Caesars Sportsbook is preparing to go after NFL insider Adam Schefter when his ESPN contract expires in the summer of 2022, according to multiple reports.
Caesars didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Caesars recently hired former ESPN anchors Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo as content contributors and brand ambassadors. Schefter, who has 8.6 million followers on Twitter, would be the biggest media personality coup yet for a sports betting operator.
A source told Front Office Sports, which first reported the Schefter news, that “the competitive landscape is shifting under our feet as we speak. The legacy networks want to cut or maintain talent salaries. The gambling companies are flush (with money) — and increasingly willing to spend for sports media talent.”
Another source told the website that “cash-rich gambling companies could eventually try to pick off ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski as part of their drive to become full-fledged sports media companies.”
Pro Football Talk reported that “the chatter has been that Schefter and Wojnarowski are considering joining a gambling company as part of a package deal.”
Schefter, Wojnarowski and other prominent sports media talent also could field offers from DraftKings, which acquired VSiN in March, and other major sportsbooks.
Schefter, 54, worked for several newspapers, including The Denver Post, before working at NFL Network.
An NFL insider for ESPN since 2009, Schefter was criticized Wednesday after court documents first reported by the Los Angeles Times revealed that in 2011 he sent a full story to Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen to review before publication.
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust.”
Schefter apologized in a statement that was posted on the ESPN PR Twitter page, which has 121,200 followers, but not on his own Twitter account.
“Fair questions are being asked about my reporting approach on an NFL lockout story from 10 years ago,” Schefter wrote. “Just to clarify, it’s common practice to verify facts of a story with sources before you publish in order to be as accurate as possible. In this case, I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance because of the complex nature of the collective bargaining talks. It was a step too far and, looking back, I shouldn’t have done it. The criticism being levied is fair. With that said, I want to make this perfectly clear: In no way did I, or would I, cede editorial control or hand over final say about a story to anyone, ever.”
Allen’s email account also was the source of racist, misogynistic and anti-gay emails sent from Jon Gruden that led to Gruden’s abrupt resignation Monday as Raiders coach.