|On Servant of Pod. In tomorrow’s episode, I talk with ESPN Daily’s Pablo Torre and Eve Troeh about making a daily sports podcast when sports is… you know, super weird right now.
Some background: ESPN Daily first rolled out last October — remember October? Geez — where it was positioned as the sports media giant’s flagship podcast. That framing has always been sorta interesting to me, given that ESPN already had a fairly robust podcast portfolio to begin with, one that’s rich with a mix of popular broadcast repackages and an assortment of more interesting nichier stuff. (Shout-out to the Lowe Post, the Woj Pod, and the amazing 30 for 30 podcast team.) The introduction of ESPN Daily, then, projects a feel of going after a sense of prestige, or at least the creation of a focal point to concentrate the way people might think about ESPN’s on-demand audio machinations separate from its formidable radio presence.
There’s been some reshuffling with ESPN Daily of late. It originally launched with Mina Kimes behind the mic, but she recently left the production to serve as ESPN’s new NFL analyst, which is said to be her dream job. She was ultimately replaced by Pablo Torre, who was just coming off the cancellation of High Noon, the afternoon sports talk show he hosted with Bomani Jones. (An aside: I was actually a big fan of High Noon, though if I were to be honest, I wasn’t surprised that it got cancelled. There was something about its deliberate, thoughtful nature that didn’t seem like a good structural fit for the broadcast context. A streaming service, perhaps. Maybe a podcast?)
But the production has retained a strong sense of continuity, due in no small part to Eve Troeh, the show’s senior editorial producer and constant variable. She’s shepherded the podcast through its opening innings, the great sports shut-down — which kicked off in earnest shortly after the NBA ceased operations when Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11 — and now, the erratic high-wire attempt to rebuild the sports world in the shadow of a pandemic.
I had a particularly good time speaking with Torre (whose work I’ve followed for years) and Troeh (whose name I’ve heard tossed around, also, for years), not least because I’m a fairly ardent sports nut. Additionally, it’s always fun for me to talk to a Very Public Asian, of which there simply aren’t enough.
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