Jackie MacMullan: ESPN Is An Entertainment Company Now

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Back in August, Jackie MacMullan made the decision to retire from her job at ESPN. MacMullan was well-known for her NBA coverage and as one of the contributors on Around The Horn from the time she joined ESPN in 2010 after her great career writing for The Boston Globe. 

On the latest episode of South Beach SessionsMacMullan joined Dan Le Batard to talk about her career as a pioneer in sports journalism. During this episode, she explained why she decided to retire from ESPN after signing a three-year deal the previous Fall. 

“I have elderly parents, that’s a big one,” said MacMullan. “The day I retired, my poor 96-year-old dad fell on the day I retired, so he is my new full-time job. Part of me too was that the industry has changed. At ESPN for instance, they are an entertainment company in many ways and they should be. That’s where all their money lies. They are putting games on the air, it’s television.” 

While MacMullan had known for doing a lot of television, she always viewed herself as a writer. She told Le Batard that while she enjoyed being a part of Around The Horn, it took a lot of effort if you wanted to do a great job on that show. 

“My new contract that I had signed was heavily TV. I loved Around The Horn. Those guys were the greatest. They are going to be my friends for the rest of my life, but that show took a lot of effort if you wanted to be up-to-date on every sport, which I felt you needed to do if you wanted to do that show properly. It was a lot of time and effort.” 

Even though Jackie MacMullan is no longer at ESPN, she mentioned to Le Batard that she is still going to work, her job is just going to be a little bit different now. 

“ESPN treated me very well. There was no rancor. It was my choice. I walked away from two years of guaranteed money. I’m not sure I did the right thing. I finally got to the point in my career where I was being paid good money, but I haven’t looked back once and regretted it.  I’m not saying I will never work again. I’m just telling you I will never work again like that. That’s not going to be the model.”

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