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This book is -- the SPN.
Those guys have all the fun the inside world of that network like never been seen before it's about five million pages.
James Andrew Miller -- along with this guy named Tom Shales they teamed up together from live from New York to -- story of SNL.
Welcome thanks Hala thanks travelers -- achieves a little -- in the -- how long did it take you three years.
That is described the fascination with this network.
Wants one of the great media success stories of all time and it started with a pile of -- in Connecticut.
And I'm 1978 to -- nine and it's.
Just -- into this behemoth you know use use Rasmussen polls and Scott Rasmussen this now that with the -- political round.
Clearly that the Rasmussen Stanley in the credit they deserve -- PM.
Well you know -- Scott along with his dad bill they had the original idea and it was.
At first it was just this idea of taking tapes out of Connecticut sports around in cars and on bicycles mind you to local cables patients.
In Connecticut and they found out about this thing called -- satellite.
And then things took off from there but they finance the beginning of it with 9000 dollars and -- credit card.
And where they get to 9000 and just let literally put on a credit card then he went to their family members.
And came up with about thirty grand and that that kept them going for a little while and for awhile mill was by -- into him incorrectly -- -- getting their first big deal was the NCAA deal.
Right to date no one was buying into it was important they went to seven different investors and everybody said no and then finally the eighth was a guy who are forgetting.
And he he said yes and they want to can -- give him chuck money talk to him every day and I mean that -- -- say in the in the that he called the Rasmussen has every day.
And they would talk about what they're doing -- the feeds are getting the money they need in the progress they're making.
-- the talent come from as you start listened to Chris Berman and -- him these guys cooperate obviously right.
Loving -- -- here they did differently people who worked Prius the end didn't the first year ESPN decided not to cooperate for the first year but then they changed their mind and I was.
Particularly pleased and then once they change their mind everything was good.
So you know people like Chris Berman and -- there's actually 43 people right now we're working for ESPN.
Who were working back then they've been there the entire time that indeed the company they merited.
That's great that's a great line some of the QB talk about some of the stories that they recreated in the athletes in which the interact with the means some of the more famous things.
For example on -- the united football.
They decide for Tony Kornheiser and a columnist but they tried Dennis Miller and a comedian.
That -- where they tried Rush Limbaugh on the desk that didn't work let's go break these down one by 11 off what do with Dennis Miller.
Dennis Miller lies you know I mean part of this whole third chair he's trying to recreate their mystique of Howard -- I mean let's face it Howard was.
Larger than life and since he left the Booth everybody's been trying to recreate the magic.
The only problem is there's only one Howard -- So we you know I mean I'm a big fan of two -- -- I know I like to amend the third person I think is president isn't really -- it's really hard to squeeze diminished not a lot of time.
And also -- would happen with Dennis and with Tony to a certain degree it's.
There there not to talk about X and -- they're talking about like culture references and like in a country western songs and pop references and -- And you know the real x.s and those guys don't wanna hear it right and that's -- -- -- turn to regarding get along in the sense they just approach that job from fundamentally different places and then when it was time to fire somebody was -- the ice and got fired not could Tony Kornheiser.
-- describes you what it was like.
Yeah that was brutal and I think it was very tough on Joseph because.
-- came in all fairness to him he took a job very seriously worked really hard he just.
He just wasn't what they want to.
Obviously and they don't be really respect of the columnists in the Booth either -- that was that was hard for right as you put this as you put this together.
We think was the turning point when it went from Australian rules football in and maybe -- Tivoli soccer.
Two while this thing is bigger than life this thing is gonna work do you remember the tipping point I think it's 1987.
I think it's 1987 they finally get the NFL is -- eight years later it turns out -- it turns out that the NFL is kind of like.
The game changer at all not only because it changes the -- the network because -- -- carrying NFL games.
But with ESPN and he had a fundamental.
-- change in its financial operations because once they got the NFL they were able to go to the cable systems and say.
We got -- NFL now so.
Pony up grand dad totally changed how much the cable systems -- pain ESPN and that was that led some big money had -- Rasmussen get out.
He was pushed out Scott was pushed out by the -- -- -- basically right away.
And then tell lasted only a year after that.
That part of the book is kind of poignant I've had a lot of people.
Talk to me about you know how sad it was for them to see that the guys who actually had the original ideas.
Where were pushed out there is just how big business takes over -- the -- the creating a bigger than them.
Yeah I mean listen and the truth is it happens in Silicon Valley a -- sometimes a great idea guys.
Are not -- the operational guys.
There's a different skill set in terms like you know managing a company and stuff as opposed to like.
-- irreverent kind of blue sky thinking what about the first sportscaster that came over Jim Miller.
