Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and The Athletic made an appearance on Thursday’s edition of Chris Long’s Green Light podcast, and the first thing Long asked Glazer about was his heavily hyped scoop, which ended up being the news that Rams center Brian Allen was the first NFL player to test positive for COVID-19.
Jay Glazer joins me (27 minute mark) on #GreenLightPod so I can get to the bottom of why he set twitter on fire. You be the judge.
-Plus: where is he on the NFL Draft?
-Merging Vets and Players
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) April 16, 2020
On Tuesday night, Glazer first mentioned the scoop on Fox Sports Radio and announced he’d reveal the news on FS1’s Fox Football Now on Wednesday night. The 24-hour lead time helped build the hype for the news, with many expecting a huge story about the NFL Draft, the start of the upcoming NFL season, or a similarly huge story.
Instead, it was the news about Allen testing positive for COVID-19, and while it’s clearly a significant story, that news didn’t seem to live up to the hype that had been created.
Glazer spoke to Long about the story and how the hype grew out of control, admitting that he was trying to tease the serious story during a more fun, loose segment and was trying to convey the legitimacy of the Allen story.
“The guys are joking around. I’m trying to say ‘wait guys, this is serious, I have something serious tomorrow night,’ and they’re joking around. I have legit breaking news tomorrow night, but it’s serious. They then pulled that out and said I had breaking news tomorrow night and it was serious. When you put that out there alone, it’s like ‘hey hey hey, look at me, I have breaking news,’ and that’s not how it was.
“I go to bed. I wake up the next morning, and there’s basically 32 teams asking me ‘what’s the big breaking news?’ I have guys from Lorenzo Neal to George Kittle, the spectrum of guys from owners to head coaches to GMs, I’m thinking ‘what are these people talking about? What’s going on?’
“I went to train at my gym, and it just started taking on a life of its own. So I tweeted out ‘hey guys, my news is not transactional, it’s not a player signing or a trade,’ but everybody just ignored that. ESPN Milwaukee did a poll question: what’s my big breaking news? My point was that I was putting out big national news. A player tested positive and had the virus for the first time that we know. It’s national news. I meant it literally: I have national news.”
Long then asked why Glazer held the story for a day, which was the issue that many people had with the situation itself. Allen testing positive is indeed a major story, but given the amount of positive tests across the world, it’s hardly a story that you’d think would be held for 24 hours.
Glazer’s explanation for that? He works for Fox, and wanted to break the news on a Fox platform.
“I work for Fox dude, I don’t work for Twitter. ESPN and NFL Network, they are an immediate thing. So on Fox NFL Sunday, I break news for for Fox NFL Sunday. If I hear something on Tuesday, I wait to break it on Fox NFL Sunday. My show aired last night, but also, when I talked to Brian Allen about it, it was to air on the show. That’s what we agreed upon: that I would air it on the show, and write out an interview later on.”
Man, imagine if Fox had a website where they could feature breaking news to draw eyeballs.
The explanation from Glazer makes sense, but also shows where Fox’s priorities lie and how convoluted the network’s strategy is regarding journalism. If Glazer had gotten scooped on the Allen story by another reporter or outlet, him and Fox would have egg on their face. Holding onto a story for 24 hours is a risky move that could have blown up in his face, and it might have made more sense to have Glazer do a segment on The Herd or one of Fox’s other daytime shows to break his news.
This also makes me wonder about Glazer’s reporting during the NFL seasons. How many times did he have a story saved for Fox NFL Sunday, only to have it broken by another reporter? Also, it’s a testament to Glazer’s reporting and sources that so many stories he does break on national TV don’t get scooped by someone else. If he was breaking more stories on Fox’s other daily shows or digital platforms, rather than just Fox NFL Sunday or the relaunched Fox Football Now, maybe we’d look at Fox Sports’ commitment to reporting differently.