On Friday, ESPN fired studio host Adnan Virk, who hosted Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter and filled in for various roles across the network. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand broke the firing about an hour before the Super Bowl’s kickoff.
Virk was reportedly given the boot because he leaked company info to the media, and when the Worldwide Leader investigated the source of those leaked secrets, he didn’t “fully cooperate.” Per Marchand’s follow-up report, which is essentially acting as a conduit for both ESPN and Virk to tell their sides, ESPN’s suspicions were raised by a Jan. 28 Awful Announcing article about the future of Baseball Tonight—Virk’s main role—as well as the state of ESPN’s daily baseball programming. Ben Koo’s post supposedly contained information that very few people would’ve had access to:
ESPN had a conference call about “Sunday Night Baseball” that the network believes Virk tipped off to Awful Announcing. Sources said the “premeditated nature” of the outreach alarmed ESPN.
When the conference call took place, Virk was not on the whole time, and the specific information about the future schedule for baseball was actually not discussed.
Virk followed up right after the call with Phil Orlins, the senior coordinating producer, asking specific questions about the direction of baseball at ESPN in regards to its scheduling. The questions matched what appeared later that day in the Awful Announcing article.
Koo did not comment to Marchand on his sources. An ESPN flack wouldn’t tell me anything beyond, “Adnan Virk no longer works at ESPN,” although they did direct me to Marchand’s article from today. Virk is reportedly in the process of lawyering up, as he had recently signed a four-year deal with the network and now isn’t receiving any severance:
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