Almost a year to the day after ESPN’s massive round of layoffs left him a reporting free agent, Brett McMurphy has found a new gig.
A source has confirmed to Awful Announcing that McMurphy will join the digital sports network Stadium in August on a multi-year deal, serving as an insider and analyst. McMurphy’s hiring at Stadium was first reported by Richard Deitsch of The Athletic.
Launched in August 2017, Stadium is a sports network distributed online and through Sinclair-owned broadcast networks. During the 2017-18 season, it produced 15 college football games and 47 college basketball games, all of which streamed on Facebook. In February, Stadium brought aboard ESPN and Fox alum Kristen Balboni as a reporter and studio host, and five weeks later it announced a new baseball-focused interview show hosted by ex-ESPNer Jayson Stark. The reported hire of McMurphy adds another high-profile name and face to the nascent network.
McMurphy was one of the more surprising ESPN departures last spring, given his status as one of college football’s premier news-breakers, as well as his versatility as both a writer and an on-air talent. The fact that his work has not appeared in any major media outlets since he was laid off most likely owes to non-compete clauses in his ESPN contract, the likes of which have limited many victims of the network’s purge.
Despite being jobless for the past year, McMurphy has continued to report college football news on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. In December, ESPN’s Steve Levy repeated a McMurphy scoop during a game broadcast, referring to the reporter as “our own Brett McMurphy,” in an incident that made headlines across the internet and prompted McMurphy to change his Twitter bio to read “some outlets refer to me as ‘Our own’ or ‘Report:'”
Stadium has made no official announcement of McMurphy’s hiring. Reached by Awful Announcing on Monday, McMurphy declined to comment.