NFL Network continues on-air talent purge

At a time when the NFL continues to expand, NFL Network keeps amputating appendages.

Andrew Marchand of reports that Melissa Stark, Andrew Siciliano, James Palmer, and Will Selva are out at NFLN.

“As is normal course of business this time of year, we are evaluating our talent roster for the upcoming 2024 season and beyond,” NFL Network spokesperson Alex Riethmiller told Marchand. “That process results in renewals, non-renewals and additions to our talent lineup depending on programming needs. To those departing talent, we give our sincere thanks and appreciation for their hard work and contributions to NFL Media.”

That’s the NFL’s standard response to layoffs. It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s typical.

There’s nothing normal, natural, or typical about what’s happening at NFL Network. The league clumsily moved its popular morning show from one coast to the other, all in an effort to cut costs. In the interim, the show has gone off the air — for months. Starting less than a month before the draft, for crying out loud.

They keep trying to act like everything is fine. It’s obviously not.

Making the situation more confusing is the fact that the NFL is generating unprecedented revenues. There’s no financial crisis prompting these moves. So why make them?

The irony as to Selva is that he contributed to Good Morning Football from L.A. since its inception. Now that the show is moving to him, the NFL is moving him out.

Some think the NFL is simply trimming the payroll and massaging the balance sheet as it continues to look for someone to take over the operation. Beyond the exclusive package of regular-season games and a Sunday morning pregame show that is informative, comprehensive, and entertaining, there’s not much there. Total Access has diminished from borderline appointment television to a show that disappeared from the lineup for a week last month and hardly anyone noticed. Good Morning Football is gone until August or thereabouts, and who knows what it will be when it returns?

If the NFL can’t offload a 20-year experiment that never really became what the NFL envisioned it to be, especially in an age where people can watch highlights of current games, replays of old games and/or NFL Films content anywhere and at any time, maybe it should just sell the exclusive games the league has retained to a streaming service or network that likely will pay more to the league than whatever the league’s net revenue is from a 24/7 network.

Maybe that’s where it’s heading. Systematically strip the operation down to nothing, and then dangle the package of Sunday morning European games and late-season Saturday games and Christmas Eve game (in the years when they play one) to the highest bidder(s).

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