How a TV Show Builds a Brand with Danny Corrales
Producer of "The Jump" on ESPN, Danny Corrales, joined the Business of Social to discuss how linear programming has changed with the existence of YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and IGTV. Danny gives his thoughts on how much networks should value linear views vs. digital/platform views.
What if your ratings are down on linear, but sky rocketing on YouTube? What changes do companies need to make to allow their content to be accessible 24/7 and across 4 different platforms and how does this effect the needs of sponsors and partners?
Here are the highlights:
David: ” I’ve watched 100’s of segments of “The Jump”, but only on YouTube. And I’m wondering in 2019, from a network perspective, is that a good statement, bad statement or somewhere in-between?”
Danny: “I would say the fact that you’ve watched that many segments is a good thing no matter what. I’m kind of platform agnostic, in the sense that as long as you’re tuning in thats fine by me. But of course, our best financial situation is someone who tunes in and watches the full show and all of the commercials. That’s just what we want first.
But - that doesn’t mean we don’t share dozens of clips from the show on YouTube and on ESPN.com. The staff thats in charge of those clips is very aggressive and wants to get them up as soon as possible, because they know that it’s resonating”
David: All right. He is the producer of the Emmy nominated studio show on ESPN the job. Danny corrals joins us on the business of social podcast. Danny, thanks so much for the time, man. Thank you very much for having me. I'm really excited, uh, to be connected with
Danny: you and obviously through TJ and yeah, of course he] hooked it up. I love that episode by the way. That was a lot of fun to watch. Good,
David: good. Yeah, he dropped some knowledge for Hspeakersure. Um, I always, if you remember on today's podcast, the first question is always a somewhat random question. So I'm going to go all the way to the top. Let's say Bob Iger gives you a call tonight. It says Danny for the rest of the year. You can only talk about one topic on ESPN. So the jump for the rest of the year. What is that topic and why?
Danny: Cool. All right. Here we go. Um, it's gotta be Katie's free agency. I'm just thinking, cause I'm, I'm, for me it's like what can I get the most traction out of? So the warrior's three peat chances, we'll run out of steam in a couple of weeks. Yeah, most likely. But, um, Katie's free agency is really the thing that's going to set the entire NBA, you know, for the next, who knows how many years. I mean, I guess what it's been like three years since he joined the warrior. So yeah, take your, for the next three years the NBA is going to be, um, essentially determined by where Katie goes. And I think the coolest thing about his decision is that he has no wrong decision. I think he can, I think he can go wherever he wants to go. And I think that everybody's going to understand, even if it's say in an open golden state, I think we'll understand what like, yeah, of course. Why would you want to hit that? But then if he leaves to the next like, well of course, like who doesn't want to be a hero of New York? Yeah. When a title for New York, I'm excited.
David: I know you used to be up in Bristol, so you made the drive or you know, to, to New York and yeah, watching a game. Even I, I've watched Knicks games where they're not too good, but watching a game at massive square garden and if that happens, we talked about this. I think with TJ it's like, you know, the NBA has done amazing without the Knicks and Lakers the last six years or so being good at all. Imagine if the mics are popping off again. It'd be amazing for the league
Danny: and it's such an important, um, especially important thing. Not even just for the next, but for the eastern conference. I think when Lebron left the eastern conference, people don't really understand that the first time slot of those NBA double headers took a bumped, you know, 25 30% radians drop I think. Absolutely. And, and, and the sad thing about in the IRA, the ironic thing about it is that the east was great this year. It was highly competitive. Look at where we have now. We have great playoffs, we have great teams, we have stars.
David: D'Angelo Russell isn't getting you those casuals unfortunately.
Danny: Exactly. So yeah. Cause, I mean, I remember, I remember the first time I went to an, actually, the only time I went to Nix game, I was the manager for the Arizona basketball team and we were playing against Louisville and the coaches versus cancer in Oh six. And the night before a game, they were like, oh, we're going to go to Madison Square Garden. We got in suite and we're gonna Watch the next game. So I'd be like, oh my God, like, yeah, hell yeah. Are we going to the next game? Yeah. And it was a nix versus grizzlies. Um, nobody of consequence was playing. I even Palka soul who was on the grizzlies and I just remember being like, this is so boring. Well, like we have sweet, you would think like first of all problems. Right. And I was just like so boring. But like I know that if you get somebody like Katie to the next, or even like Xi'an which is yeah, I don't want to date us, but, um, but if, uh, if you were to get somebody like that, it would really change the state of basketball in New York with the nets being great and also uplift the entire conference.
Danny: I think.
David: I love it. Um, so I want to get into your story. Maybe you can just give me like a, a 62nd background or so, cause you and I were talking before the show you've been at yesterday for nine years, which we were kind of laughing about in our industry, especially in sports. Uh, that's a, that's a lifetime. And people usually hop around every two to three years. Um, and, and, and you d you definitely said that you've been given new challenges every year or two and that's really kept you, uh, at ESPN and doing some cool things. So talk a little bit about, um, just quickly, you know, your, your story and how you ended up at the job.
Danny: So I came out of college, University of Arizona. I was a manager, like I said, for noodles and um, and that kind of got me in the door for an interview at, at ESPN. So then that I turned into a production trainee, um, production assistant trainee. So not even a PA had to work my way up to being a PA. Um, and then one day I could be, if I just work hard enough, I could be a pm like can be, if I work hard enough, I could be a PA and I can trade in my inflatable mattress. And that was Kinda like my first six months in Bristol. Right? Yeah.
David: And then I'll humble you with your success now. That's awesome. Okay.
Danny: It's amazing. And the thing about Bristol too was that like, Eh, I take this as a compliment, but like Bristol was interesting or Connecticut in general because like the coolest place you can go to is work.
David: Like if you wanted to go hang, I just went to Bristol and drive it around. There you go. That's pretty much all you got it. ESPN.