And said many give it a shot it was a Jim Sims and Tim Simpson -- big deal big deal -- -- a thousand dollars a year in 1939.
I mean that shows -- -- getting money was -- ticket getting care they wanted to hire a well known name to come from NBC and he knows there is a big big deal.
That was a big deal but the other guys -- know -- is Chris Berman guy who's George Grande.
Who is probably.
The Bob Lee and the other Lee.
-- forgot his name but -- Leonard who -- letter T yeah who were these guys are -- willing to take a chance on unknowns in that case then leave it was a little.
Bit more well known than the others I mean that Bob and Chris -- basically a college I mean you know could probably just been at Seton Hall Chris.
Who has a history major round and they've done some little freelance gigs and everyone's slob I mean I was part of the beauty of working ESPN and could you get on the air.
I mean you know it did -- it wasn't like he they had a lot of people that -- -- return and down right in the also -- a guy it's now a running in the face of the NFL network rich Eisen.
So you have that when the networks up and running the -- -- consulate look for talent -- about the rich -- before ESPN.
And the story how he told you that he just seem to burst overnight -- you know blow up overnight anyway yeah I mean he had this great audition tape that all the sudden it just seemed like.
One of those moments where everybody was watching -- -- same time.
And he got a call from an agent who said you know I -- your your tape that's great.
And I really want to represent you in -- hung up and in the phone rang again he said I'll watch this so you know he's been -- -- exit watch this will be ESPN there after me now ensured.
If you're at night northern California some -- mark exactly.
Exactly any -- couldn't believe that he got a chance to work with these people Craig Kilborn in Olbermann all these people -- -- -- -- -- -- He takes a blood oxygen.
He's one of those people who.
I think people either really really love -- people in the book homogeneous and other people you know couldn't wait for him to gather network.
He's great he burned a lot of bridges there right but he was you know part of it -- he was will lean whenever necessary to take on management he took on management.
Like no one else before or maybe even cents.
I'm and he led the charge for a lot of times and I don't think management was prepared to deal with somebody like camp so you thought he was relatively courageous.
Well sometimes courageous but sometimes I think you gotta pick your battles carefully because I think there were some died you know you hit diminishing marginal returns if you.
You know kind of complain about everything or whatever but there's no disputing the fact that the -- Patrick 11 o'clock sports center.
Place you know.
Pretty pretty big moment in ESPN's development.
-- to a certain time in the assessing OK you don't have to do it anymore because evidently it is a -- to handle.
Listen James -- here in the time shows wrote the book on ESP in the inside world of ESPN.
That only did ESP inmate get his you know ESPN news as he has paean to the -- -- classic is ESPN incident isn't -- CE SPN.
College support -- -- -- is unbelievable what has become has even become too big.
More the story Jack and Gary wells anywhere else -- to lead -- -- They went back to James Miller wrote this book -- Tom Shales.
Those guys have all the -- is that your story of ESPN and you know it's that the network is beyond beyond reproach in terms of popularity.
The story's incredible a great American success story.
And -- as you started doing this book it's a bunch of one on one interviews with the almost everyone we know if you don't know you know -- title.
I mean you have a lot of executives behind the scenes.
And and -- interact with each other let's talk about for example the role ESPN has.
In not just getting -- property and broadcasting it but selling a property like soccer.
Well I mean look turns out I mean some of these executives have enormous influence over what happens.
You know there's a guy named John skipper who got the job -- several years ago and he's passionate about soccer and he decided to -- he got that job.
You know within hours of getting the job literally I think it was 48 hours he was on a plane to Switzerland to try and get the World Cup -- -- -- World Cup from NBC.
And you know he got him and he was committed -- put the -- what.
You know the weight of ESPN behind that World Cup and what what's happened is -- did have -- world -- World Cup.
But now and he had to go to Switzerland in seven days.
And they're able to let's take -- World Cup and say to the International Olympic Committee.
-- could we do with the World Cup you know we did a multi week worldwide you know event.
So we know we can do the Olympics and I gotta tell you I mean not enough -- gonna get it but if they don't if they do get it I won't be.
Surprised -- things it didn't work caring for example a minor thing but a series on bonds as he tried to break the record but we -- -- -- up.
Bonds on bonds.
-- that was rough sledding because what happened is there was a whole kind of gray area about whether -- had control over what was going to be seen or not.
Great producer Mike -- and great documentary you know he -- great documentaries.
I think it was a no win situation for the network and Mike just because of the way areas by and just -- -- failed.
When you hear of but I cocky for example -- -- decides we're gonna go.
