Bayless’ Strategy to Copy Rival Stephen A. Smith Falls Flat
According to sources, Skip Bayless’ attempt to imitate rival Stephen A. Smith’s « debate by committee approach » on his show « Undisputed » has been met with disappointment at Fox Sports. The show has been on hiatus for nearly two months as FS1 executives search for a replacement for departed co-host Shannon Sharpe. Bayless has lined up guests such as Rachel Nichols, Lil Wayne, Richard Sherman, and possibly Keyshawn Johnson to join him in debates. However, some believe that this cast cannot compete with ESPN’s « First Take » this fall, which may feature Sharpe and Michael Irvin.
Concerns Over the Proposed Cast
There are concerns that Bayless’ attempt to replicate ESPN’s formula is a mistake. Critics argue that Rachel Nichols, known for her interviewing skills rather than debating, is a miscast. Lil Wayne is seen as Bayless’ friend rather than a serious debate partner, and Keyshawn Johnson, who was recently laid off by ESPN, may not bring the star power needed. Some fear that Bayless is struggling to find major talents to work with him, which could impact the show’s success.
Bayless’ Relationship with Lil Wayne and Potential Debate Partners
Bayless and Lil Wayne have developed a close friendship, with the rapper even recording a new theme song for « Undisputed. » Bayless announced that Lil Wayne will be a regular guest on the show. However, going outside the family for debate partners has caused tension among up-and-coming FS1 talents. Nick Wright, Joy Taylor, and Emmanuel Acho are all experienced and talented enough to excel on « Undisputed, » but Bayless reportedly does not want to work with anyone who may make him look bad. Other potential debate partners include Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, and LeSean McCoy.
The Changing Dynamics Between Bayless and Smith
Despite Bayless’ pioneering role in « Embrace Debate » television, it is clear that Smith has surpassed him in terms of audience and salary. Smith now has the No. 1 morning show and a larger TV audience than Bayless. As the face and voice of ESPN, Smith’s influence has grown, while Bayless’ show has struggled to find its footing. Bayless, however, still has the final say on all hires for « Undisputed » and promises a new and improved show when it returns on August 28th.
Keywords: Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, Undisputed, Fox Sports, debate, Shannon Sharpe, Rachel Nichols, Lil Wayne, Richard Sherman, Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN, First Take, Michael Irvin, Nick Wright, Joy Taylor, Emmanuel Acho, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, LeSean McCoy, audience, salary.
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