Danny: And it's not just because it's like, hey, like bars, restaurants, like whatever. Like everyone has bars and restaurants, but it's mostly because of how cool it is to be at ESPN and how fun it is to, you know, I would find myself sticking around, you know, for an hour or two and like, wait, what am I doing here? Why am I, Hey, talking to like my colleagues about Arizona basketball, like I need to go home. Um, but the cool thing about bristle was that I was able to work on a bunch of shows at first, you know, like most other trainees sports and or highlights prompting stuff. But it wasn't until I got connected with sports nation in 2000 early part of 2010 that really kind of set my career forward. Um, working with Jamie Horwitz, Kevin wiles and theirs in their crew, Michelle beetle call. And um, I was able to really feel valid content as opposed to execute content, I guess is kind of the key. Right.
David: Tadaa we've had Nita on the, so who was over at eight ign, I know you worked at their c you see what some all sports nascent too. And really it's an important, so not only for linear but also digital and, and a sports world because it was kind of bleacher report before bleacher report, at least in that same, that same timeframe, at least what you guys were doing, it was definitely ahead of its time. And you've seen other shows now birthed out of that, whether it's ESPN or other, um, that definitely I kind of started a trend or no doubt.
Danny: And the interesting thing about
David: the trend that we started was that it was a trend that, you know, whether or not sports nation was around, it was a trend that was going that way already. And, and yeah, even think about 2010 Twitter, like compared to now completely different ballgame. Right. So for us, we were able to, I think, make a lot of like learn a lot of bad lessons, right? Because like the first thing you get when you get new technology or new resources is the, the ideas of like, let's just put tweets on air. Let's just cycle through tweets. Let's just, you know, let's go to a Twitter scroll and you know, stuff like that and then you get kind of get burned. Yeah, no like crosswords or there's things like that editorial things and you know, it was really nice that we were able to kind of learn those things early on.
David: And then those lessons I think have shaped the other shows I've worked on. Cause after sports nation I went to Nazione as piano, which is audio and the board was on ESPN support. There's rap as well or IRP Thumb Yan. Um, and then numbers never lie, which was like kind of like a statistically based the bait show, which was like even then kind of new ground analytics, right? Like getting the analytics, getting the, the jocks, getting them together in the same room and discuss that. And you know, that kind of then took me to the jump where Twitter's even bigger now, NBA, Twitter, um, things that were doing online, videos that we're showing, you know, you got ige live, you got snap, you got all these other media outlets that you have to disseminate and that you have to really package in a linear format that is beholden to the standards that ESPN has set for 40 years.
David: Right. Um, I was reading a quote that Rachel Nichols said when she was kind of pitching it the, so internally and her quote was, it should feel like sitting around and talking about basketball with your friends, but what if one of your friends happened to be Tracy McGrady or Scottie Pippin? And the reason why I think that's so important as a, as a lifelong basketball junkie, I think a lot of networks including ESPN has been trying to go after. I mean inside the NBA is Kinda on that pedestal and the MES speak forward and you know, sac and shock and Kenny, that environment kind of feels like they're in your living room with you. And I think that's so much more difficult to do than it sounds like. But I really feel, and this is a comment to you and your whole staff like the jump has found a way to get in that rarefied air where I think, um, it does feel like it's natural conversation. It's organic and it's not, you know, too buttoned up and it doesn't feel like a, um, other shows in the past that I've tried to emulate that. So I'm sorry you guys, that was a really big thing for you to, to emulate.
Danny: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I'm really happy that you pulled out that quote from Rachel. Yeah, no, I've heard her say it a few times cause it's that important to us. Like we, I get a DA opportunity to call Tracy or Scotty or Steve Martinez who's the kind of like the co-producer sports of, I'm sorry, I have the John C. Martinez, the copious, they jump Steve's job everyday is to call Tracy or Scotty or my job is to call them, go through all of the topics. We kind of went over with Rachel because Rachel's like the one on we, we like into giving her a menu. So in the morning we present her with a menu. It's like yes and appetizers. We have some main distribution like, like I already
David: the traffic cop as to make sure all this craziness kind of stays.
Danny: Absolutely interacts. Yeah, absolutely. She has to make sure that we ask good questions. We have smart questions because that's the thing is you have to commit to the question to the topic. Otherwise you're going to lose two. You'll lose so much nuance. And for us and for I think for most basketball fans, they're so well versed in the game. Um, early on when we started developing the show, we decided, we made a clear statement that we want to be a show for NBA fans, not for sports fans who handle like the NBA or not for, you know, we don't use first and last names. Most times we use nicknames on our graphics. We, you know, we make sure that people are getting enough information to be a part of the conversation, but we don't have to show you a, B, c, d, You know, and even with our talent, like Rachel Nichols, Ramona Shelburne, Brian Windhorse, um, Zach Lowe woes, all analysts, like these people know more than I know.
Danny: So I want them to be in a spot to where they can get the knowledge that they have out, have the conversation that they're going to have, you know, after the game in the media dining room or you know, in a, in a timeout and stuff. So it's really cool because we really do get to talk to the Scotties and the Tracys the way that you would, that you would, you would talk to. Yeah. So I'm at a barbershop, right? You can say, Yo Tracy, like what did you mean the words? Okay. D Hey Tracy, what did you, not the words. Okay. Dean. So it makes our job easy in the sense where we can just figure out what do we care about? Like what do you care about, what does NBA Twitter care about? And then take those concerns that people who know on both sides of the fence. Right. Yeah.
David: Thanks. So I'm interested to hear your answer to this next question because I think you being a producer for a linear show, I think you're able to, to, you know, answer this question and an interesting way it's, so I'll tell you from my standpoint, I've watched hundreds of segments of the job, none of which had been on linear, all of which had been on youtube. And I'm wondering as we sit here in 2019, is that a good statement? Is that a bad statement or somewhere in between?
Danny: I would say the fact that you watch that many clips is good 100% wherever you're getting them. Um, I think I'm kind of like a platform agnostic in a sense. And I want to make our shows that way because I do understand that, hey, like our best, um, you know, our best financial, uh, position is if somebody tunes in at three o'clock eastern on ESPN noon Pacific and watches the whole show and watch it, all of our commercials, right? Like, that's just what we want. Um, first. Right. But it doesn't mean that we don't share dozens of clips from the show on you too on document immediately too.
David: That, that's been a change I've seen at ESPN over the last 24 months where it's, it's immediate now.
