And it's official: Sports biz guy Darren Rovell is leaving CNBC after six years, having reached an "agreement in principle" with his old home, ESPN. Rovell tweeted this morning:
Rovell also has a deal in the works with ABC News. And apparently this isn't an Erin Andrews-and-GMA-style quasi-deal :
"Definitely" covering the what now? We know Rovell is very, very into tweeting about food, but how did he parlay that into a beat for ABC News? It's sort of amazing that Rovell got this deal, especially from a news outlet. (Does anyone want to re-read his interrogation of a teenager who claimed to run an escort service?) From what we hear, his contract at CNBC was set to expire, and ESPN/ABC came running to overpay him. Jim Miller, co-author of the recent ESPN oral history, says it's for north of $500,000 a year.
Rovell has covered the business sports beat for years—how well he's done it depends on your perspective. If you're a large corporation that does lots of business in the sports world and appreciates friendly and occasionally adoring media coverage, you love him. If you're the sort of person who reduces all human activity to the shifting of commodity values, you probably love him, too. If you're anyone else—and especially if you're a Playboy Bunny—there's a good chance you find him utterly insufferable. There are the Twitter feuds, the Rovell rules, the incessant boobery about player salaries. (From the ESPN Social Media Guidelines: "At all times, exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for colleagues, business associates and fans."). We'll see how Vince Doria, ESPN's vice president in charge of cane-shaking and social-media grouching, deals with the re-hired Rovell.