Why The Internet Briefly Lost Its Mind When Darren Rovell Returned To ESPN

  • Glenn Davis

Before CNBC sports business reporter/famously prolific tweeter Darren Rovell became – for better and worse – among the best-known sports media personalities, he cut his chops at ESPN. And now, with six years at CNBC in the books, he’s going back. In news that initially set the media circle jerk on fire upon its announcement, Rovell apparently inked a deal with the Worldwide Leader that will also give him some responsibilities with ABC News, and pay him a lot of money.

Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal: prominent guy gets high-profile, lucrative job offer, subsequently takes high-profile, lucrative job offer. Good for him. But Rovell is a bit of a different animal. He’s become something of an internet punching bag – understandably so, in many ways. There was the time he said the women at Playboy’s Super Bowl party weren’t hot enough. There was the time he trash-talked a young teenager in a spelling bee. There’s the “self-appointed Twitter president” thing. And there was the time a teenager tricked him into writing a bogus story.

But the “Rovell gets duped by teenager” incident has another side to it: tons of outlets wrote about that after he did, this site included. For all the “this is how much this person is making per [time period] MONEYMONEYMONEYMONEY$$$$$” stuff, he was still a trusted enough reporter (Emmy-Award-winning, as his Twitter bio announces) that people picked up his stories. In addition, he does tweet out his share of interesting things/foodstuffs, too, and as far as the focus on money goes… well, he is a business reporter.

As much shit as he takes (again, much of it earned), people know him. (Also, it couldn’t have hurt his prospects that ESPN just lost a high-profile personality and might have said, “Well, we need another big name to fill that void”). As many people as there are tired of Rovell’s shtick (including some now-colleagues who can’t speak up about it anymore), this deal is a reminder that clearly there are plenty who aren’t. And that’s why Rovell will make the big bucks – or, in Rovell terms, $1,400 per day – almost 20 times the national median salary. And, based on his May output, nearly $3,000 per article.

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