-- -- And they might give more money reverses but then they disappear any experiences you know on many -- second -- highlights this week.
It's going to be on sports is surely not gonna lead because they're not vested in it is this almost too much power.
Well you know I mean with hockey I mean when the lord wants to punish you -- your prayers you know so they had some extra money down the street.
But it winds up being very difficult for her for hockey in terms -- you know their attention like you say on ESPN.
There's a lot of people -- ESP and who men's hockey and to fight for hockey on things like sports and whenever.
But the truth is there's no difference between.
-- he has been covering and having a sport vs the way they covered without yeah I mean -- if they're not vested they're not selling it and that didn't make people think himself for able fox.
Fox said it would take a regionals -- create -- national desk with a seller regionals and give people up close personal look.
At what's going on sports and that was what twelve years ago and that failed.
-- kid touchy is.
3040 billion dollars.
He and I mean the trick is for I mean David -- he's the chairman of fox sports is I interviewed him as one of my favorite.
And I just seems to fight he's one of my favorite interviews and book.
And the -- days did you not to go toe to toe battle and are you need to do is big winners acting.
You know seat on trying duplicate ESPN and -- trying do other things.
Fox sports you know carries.
Of football on Sunday afternoon.
Because that's when they can make money out of -- second ago and try and compete with ESPN let's say a Monday night in the news.
They're from different arena Monday night this time money nights ago so that some of the personally the sports guy Bill Simmons -- where he came from and what he told -- He's you know he he's he's quite an event in and of himself he's got a lot of it's kind of like a 1300000.
-- -- -- -- The guys -- a -- a phenomenon.
He's ushered in a new kind of chapter in journalism specifically sports journalism.
And he has a big impact.
-- -- he was one of the driving forces behind thirty for thirty documentary series recently -- do you think -- some of the few things he might have told you could actually himself into -- little trouble because he's so -- by nature I think he was worried about that I haven't -- that -- in -- yet I think he was very.
But he's very candid he's very opinionated I I don't think he lives in fear of of anyone.
And I think -- -- one of the things that he said to me in particular about Monday Night Football.
-- that he -- Mike -- was.
You know basically selling Tony Kornheiser in the Booth and I think that's more being protective of Tony that it is.
You know going after -- Rico because I think -- you know.
-- Bill Simmons has a lot of respect for Tony some of the women here who have really stood at had a tough time with the SP and it is a men's club.
Did they need some some I guess.
I think back in the eighties they certainly did I mean to culture has evolved over the decades.
I think and then the eighties he is -- was not prepared for some of the challenges in the workplace that it was faced with.
-- tried to get better in the ninety's and I think that now.
There to the point where they're so hypersensitive I mean look the data Kornheiser decide to become a fashion critic -- -- sportscaster she's a Clinton about Hannah Storm.
You know he's one of their biggest personality was suspended for two weeks mean I ran the numbers -- found that a salary costs -- forty grand for those comments yeah any sin city coming on what kind of sportscaster she is in journalist she is.
I've commented on and are good to dress she wears -- -- hairstyle and didn't work out well form so that -- Andrews in this in the scandal that was involved with her.
As some people pre judgmental on it.
I think there were people who are judgmental.
I think it was a it was a target terrible terrible soccer for Aaron to go three humiliating and I'm very difficult for her.
And her family but I think what made it even worse was this idea that there were people there around the company some inside some outside the company.
Who thought -- somehow this had been engineered to give her attention.
And you know I interviewed her several times simply mean that was different aside from her mind and who is the woman that had a problem with it and speculated about that.
Well Christine Brennan made some comments.
You know she says that they were taken out of context.
And there have been other since -- so that pretty much over which he is bigger than life from Dancing With The Stars now -- now she's.
They don't Oprah's couch and she is one of the biggest stores -- -- -- one of the things that's happening with -- -- can't quite frankly it's a lot of their personalities are getting to be just as big as some of the athletes to cover.
I mean when you think about it look at you know look at Bill Simmons look look at Aaron Andrews I mean Michelle -- going to get attacked you know.
You know patent that is books -- -- -- -- -- Chris Berman I know he's a college player of the year would get SPD was to be the sportscaster I mean that's exactly and it's a great example.
And what about the one time -- O'Donnell Meyer got in trouble.
Because of an OJ joke with your McDonald's real quick yeah well he -- Norm MacDonald was not allowed -- you can't go after Donna -- he's got too much for our.
And he did as host the -- got himself fired up SNL we have incredible.
They gave -- thanks to the book for the work you put in everyone's gonna love this book what a Father's Day gift of timing.
It's called the -- and the guys have all the fun the outside world to be -- the end thanks James thank --
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