Episode 146 of the Sports Media Podcast features two guests. First up is Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, the host of the “Jemele Hill is Unbothered,” podcast for Spotify, and a creative adviser for Meadowlark Media. She is followed by Tom Hannifan, better known by the announcing name Tom Phillips. He spent nine years with the WWE and during his WWE career he served as the play-by-play commentator on Raw, NXT, SmackDown, 205 Live, and NXT UK. He was recently let go by WWE and is now looking for traditional sports broadcasting opportunities. In this podcast Hill discusses Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open; the failure to find a creative solution by French Open organizers; the debate over the value of the post-game/post-match presser; the importance of the press conference for smaller media outlets; the performative aspects and uncomfortable nature of sports press conferences; whether this means something larger for the sports media; a very bad week of fans interacting with athletes including criminality; why we have seen that happen, and more. Hannifan discusses the most challenging thing about being a WWE broadcaster; how long it took him to get product knowledge; how he was initially get hired by WWE; whether he was overproduced while on-air; his surprise to learn he was no longer calling RAW and being replaced by Adnan Virk; the short tenure of Virk; his alltime favorite match called; his friendship with Big E; getting slapped by Stephanie McMahon; what he wants to do next; his attempt to get work in college football and much more. You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and more.

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