Danny: Absolutely. NRN The staff, um, that is in charge of like posting youtube clips and Patrick Dorsey, most notably, he is very aggressive. Like he wanted to, he wants to get that time cut even shorter because he knows that, you know, it's, it's resonating. I mean we did this one thing with Scotty and Tracy where it was like, how do you defend James Harden? Step back. I even asked him the question, I just told him to go into the studio, got them standing up, ask them one question. I walk away, they talk for seven minutes and it did like 2 million views on youtube and you know, and not everything is going to resonate like that, but, but it is really nice to know that we can break a linear format and do something that would be really good for a digital audience. And also I've gotten so much feedback from people in like in Australia, in London and Toronto, even, they're like, we don't have the jump in Toronto.
Danny: Like, what are we doing? You know? So, you know, it's really cool that youtube gives us that outlet because NBA fans, like we want to reach passionate NBA fans wherever they're at. And hopefully through youtube, through Twitter, through Rachel's, um, platforms, we're expanding our scope. And maybe just maybe if you're tuning into ESPN or something in the middle of the day, maybe that'll make you turn the volume up and, and that's fine too. So, I mean, I know that there's other people who, um, are very interested in the linear specific ratings, but I want to be ready for when they start counting the nonlinear. And I don't, I don't necessarily know what that is, but from what I've been seeing, I think we're in a very good position to be at the top of those, near the top of that list.
David: Yeah, that's gonna be my next question. So when you look at success, um, of a segment or a success of a, of a entire show, how much of it as we stand here today is looking at that Nielsen rating the day after, a week after and how much of it is, damn, we got 2 million on this, you know, T-mac Scotty, uh, segment.
Danny: Yeah, I mean the way I see that I think, I think everything's important and I know that it's like such a easy answer, but you know, we want to do all on the Nielsen ratings. Like we are happy when we are, when we're doing well in and your ratings, those segments are doing better digitally. Um, you know, our, that buzz is generated, we see other shows pick up things like, I mean seriously, like the ultimate compliment to the show was like, if like PTI picks up something we say because to me that's, that's it, right? Like that. Yup. That's the standard. So if we say something that's interesting enough or, or provoking enough on our show that PTI uses it as a topic in a 30 minute show, that to me is like a big win. And one of the cool things that I try to keep an eye on is sometimes like I'll get a note, like right after we do a segment, it'd be like, you know, Scotty was yesterday shows.
Danny: Like Scotty says, the warriors need Katie to win the finals. And that thing got posted on espn.com probably by the end of that commercial breaks. So, so that to me is, is validation not necessarily like that ultimate like ratings numbers and you know, stuff like that. But those are the little validations where we're like, okay, cool. We're hitting the right tones, we're asking the right questions. Other people are seeing our content as valuable. And, and for me, I want to have the best ratings. I want to show it out the best ratings. And that's the, you know, you get the most runway when your ratings are very good and linear. Um, but I also am looking at the overall big picture and just making sure that we are doing our part to put us in a good position.
David: How has social media changed the way you produce? And I asked that, cause I brought this, I brought this example up a ton. I felt like late night TV right now, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, they're starting to produce these segments for the next morning on, on Youtube, on social. You see, um, I noticed with the, I think Jimmy Kimmel, he's asked every major person like if they know Michael Jordan, Kevin Hart on Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson on the first time you ever played against Michael Drunk. Cause they know that keyword works really well on Youtube and I've, you know, clicked him every time, um, x. And so for you, it's, so for you, I mean, there may be a segment that, you know, on the linear at noon, may not, it's good content, but it's not the most amazing content, but you know, it has so much legs for now in the future. Are you thinking about that as you guys produce so
Danny: daily? Yeah, absolutely. I think the, we take that into consideration because usually, I mean not for us, the best topics are gonna win the best questions, the biggest stories. But if you're not thinking about how your segments and how your conversations are going to play outside of your linear format, you're really, I think doing that content of disservice because cause really that one topic that Jimmy Keith Allen or Campbell does or that bit or Carpool Karaoke, right. Absolutely. Carpool Karaoke is a freaking show. Like somebody came up with a segment like, hey, it'd be cool if we did car provender like, great, let's do a show. It's like a hundred million dollars, you know, so, and ultimately that's what got them on the map. Like that cut them, that cut through. And I remember actually a cord and um, came on sports nation before he launched and cause it wasn't that big of a deal.
Danny: Right, right. Just a guy. He was amazing. I've met him and I'm like, oh my God, this is like the most charming, nicest guy I've ever met in my life. Like I'm, I'm rooting. Well, I'm rooting for him to succeed. Right. And it was really Carpool Karaoke that just set that show off. And people still don't watch. I mean, I, who am I to say? But most people still don't get to catch it. Linear I five space. Right? We all know it, we all love it and we'll all stream it. And when they have McCartney or Beyonce or Adele, we're locked. Right? And, and I think that's an important part for any linear show because you have to, um, you have to cut through in some way. You can't just be the next show talking about the same topic that the last show talking about. Yeah.
Danny: And sometimes it's a device. Sometimes it for us, it's talent. For us it's Rachel, it's Tracy, it's our writers or reporters. It's their knowledge. But we also will have fun. And um, one other thing that Rachel says and she repeats a lot, which I love it. And she's like, I don't want to do presentation television. I want it to be fun. I want it to be raw. But as a TV producer, I want to do the best presentation television. Knowing that we can sacrifice certain things for the content. And for me it's fun because like I get to play like the straight person straight man. I get to be like, Hey, I know you guys are having fun talking about, you know, the Lakers coaches for 20 minutes, but we kind of have to run a commercial break. Yeah, maybe. Right. Um, so it, to me it's fun because I guess we get to really, really try things and the fun things that we come up with and when it goes off the rails, those are the things that will resonate digitally. Whereas like a, another show may be like, Whoa, Whoa, whoa, like this isn't what we had planned for this space
David: and this is super granular and kind of inside baseball. But I was even thinking on a daily basis, are you trying to get an evergreen segment in there? I E who was better, you know, Coby or t mac or you know, some of those segments that can live on for the next two years on digital or, uh, because I think that that's important for the self life too. If you're talking about Katie's free agency next year, nobody's gonna be watching that video.
