Bristol justice is swift. Programming VP David Berson, known around these parts as the man who was engaged in a long-time affair with Kate Lacey, is apparently leaving ESPN. This may or may not be related to his horndoggedness.
The first tip came in this morning from an anonymous emailer:
Heard from a former colleague at ESPN this morning that David Berson is being relieved of all of his responsibilities. I asked the person who told me this if they thought it had to do with the Deadspin coverage of his affair, and they said yes.
You may want to check in with Bristol for an official response. Or maybe try to get in touch with Berson directly for a comment.
ESPN has not emailed back for comment yet. Berson's ex-wife, Jane, also has no comment after trying to be reached by phone.
ESPN's comment: "At the expiration of their contracts, neither will be renewed."
The back channel rumblings on this move: According to sources/snitches, Berson is being moved out of his current lofty perch (he was, at one point, ranked the 73rd "most influential" person in sports according to Business Week) but if this does have anything to do with the public confirmation of his affair with Lacey, what does that say about some of the other powerhouses at ESPN engaged in similar indiscretions. You know, like Jed Drake. Or MNF Producer Jay Rothman, who's out-in-the-open affair with a popular on-air personality has been part of Bristol lore for quite some time now.
18 years working for ESPN (though only 3 at CT HQ), and just wanted to share a couple of things
1) Jed Drake (head of remote production) has a favorite phrase, "Use your best judgment at all times."
2) In one of the most notorious liaisons Jay Rothman, MNF producer (formerly SNF) temporarily left his wife and 4 kids for a very public fling with sideline reporter Suzy Kolber a few years back. I'm sure many others can substantiate this. I'm obviously not going on record.
Plenty of good people at ESPN, these are two of the worst.
ESPN sources confirmed the affair between Rothman/Kolber but say it is no longer ongoing nor did it compromise the MNF broadcast in anyway. Meaning, no she didn't get more airtime when she was doing Mr. Rothman. Then why do it, Suzy?
Do those guys get canned, too? Guess not.
The ESPN Women ERG have their work cut out for them.