NBA Rumor: Media Hirings

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The New York Post announced a multiplatform partnership with Jalen Rose that spans a weekly column, video and podcast series called “The Renaissance Man.” The media personality, author, philanthropist, former NBA player and founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will launch the multiplatform content program with the NYP this fall. It’s the first content partnership of this kind for the newspaper. “Rose will share anecdotes and lessons learned throughout his NBA career and beyond, and will relate them to current events and themes,” according to a statement from the NYP.

Barstool Sports after Charles Barkley?

First Deion Sanders … then Charles Barkley? Maybe! Barstool Sports prez Dave Portnoy says Sir Chuck is the next big star he’s hoping to sign, after inking Prime Time earlier this week. “Charles Barely is like the best to ever do it,” Portnoy told us in NYC … “He’s a guy, who one of the few, he just slings it on TNT and does a great job.” “That’s a guy that comes up on top of my list that I would wanna get.”

Shams Charania on the move?

As per John Ourand’s SBJ Media newsletter at Sports Business Journal, Charania’s deals with both those companies expire later this month (two years after he signed them), and that could lead to him moving on from one or both of those roles. Here’s more on that from Ourand: Shams Charania’s deals with The Athletic and Stadium are up at the end of the month, and he has started exploring whether to move to other outlets when his contracts end. What makes this situation so unique is that it is possible that the 26-year old Charania could switch outlets in the middle of the playoffs; the NBA Finals are slated to start Sept. 30. Typically August is a slow month on the NBA calendar. Not this year. The Chicago-based Charania could decide to re-up with The Athletic or Stadium, both of which have made moves to keep him.

ESPN was reportedly in the hunt for Charania back in the summer of 2018, and while they already have quite a prominent NBA insider in Adrian Wojnarowski, Woj and Shams worked together well in the past at Yahoo’s The Vertical. And ESPN has maybe more incentive than anyone else to add Charania, as they prioritize having their own reporters breaking the news of the day, whether that’s for the on-screen Bottom Line ticker, for ESPN.com or ESPN social media outlets, or for appearances on the likes of SportsCenter and other studio programming.

And if a Stadium-RSN expansion happens, keeping Charania at Stadium might make a lot of sense. The non-YES networks currently have local broadcast rights to 16 NBA teams, and the idea of a regional networks-wide reporter has been tried before, with NBC’s RSNs bringing on Tom Haberstroh in that role in October 2018. And Stadium has already been able to use Charania in a lot of other content, including daily news shows and that Rose documentary. So it makes sense that they’re trying to keep him.

Lakers Film Room: It is the honor of a lifetime to announce that I will be producing videos and other content for the @Lakers . What a dream come true. Picked me up off the buyout market after I cleared waivers Face with look of triumph AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The sports media job market is not that strong at the moment, unless you are Adam Amin. Besides leaving ESPN to broadcast NFL and MLB for Fox Sports, Amin is on the verge of becoming the new TV voice of the Chicago Bulls, according to sources. Amin, a 33-year-old Chicago native, will replace the retiring longtime voice of the Bulls, Neil Funk. Funk announced this would be his final year after more than four decades in the NBA and almost 30 years with the Bulls. He was the team’s voice for five of its six Michael Jordan-led titles.

The sports media job market is not that strong at the moment, unless you are Adam Amin. Besides leaving ESPN to broadcast NFL and MLB for Fox Sports, Amin is on the verge of becoming the new TV voice of the Chicago Bulls, according to sources. Amin, a 33-year-old Chicago native, will replace the retiring longtime voice of the Bulls, Neil Funk. Funk announced this would be his final year after more than four decades in the NBA and almost 30 years with the Bulls. He was the team’s voice for five of its six Michael Jordan-led titles.

Eddie Maisonet: Life Update: I have a new job title, ESPN NBA Editor. I’m excited. Life Update No. 2: I still have no plug on tickets and/or accepting story pitches. I’m sorry. Life Update No. 3: If you don’t like something we publish, blame me. I’m not sorry. I need some ☕️, love y’all.