Danny: Absolutely. Um, not necessarily, we're not necessarily putting a, an effort on keeping things evergreen, but we do appreciate how that stuff lives. And if you don't understand it or if you're not, you know, if you don't appreciate the fact that a Scotty story time on Michael Jordan could rack up 10 million views in three years, then you're kind of missing the boat. Right. So, so I like the idea of, um, having our youtube people identify those moments in the show and they're so good at that because they'll be like, hey, like I think this is going to go. And they'll even send notes in the show and be like, if you guys can keep them for five more minutes. Yeah. Talk about that. You know, and, and you know, I remember when we were an all star game, Scotty talked about his first all star, how nervous he was.
Danny: And you know, I got to know and was like, hey, it was like a two minute show thing is amazing. Right? Good. Two minutes of TV. But then I got a note saying like, is there any way we can get Scotty to sit around and just talk about that for like five minutes, 10 minutes? Because we understand that like we're fans. Like I want to hear that stuff. We love that. So I definitely want to keep those, um, those moments and, and really try to find them. And I think that the trick is, is um, I'm always saying like, what's the pig? Right? What's the pig like? It has, there has to be something out there that we can frame this conversation otherwise everyday it's who you go, Lebron or MJ will. Yeah, exactly. You know what I mean? So that, that's hard too because you do do that sometimes. Like not, not going to say that. I've never had that debate on any of the shows that I've done, but you know, you try to avoid
David: when it's a slow news day, you can always throw that one out there and keep the ratings up
Danny: doing year-round shows for the last two years. And, uh, we were always worried like, what are we going to do in August and September? And the answer is you figure it out.
David: Well I listen as a being born and raised in La and being a Lakers fan, like the content that you guys are producing and all the ESPN sows around Lebron's free age, I kind of get enough of it man. Like I was actually like, yeah, slapping myself like stop watching this. Cause it's like it was just like an update every four hours on, well maverick is saying this and clutch sports and sources are saying, and it was just, I was just glued to my television. It's crazy. And you've seen this too with the NBA. The drama of the off season when they're actually not playing basketball is almost overtaking the actual basketball on the core at Katie's storyline is bigger than the box, you know, particularly making the finals. It just is. And that's, that's uh, that's good for Adam silver and I think the league.
Danny: Yeah. And right now we're in this sweet, sweet, sweet spot of the Games matter and the storylines matter. And that to me is like the most fun because, you know, sometimes it is hard, like you don't want, you don't want to be, you don't want to neglect when Kemba drops 50, you don't want to neglect when a team that, that shouldn't have won when and got a beat the warriors, right? Yup. And you can just say like, but it's November, who cares? You know? So like, you know, but we care and we want it. We want to care about the game and off and outside of the game. Right. And I think that's kind of where you find that sweet spot because if it gets too transactional and you, and you start to like lose sight of what that stake, what's at stake in the finals, what's at stake, you know, in these games, right.
Danny: If you start to lose that, then I think you're sacrificing, um, so much good content. But it's about that balance of being able to say like, okay, cool. We're going to be at the finals. We're gonna be doing pregame shows, West conference, finals and finals. It doesn't mean we might not talk about Kyries free agency. It doesn't mean we might not talk about the Lakers coaching situation or the fact that whatever that is. Um, but the, but I think we're at our best when it ultimately turns back into like, Katie is going to the next, we'll the next win a title for the first time in 50 years. Like that is where all these roads should lead to. Hopefully.
David: I think there's obviously haters and trolls and things like that that say you're talking too much about Lebron or too much about those topics you've mentioned. Um, how do you balance that line? Cause I, you know, I even think towards the end of the season, if, you know, the Brooklyn Nets were on fire or kings, we're trying to itch and, and make the playoffs. But the better storyline as a basketball junkie is, um, did the Anthony Davis rumors ruin the likers or camera broader, regained the locker room and you're, now you're talking about a team that's not on the playoffs. It's not playing well, but it's just that drama of that is someone's more jucier. Is there debates in these writing rooms of like, what do we do? Because we got this like this good store over here, but this is going to be the one people care about.
Danny: Absolutely every day. And I think that kind of the, the, the key to the show is that you kind of have to figure out where are you at everyday. Like, um, whatever we assume we're going to do tomorrow, show things change. And you know, how important is tomorrow's show? Like how important is Eastern Conference Game One and tomorrow show. Very important obviously. How important is that? What happened tonight? Also, how important is whatever news, you know, like today we led the show with the six years keeping Brett Brown. It's an important story if, you know, one would say like, how do you not leave the game, one of the Western Conference finals, right? But the good thing for us, and the good thing about axial linear platform is that we have plenty of time to do everything and to do it well. Right? So if I have an hour long show, which is really 44 minutes, I can balance it out hopefully in a way where both sides kind of get what they want, you know, tuning in to figure out what the blazers can do to beat the wars game one.
Danny: Like hopefully they'll stick around long enough to get that, but it doesn't mean that the six years off season isn't super important or you know, the news value of Brad Brown coming back. Like that's kind of the other thing we have to weigh in is like where the news coming from. Obviously with woes being here, there's a lot of news coming in and you know, we want to be breaking news while having these conversations that we feel is, is a thing that people really want from the job. But uh, but we want them to be able to say like, Hey, like, you know, Rachel can come in and do a magic monologue, Orlando Magic, not Magic Johnson, but like, she'll be like, hey, let's give her a land on magic, some love and like, hell yeah, let's do it. Because the magic fan that was like pissed off every day about seeing Lebron, hey, guess what?
Danny: You're gonna get a three minute monologue. We're Rachel Nichols or stuff. You're gonna write the hell out of it and we're going to really focus on your team and hopefully the teams and players and I hope they feel at least people who watch it regularly obviously. Cause every one day one off, you never know. But I hope that everybody, even the teams feel like they get a fair shot at the spotlight. You know? And even with the criticism too, because a lot of teams don't want you to talk about them when things are bad. So you know, don't pile on when it's bad. Don't ignore them when it's good. Um, and, and really try to develop storylines for every team because really the NBA, you know, it's so much fun right now that even like the bad teams with like the tanks war, stuff like that. Even the bad things are kind of interesting. I mean like shit, we talk about the damn sons saying a lot, right? Like, but they're so interesting and we are going to keep talking about the signs because they're interesting.
