university.
So I think that there was such a culture, a groupthink that was either in denial or either knew about Sandusky and didn’t want to go any further with it, we’ll get to those answers eventually. But you’re right. How in the world does — you know, this explodes and you have this reaction all week, and yet, as you said, people in Pennsylvania have known about this for years.
AMANPOUR: And just very briefly, is there any realistic thought that this kind of thing will be corrected? And, of course, this is the extreme of an ongoing list of things that go on. Anything goes, win at all costs in college sports. Is there any way that you think this will really not happen again?
BRENNAN: It’s a great question. And I think the hope really comes in if the university president — if the outrage is so extreme, university presidents, maybe 20 or 25, get together and say, “This has got to stop,” and they take back their universities from these run-amok college football programs and other college sports that are causing so much trouble.
AMANPOUR: Christine Brennan, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.
We’ll move to the Sunday NFL pregame quotage next.
With another day of wall-to-wall media coverage of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky story, I’ll provide some links and at the end, some thoughts what has transpired through our computer, TV and mobile screens over the last few days.
First some links.
From the Poynter Institute, ESPN Ombudsmen Jason C. Fry and Kelly McBride are highly critical of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s early coverage of the scandal.
I wonder if ESPN Front Row issued a podcast with Executive Vice President Norby Williamson explaining the coverage in response to the Ombudsman column.
Through “ESPN.com News Services”, we have a timeline on the Jerry Sandusky case and his alleged child molestations.
In the Beaver County Times back in April, Pittsburgh sports radio talk host Mark Madden penned a column outlining some of the allegations against Sandusky and wondered how the whole thing would play out.
Then today, Madden appeared on Boston station WEEI and unloaded a bombshell saying Sandusky possibly pimped out boys to rich donors to his charity, the Second Mile Foundation. Let us hope that is not true.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times says the Penn State story is causing some serious challenges for sports reporters.
At Outkick The Coverage, Clay Travis has the video of the news conference held by the Penn State Board of Trustees announcing Joe Paterno’s firing and the embarrassing line of questions from student reporters.
Ben Koo from Awful Announcing critiques last night’s coverage from CNN, ESPN and Big Ten Network.
Speaking of CNN, Guyism has the video of British CNN anchor Isha Sesay having a little trouble with the concept of American football during last night’s Anderson Cooper 360°.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman about the channel’s coverage or lack thereof on the Penn State coverage.
Marlen Garcia of USA Today speaks with some public relations professionals on Penn State’s handling of the crisis.
In a related note, Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal and I talked with Gail Sideman of the PR and media firm, PUBLISIDE, for her take on the story.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has ESPN’s Jay Bilas not mincing his words on the scandal.
To Lost Letterman where it has a video of ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi forgetting where he’s reporting from.
At the Daily Beast, the bombastic Buzz Bissinger goes ballistic on Penn State and Joe Paterno.
Aly Semigran of Entertainment Weekly says an uninformed tweet on Joe Paterno by Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher is causing the actor to stop going on Twitter for now.
Dave Goren, the Executive Director of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, gives praise to the men and women who have covered this story.
After the Penn State Board of Trustees press conference, students went into State College where light poles were overturned and a satellite TV news van belonging to WTAJ-TV in Altoona, PA was tipped over.
The Big Lead notes that Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski has been strangely silent on the Penn State story as he was authoring a book on Coach Paterno.
And Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Craig Carton lecturing a Penn State journalism student who called in to defend Coach Paterno.
Now to the coverage this week.
In a story which has blindsided many fans and observers, the media with the exception of a couple of outlets has been playing catch up on a story that has been percolating for a long time. Through the coverage of the Harrisburg Patriot-News and the Daily Collegian, it’s noted that newspapers are far from dead. They just need a story to lead the coverage and the Patriot-News has done just that. The PN’s special section on the Sandusky story led by reporter Sarah Ganim has been stellar and been updated almost hourly. Her interviews with two victims’ mothers and a sister have been extraordinary.
The Daily Collegian is doing what independent student newspapers rarely do. Be on top of a story and not let go. Its reporting of the riots in downtown State College plus use of Twitter was the way to inform readers and get information accurately and quickly.
