Could Adam Schefter Leave ESPN to Join Caesars Sportsbook?
The odds of Schefter leaving ESPN for a job at the sportsbook may have gone up thanks to his NFL email controversy
With his ESPN contract up soon and controversy swirling thanks to his involvement in the ongoing NFL email scandal, Adam Schefter may gamble his future is brighter with a new job and sign with Caesars Sportsbook.
According to Front Office Sports, Caesars Sportsbook is preparing to go after pro football’s top NFL insider and add him to a roster of talent at the company that already includes ex-ESPNers Trey Wingo and Kenny Mayne.
With companies like Caesars wanting to be viewed as sports media companies instead of just betting operators, the hiring of talent like Schefter away from traditional broadcast networks may start to increase. In fact, the theory has been floated that ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski may be another target.
“The competitive landscape is shifting under our feet as we speak,” a source told FOS. “The legacy networks want to cut or maintain talent salaries. The gambling companies are flush [with money] — and increasingly willing to spend for sports media talent.”
To get Schefter, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2022, Caesars will likely have to compete with DraftKings and FanDuel as well as ESPN. “ESPN absolutely wants to keep Schefty,” another source told FOS. “If you notice, they’ve been expanding his purview, even allowing him to dabble in NBA coverage if he wants.”
ESPN may be rethinking growing Schefter’s already sizable role due to the 54-year-old’s journalistic ethics being called into question after court documents revealed he sent a full story to former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen to review before publication in 2011, in which he referred to the exec as “Mr. Editor.”
On Wednesday, Schefter issued an explanation via ESPN PR:
“Fair questions are being asked about my reporting approach on an NFL Lockout story from 10 years ago. Just to clarify, it’s common practice to verify facts of a story with sources before you publish in order to be as accurate as possible,” he wrote. “In this case, I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance because of the complex nature of the collective bargaining talks. It was a step too far and, looking back, I shouldn’t have done it. The criticism being levied is fair. With that said, I want to make this perfectly clear: in no way did I, or would I, cede editorial control or hand over final say about a story to anyone, ever.”
It seems unlikely, but where Schefter exercises his editorial control could be changing this summer.
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