David: So I think what's interesting like looking at the inside the NBA like casuals, my grandma, my aunt, what have you, they know that sack and chuck are on some basketball. So I may talk basketball. I, I think this is a great mall, but I want to see your thoughts on this. But Paul Pierce obviously got trolled for his statement on uh, the bucks being done after selfish one game one. And I think that's a, I as a marketer, I think that's phenomenal. Brand awareness. I think it's amazing for people to know that Paul Pierces on his show talking about this stuff. So I think just for brand, the mortars and Paul Pearson, his, his comments and things like that. I mean, what did you think of a moment like that? Is that, is that a kind of music to your ears or you wish that wasn't something that kind of took off virally?
Danny: Knowing Paul and working with him, he's somebody who is just, he's, he really, really wants to have fun. And I think that's the key, right? Is like no one's had a jumper. Was It on the countdown that was on countdown? It was on the countdown. So he did it on countdown after the southeast beat the box and every, I mean I was kind of feeling that bucks weren't really gonna get that done. Um, so he said that and then on Monday show he's on the job with Jackie [inaudible] and Jackie McMullan like just called them. They're like, Paul, are you serious? What would you do if I said that the, that the south IX series was all wrapped. You won one game in a series. Like, so it was really nice because she challenged him and, and to me it was a great moment on countdown that I enjoyed as a fan and for the entertainment value of it.
Danny: And I kind of knew that like Paul was putting himself out there, uh, you know, going to be on a hill, whether or not it worked or not, but it was really nice to see then that conversation evolve into like somebody challenging him, like, Paul, you really feel this way. And then Paul, they high go this way. So then it's like, cool, now we're doubling down on it. And then to see how it unfolded. It's really funny, I mean to it, to me like the countdown crew has done a great job of interjecting the personalities of Paul, Jaylin and Chauncey and Michelle Beetle, who I worked with a lot of sports nation. So much of her, I'm writing, they're doing a great job. And then to me, Paul is, is having fun. He's, he's loose and you know, none of this is like things you, you would take that seriously in, you know, just think like one, I think there's a huge, um, maybe some people don't look like this way, but for me and social, as a marketer, when you start becoming part of pop culture or you start getting made fun of, or you start being a part of memes, I feel like you've kind of made it in a sense like, yeah, now what he says on the jump or ESPN, um, whether you agree or disagree in different, um, you Kinda wanna tune in now.
Danny: And I think, you know, even chuck said on inside the NBA that the warriors are done without k d and they're gonna lose against the rockets and you almost want to tune in like he has to eat his words now. And that Kinda makes that, I think it just makes great television. So I think it was kind of a cool moment for, uh, pierce as a, as a commentator, but also for the jump and countdown to kind of make it more part of the lexicon. Absolutely. In Charles called that the blazers are gonna make the finals and everybody thought he was crazy. He might, you know, he could theoretically back his way into like that take, which is like, which is hilarious because nobody's going to take this seriously. Like, I think one of the things we try to avoid on the jump is predicting games, right?
Danny: Because if you're, once you predict the game, like that's Kinda the last thing. You should probably would do a TV show, right? Because then you know, where you go from here, you know, so we try to avoid it, but, but we'll never stand in somebody's way as far as like, you know, we might have a researcher say like, I don't know, Paul, you might want to see how the bugs reacting game. Right? But all we're doing is trying to make his, their arguments stronger. Um, you know, like Kinda like trial by fire, right? Like if you could say in front of us and we don't just crush you or if you could stand in front of Jackie McMullan she's challenging you then, then it, then it's cool because it feels very authentic. And I think that, uh, that I was like leaning into it. I think Steven [inaudible] predicted the wrong finals winter like seven years in a row.
Danny: And Drake has definitely leaned into like, I'm gonna wear, I'm the curse, so I'm going to wear your team's logo. Like he wore the sixers sorts in game seven. Um, I don't, it was the baseball or the puppy or was the era somebody would just like get the whole postseason last year wrong. And then you start tuning in hoping he doesn't pick your team or you know, cause you know like it's more likely. Yes. It's, I think it's cool to that cause I mean you've, you've produced a lot of shows at ESPN. I've always been fascinated with the process to choose talent because some of the biggest names in sports may not be able to articulate their opinions, may be kind of boring on camera. Um, while others may not have the bigger name, but they, they break it down really eloquently type deals. So how have you dealt with that over your career?
Danny: Cause I'm sure there's been a lot of people that you've tried to work with and maybe just didn't work out. And how do you ultimately kind of pick who's going to be on, be on TV? Well I think it's important for us to really try to figure out what are you trying to get out of these people? Cause there's like, you know, like you're not going to ask Michael Jordan to break, tell him straight the last play of the no quiets game winner. You're not gonna like, Hey Michael, go up to the touch screen and take it through it. Like you're just not, you know, and like, not that he couldn't or, you know, he could obviously do how he wants, but, but you know, you have to figure out where you're gonna get out of them. And there's certain people who are like, Yo, I like breaking down tape.
Danny: You know, I remember even a, my guy Tim Legler. Absolutely. I was gonna say my guy, I'm in college football, God, I'm blanking. Blanking on his name, Trevor. Uh, to get, there was a guy who used to be at an analyst on college football live and I just saw that I butchered his name, but he used to be in the news room cutting his own tapes. And to me it's like, Yo, if that's the level you're at, I want you to do that on TV. If you're John King, do that on TV. But if you're Scottie Pittman, don't worry about it. You have a unique perspective of what it takes to win and things like that. Get could skip the touchscreen collar straighter of the trip. But, um, but it's also important to tee them up specifically and tee them up in something that they're going to be able to answer realistically.
