TWO LEAKS LATER: ESPN’S VIRK TERMINATION NO DETERRENT

Moments before kickoff of Super Bowl 53, on February 3, 2019, sports media reporter Andrew Marchand of the NEW YORK POST, citing anonymous, non-contextualized “sources”,  notified his readers that ESPN on-air talent Adnan Virk had been terminated from the network for doing the same thing as the unnamed individual(s) responsible for the very report they were reading.

That is, theretofore model ESPN employee Virk had been dismissed from his job for allegedly leaking information to the media. (Which Marchand would later identify as awfulannouncing.com.)

In his initial break of the story Marchand, who joined the Post last year after 11 years as an ESPN reporter, reported:

Virk is accused of leaking confidential company information to the media on multiple occasions, according to sources.

On the subject of “leaking confidential company information to the media on multiple occasions”, four days after Marchand broke the news of Virk’s termination he cited anonymous sources in reporting the following about ESPN NFL analyst Charles Woodson:

In what could be the start of the reimagination of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” format, Charles Woodson is out, sources tell The Post.

Two weeks later Marchand Tweeted the following about ex-MLB player Ryan Howard.

Former Phillie Great, Ryan Howard, is joining ESPN, The Post has learned.

Today, three weeks after Marchand’s anonymously-sourced report first broke the news of Virk’s termination just over an hour before Super Bowl 53, longtime sports media reporter and columnist Richard Deitsch promoted his popular Sports Media Podcast with the following Tweet:

Excerpt:

NEW SPORTS MEDIA PODCAST: ⁦@Ourand_SBJ⁩ on NBA viewership declines locally and nationally; the media future of the AAF; who is favored to retain NFL media rights and whether part of the Adnan Virk firing was to send a message on leaking.

If, as Deitsch pondered today, “part of the Adnan Virk firing was to send a message on leaking,” it appears that message is that Virk was fired because he leaked to the wrong reporter.