Gio’s issue with Schefter’s salary is that he’s being paid by ESPN to break stories on Twitter, where NFL fans get information for free. If Schefter was providing unique information behind a paywall, the contract would be more justifiable.
Sports media chatter: Gio doesn't understand why ESPN pays Adam Schefter so much pic.twitter.com/60dtYBr33h
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) April 6, 2022
“If you took the ability for me to do impressions and talk about the Yankees and make penis jokes, I’m worthless,” Giannotti said. “Just like if you take the ability of Adam Schefter to break news away from him, he’s worthless! He’s not entertaining, there’s nothing about him that’s interesting, he’s got sources and he breaks stories. That’s it. And he does it free on Twitter, so why pay him $9 million?”
Gio’s co-host Boomer Esiason argued that Schefter does “so much other stuff” for ESPN. Which is true, he works around the clock and appears on numerous shows for ESPN. But the bulk of Schefter’s notoriety comes from his rolodex of sources.
“It’s WORTHLESS!” Gio ranted. “The only thing that makes him worth anything is breaking stories.” And Schefter breaks an incredible number of stories, but he does it on Twitter. Schefter goes on ESPN to talk about potential moves or transactions that already occurred, but Giannotti’s biggest gripe is that the breaking news hits Twitter before any of ESPN’s platforms.
Schefter landed a monster contract with ESPN despite coming off a season where his reporting was publicly criticized multiple times. In October, ESPN’s acclaimed NFL reporter was outed for seeking approval from former Washington Commanders president Bruce Allen about a story on the 2011 lockout.
Schefter was also condemned for his uncritical reporting regarding an assault case featuring Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. And just last month, Schefter was criticized for inferring Deshaun Watson was innocent of sexual assault allegations.
Not a great track record of journalism leading into contract negotiations. Despite the blunders, Schefter landed a massive pay raise.
ESPN pays Schefter to break stories on Twitter for prestige, so that the Worldwide Leader in sports can say their reporter had it first. And Schefter commanded a $45 million contract because he reportedly had outside interest from gambling companies who drove up his asking price.
Caesars, FanDuel, or DraftKings could have added the NFL news breaker to sell prospective gamblers on having the inside scoop. But if Giannotti was at the helm, and Schefter brought an asking price of $9 million to the table, safe to say he would’ve let the NFL reporter walk.