As the saying goes, too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin the meal – or something to that effect. Apparently in the quest to reduce costs by reducing the number of personnel who cover Monday Night Football games, according to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com, a media source is saying that Michelle Tafoya and Suzy Kolber are being
fired relieved of their duties as sideline reporters on MNF.
Tafoya served in that capacity with ABC when they last televised MNF; Kolber did the same with ESPN when they had the Sunday night package. When the Monday night game was moved to ESPN, both Tafoya and Kolber were assigned to the show. But there’s more to this than the mere consolidation of personnel; their performance was the brunt of criticism, and their reports were heavy on pre-palanned content – as opposed to in-game information.
What isn’t clear is whether this is a first step in an effort to reduce costs by reducing personnel; as it is, ESPN already have several analysts at network headquarters, a trio of broadcasters at the game venue and several reporters who walk the stadium some 3-4 hours before the game. Addition by subtraction? Kind of unclear right now, but this should become transparent well before September 2008, when the regular season starts.
When I watch MNF, I pay very little attention to the reporters (Tafoya and Kolber) – not because of them per se, but because what they contribute more often than not isn’t relevant to the game being broadcast. It will be interesting as to whether Tafoya and Kolber get re-assigned or just simply let go permanently.