Chris Haynes continues to be a growth stock among NBA insiders. The senior NBA insider for Yahoo Sports is nearing a deal to become TNT’s sideline reporter for its Tuesday Night NBA game schedule that tips off in late January, sources tell Front Office Sports. TNT’s Tuesday Night coverage will feature an all-new look during the 2019-2020 season. After a two-year experiment, TNT is dumping the “Players Only” telecasts that featured former stars like Grant Hill, Derek Fisher, Kevin McHale, and Richard Hamilton.

NBA legend Dwyane Wade — a three-time NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP and 13-time NBA All-Star — has reached a comprehensive, multiyear agreement with WarnerMedia that will include a variety of projects across the media company’s entire portfolio. Wade’s contributions will cross over a number of areas, including sports, lifestyle and entertainment. As part of his Turner Sports role, Wade will be a basketball commentator, making appearances at TNT’s tent pole NBA events and as a regular analyst for the network’s Tuesday night studio coverage, appearing alongside analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Candace Parker. Wade will also make studio appearances at the NCAA Final Four and National Championship, as part of Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ combined coverage of the event.

Frye, who made the “Road Trippin’” podcast an enjoyable mashup of inside basketball chatter and random side conversations just by being himself, will join NBA TV’s rotating group of analysts on “NBA GameTime” this season. “NBA GameTime,” a nightly program with highlights and analysis, has a stacked roster of 16 former players that includes Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, Isiah Thomas, and Grant Hill, so it’s not clear how often Frye will appear. But, since the show airs so often, the 2016 NBA champion with the Cavs should have plenty of opportunities to make an impact.

Turner Sports hires Stan Van Gundy

Turner Sports has reached a multi-year agreement with Stan Van Gundy, with the veteran NBA head coach serving as a game analyst for NBA on TNT Tuesday night coverage, along with being an NBA TV studio analyst throughout the season. Van Gundy will be one of several commentators in new or expanded roles, with play-by-play broadcasters Ian Eagle and Brian Anderson and analyst Jim Jackson also contributing to TNT’s Tuesday night NBA coverage.

The Athletic pursuing Zach Lowe?

Lowe has not yet signed a new deal with ESPN. Decision-makers at the network really hope to retain him, but there exists a price that is a bridge too far as they continue to practice austerity on talent deals. The most likely suitor for Lowe is The Athletic. They are believed to have made a substantial offer. Lowe, in deciding between ESPN and The Athletic, must weigh factors like whether and how much he wants to be on television, the extent to which having the widest possible readership for his stories and listenership for his podcasts is important to him, and if he wants the pressure of driving enough subscriptions to justify a seven-figure annual deal.

CNBC.com managing editor Jeffrey McCracken sent out the following announcement on Thursday to the staff: I am pleased to announce a new hire for the CNBC.com newsroom. Jabari Young joins as a sports business reporter based in Englewood Cliffs. He will cover news ranging from big TV network sports contracts to the influence of agents to the growth of sports gambling. Jabari comes to CNBC from San Antonio where he reported on the NBA and San Antonio Spurs for The Athletic. Before that, he covered the Spurs’ 2013-2014 championship run for the San Antonio Express-News and later broke the story on NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard requesting a trade from the team.

WNBA player Candace Parker’s contract with Turner Sports has expired and ESPN is showing interest in signing her as an analyst, The Big Lead has learned from multiple people with knowledge of the situation. Parker has impressed during her time with Turner and there could be a bidding war. Turner is hoping to keep her at the network and plans to be aggressive in their approach. Parker has served as both and an analyst and commentator for the NBA on TNT, NBA TV, and Turner/CBS coverage of March Madness.