As far as the television coverage has been concerned, it’s been spotty. ESPN wants to be known as the leader when it comes to breaking news in sports, but it was caught dead to right when the Sandusky story surfaced. At first, people were questioning if ESPN was protecting interests as it did a couple of years ago with the Ben Roethlisberger alleged sexual assault. But as the story ramped up on Monday, ESPN sent reporters to the scene, trying to blanket the Penn State campus. However, ESPN continued to use its analysts like Kirk Herbstreit via the phone to talk about the story.
It also had the memorable scene of PSU alum Matt Millen breaking down on SportsCenter in front of anchor Chris McKendry on Tuesday following the school’s cancellation of a weekly press conference involving Coach Paterno. But ESPN’s constant promotion of that emotional breakdown throughout the day seemed as if the network was trying to exploit that moment and create news.
On Wednesday when the PSU Board of Trustees called a press conference at 10 p.m. ET, ESPN had trouble with its borrowed live truck and had to rely on a phone to get sound to viewers. It was quite bizarre hearing the announcement of the firing via a static phone signal while video of the coach was being played on the screen.
It was CNN that had live pictures and also the start of the student gathering on the Penn State campus, then in downtown State College. As noted earlier, anchor Isha Sesay was a little bewildered about football, however, remember CNN is a news network, not a sports network. Also, Anderson Cooper 360° is aired not only in the US, but around the world on CNN International, so I can give Isha a pass for her lack of knowledge on American sports. But during its coverage of the breaking story, CNN was on top of the press conference, the start of the riots and interviews with local reporters and college football writers until it broke away around midnight to go to political coverage. During the two hours CNN and ESPN simultaneously carried the story, I give the edge to CNN by a wide margin.
In the moments after the Board of Trustees press conference, ESPN chose not to show pictures of the students’ groundswell and instead went to dueling analysts. The story was the growing number of students on campus and then into town, not talking with Matt Millen, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler and Rece Davis.
Later, ESPN did go to reporters on the ground, but it was handicapped by a lack of live pictures from the scene whether it was in State College or at Joe Paterno’s house where the coach gave statements to the media. ESPN had to depend on footage from outside the Disney family, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, NBC’s regional sports network and KYW, a CBS owned-and-operated station. While ABC Radio’s Aaron Katersky and in-house reporter John Barr were big assets in ESPN’s coverage, Tom Rinaldi and ABC’s Mi Seon Lee were not as both seemed to be stationed at the wrong locations to be effective.
The only demerit in CNN’s coverage was bringing in media opportunist Dr. Phil to discuss the Sandusky case with Anderson Cooper. While Dr. Phil may have said something substantial on the story, it appeared excessive to have him interviewed.
And the Big Ten Network did have coverage on Wednesday, but when it needed to step up big, the channel chose to air a “classic” game instead of the Board of Trustees press conference. Big Ten Network is not a bastion of journalism, but I do expect it to air some press conferences when it had the opportunity.
But the most bizarre moment was at 1 a.m. ET when ESPN was re-airing KYW footage of the Board of Trustees press conference when it switched without warning to NBA Commissioner David Stern announcing the Lockout negotiations would continue into Thursday. No comments from anchors Steve Levy or Stuart Scott, just a sudden switch. You could not make that up.
Overall, the TV coverage has been above average. ESPN which is expected to step up in breaking stories only did so late. Its resources have not been put to good use and lack of live pictures last night were telling. It still has time to make a dent in the coverage, but right now, I’m depending on the old fashioned print outlets to provide the stories.
On this week’s podcast, Southern New England Media Mogul Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal speak with Gail Sideman, owner and publicist of PUBLISIDE, a public relations and media consulting firm on the Penn State story, but before I describe what was discussed in the guest segment, Keith and I talked about the news of the week.
As expected, the Jerry Sandusky story and his alleged molestation of as many as 20 young boys at Penn State led the discussion. Keith and I talked about the media coverage and how newspapers like the Harrisburg Patriot-News and Daily Collegian are leading the way.
