Colin Cowherd thinks the problem with ESPN, which is about to lay off a ton of front-facing talent, is that no one wants to work there.
The former ESPN voice and now Fox Sports talker tried to pull back the curtain on the Worldwide Leader’s apparent decline Saturday, offering his biased explanation for the departure of top talent: People don’t want to work and live in a small town in northern Connecticut.
ESPN has called Bristol home since its founding in 1979, and the network’s college-like campus has appealed to rising sports media stars for decades. But the expansion of ESPN’s competitors to more marketable cities, most notably Cowherd’s Fox Sports claiming turf in sports hubs from New York and Charlotte to Chicago and Los Angeles, has damaged ESPN’s once supreme influence, Cowherd insists. What he seems to have overlooked is ESPN, as a brand, remains a main destination for media talent, and those who have exited Bristol did so by Bristol’s choice.
Names like Cowherd, Skip Bayless and Chris Broussard thought the grass (and money) was greener on Fox Sports’ side. Apart from Fox Sports’ money trucks, it has been rare for ESPN to be jilted by an employee. Still, Cowherd has his theories to spout.
“You and I grew up in a culture of major TV network sports departments: ABC, NBC, CBS. ESPN arrived and they were mocked for years,” the veteran radio host said on his podcast, FS1’s “Speak for Yourself,” with fellow ex-ESPNer Jason Whitlock on Saturday. “And all of a sudden, they owned the sports world, and they owned it for about 20 years … but the world has changed. There are now 31 sports networks. The advantage for ESPN has dried up, as now people have options.
“What is undoing ESPN and is not spoken about, is no one wants to live in rural Connecticut.”
Cowherd, who left ESPN in 2015 after 12 years to launch his new show with the enemy, dropped the names of a few other high-profile sports personalities who shared…