ESPN president orders producers to cut back on Tebow coverage: report
- By JUSTIN TERRANOVA
- Posted: 2:40 PM, December 10, 2012
Cortland may be a little less crowded next summer.
ESPN president John Skipper has told producers that the cable giant needs to spend less time talking about Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow.
"I said, 'Guys, we didn't handle this very well.' Going to training camp wasn't a problem. We just stayed on it relentlessly and too long," Skipper told Sports Business Journal.
ESPN did send anchors and reporters to upstate New York’s Cortland this summer to cover the Jets training camp, and have continued to talk about Tebow significantly despite the fact he has been a non-factor on the field. Skipper told the website that he was bothered when former ESPN college basketball analyst and radio host Doug Gottlieb went on the “Dan Patrick Show” and revealed that he was “told specifically, 'You can't talk enough Tebow.’”
"The quote that I hated was from Doug Gottlieb. ... I didn't love that,” Skipper said. “I want people to think about what works for the next 10 minutes might not be the best thing for us for three years. That one hit home with me."
My questions are: Did Skipper not realize how much Tebow was being discussed on ESPN? Did it really take Gottlieb saying it, or was it simply the fact that the strategy was out there that bothered him?
"We've had some good discussions internally about trying to be careful. In some ways, the more difficult internal conflict is between long-term story telling and ratings,” Skipper said. “We all know that if you focus on the Tebow story, for the next 10 minutes you're going to do better. But the question is trying to take a long-term perspective and saying, 'Guys, let's not get over excited about one story and hyping it.'"
The Jets acquired Tebow from the Broncos this offseason, but has been limited to being a punt protector and Wildcat quarterback. When Sanchez was pulled last week against the Cardinals, Tebow was out with fractured ribs, and Greg McElroy was serving as the backup. Tebow returned to his reserve role in the victory against the Jaguars, but did not see the field.
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