Newly Hired By CBS, Bruce Feldman Unloads On ESPN To Dan Patrick
UPDATE: We've posted video and a transcript of Feldman's appearance on Dan Patrick's show today. Check it out here.
The original post is below.
You might remember in mid-July, ESPN college football writer Bruce Feldman appeared to be suspended (though not according to ESPN itself) over his involvement in writing a book with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Leach, of course, lost his job at Texas Tech over a controversy involving receiver Adam James - the son of ESPN analyst Craig James.
Outrage toward ESPN was widespread over the Feldman developments, and though we'd seen Feldman's work appear on ESPN after the dust settled, one could have been forgiven for thinking too much had happened between the two parties for them to reasonably continue. And those who thought that were right. Dan Patrick mentioned his show would have a "surprise guest" this morning, and once we saw this tweet from SI's Richard Deitsch, we had a strong suspicion we knew who it would be. It was indeed Feldman, and he dished on his new gig at CBS...and the many things that went wrong with ESPN and ultimately convinced him he couldn't work there anymore.
Check out the interview, and a transcript, here. A few things that stood out to us at first listen: the fact that he considered himself suspended, even if ESPN said otherwise. There was the fact that when asked point-blank whether ESPN prioritizes journalism or business, Feldman said, "It's business." There was the part where Feldman said Craig James tried to say, under oath, he never employed a PR firm to make Leach look bad, when he clearly did. And finally, this line:
"I've seen what [ESPN is] capable of. I'm glad I'm at a different place."
CBS undoubtedly is, too. Feldman is a big get. He's worked for ESPN.com from the beginning of that enterprise, and is as well-respected as anyone in the business (and, of course, his stock has never been higher thanks to the controversy). While CBS might not have quite the online pull of ESPN, it's no small audience he'll be reaching...not to mention the people hat will go there specifrically to read him, something CBS is no doubt banking on. All things considered, it was best for Feldman to part ways with ESPN considering this summer's saga...and he found a good landing spot. For ESPN, Feldman's presence will be tough to replace.
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys told Deitsch that the company has "significant disagreements with [Feldman's] account" of what went down, but declined to comment further. Additionally, released the following statement:
We appreciate Bruce's 17 years of contributions to ESPN and to college football fans. We wish him good luck in his decision to leave and pursue other interests.
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