Danny: Like I'm not going to be like, hey, so what kind of defense should the buck's run in game one? Like maybe they know the answer, but it's also going to be like, you know, hey, how much pressure do you think yon is bills right now for the Milwaukee for, you know, for them. Um, Scotty, do you think the warriors have enough to complete this three p you've done it twice, you know, so, um, I remember early on we had a conversation about, um, I won't say the talent or the people I talked to because it was coming up. Cool, cool. Um, but, uh, the conversation was like, they're like, well, you know, this person's not great on TV. So like, what are you going to ask them? I'm like, I'm going to ask them about the warriors. And they're like, oh, so like softballs, I'm like, as opposed to a slider in the dirt, you know what I mean?
Danny: Kinda like, cause that's the thing too, that I think it, I think as producers we get very much caught up with what we can do, right? Like I've been here, um, actually I did, I just did the math myself. I've been there 11 years, which is crazier than I. Um, but yeah, so I'll wait to 2019. I was like, wow, this is crazy. Um, but I know what he, his is capable of. I know all the technology we have. I mean, most of it, there's always new stuff, but it's not about what I feel comfortable doing. It's about what the talent that's comfortable with doing. And as long as you put the talent in comfortable positions where their authority, where they're, you know, um, experience can shine, you're doing a great job because, and even with the reporters, I'm not gonna ask a reporter, you know, what's the honest, his state of mind entering game one.
Danny: I'm going to ask a reporter a question about reporting. You know, what's Malcolm Brogdon status? He's going to start to come off the bench. What, you know, what his Buden holes are saying about [inaudible] preparation. That's different, you know, so being able to have the right question framed in the right way, um, you know, is, is everything cause look at me and you were having an NBA conversation, neither play basketball, but if you want to talk about Katy to the Knicks and what we do, not the lake, you know, um, one thing that we saw we say on sports nation, cause it was very much different in, in content was hard overhead. Right? Like what is, you know, how should uh, Frank Vogel feel having Jason Kidd on the staff? Yeah. You can answer that. How should he feel here?
David: How so? Frank? I think he feels like, uh, you know, looking over his shoulder every single day is how I think he feels, which is not a good place to be in. Yeah.
Danny: And then I'll ask you like, do you think Frank Volvo's defensive philosophy is going to work with lagers? I don't. Yeah, exactly. So you might know, but it's still, it's like that. The idea is, cause we're all fans and we're making TV fans like, right. Like, you know, as much as uh, I love for, you know, the players to watch our show and stuff like that. Like they're fans too. And
David: that's an interesting thing you, you just touched on because I think in order for somebody to care or to disagree or to say, Yep, I agree as well. You have to kind of focus more on the fields more than the x's and o's because I can't really speak to, like you said Tom Tibideau breaking down a defensive scheme of what Frank Vogel may or may not do with Lebron at six foot eight. But if you tell me, you know, if he starts talking about how as a coach you should feel if an a, a big name assistant is hired at the same time you are, then I can either agree, disagree or yell at him today.
Danny: Exactly. And we can all trace back to that whatever that building is, you know, being doubled up in the role. You know, we all kind of can go back to that. And I think that was the beauty of like working on like a show like sports nation. Where is that, you know, we, we had Marcel's who's an NFL x player, but he's talking about NBA segment and I'll be, we're talking about, you know, he has to be able to talk about a baseball fight
David: that better donk, donk, gay or dunk B. I mean, anybody can play that game.
Danny: Exactly. But what the idea would be like, you know, having those conversations about like, well take me in the locker room. What, how did you approach your teammate when, when they call the team meeting and then he's like, okay, cool. Like I remember that. So, you know, it doesn't necessarily always a 100% work because there, there is a lot of breaking down. There's a lot of x's and o's, but, but I do think when you get into these inherent questions, um, we all kind of want a seat at the table, right? Even the fans kind of want to be able to get in on the conversation. You want to be able to have, uh, to be able to challenge t-mac and be like, I dunno Tracy, you, you're not picking the rockers. But I think that they got this like, yeah, we should feel, you know, confident to do that because I think we all share that shared passion in the game.
David: I asked, uh, Katie daily a similar question. Um, and I think John Skipper and Bill Simmons talked about it on their recent podcasts on the ringer when you're a partner with the league and you're doing an MBA. So the same way there was an issue obviously what Bill Sam is talking about the NFL on a damn Patrick so and got suspended and things like that. There is that fine balance too where you're, you're in partnership with the league. You're talking about NBA stories. Does that ever, I mean, and I know you can answer this however you'd like, but does that ever kind of go into the topics or what's off limits? What's on limits when you're actually a league partner and have rights with the league when you're talking about the league? Absolutely. I mean I think you have, you'd be silly if you didn't
Danny: take into consideration, you know, how the League would feel about a potential topic. I think the most important thing is to be fair. Um, and, and Rachel is the greatest person to be steering that ship because she's the one who faces. She's the one that Adam silver has got her number. He ain't not texting me after the show, you know, I known, um, and I hope he doesn't cause I want everything is good. Right. Um, but she, she's so good about being fair and she knows like, you know, she knows when criticism could be turned up a little bit. She knows when it can be
Danny: tapered off a little bit. And I think that's kind of the important thing is that for us, we have to be able to look these players in the eye, you know, potentially like we're going to go to the West conference finals in the finals. Like we can't, you know, we have to make sure that they can at least look at us and say, like, you guys are asking tough questions, but they're fair. And it's not just the league as the players. It's the coaches. You know what I mean? It's, it's the franchises. Funny Story. Um, I did this clip prevention show for sports nation with Marcellus because we, you know, he's a big clippers fan, so
David: yeah, he's, he's obnoxious as a Laker fan.
Danny: We wanted to stage a clipper invention for him. So we got Dr drew and I think this is after like Blake Griffin got hurt a couple years ago and it was just bad, right? So we did this whole clip revenge when we were trying to talk myself out of being in La Clippers fan, which on the one hand you'd be like, Hey, we did a 30 minute show on the clippers, but on the other hand equippers we're not happy about it. Yeah. So, so granted, like I, it wasn't meant as a, like disrespect toward that, that team, you know, like, I like the clickers.
David: So do you know personally, as long as you could defend it, like, hey, the reason we did this and kind of have a legit, you know, acting to be, you know, uh, talking about Adam silver, has he lost his touch? Should he have, you know, handled this issue better? As long as it's like a fair, um, you know, discussion and you can always, you know, fall back on it and explain why you went that direction. Absolutely.
