Behind the Mic: ESPN Parts Ways With Paul Pierce; Adnan Virk Joins Dan Le Batard, John Skipper’s Meadowlark Media

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, ESPN parts ways with Paul Pierce, Adnan Virk joins Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media, and more.

ESPN, Paul Pierce Part Ways

ESPN has parted ways with NBA analyst Paul Pierce “effective immediately,” according to Front Office Sports, Ryan Glasspiegel on Twitter, The Athletic, and the New York Post. Pierce, who had been part of ESPN’s NBA Countdown studio crew since 2017, recently shared video of himself surrounded by dancers in a hotel room. Prior to officially joining ESPN in 2017, Pierce served as a guest analyst for ABC’s coverage of the 2016 and 2017 NBA Finals. (SportsMediaWatch)

Adnan Virk Takes Cinephile podcast to Meadowlark Media

Adnan Virk will be bringing his popular “Cinephile” podcast to Meadowlark Media. He’ll become a regular contributor to the company as of July.

Virk has produced Cinephile since 2016, which includes deep discussions on awards contenders and blockbuster releases, TV shows, interviews with actors like Robert De Niro and Mahershala Ali, chats with filmmakers and critics, pertinent industry news, and rankings such as “best Kevin Costner films.”
In addition to Cinephile joining the “Le Batard and Friends” podcast network, Virk will also appear on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz and presumably won’t be kept on hold for 20 minutes as he has in the past or have to sneak onto the show.

After leaving ESPN in 2019, Virk has worked for MLB Network and NHL Network, as well as DAZN and the Cadence13 podcast network. Working under Skipper at ESPN and DAZN, and appearing on Le Batard’s show, it was surely natural that he’d join his former boss and colleague in their new venture. (Awful Announcing)

Steve Weissman Signs Extension With Tennis Channel

Tennis Channel is holding on to one of their top talents. Announcer Steve Weissman is continuing his stint with the network on a five-year contract extension. Weissman remains the host of Tennis Channel Live, where he has appeared in 90% of the show’s episodes.

Alongside his Tennis Channel responsibilities, Weissman also anchors various programs for NFL Network. Weissman has anchored shows like Total Access and NFL GameDay Live since 2015. Before that, he had stops at ESPN, and helped cover the 2016 Summer Olympics for NBC. (Barrett Sports Media)

MLB on Fox Calls Up Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman

Fox Sports is adding Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman, the minds behind the popular @CespedesBBQ social accounts, to its lineup this season. Mintz and Shusterman contribute original written and video content to Fox Sports digital and social platforms, including the new Fox Sports app and and @MLBONFOX social accounts. (Fox Sports)

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