At long last.
“I’m not saying he’s Bryant Gumbel, but at least he’s showing up,” says sports guru Craig Glazer. “There’s no point in my guessing his salary, but I think he’s making some halfway decent money now.”
Not long ago, that wasn’t the case.
“If you go back three or so years ago when Jason left the Star and Nick Wright said he was going to make millions of dollars, obviously Nick was wrong. That was somewhat naive of Nick Wright and the number he gave out was outrageous because people like me knew better that those numbers were pretty dicey. Bloggers don’t make that kind of money – even working for the big boys like ESPN and Fox – unless you are an established, big name player.”
However things have changed since the big fella returned to ESPN last year, Glazer says.
“I think Jason is on the upswing,” Glazer says. “In the last few months he’s been showing up quite a bit on ESPN. And he’s been filling in for entire weeks on Tony Kornheiser’s show ‘Pardon the Interruption.’ As a matter of fact, he was on the show all last week. And unlike when he filled in for Jim Rome years ago, where Jason was third string, on Pardon the Interruption – which is a more important show because it’s on television – Whitlock has moved into the No. 1 spot. If someone is gone Jason moves in for the whole week.
“They even brought Kornheiser and Jason on SportsCenter after their show to talk about Johnny Football. So I think his stock is rising and you can see it in Whitlock. He was very calm, very upbeat and he was dressed better. Because in Whitlock’s past television appearances he didn’t come off very good. And what he chose to wear wasn’t – it wasn’t horrible – but when you’re a big guy like Jason, everything has to click. And this time I think it did.”
The bottom line:
“Since Jason’s starting to show up more, that tells me they’re grooming him to be more important,” Glazer says. “And it tells me that his pay day has risen. Is he going to have his own show? That I don’t know, but I’m thinking we’re going to see him more this fall as an analyst when football starts.
“And give the guy credit; look there hasn’t been a whole lot of prominent stars on television in sports that have left here. Even Joe Posnanski with his book about Joe Paterno hasn’t had the presence Jason now has. It looks like Joe is blogging now for NBC Sports.
“So whatever you want to say about Jason, as far as sports, he has the biggest national presence right now of anyone coming from the Star sports section. And if he continues to appear on all these shows, his stock is really gonna come up and so will his pay day.”