Danny: And then that's the key is like can you explain it not just to like your audience or Twitter, but can you explain it face to face, right? Like can you, can you go to these people and have a conversation with them and be like, okay look I know I was unfair or I I know
David: I was criticizing you but you know,
Danny: it was fair in the moment we were talking more about the action, not the person, those types of things. I think it's important too. You just have to be aware of it because you know, ultimately our show does better the more people like the NBA, right? So we Kinda, we want the league to be, um,
David: we want the league to look good, good take that. I wish more social marketers would, would think about before they went into their strategy or posted a piece of content. If I saw this person face to face, cause I explained my lesson. I know you're not probably a big fan of this piece content, but it's funny, it's part of pop culture that it Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. But if you're just totally trolling somebody and, and just, you know, killing them on, on social over and over and over again. I mean literally, you know, kids under 18 know Michael Jordan more for the crying face Emoji and then what he did for the bowls. And it's like, I mean, gosh, I mean it's over. It's enough. Uh, and that went off like two and a half years every single moment, you know? So that's actually, I think a good question that everybody should ask is could I explain this, uh, this decision face to face to the person I'm talking about?
Danny: And that's, and that's the wonderful part of working with Rachel because she really does make us, she makes us think about everything we're asking. And, and you know, sometimes it's not always, we're not always perfect. We've made mistakes. I made, you know, we made mistakes on sports nation cause I was like, you know, we want a troll. People, we want to get the skin, we want to create a stir, right. Um, for the jump. We're not trying to create like a stir. We're trying to, you know, raise awareness for the league, raise, um, make people more excited about the league, make more excited about the games. You know, and, and I, and even when I was back at my, my media career started in high school, I went to a little high school in Tucson, Arizona, public high that had its own TV station. So everyday we would do like a morning show, like at seven minutes and morning show.
Danny: And even back then it's like you can't just like talk crap about the quarterback and they'd be like, Hey, what's up dude? Like that accountability I think is really important. And it's something that not all shows have to worry about because not every show is a partner with the league. Not every show is invited to these huge things, but, but it, I think it's ultimately made our content better. And I think a lot of people would probably think it's the opposite, but in reality, you're going to pay for the low blows in some way. And you know, if you, if you want to take low hanging fruit, you'll run out quickly. Right.
David: I love that. I love that you worked with [inaudible] Hill, uh, on numbers never lie, which eventually went into his and hers. And I don't know why I'm fascinated with this topic and maybe it's just me. Um, but I just, I just found the Nan goes to social media, right? Like somebody's tweet on Twitter can cause this national outrage about an entire network. And I know ESPNs the, the, um, the elephant in the room and, and, and the big, the big guy out there. But, um, just how that whole thing turn, why do you think that, I guess every, um, everybody that's talent at ESPN, like there's this microscope on every tweet they send. And, uh, I mean, you've, I'm sure you've noticed that in a, in your career for 11 years so far.
Danny: I mean, it's, it's kind of where we're at right now, I think. I think, uh, Twitter was all s was always going to be a problematic tool for people who want it to be problematic. I used to have this on social media where it's like only positive stuff, right? Cause if you're only doing positive stuff, the, it's like the boring is follow ever, but right. But you'll never get in trouble, right. Because like snarkiness and, um, you know, straight up just like being upset and ripping off controversial topic that you're all good to go. Absolutely. So unfortunately, uh, I not necessarily like practicing that style as much anymore, but I still, I still think about it in everything I do. I mean, the last thing I want to do is to take away from the show the brand, the network with some stupid thing that I, I think in my head, right?
Danny: And, and Jamelle is somebody who I feel a lot of like sympathy for because we do care about Jemelle. We want to know what Janell thinks we even now, even more so now, we want to know what Janell thinks. And she's so smart and I think the world of her. Um, and I could see how for her, it's so, it must have been so difficult. The B as quiet as she was, I'll say people want to focus on what she did say, but I personally think about the thousands of tweets you could have sent in the process. And granted, like, you know, I'm not one to try to like, you know, rock the boat in that thing. I'm just the producer, you know, my, my best gift is probably behind the camera and just being, you know, removed from our content just because I enjoy, you know, building up the profiles of my talent.
Danny: Like I'm not Tracy, I'm not Scott, I'm not Rachel, I'm not Brian. I'm not. Whoa. So, you know, it'll have to go down a pretty long list of people who care about my client. Kate talks about this too. I mean, there could be a controversial subject where you say, I dunno, um, you know, it's not about Kevin Duran, it's like ESPN producer of the job. Absolutely. So, I mean that, that can, I mean, could people, what I'm saying is, because you have ESP and your title, I just feel like with other networks, whether it's Fox or Turner or whatever, that that headline doesn't really speak to it, but I guess because it's Disney proper, if it's ESPN blank, blank, blank says blank, uh, it can make headlines, which is kind of scary on a daily basis. Yeah. Okay. Okay. And it's also kind of a, it's the problem of being at the worldwide leader, right?
Danny: It's, it's, yes. It's ESPN. I mean, I'm sure bill said a million hotter. Yeah. The ringer podcast, but it, you ultimately kind of get, you hit that ceiling of like, okay, cool. Like, you know, this is the ringer. Like he should be controversial. This is where we can fun. Um, but, but it's definitely something that I think about. I mean, I, I like to think, I, I think twice before I tweet. I mean, I know that that's not really what the platform is made for, shut up to TJ and everybody at Twitter. But, um, it's fun, right? I mean, I look at, I look at other people who I'm very much amazed by the people who no, that, that spotlight condom and that pressure's on them and they still engage in that discourse. It's amazing. And, and I, and I really appreciate the fact that um, a lot of, not just our time, but a lot of talent in general aren't too scared [inaudible] engage are too scared to um, participate. Because I think the worst thing in the world would be if you had all these, all these talent, not just us, but if you have all these talent who aren't engaging in an arm participating, like it would change how we watch these games. It would change how we, you know, how we interact with these people and you know, I'm happy that for the most part we're able to live in both worlds even though, hmm. The toy that other world isn't necessarily.
