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GwillMac6

Finebaum has yet to sign new deal with ESPN.

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Edited by GwillMac6

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Posted on June 28, 2018 by Clay Travis - OKTC

In an era of high-priced free agents across the sports landscape, one media free agent is creating a stir at ESPN and the SEC — Paul Finebaum remains unsigned as his contract nears expiration next month. Due to what multiple sources have described as incompetence bordering on malfeasance, ESPN has so bungled its negotiations with the SEC Network and ESPN commentator that Finebaum is seriously contemplating offers elsewhere and has let ESPN know that if his deal is not completed in short order he will not be present at SEC Media Days in Atlanta when they begin on July 16th.

According to sources Finebaum, who declined comment to Outkick, was told in October of last year by then-president of ESPN John Skipper not to worry about his soon to expire contract. Nine months later, with limited contact from ESPN executives, Finebaum has now reached the limits of his patience with the network and is preparing to depart. That’s despite substantial efforts by an increasingly frustrated SEC office over ESPN’s inability to get the deal done.

In fact, Outkick has been told that the SEC told ESPN in no uncertain terms to get the Finebaum contract done and ESPN has still been unable or unwilling to follow through. This exacerbates recent tension in the SEC-ESPN relationship that has threatened to explode into public view over ESPN’s decision to launch the ACC Network, a move undertaken despite what sources say was a promise made by former ESPN president John Skipper to former SEC commissioner Mike Slive that ESPN would never partner with another conference to create a network.

In an effort to repair the relationship new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro traveled to the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida and according to sources there told SEC presidents and athletic directors that the SEC was one of his top priorities. So, many wonder, how is it that Finebaum’s contract is close to expiring?

Finebaum, who hosts a daily radio show simulcast on TV on the SEC Network as well as appearing on the SEC Nation pregame show and as a commentator on ESPN’s SportsCenter, has explored a syndicated radio opportunity and a move back home to Alabama which would provide more creative freedom for his show. In addition to that opportunity, another conference is also willing to hire away Finebaum to do his show on their channel, broadening the show’s appeal from just the SEC to all of college football. Finebaum, whose radio show on JOX in Birmingham prior to his departure for the SEC Network, was a rollicking carnival of excess which received a glowing six thousand word profile in “The New Yorker,” has sometimes bristled over the heavy-handed management exerted by ESPN on his show’s content. (Full disclosure: among that heavy-handed management by ESPN was a banning of me appearing as a guest on his show.)

In addition to slow-playing his negotiation ESPN, which has given tens of millions in guarantees to on-air talent who do virtually nothing for the network, has refused to provide Finebaum assurances about his future role at the network. While it’s a delicate topic to broach, Lee Corso will eventually depart College Gameday. Does ESPN foresee Finebaum as a potential successor there? If so, they’ve said nothing about the possibility.

Furthermore, ESPN has done virtually nothing to broaden his appeal beyond southern sports. That’s particularly disappointing to Finebaum and his camp who saw, for instance, a recent sit-down interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook — which took forever to be scheduled on the SEC Network much to the consternation of the league office and Finebaum — as an opportunity to reach new audiences and broaden the horizon of Finebaum’s appeal.

At the recent upfront ESPN put on for advertisers, Finebaum was not present, but prominent executives sought out on-air talent at ESPN to express their appreciation for Finebaum and his show. Among those who expressed love for Finebaum’s show? The CEO of Hearst, which owns 20% of ESPN, and was heard by several people expressing how much he enjoyed listening and watching Finebaum every day on the SEC Network.

SEC Media Days commence on July 16th. While the schism between the SEC and ESPN, notwithstanding this article, has mostly remained private so far, if Finebaum isn’t present then, look out, that breach will have officially gone public for all to see.

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Truly a sign of the times. I'ts almost like fighting for the last bite of a really bad meal.

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Wow... ESPN could actually improve, for a change, in my eyes...

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i loved paul when he was a sports writer. he used to make me mad when he was critical of auburn but i also almost always laughed. now a days when ya tune in to his show you might get a really nice interview with a coach or someone but most of the time you get these cranky old bastids and women screaming at each other and it is just not funny. i am not big on his people on the show either other than laura. but the thing with paul lately was he kept saying pearl would never coach another season at auburn only to eat crow. and i have yet so see anything where he discusses it and or admits that he was wrong. what ever happens to him down the road if he has any kind of television or radio show and asks pearl to come on i hope bruce throws it up in his face.

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18 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

i loved paul when he was a sports writer. he used to make me mad when he was critical of auburn but i also almost always laughed. now a days when ya tune in to his show you might get a really nice interview with a coach or someone but most of the time you get these cranky old bastids and women screaming at each other and it is just not funny. i am not big on his people on the show either other than laura. but the thing with paul lately was he kept saying pearl would never coach another season at auburn only to eat crow. and i have yet so see anything where he discusses it and or admits that he was wrong. what ever happens to him down the road if he has any kind of television or radio show and asks pearl to come on i hope bruce throws it up in his face.

One of the things I don't like about any of these talking heads, be it ESPN, FS1, talk radio... whatever, is presenting their thoughts as "facts".  They say something as if they have inside knowledge, or a source, and it's just as much opinion as you or I giving our opinion on this forum.

