People & Personalities: Pete Thamel a great hire for ESPN

In Boston, Chad Finn wrote ESPN's hiring of Pete Thamel is a "classic ESPN case of, 'If we can't beat 'em, hire 'em,' reminiscent of when it brought perpetual NBA newsbreaker Adrian Wojnarowski over from Yahoo! Sports in June 2017." Thamel said, "College football really matters there, more than anywhere else, a great reach, and an awesome roster of people who tell the stories in so many different ways." Thamel will "thrive in his new job, much of which is practically tailored for his long-proven skill set." He said that being on TV so often "will take some getting used to," but that challenge is "part of the appeal after 19 years of covering national college football." Thamel: "Energizing is the right word. ... I'm looking forward to getting going and getting acclimated" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/16).

STANDING OUT: In Boston, Matt Porter wrote TNT's coverage of the NHL "remains superior to ESPN, to these eyes and ears." Porter: "Better production, looser atmosphere -- and something different, like an intermission segment where studio analysts Paul Bissonnette, Anson Carter, Rick Tocchet, and host Liam McHugh went out back and tried to break composite sticks." Porter: "Goofy? Absolutely. But entertaining" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/16).

JOB OPENING: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted YES execs are "scurrying off on a crucial search to replace" David Cone after ESPN added him to the "Sunday Night Baseball" booth. To find a voice who comes close to matching Cone's original stylings "will be challenging, to say the least." It is time for YES to "shake things up in their Yankees booth." What better way to "pump some sweet air into their live baseball telecasts, than to bring two totally fresh faces into the booth" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16). Also in N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote it is "going to be fun" to "go back to watching Sunday Night Baseball with the sound on" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).

KNOCK, KNOCK: The DAILY NEWS' Raissman wrote HBO's "Hard Knocks in Season" on the Colts was "compelling and, for many reasons, had more emotional flow than the traditional summer" version of the show (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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