Brian Sieman is close to finalizing a deal to become the new television voice of the Clippers, succeeding the soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ralph Lawler in the play-by-play role, The Times has learned. With Sieman set to leave the team’s radio broadcast for television, the Clippers will hire Noah Eagle as his replacement on radio, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The rest of the broadcast crew, including the analyst role on the team’s Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket television broadcasts, has yet to be completed, the person said.

After months of searching, NBC Sports Washington is making progress on finding Steve Buckhantz’s replacement. Fox’s Justin Kutcher has emerged as the leading candidate to be the next play-by-play voice of the Wizards, according to sources with knowledge of the hiring process. Kutcher, a Connecticut native, has worked for Fox since 2012 and has called college football, college hoops and MLB games during his time there. He first came to D.C. to interview and audition for the job in early May, according to a source.

The Los Angeles Times has named Arash Markazi Sports Enterprise Reporter and Page 2 Columnist, reporting to Assistant Managing Editor for Sports, Angel Rodriguez. “Like everything else in our society, the digital revolution has had a profound influence on sports,” said Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine. “We’re excited to have Arash on board to help us launch coverage of widely popular and emerging trends in sports, ranging from multiplayer gaming competitions to the legalization of sports betting.”

ESPN is letting sports business reporter and social media provocateur Darren Rovell out of his contract early to join the upstart gambling platform The Action Network, sources told The Post. Rovell’s contract with ESPN is not up until the summer, however the network plans to let Rovell leave early. Rovell’s Action Network contract has not been signed yet, though he is expected to start there relatively soon. Sources said that Rovell will focus on sports gambling, which is now legal in his home state of New Jersey. He will also have a management role in which he will have a voice in new ideas for the group.

After a 17-season career that began with the Nets in 2001, Jefferson is launching his broadcasting career with the YES Network this season, working primarily as a game analyst. “I’ve been doing little different things” said Jefferson. “I’ve done podcasts. I’ve done some radio stuff. But I’d never called a game before, and when the Nets signed me I really thought I’d be in studio more than games, and (YES producer) Frank (DiGraci) had a different idea.”

What has it been like working at The Athletic vs more traditional outlets? Sam Amick: I’ve enjoyed it a great deal, and it only gets better now that I’m starting to figure out how our readers are different – i.e. more demanding, in a good way – than the mainstream audience. It had been a few years since writing for the most passionate fans was the top priority, and that part has been fantastic. I love the direct relationship with the reader. It’s more akin to my time covering the Kings at The Sacramento Bee again.

House of Highlights’ Omar Raja is getting his own talk show. Turner’s Bleacher Report, which bought House of Highlights Instagram in 2015, is producing a monthly live talk show for Twitter. Premiering on Oct. 25, “The House of Highlights Show” will run about 75 minutes per episode and will be co-hosted by CJ Toledano, a creative director on Bleacher Report’s social content team and former writer for Conan O’Brien’s late-night show.

Michael Lee: My time at Yahoo produced some valuable lessons for which I’m grateful and I know I’m better for the experience. I also know that I’m more determined to thrive here at The Athletic, where finding great stories is not only encouraged but expected. Throughout my recruitment process, the editors and writers with whom I spoke shared how much they enjoy the working environment at The Athletic. More than once, I heard, “This is the best job I’ve ever had.”

Yahoo was where you really made your name. Both emotionally and professionally, can you talk about everything that went into the decision to move to The Athletic, and what led up to it? Shams Charania: I’ve always tried to be so focused on the work, so it was definitely interesting in talking to Yahoo and everyone else that became involved in the process. But just throughout it all, I got the best sense from The Athletic and Stadium about their hunger and their desire to cover the league at a really high level. Both platforms are really developing and growing, and I see myself the same way. I’m still developing. I’m still growing. So to be able to involve myself with that made all the sense in the world.
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Will Guillory: I’m a little late, but Josh Hart announced earlier today that he’ll be donating $10,000 to @NapaValleyCF to assist people affected by the recent wildfires in Napa Valley. He also got JJ Redick and Larry Nance to match his $10K donation.

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