David: It's interesting that you say that cause it's a fine line. I think everybody has to balance from, you know, like you said from Stephen a down to the producer, down to the business owner, down the employee. You have to understand like,
Danny: yeah, exactly. You have to know. I tell TA's, I'm like, they clap back at people who talk about the show. I'm like, Yo, careful. Yeah, I just don't like it cause I get it. Like you're, you're proud and you know, why don't you talk about lagers all the damn time, but it's like, just don't, like it's not worth it.
David: Um, all right. I'll get you some rapid fire questions to get you out of here. Um, what is the one social or digital tool, um, that you could not live without?
Danny: Twitter? Twitter, just because it's from a news aggregation standpoint. I mean, I just, it's so much faster then anything else as far as being able to get news and disseminate things that are happening and not that, you know, you only go there because we have an amazing, uh, assignment desks who will all take them. The craziest things I find on Twitter and they'll figure out whether we should go with it, but definitely can't live without that.
David: Um, from a jump, the jump perspective, what social platform, we thought about youtube a little bit, but what social platforms seem to be working the best right now too? Engage an audience on the digital digital side.
Danny: Definitely Youtube and Twitter. Cause Rachel, um, we made a, the decision when we launched the jump that we wanted to amplify Rachael's uh, handle as opposed to creating a show jump handle. So there is no sound handle. There's a campus, there's a jumped fan page which is ran by somebody who does not work at ESPN and there's dedicated, I give them so much credit because literally like you would think we had like a social media team,
David: but you know what, that person might mess around, get hired if you guys choose to, you know, do other jumps. So that's the hustle.
Danny: I don't have the power to hire them, but I would, I'd say anybody who's looking for somebody to manage their social or their brand, look at the junk man site. That person, yeah, they, they are there.
David: You don't have the power to hire them. ESPN. But you may have just got them hired. But from someone else's list,
Danny: they, they deserve it. Trust me, when you see it, like they do sh daily show recaps and I'm like, how do you, like, how do you
David: do this? That's funny. Yeah. In our industry fall most, that's a major thing. Everything's moving so fast on digital and MBA. Twitter, it's hard to keep up with all the storylines. Um, you mentioned Twitter. Is there anything else that you would recommend social media and marketers and producers, um, read or, or listen to it or stay up to date on everything that's going on?
Danny: Well, I would say, I would say definitely, um, you know, I, I think podcasts like the podcast that we're doing on ESPN, the true who podcast watch podcast, Zack lows, those are so useful because you know, those, they're having conversations that are like two to three days ahead of the news window.
David: Well you listen to that and sometimes get ideas for segments as by
Danny: absolutely. Because that cause that's where you really get all the nuance from them. And, and you know, one of the things we love to do on the jump is to give a question and then they'll answer it. And I won't know what they're saying, but like, you know, like, wow, I didn't know that. But then you'll listen to the pods and you'd be like, wait a minute, how can you even say that on a show? We just wait. We talked about that like, like yesterday. Where was that? But yeah, but I think the pods that we're doing and in even like, uh, even with the jump podcast, actually I should, I should plug that because a lot of people are actually just listening to the podcast and the jump. Um, just an audio version of the linear, so it's an audio yep. Audio version on ESPN radios on the ESPN pod podcast app. So, you know, people are like being able to like hear the conversation and hopefully the conversations are playing as well. Audio.
David: That's one thing that I don't think enough people are doing is when you look at the jump as the macro content and then now you have the audio version. You can even transcribe it for articles, then you can cut highlights for social. Um, I think a lot of people create, even, even if it's just on digital, you create a show like we're doing right now and there's an ability for just the audio version. You can transcribe it and you can upload the whole version of Youtube, you can cut highlights and one piece of content like you guys do for 45 minutes can turn into literally 57 pieces of micro content. So it's my smart, you guys are doing that for sure. Um, and then finally, if you could recommend anybody in your network that you think would provide value or bill, it'd be a really good guest on the show to drop some knowledge for the listeners. Anybody come to mind in your network? That'd be a good lesson.
Danny: You know, I would say, um, all right. Let me think. Cause I, because there was a lot of people who I definitely come to mind when I think of it, but um, you know, I would say Patrick Dorsey, who actually is in charge of our youtube channel just because it's come up so much. And I think because of the, that platform is kind of so new back to ESPN because there was a time where we weren't even allowed to post. Yeah, absolutely. Right. So there's like, and even for me, I like it, it kind of makes me sad because there's like this whole, like our library of archive of like gold's worth nation, like 101 disrespectful shows and all this stuff that we lost that, you know,
David: I feel like that should be re-uploaded an archivist.
Danny: I've, I've, I've, I've asked, I'm like, can you bring that stuff back? Because like, I know from a sharing standpoint, the way you share that is it just so much easier Dan to share, like from, you know, even like, uh, espn.com things like that, you know, so he's somebody I really, I've talked to a lot because, um, cause of the cause of where we stand in this space right now. Aye. I see a future that could be more geared toward how are you guys doing on Youtube? How are you guys doing over the top on the ESPN app? You know, which by the way, you could catch the jump on east campus every anytime. So, you know, we're not just beholden even our linear,
David: are you guys being like the pay the pay wall or is it free on the,
Danny: it's behind the paywall. It's behind the payroll. Um, yeah. Oh No. Oh No, not the plus wall. It's just the cable. If you have cable you could watch the jump. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, so I think it's important too that, um, people understand that that's available because, you know, I tell this a lot of people, cause I've worked in daytime, he ve for so many years. Is that like most of the times when like if my friends like, hey, I watched the jump today, I'm like, does everything good? Exactly. That's like my first like noon local. So, um, so definitely, um, I would say patch could be a great, very resource.
David: Awesome man. I'll have to hit you up for that. Uh, that recommendation as always. All right. I would roll my r's if I could do it. Danny Corollas, thanks so much. Uh, once again, congratulations on being nominated for the Emmy as well and all your good work at the jump. I really think you guys are not just saying this cause you're honor, but you guys are, are killing it and definitely doing some good work. So thanks so much for the time, man.