Canzano: Cutting through the noise about the Pac-12
How much of what's reported should we trust?
LAS VEGAS — I don’t know how much Endeavor is charging the Big 12 Conference, but industry insiders expect the consulting bill will be a doozy.
Last September, Brett Yormark’s conference hired WME Sports and IMG Media — two Endeavor-owned companies — to help with media strategy, advice and negotiations.
Karen Brodkin, the co-head of those two entities, said in a news release at the time: “We are proud to bring the full power of the Endeavor network to bear for the Big 12.”
That “full power” has become a topic of discussion in the Pac-12 footprint as the conference continues to seek a media-rights deal and consider expansion.
The 10 remaining Pac-12 presidents and chancellors insist they’re committed to sticking together. I’m told they’re making good progress behind the scenes. But they’re doing so amid a repetitive cascade of negative media reports, including a few that continue to crow about the imminent demise of the Pac-12.
It has me thinking a lot lately about how the media narrative is shaped. Who plants the stories? Whose agendas are being served by what we read? And how much of what is reported should we trust?
Commissioner George Kliavkoff has waved off the negative reports as orchestrated nonsense. On more than one occasion, the commissioner publicly talked about leaks and disparaging reports as “an attempt to destabilize the conference.”
I reached out to Endeavor this week and requested an interview with Brodkin. I did not receive a reply. Her name keeps coming up in my conversations with Pac-12 sources. I’d like to talk with her, learn more about her philosophy, and ask what she sees in the ecosystem of college athletics.
Brodkin has a solid reputation. Those who have worked closely with her say she’s smart and shrewd. Apparently, the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors thought so, too. Brodkin emerged as a Pac-12 commissioner candidate after the conference decided not to renew Larry Scott’s contract in early 2021.