For the past five or six years, writer James Andrew Miller has been an expert on the inner workings at ESPN, having studied and deeply sourced executives, producers and talent (online and on-air) with the network for his 2011 book Those Guys Have All the Fun. Here at Awful Announcing, we call him the ESPN oracle.
Miller has now become a seer in a different part of the TV and movie industry, training his investigative reporting on eye on the Creative Artists Agency for a book titled Powerhouse, which was released earlier this year. CAA represents many figures in the entertainment and sports industry, whether it’s the talent in front or behind the camera, and even those who are major decision-makers at their respective companies.
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Miller has combined two areas of his expertise to look at the personalities in the TV and movie industry which could draw heavy interest for an agency like CAA in the year to come. For instance, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s contract is set to expire and after a high-profile year in which she made regular headlines during the presidential election cycle, the host is poised to provoke a bidding war among broadcast and cable and news networks for her services.
But with his connections in the sports broadcasting industry, especially at ESPN, Miller has some insight into which hosts, anchors, analysts and commentators are currently being targeted by CAA. According to Miller, agent Nick Khan has been acquiring a load of talent including ESPN’s Michelle Beadle, Kirk Herbstreit and Stephen A. Smith, along with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless. (Sites such as The Big Lead and SportsBusiness Journal have named Khan as among the most powerful figures in sports media.)
However, perhaps the most interesting nugget in that paragraph about sports broadcasting is the deal that Khan recently secured for Mike Greenberg with ESPN. Miller reports that Greenberg recently agreed to a deal that pays him more than $6.5 million a year, which makes him one of the highest-paid personalities at the network.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) December 16, 2016
Greenberg’s new contract probably shouldn’t be a surprise, given his prominent role at ESPN as host of Mike & Mike, which provides morning show content for hundreds of ESPN Radio affiliates, in addition to a televised simulcast on ESPN2. Nearly four months ago, Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch reported that ESPN is exploring the possibility of giving Greenberg his own program which would be a combination of SportsCenter and a traditional morning show.
Was a new morning show part of Greenberg’s new agreement with ESPN? Miller’s column did not indicate as much. With that new CAA-negotiated contract, he certainly has the earning power of a major TV personality that headlines his own show on one of America’s most prominent networks.