NYT: Matthew Hiltzik, a public relations adviser to Te’o, adamantly set a critical condition with Schaap. ESPN could only interview Te’o off the air last Friday night, in an intimate setting without cameras or a group of technicians. ESPN was also limited to using two minutes of audio.
“We accepted that,” Doria, the news chief, said. “The main aspect for us was no limitations” on questions.
After a 2 1⁄2-hour interview at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Schaap started delivering reports early Saturday morning. Instead of video, Schaap quoted and paraphrased Te’o’s comments.
Despite being proud of the work done by Schaap to advance the story, ESPN now finds itself in an awkward position.
First, it hesitated in the hope of a Te’o interview, and Deadspin got the story.
Second, by agreeing to talk to him without its cameras present, it lost the battle to put him on-camera to Katie Couric, whose syndicated program will televise a taped interview with Te’o and his family on Thursday to a general, nonsports audience. (Hiltzik also represents Couric.)
Meanwhile ABC is leaking nuggets from Couric‘s Te’o exclusive which runs on her daytime show Thursday. NYDN.
Update 1: ABC’s milking Manti for all he’s worth, luring eyes with bites on Good Morning America. NYP.
Update 2: Apparently the perpetrator of this elaborate hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who disguised his voice to sound like “Lennay” in phone conversations to Manti, is seeing a “mental health professional.” NYDN.