Darren Rovell is proof that you can go home again.
And he wants you to know that he has no intentions of being a homewrecker.
Monday, August 6 is when Rovell resumes his tenure at ESPN, where he had worked from 2000 until he left for CNBC in 2006. In his first stint in Bristol, Rovell’s workload had been restricted to the ESPN family of networks. Now, Rovell will contribute not only to ESPN’s many platforms, but also to ABC News’ popular daily programs such as “Good Morning America.”
Sounds like ESPN is really going to get as much bang for their buck out of their ace sports business reporter as possible.
“We’re pleased to welcome a respected sports business reporter like Darren back into the ESPN family,” ESPN’s executive vice president of production John Wildhack said in a statement. “His particular expertise will strengthen our news gathering division, and provide fans the type of information they are accustomed to receiving from our varied platforms.”
Well, not necessarily all of the information that fans might be interested in.
Like, for example, NutriSystem serving one of their spokespeople, ESPN anchor Chris Berman, with a lawsuit citing conflict of interest, due to his simultaneous endorsement of Applebee’s.
This weekend, Rovell made himself at home – or at least a home he’s been away from for six years – and sat down with David Scott from ESPN’s “Front Row” podcast, and announced that he’s going to use extreme judgment when it comes to subjects that may be somewhat taboo – for starters, his co-workers.
“Over six years (2000-06), there was never a business story that anyone at ESPN ever stopped me from doing, or discouraged me from doing,” Rovell recalled, adding that for his second go-round at the Worldwide Leader, “I think that’s still going to be the case.”
However, don’t expect him to throw any of his peers or colleagues under the bus. In other words, he’ll be more likely to file reports on his previous employer, NBC, signing a new deal to carry the NFL – but not so much about Cris Collinsworth receiving an offer from another network.
“While I will cover rights, I’m not going to cover broadcasters of other organizations or ESPN broadcasters,” Rovell vowed. “When something is too close to the vest, I’m gonna steer away from it… Anyone who thinks of my job in a fair way would understand that.”
Luckily, Rovell won’t need to rely on that kind of content. “I don’t necessarily cover the media industry as much,” Rovell said. “I guess I could if I was at an independent place.” (You know, like SportsRantz.)
“There’s just a general rule in journalism that we abide by at ESPN, which is… if we’re talking about that information, I need to get that information independently… It’s not like when you’re doing internal talks… There are certain rules that apply.”
So, Darren, how many Jets items will you be required to work per day, seeing as the network is all over the team these days?
“People on the outside always want to have conspiracy theories about what ESPN is or isn’t.”
That reminds me: On Darren Rovell’s first day back at ESPN, the author of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World Of ESPN,” James Miller, will be conducting a “twitterview” with him at 9 AM sharp, Bristol time. “Curious about a couple things,” Miller muses.
Perhaps this post answered one of those questions he and others might have been “curious about.”
What I’d personally like to know is if Rovell will dare to do a story on Playboy’s All-American college football team.