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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Media

ESPN cancelling ‘High Noon’ show featuring Bomani Jones, Pablo Torre

ESPN High Noon

ESPN is cancelling one of its midday talk shows, citing low viewership numbers as the reason.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported on Monday that the staff of “High Noon,” which is hosted by Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, was informed by ESPN executives that the show was being cancelled. The last episode of the show will be in late March.

“Co-hosts Pablo Torre and Bomani Jones are extremely talented, and they helmed what we believed was a smart and nuanced show. Unfortunately, not enough people agreed with us. We look forward to discussing with them how to best utilize their talents across a variety of ESPN platforms,” ESPN said in a statement to Ourand.

Jones and Torre’s contracts are coming up soon, which may play a role in the decision. Jones will continue to host his podcast for now.

The show was said to be averaging 330,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2020, which is below the 404,000 of “Highly Questionable” and 380,000 for “Get Up!”

Tony Grossi suspended by ESPN for calling Baker Mayfield ‘f—ing midget’ on hot mic

Baker Mayfield

ESPN Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi has never gotten along with Baker Mayfield, and the opinion Grossi shared of the Browns quarterback on Tuesday has resulted in an indefinite suspension.

Grossi was caught on a hot mic at the NFL Combine referring to Mayfield as a “f—ing midget.” The context of the conversation, which Grossi did not realize was being aired live, was that the Browns have missed out on a number of top quarterbacks over the years and are now stuck with Mayfield, whom Grossi has openly criticized in the past. The conversation was aired on a video feed by TheLandonDemand.com while “The Really Big Show” on ESPN Cleveland/WKNR 850 was at a commercial break.

As you might expect, Grossi’s remark went viral on Twitter. It wasn’t long before ESPN announced that Grossi has been suspended indefinitely. The network issued a statement saying it will not tolerate the use of “derogatory language that demeans other groups of people.”

Grossi has bashed the Browns numerous times in the past for drafting Mayfield. The issues began even before that, as Grossi accused Mayfield of demanding first-class flight accommodations for pre-draft visits and painted the former Oklahoma star as a high-maintenance prima donna. Mayfield has since been openly defiant when fielding questions from Grossi. The quarterback walked out of a press conference last season following a heated exchange with Grossi.

Grossi used to write for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and he was pulled from the Browns beat years ago for criticizing the team’s owner in a tweet.

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi apologizes for Baker Mayfield comment

Tony Grossi

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter Tony Grossi issued an apology on Tuesday, hours after being suspended for a comment about Baker Mayfield.

Grossi was at the NFL Combine and joining ESPN Cleveland/WKNR show “The Really Big Show” for an interview. The show is also aired via video feed on TheLandonDemand.com, which is where Grossi’s comment calling Mayfield a “f—ing midget” aired on the video feed.

Here is the video clip:

Good Karma Brands, which owns ESPN Cleveland, issued a statement apologizing for the comment. They said they were suspending Grossi indefinitely for his comment.

Grossi later issued a statement of apology.

“I am truly sorry for my language and choice of words in a remark I made about Baker Mayfield that was captured on our live feed on TheLandOnDemand. I sincerely apologize for using a word that is a derogatory slur. There’s no excuse for using that language in any context. It was said without malice but also without thought,” Grossi wrote.

“It is well known that Baker and I have had our differences, and in the course of this experience, I’ve had to question my role in the erosion of the relationship. I have always endeavored to report and comment on him and the team fairly, and am shaken by these events. I will strive to be a better person and professional.

“I apologize to little people, Good Karma Brands, the Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield, to our listeners and to anyone who was offended by my remark.”

Grossi has a lengthy negative history with Mayfield that we’ve detailed before. Grossi accused Mayfield of being a high-maintenance person during the predraft process. Since then, Mayfield has been openly defiant when fielding questions from Grossi. The quarterback walked out of a press conference last season following a heated exchange with Grossi.

Grossi used to write for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and he was pulled from the Browns beat years ago for criticizing the team’s owner in a tweet.

Report: Tony Romo could enter free agency next week

Tony Romo CBS

Tony Romo’s free agency status is a big topic in the sports media world, and things could really begin for the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback next week.

Romo’s 3-year deal with CBS has expired, and the analyst reportedly is in an exclusive negotiating window with CBS. According to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, if that window passes without a deal being reached, Romo could officially become a free agent in March.

ESPN has long been reported as a network that will pursue Romo, and they are supposedly planning to offer the former quarterback a record deal.

A recent report from a media personality who shares the same agent as Romo said the bidding for the former Dallas Cowboy surpassed $15 million per year, which would be more than what John Madden made in his prime, adjusted for inflation. Romo recently hinted that he has made a decision about his future.

Marchand says CBS has backup plans in case Romo leaves, such as having Boomer Esiason move to an analyst role or getting Kurt Warner. ESPN is looking to change up its “Monday Night Football” booth and would love to make Romo the centerpiece.