Then they sit back and hope it comes to fruition so they can pat themselves on the back as a genius or "in the loop" but when it's exposed as being just what it was....a wrong opinion....they pretend it never happened.

Don't really like any of these shows....  I'd rather go back to the "old days" when the off hours were spent showing Aussie Rules Football or Lumberjack Competitions...  Just as useful as some Poindexter who never could play organized sports growing up telling me what I should think about this team or that player or whatever social justice issue ESPN is pushing at the moment.

Edited by AUsince72
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i just hope all this does not mess up the sec network because i love the more sec games provided each week and some of their shows.

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Well heck, if they don’t sign him, who does bspn get to push the bammer agenda?

I could care less about the guy, every time I try to watch his show I feel like it is the same callers and an episode of Jerry Springer arguments over why the turds are so good or everyone else sucks and cheats. 

The SEC network won’t fail because Finebaum is not on the air with BSPN pushing the SEC. 

Edited by AlaskanFAN
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48 minutes ago, AlaskanFAN said:

Well heck, if they don’t sign him, who does bspn get to push the bammer agenda?

I could care less about the guy, every time I try to watch his show I feel like it is the same callers and an episode of Jerry Springer arguments over why the turds are so good or everyone else sucks and cheats. 

The SEC network won’t fail because Finebaum is not on the air with BSPN pushing the SEC. 

Amen....far as I'm concerned PF is the best reason NOT to watch SEC network in the late afternoon.   ESPNU talk radio has some pretty good guys who could probably fill the slot though there would probably be a drop off in bammer viewers if SEC got someone who had a broader view of college football...or just a broader view of the SEC.   

JMO but hoping PF moves to the ACC.....those fans will love to talk about bama and listen to the bammer rednecks who call the show regularly. 

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20 minutes ago, AU64 said:

JMO but hoping PF moves to the ACC.....those fans will love to talk about bama and listen to the bammer rednecks who call the show regularly. 

Just picturing this made me LOL...

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It would be awesome to have someone other than Finebaum commenting on ESPN everytime they need an "expert" opinion on college football.
That being said, he provides 4 hrs a day of programming to the SEC Network and him leaving would leave a gaping hole in their lineup. I think the thought of him leaving to go to another conference's network is an empty threat. He's propped up the SEC his whole career and he would be an odd fit in any other conference. I could see him returning to his roots and syndicating his show back in Bham. 
He can wash Saban's car and mow his lawn from there.

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2 minutes ago, CR said:

It would be awesome to have someone other than Finebaum commenting on ESPN everytime they need an "expert" opinion on college football.
That being said, he provides 4 hrs a day of programming to the SEC Network and him leaving would leave a gaping hole in their lineup. I think the thought of him leaving to go to another conference's network is an empty threat. He's propped up the SEC his whole career and he would be an odd fit in any other conference. I could see him returning to his roots and syndicating his show back in Bham. 
He can wash Saban's car and mow his lawn from there.

JMO but he is a "sports whore" and would support the ACC just as actively if the money were right. Not sure where ESPN"s money stops and SEC"s money starts but ESPN has been cutting back on staff almost weekly and I'm thinking that anyone doing a demographic study of the JF audience might find it a bit narrow. 

Pandering   catering heavily to one school (bama) is not necessarily a good business model for a network that is trying to build an audience across the entire southeast from South Carolina all the way to Texas and Missouri.   Helped get them started but an argument could be made that it's time to move on.

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I hope Finebaum does go back to Alabama radio. There I don't run into the chance that I'll see him on TV when I am waiting on a game or searching for something to watch in the fall. I stopped listening to him about halfway through the Tuberville years. He was disrespectful to him and Dye on his show. I will never forget him calling Tuberville "Wingnut" on his program and laughing about it. The man must not have a mirror in his house. Compare the ears in these two photos and tell me which one resembles a Wingnut. Finebaum is laughable and unbelievably he is laughing all the way to the bank. 

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Edited by gr82be

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Paul Finebaum is the biggest hypocrite I have ever seen. I heard him say on his show one day that "he was not a band wagon rider ".  I almost fell off my sofa laughing at him. He is the biggest band wagon rider I have ever seen.. His favorite baseball team- The NY Yankees of course, his favorite NFL team- The New England Patriots of course,.his favorite college football team-bama of course. What  really gets me is he was born in TN, raised in TN and graduated from Tenn and is the biggest homey for bama in the sports media , NOT TENN!! I would not want him anywhere near my foxhole in a combat situation. If I fell asleep I doubt he would be there in the morning.

WDE!!!

Edited by Slammer1

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I hope they don't sign him to a contract extension.  He was the worst thing they ever did when they launched the SEC Network and brought him on board.   He knows basically nothing, and all he he does is prop up uat against the rest of the league and offers empty opinions.   He's the biggest joke on that network right now.  The SEC Network and ESPN will actually be a better product without him.

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He's now being pursued by Fox / The Big 10 Network. C'mon people, this is Finescum, not Kreskin. I've honestly never seen entities fight over a piece of rotten meat that ain't worth the effort. He has certainly Jedi mind-tricked someone in to buying the tripe he's selling but man o man this is weird. 

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Has anyone ever tried to call his show? Were you able to get through without multiple multiple redials?

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Well we have several more years now to enjoy him on SEC.network..

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