Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Two Strikes and You're Out

The unfortunate (and predictable) ending to the Ron Franklin-Jeannine Edwards story played out today when ESPN fired the long-time announcer.

On a day when (former?) Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez dominated the sports headlines, Franklin's dismissal ranked only a brief mention on ESPN, but it was a much bigger story in other media. Franklin apologized to Edwards, but in the end it wasn't enough to offset not only what happened, but also a similar incident two years ago where Franklin made disparaging on-air comments to sideline reporter Holly Rowe.

No doubt, what Franklin said was offensive and dumb, especially in today's PC media world where a wrongly-phrased comment can end a career, but it sure sounds like a knee-jerk reaction on ESPN's part, especially in light of the otherwise sterling 23 years Franklin spent with the network. One would hope, and expect, that Franklin will not be out of work long.


Blogger Unknown said...

I have to say I'm not always a big fan of how ESPN handles their business, but I think they got this one right.
Women are taking a bigger role in sports journalism than ever before and viewership amongst women is on the rise dramatically. For the primetime TV season Sunday Night Football is the No. 3 show among Women 18-49 behind only Dancing with the Stars & Grey's Anatomy. That amazes me!
I think Franklin's old school patronizing and verbal pat's on the head stood the risk of alienating what ESPN hopes is a growing market for them.
How hypocritical would it be to launch ESPNW.com one month and then allow Franklins behavior the next?
If this never got out and was handled internally, I'm sure Franklin stays on, but as soon as this took a life of it's own in the media ESPNs hand was forced.

Just my thoughts,
Brian Clapp
Founder, SportsTVJobs.com

3:13 PM  

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