Monthly Archives: September, 2008

The Sports Editor Who Called Hockey “Irrelevant” Also Gave Us “Cold Pizza”

So much for writing my “summer vacation’s over” post tonight. I guess that will happen later this week…

This had me perplexed today. How could Jim Cohen, a newspaper sports editor in the city that gave us the Broad Street Bullies, call hockey “an irrelevant sport”!?

While I was Googling around to find more word on Tim Pannaccio’s departure from the Philadelphia Inquirer, I found a report on Cohen’s hiring in January. Yeah, he hasn’t even been there a full year. The report, from the Associated Press Sports Editors site, reveals some other interesting tidbits on Cohen’s CV…

As ESPN’s vice president for programming and production from 2002 to 2006, Cohen was responsible for creating, launching and managing the wildly popular “Pardon the Interruption” show that turned a couple of print journalists into multimedia stars, plus “Around the Horn” and “Cold Pizza.”

Skip Bayless contradicting himself on a consistent three-day cycle? Woody Paige’s chalkboard? Jay Mariotti getting any face time at all? Dumbing down sports commentary with four hours of columnists screaming their egos hoarse every weekday? Those were Cohen’s ideas. Before unleashing Wilbon and Kornheiser on an unsuspecting public, though, he was “senior coordinating producer for news, with responsibility for newsgathering for all ESPN networks”.

This explains so much. Funny how his tenure at ESPN coincides with their hockey news coverage taking a dive, followed by a bunch of talking head shows stocked with columnists who, on their best days, are ill-informed and disrespectful of the sport.

Anybody out there in Flyer-land canceling their Inquirer subscriptions after this?

(Oh, and check out that APSE link to see what Cohen did in between ESPN and the Inquirer, babe.)

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