Tuesday’s Sports Media Notebook — 02/17/2015

It’s been way too long since you’ve had a sports media notebook. My apologies for not providing you what I promised before the New Year. I’ll try to do better.

I’ll do a full notebook for you here.

Let’s start it with some news.


Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times was first to note that ESPN’s Dick Vitale won’t be calling this week’s North Carolina-Duke game. That breaks a streak that dates back to when ESPN was only one network and struggling to get picked up by cable systems across the country. Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas will call the game. In recent years, Shulman and Vitale were joined by Bilas, but with ESPN reorganizing its college basketball announcing teams this season putting Bilas on the “A” team with Shulman, it suddenly has Dickie V. on the outside looking in on the network’s glamor games.

ESPN announced just before the season that both Bilas and Vitale signed contract extensions and we noted when the announcing teams were unveiled that Bilas would be getting more marquee games.

It’s interesting how ESPN is transitioning to the next generation with long-time mainstays Brent Musburger, Mike Patrick and Vitale either being given new assignments (SEC Network for Musburger) or having their roles reduced altogether (Patrick).

For his part, Vitale isn’t complaining at least not publicly:

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing got a statement from ESPN regarding Vitale’s not calling North Carolina-Duke.

It will be strange not to hear Vitale on one of college basketball’s biggest games of the year.


Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with ESPN Head Honcho John Skipper about whether the Alleged Worldwide Leader wants to keep Captain Blowhard.

Interesting research by the Cespedes Family BBQ Twitter account at Baseball Essential on how dependent or non-dependent ESPN is on having the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball over the last decade.

Mike Barnes at the Hollywood Reporter notes the passing of Rhonda Glenn, the first female SportsCenter anchor, at the age of 68.

Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post writes about Glenn’s contributions to golf.

Henry McKenna of SportsGrid talks with sports documentarian Joe Lavine who has directed movies for both HBO Sports and ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

Back to Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing, we learn that Katie Nolan will be getting her own show on Fox Sports 1.

ESPN tome co-author James Andrew Miller admits to Dan Patrick that he’s writing the screenplay based on his book.

Scott Allen at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog tells us that former DC NFL Team running back John Riggins is taping shows about beer. This is something I really want to see. I hope they use Psychostick’s “Beer is Good and Stuff” song as the theme.

Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post delves into Awful Announcing’s NFL announcing team grades.

Peter Quinn at World Soccer Talk writes about the very lucrative one-year TV contract that Barcelona signed.

BroBible posts Fox Sports 1’s/Extra’s Charissa Thompson Instagram bikini pics.


One note to you here in place of News You Can Use. I wrote the following on my personal Facebook page and linked to it from my Twitter account:

Taking an extended social media break. Could last a few weeks, a few months or even longer. A bit disillusioned with Facebook and Twitter so it’s best for me to stay off for now.

Don’t worry, it’s nothing against any of you, just feel that I need to reassess things plus I’ve run out of things to say.

I’ll be back eventually.

For those who follow me on Twitter, you already know that I’ve tweeted a lot through January, but recently, I’ve been reducing my presence. Maybe it’s out of boredom or perhaps the Twitter glow is gone. Whatever it is, I won’t be tweeting except for my blog posts which are automatically sent to my account through Twitterfeed.

As I wrote above, I’ve pretty much run out of things to say and I feel what I have to say on social media is no longer interesting so it’s just best to not post anything for now. I don’t know how long I’ll be off, but I’ll know when it’s best to return. You may wonder what’s the point and I’m not even sure I have one.

Suffice to say that it will probably come as a relief to those who have followed me that I won’t be flooding their timelines for the time being. When I met a writer in person, she told me she stopped following me because my tweets were dominating her timeline and I don’t disagree with this. Anyway, it’s something I need to do and this will be the last time I mention it so you can comment “Who cares” or “Stick to sports” or whatever you feel like trolling with below.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.