One of ESPN’s rising stars is no longer with the company and his dismissal is turning into a story about the leaking of confidential info that could result in a lawsuit.
ESPN fired “Baseball Tonight” and radio host Adnan Virk after the company felt that he failed to fully cooperate with an internal investigation into an accusation that he had leaked confidential information about the company to the media, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports. Virk was reportedly escorted from the ESPN Bristol campus on Friday.
New details emerged Monday about the details of the leak, per The Post, which reports that Virk leaked information to sports media site Awful Announcing about ESPN not bringing back “Baseball Tonight” as a daily show. The story also included news about Major League Baseball letting ESPN get away with having fewer baseball studio shows it had agreed to contractually.
ESPN had a conference call about “Sunday Night Baseball” that the network believes Virk tipped off to Awful Announcing. Sources said the “premeditated nature” of the outreach alarmed ESPN.
When the conference call took place, Virk was not on the whole time, and the specific information about the future schedule for baseball was actually not discussed.
Virk followed up right after the call with Phil Orlins, the senior coordinating producer, asking specific questions about the direction of baseball at ESPN in regards to its scheduling. The questions matched what appeared later that day in the Awful Announcing article.
Virk’s camp was reportedly surprised that he was fired, thinking he’d get a suspension. Now, The Post says, Virk is planning a lawsuit against ESPN.
Virk joined ESPN in 2010 and had filled a number of roles for the company. Virk was a host for “Baseball Tonight,” a studio host for its college football coverage, a frequent visitor of ESPN Radio and a host of the movie-focused podcast “Cinephile.”
Yahoo Sports’ Mike Oz contributed to this story.
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