CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports that Jim grey, the reporter who softballed a six-minute interview with LeBron James last night during ESPN’s big NBA “free agent” special, was not paid by the network, but rather by — surprise! — LeBron.
UPDATE – grey is denying the CNBC report.
Yes, ESPN is owned by ABC, which is owned by Disney. Yes, these are the same entities who are constantly preaching about how you can’t possibly trust anything that isn’t produced by mainstream media.
Well done, ESPN. Welcome to the hall of shame.
ESPN didn’t play down one part of the business arrangement of the deal — that grey, the former ESPN and NBC reporter who is now working on a freelance basis, was James’ preferred interviewer. But the network didn’t say, and now says they didn’t know, that grey’s travel and payment for “The Decision” show was being paid by the entity set up by Team LeBron and not by ESPN, as CNBC has learned.
“We aren’t privy to grey’s arrangement,” said ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys. “He came as part of the package. We accepted Jim knowing that we would have extensive time for our people to interview LeBron, which was bulk of the show.”
grey’s agent Sandy Montag of IMG declined comment. Attempts to reach Maverick Carter, through James’ publicist Keith Estabrook, were unsuccessful.
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