Sully's Blog

Donald Sterling is finished as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.  It’s simple: Players won’t play for him.  More than a dozen sponsors have already bolted in fast break fashion.  And fan boycotts will begin as soon as the playoffs end, if not sooner.

There is no crisis communications plan, no apology, no talking points that can repair the damage created by the reprehensible, racist comments attributed to him on the audio recording that went public last Saturday.

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will do the right thing and come down as hard as league bylaws allow.  Expect there to be an indefinite suspension and removal from any involvement with the team along with the maximum $1 million fine.

The debate has shifted to a legal one and the experts seem to think NBA... +Continue Reading


By Tim Clodjeaux

Yep, this is not your father’s baseball game.

When I was a kid growing up in Lafayette, Ind. with parents who – thank the good Lord – loved baseball, watching a ballgame was truly a wonderful family experience.

(At right, Bob Elson was a White Sox broadcaster from 1929-70)

My Dad taught me a lot of great things, and one of them was the art of multi-tasking while watching a baseball game.  You see, in a typical summer night in the Clodjeaux house, our TV would be tuned in to the Cubs’ road game (obviously a road game since any home game in that time could not be played under the lights) with the radio dialed into the Sox game and the soothing tones of the “Commander” Bob Elson and the entertaining Red Rush.  Mom only cared about the... +Continue Reading


USA Today tech writer Jefferson Graham writes that podcasts, "once an esoteric outpost devoted to heavily tech-oriented chats, is booming."  This is despite conventional wisdom that video is the online flavor of the month.  Maybe it's because podcasts take me back to a time when I enjoyed talk, news and sports on the radio (how great was Larry King in his pre-CNN late night radio heyday?), but I am a big fan of the medium. 

Here is a sampling of the podcasts in our regular rotation.  Please send your recommendations, particularly on the topics of media and communications, to


ESPN's Pardon... +Continue Reading


Kudos to Major League Baseball for suspending Brewers star Ryan Braun for the rest of the season for violating the league’s collectively bargained drug policy.  If only Braun, who has defiantly asserted his innocence for the past 17 months, had done as well in his public apology.

Here is Braun’s statement, which was included in MLB’s suspension announcement:

"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the      consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization.

“I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in... +Continue Reading


By Tim Clodjeaux

Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rookie sensation who was called up to the big leagues on June 3, has been the focal point of baseball conversations for the last month.  The only thing is, Puig himself is not doing the conversing.

Baseball’s “it” player of the day did his first postgame interview on Sunday, July 7, after his 32nd game in the bigs.  And he only did that at the urging of his boss, Dodgers’ GM (and one-time Cubs’ PR man) Ned Colletti.

Clearly, Puig’s actions on the field have been doing most of his talking to this point - but in today's media world, is that enough?

The Cuban immigrant made a big splash upon his entry to Major League Baseball, collecting 44 hits in June for the second-most prolific debut in history after... +Continue Reading


To begin the process of repairing her reputation, here are three things embattled cooking icon Paula Deen must do – and one thing she should not do – Wednesday morning in her "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer:

  • Express regret and take responsibility for her reprehensible comments without offering rationalizations based on what year or in what region of the country the hurtful statements and jokes were made.
  • Sincerely apologize to everyone she has let down – including Matt Lauer for stiffing him last week – and thank those who have stood by her. 
  • Describe her plan to earn back the trust of those she has hurt – the actions she can take to show those statements were out of character and not representative of her beliefs.

And there is one... +Continue Reading


By Kevin Sullivan

When Pope Francis unexpectedly skipped a Beethoven concert at the Vatican Saturday due to “other commitments,” some media reports suggested the pontiff was once again sending a message against the Holy See’s tradition of “pomp and ceremony.” 

The imagery of the empty papal chair in a wire service photo was powerful.  According to the London Telegraph, the “Pope's decision to avoid the concert was given added significance by the fact that he chose instead to meet nuncios – who represent the Church around the world but have complained about little access in the Vatican's corridors of power.”

Upon his March 17 election, Pope Francis demonstrated abundant gratitude and humility – two sure-fire ways to connect with your audience.  His first... +Continue Reading


In 1988 Mark Langdale got new next-door neighbors in Dallas: Laura and George W. Bush.   In short order the Langdales and Bushes became fast friends and like most neighbors, George W. asked Langdale for an occasional favor.  But he wasn’t asking Langdale to loan him power tools or to pick up the mail when the Bushes were out of town.

The first major favor came when Bush asked Langdale, then President of Posadas USA, to help him run for governor of Texas. As governor, Bush asked Langdale to chair the Texas Department of Economic Development. Langdale later helped set up Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.  In 2005 Bush asked Langdale to serve as ambassador to Costa Rica, where he focused on ratifying the Central America Free Trade Agreement. To complete the circle, in 2008 Bush... +Continue Reading


We turn the blog over to our colleague Tim Clodjeaux for a tribute to broadcasting great Pat Summerall, who died April 16 at 82.  Summerall showed a broadcaster could connect with his audience in a memorable, reassuring way without calling attention to himself.  In fact, Summerall had no catch-phrases, no gimmicky calls — just a generous spirit that allowed John Madden to become the most popular football analyst ever and set up countless other on-air partners for success.

By Tim Clodjeaux

The sports world this week remembers the life and talent of broadcasting legend Pat Summerall.  He not only called 16 Super Bowls but also anchored coverage of the Masters and tennis’ U.S. Open for many years on CBS.  People often forget that he also called the play-by-play for... +Continue Reading


Must viewing: The moving eulogy Bob Costas delivered at Stan Musial’s funeral Mass. A eulogy is a delicate assignment and Costas not only captured the right theme (“simple decency and generosity of spirit coupled with 20 years of sustained excellence”) but also worked in all the right touches and key elements:  It was personal, generous, inclusive, gracious and inspirational.  It was packed with honest emotion, compelling stories, memorable lines (“Deal me in”) and had light humor in the right places. Anyone who is asked to speak in tragic or sad times should use this as a template — a powerful speech by one of the most talented journalists of his generation. The video and transcript are available here: +Continue Reading