ESPN President Reveals New Direction: ‘Our Fans Do Not Want Us to Cover Politics’
The president of ESPN, Jimmy Pitaro, revealed in an interview just published by the Los Angeles Times that he intends to move ESPN’s coverage away from politics as research data reveals that “fans do not want us to cover politics.”
The wide-ranging interview covered many topics relating to Pitaro’s navigating ESPN through an evolving media landscape, but it was his revelation on politics that likely brought relief to many who tune into the sports channel to escape the pervasive cable news pablum.
Reporting by the esteemed Stephen Battaglio for the LA Times:
Pitaro has also satisfied ESPN’s more traditional fans by steering commentators away from political discussions on-air and on social media, which heightened during President Trump’s criticism of NFL player protests against social injustice during the playing of the national anthem.
“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics,” Pitaro said. “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused.”
In the past few years, many ESPN commentators have not shied away from many topics that have existed in the subset of sports and politics. The protest of racial inequality via kneeling during the National Anthem led by former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick is but one wedge issue, largely driven by President Donald Trump, that ESPN commentators reasonably got caught up in.
Under Pitaro’s direction, it seems that we will be seen much less political commentary and a whole lot more bad puns and overenthusiastic sports reporting.
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