Three years back when former Kansas City Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock imploded and left town amidst a flurry of acrimony and accusations (ranging from editor Mike Fannin having an affair with a married subordinate to W nearly landing a gig as co-sports editor at the newspaper) he managed to convince 610 Sports Nick Wright and a handful of sports bloggers that he was leaving town with a $2 million three year deal.
Which maybe seemed reasonable were Whitlock to have been able to pyramid his part time blogging on Fox Sports into some additional radio and/or TV gigs.
Leading Craig Glazer to conclude that talk of his pal Whitlock making the big bucks was untrue.
“I know many online bloggers with names as big or bigger than Whitlock’s, including ex KC Star guy Jeff Flanagan,” Glazer wrote. “And blogging for Fox just doesn’t pay that much. At this point in time, it is mostly a sideshow to help support one’s career on TV/radio…And without more on-air noise, there is no payday.”
At which point the Scribe did the math:
“Most guys like like Jeff Flanagan are getting paid per article/blog. From maybe $200 to $1,000. If Jason gets near the top of that pay, at four to eight articles a month that’s around 50 grand a year. That said, he would have to be top of the key. And Whitlock is not a big national household name in sports, like Jay Glazer.”
With Fox Sports set to launch it’s new Sports One cable network Saturday, the word was that Whitlock at long last might finally be on the verge of getting some face time on the 24/7 sports channel. A channel that plans to fill its hours with everything from NASCAR, boxing and UFC to Major League Baeseball and college sports.
So hey, why not Whitlock? ESPN used to air curling in its early days.
In other words, it was a direct torpedo strike into the broadside of the all-mighty ESPN.
Like ESPN’s gonna take something like that lying down…
Instead ESPN’s been on the move snatching up Keith Olbermann first and then Nate Silver – the acclaimed baseball and political analyst and statistician from the New York Times.
Now comes word ESPN has lured Whitlock away from Fox on the very eve of its big launch.
Which comes as little surprise to Bob Zuroweste, Whitlock’s former boss at 610.
“I gotta say, Whitlock is the world’s best self-promoter,” Zuroweste says. “He totally believes that he’s the world’s best at what he does, no matter what he does. And he doesn’t give up because of his self confidence. He really believes he’s the best in the world and anybody else who doesn’t is stupid.”
Now about that seven-figure paycheck Whitlock was looking for three years back…