Friday is usually a big day for media columns across the country. With so much news and so little time, let’s get into it.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand has news on TVG Network, a channel dedicated to horse racing. TVG is starting a new interactive channel so viewers can wager on the races from home. Hiestand has other tidbits including Robin Roberts being the first face on ESPNU’s launch tonight and it appears that Tom Arnold will no longer be host of FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period”. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. But I’m sad over the fact that I won’t be able to see Thea Andrews on ESPN 2’s “Cold Pizza” anymore. But Michael reports that she’ll have another role on the network. The link to today’s column is here.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has a good feature about NBC which has undergone a major facelift since dumping the NFL in 1998. Under orders from parent company General Electric, NBC Sports now airs Arena Football, NASCAR, golf, Notre Dame football, lacrosse, tennis and eventually, the NHL, in an attempt to air sports that will be profitable. NBC’s major undertaking is, of course, the Olympics every two years, but other than that, the network airs low-rated but profitable events. Good story.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein (registration required or go to bugmenot talks about the bidding for the Chicago White Sox between stations WMVP and WSCR, two bitter sports radio rivals. Both are owned by radio behemoths, WMVP by ESPN/Disney and WSCR by Infinity/Viacom. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
Greenstein also writes about the launch of ESPNU and the renewal of “Cheap Seats” on ESPN Classic.
Larry Stewart of the Los Angeles Times writes mostly about the LA Marathon which airs this weekend, but he also has some items including a joint venture between the NBA and the History Channel.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks about new contracts for Mark Vandermeer and Rich Lord, talk show hosts on sports radio station KILT.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post was busy. He has several stories including one on Billy Packer who will call Sunday’s Duke-North Carolina game with Jim Nantz on CBS.
Marchand also writes about Bob Lorenz who becomes the pre and postgame host for the YES Network on New York Yankees games. He replaces Fred Hickman who left for ESPN late last year.
Marchand has five questions for ESPN college basketball analyst Rick Majerus.
Finally from the New York Post, curmudgeon Phil Mushnick spreads the hate to the PGA Tour and to WFAN’s Chris Russo (Mike and the Mad Dog).
Over to the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman was busy as well. He writes about a feud between Mike and the Mad Dog and former Mets pitcher Al Leiter. Apparently Leiter ripped into the WFAN pair while on Michael Kay’s show on ESPN’s WEVD this week.
The intolerable Sid Rosenberg, co-host of WFAN’s midday show is taking leave from the station. There are rumors about substance abuse and other problems. It’s not known how long Rosenberg’s leave will be.
I’ll update as time and other news become available. Enjoy the reading for now.