Molly Qerim officially became a member of ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” this week, and she also serves as host of the controversial “First Take” which features Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. She spoke with the New York Post about her dual roles and the challenges women in sports media face.
JB NOTE: Make sure you read her comments about the radio program becoming a bigger TV play and how she describes the opinions offered by Skip and Stephen A. They are very interesting.
Q: How is “Mike and Mike” trying to change?
A: I don’t want to speak out of turn, but from what I gather, instead of a radio show on TV it’s going to be a TV show on the radio. Part of that was getting the new set, which was really conducive to the TV platform. We have these radio heavyweights and we are just adding a visual aspect to that with more voices. For me, adding a third voice — a female voice — kind of representing the millennial generation, it’s nice to have that diversity there and attack things from all different directions.
Q: How do you deal with that criticism?
A: “First Take” has a lot of eyes on it and it’s a very polarizing show. Skip (Bayless) and Stephen A. (Smith) have a lot of strong takes, and I love that. But with that comes media scrutiny. What I’ve found — and this is Skip’s advice, and probably some of the best I’ve ever gotten — is “Don’t read it!” and I did stop. I do feel badly in the sense that you have viewers who want to engage with you and I might miss them, but unfortunately you have to, and ignoring the noise is what works best for me.
Q: How is it dealing with Bayless and Smith?
A: This is not some PC answer: I don’t like working with those guys, I love it. It gets heated on TV, but there’s also a mutual respect and once the commercial break hits, it’s like, “All right let’s move past it.” I think sometimes people look at our show and they say their opinions are just for the ratings. No, I can tell you it’s 100 percent authentic.
To read the full article visit the New York Post where it was originally published