We moved to the season premiere of Thursday Night Football on NFL Network and also talked about the ratings for LSU-Alabama on CBS. Also, Bob Costas’ new role on NBC Sports Network was discussed. And we talked about the death of boxer Joe Frazier and the 10th anniversary of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.
Gail Sideman of PUBLISIDE was our guest to discuss Penn State University’s handling of the sex scandal in the early stages of the story and how it slipped into a nightmare. Keith and I asked Gail about how coach Joe Paterno went above the school to release statements on his own and the failure of Penn State to control the message as the story mushroomed in the early part of this week.
A very good podcast and one you can find on iTunes by searching for “Sports Media Journal” or you can
I owe you some links having not been able to do them either Monday or Tuesday.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the ratings for LSU-Alabama not being as high as the previous #1 vs. #2 college football Game of the Century.
The great Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated has his Media Power List for this month.
Richard talks with the Executive Producer of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption. The show is celebrating ten years on the air. Has it been THAT long?
Alex Sherman at Bloomberg News says Time Warner might be interested in bidding for the media rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers possibly going battle with Fox.
Michael Smith at Sports Business Journal says the Pac-12 Conference is buying back third tier TV rights from its member institutions to fill out Pac-12 Network programming.
Bill King of SBJ says Fox is throwing its promotional muscle at its first UFC broadcast.
Terry Lefton and Michael Smith from SBJ write that insurance company, The Hartford, will no longer sponsor the NCAA Tournament on CBS/Turner.
SportsGrid notes that Fox Business News anchor Chris Cotter will be going back to his sports roots with ESPN.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN pulled big numbers for Monday Night Football this week.
Mike writes about Bob Costas’ new show on NBC Sports Network premiering next year.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group writes that CBS saw a record number of video streams for LSU-Alabama last Saturday night.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Penn State University gets a big FAIL for its handling of the sex scandal crisis.
Darren writes an open letter to Penn State coach Paterno.
Marcus Henry at Newsday writes that HBO will pay tribute to the late Joe Frazier this week by re-airing its great documentary, “Thrilla in Manila”.
Marcus writes that former Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl has picked up a broadcasting gig.
At Fishbowl NY, Jerry Barmash talks with some former Big Apple sportscasters on covering the late Joe Frazier.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Week 11 college football TV schedule.
And Pete provides us with the Week 10 NFL TV schedule for the Capital Region of New York.
Keith Groller from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ “Unguarded” documentary, will be speaking in the local area next month.
Zach Wilt of the Baltimore Sports Report says a Pittsburgh TV station failed to pay up on a bet made with a local TV channel in regards to Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers game.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg writes that Wizards TV voices Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier will be calling some college basketball games during the NBA Lockout.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks about the big ratings for LSU-Alabama for CBS.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma outrated Oklahoma State in the local TV ratings last weekend.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports big ratings for the local CBS affiliate thanks to the Bengals.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says today is a big day for the NBA Lockout.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune enjoyed Ian Darke’s call of the MLS playoffs over the weekend.
Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times says a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge is promising Fox Sports a fair shake at the hearing to determine the new owners of the Dodgers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says big ratings drops for the CFL on TSN have to be a concern for both parties.
SMW notes that Colts-Patriots in Week 13 has been flexed out of NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says San Jose-New York Rangers failed to draw well for Versus with the country’s biggest market blacked out.
Joe Favorito says don’t discount the power of the gaming market.
And I’ll end the linkage there for today.
Talking about his alma mater, Penn State and his coaches Joe Paterno along with former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, Matt Millen got emotional and broke down on the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter today. Discussing the alleged incidents regarding Sandusky and several young boys, Millen broke down and tried to fight back tears while being interviewed by anchor Chris McKendry. His breakdown starts at the 4:50 mark and about a minute later, Millen talks about protecting our kids. You could see McKendry in a couple of shots looking uncomfortable.
ESPN Front Row reveals that Millen is on the Honorary Board of The Second Mile, the charity that Sandusky started. Certainly an emotional day and one that most likely marks the end of Joe Paterno’s career at Penn State.