Posts tagged with "The Ringer"

Who are the hosts of ‘Jeopardy!’ through the end of the year? Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings

September 20, 2021

The game show “Jeopardy!” announced on Thursday, September 16, that sitcom star Mayim Bialik would split hosting duties with Ken Jennings through the end of the year, The New York Times reports.

It was the latest twist in the game show’s drawn-out struggle to find a replacement for Alex Trebek, the popular longtime host whose death last November started a fraught succession battle.

“Jeopardy!” began by cycling through a series of guest hosts, to gauge their performance and audience response. Then it announced that the job would go to Mike Richards, who had been its executive producer. However, after a reporter unearthed a series of offensive and sexist comments that Richards had made on a podcast, he stepped down as host, and shortly thereafter that left the program entirely.

Bialik, who had initially been tapped alongside Richards to host a series of prime-time “Jeopardy!” specials, was enlisted to begin hosting weeknight programs as well. On Thursday, the program announced that she would share hosting duties with Jennings through the end of 2021.

“Everyone on the staff is supralunar,” the @Jeopardy account tweeted on Thursday.

Bialik will host episodes starting Monday, September 20, which will air through Nov. 5. After that, she and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produces the show.

Jennings, who holds the record for the show’s longest winning streak as a contestant, had been considered a strong contender to take over as the show’s permanent host during the guest host tryouts, but past insensitive tweets of his came to light, which he then apologized for.

According to the Times, “Jeopardy!” had tried to settle its future over the summer when it named Richards, 46, as host, despite lack of name recognition among viewers and the fact that, as the show’s executive producer, he had overseen elements of the succession planning.

But after a report in The Ringer revealed degrading comments he had made on a podcast several years ago—including a 2013 episode during which Richards called his female co-host a “booth slut” because she once worked as a model at a consumer show in Las Vegas, and referred to stereotypes about Jews—he stepped down as host. Old lawsuits also resurfaced from Richards’s previous job running “The Price Is Right” that included accusations of sexist behavior.

Sony initially said he would remain as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” but soon afterward announced he would leave the show entirely.Before his resignation, Richards taped a week’s worth of “Jeopardy!” episodes in a single day of filming, which are currently airing. Bialik’s episodes will follow.

A spokesperson for Sony said the network had no update on its timetable for naming a new host, or whether it would be by the end of the year.

Research contact: @nytimes

The Athletic halts merger talks with Axios, eyes New York Times

May 12, 2021

Sports-media outlet The Athletic is no longer in merger talks with news publisher Axios, people familiar with the situation said, but the company is continuing to pursue a deal that could expand its subscription-oriented business, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Athletic views The New York Times as a leading contender for a merger tie-up, the sources said. Such a deal would bring the Athletic’s more than one million paying subscribers to the Times, which has seen digital-news subscriptions slow since former President Donald Trump left office.

The Athletic charges $7.99 a month for sports content, including coverage of teams in all the major sports. The outlet has recruited beat reporters and columnists in local market—often by offering big pay increases to attract them from traditional news organizations.

The company competes against a host of sites that mostly offer free sports content, including The Ringer, Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and ESPN.com. The Athletic was valued at $475 million in its last funding round, announced in January 2020, according to PitchBook.

The Athletic doesn’t disclose detailed financial results, including whether it is profitable. The company generated about $80 million in revenue in 2020, according to a person familiar with the matter, the Journal reports. It raised $55 million in January 2020 and has significant expenses, according to people familiar with the matter, including more than 600 employees—many of them top-tier reporters recruited from other news organizations.

Research contact: @WSJ

Aaron Rodgers boosted ‘Jeopardy!’ TV ratings by 14%—the show’s best performance in a month

April 23, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has scored another win—this time, away from the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, according to a report.

Rodgers was a guest host on “Jeopardy!” this month as the show goes through a rotation of hosts following the death of Alex Trebek, who died in November following a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

During Rodgers’ first week as guest host, ratings for the game show spiked 14% from the previous week, according to TV broadcasting site TVNewsCheck.

In fact, Fox News reports, Rodgers helmed the game show to a first-place finish on the syndication chart for the period ending April 11, with a 5.6 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating. That placed the show ahead of “Family Feud” (5.2 share), and “Wheel of Fortune” (5.1 share). It was the best performance by “Jeopardy!” in a month, according to TVNewsCheck,

The three-time NFL MVP started his stint as the quiz show’s guest host on April 5. The bump in ratings came after Rodgers took over for Dr. Mehmet Oz, who hosted the show over the previous two weeks.

“Other than the Super Bowl, this is the honor of a lifetime,” Rodgers, 37, said in a Twitter promo for the show.

“Following the footsteps of a legend is something that I know a little bit about,” he continued, comparing following Trebek to replacing NFL legend Brett Favre as the Packers’ quarterback more than a decade ago. 

Ratings will likely be a factor in determining who gets the permanent hosting gig. Rodgers previously said he would absolutely take the job if it was offered to him. “I would love to be the host of ‘Jeopardy!,’ yes,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

The Super Bowl XLV MVP explained how he would potentially do it, saying he wouldn’t “need to give up [playing] football.”

“They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay,” Rodgers said during an interview with The Ringer. “That gives me … 178 days to do ‘Jeopardy!’ So I feel like I could fit 46 into that 178 and make it work. It would be a dream job for sure, and I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job. That’s how I went into it. I want an opportunity to be in the mix.”

Former contestant Ken Jennings—whose 74-game winning streak and $2.52 million in earnings are show record—was the first to take over for Trebek, who had served as the host for “Jeopardy!” since 1984, presiding over more than 8,000 episodes.

On Wednesday, April 21, the producers of the show announced that George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck will take turns guest hosting as the search for Trebek’s permanent replacement continues.

Research contact: @FoxNews