Let’s do some Friday megalinks. Haven’t done any in a couple of weeks.
The Weekend Viewing Picks have all of your sports and entertainment TV needs.
Time for the linkage.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes the rising rights fees for the college football postseason.
Michael writes about Today show Executive Producer Jim Bell coming home to NBC Sports to oversee all Olympic broadcasts.
Chris Chase from USA Today has 60 Minutes responding to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ complaints about a recent profile.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Outdoor and Sportsman Channels plan to merge.
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth says the Rick Reilly experiment at ESPN has not worked.
Bryan Curtis of Grantland notes that last night’s Celtics-Nets game was the first game that Brooklyn native Marv Albert got to call in the borough.
Alex Weprin of TV Newser reports that Keith Olbermann will be back on sports television next week by doing a guest stint on a league-owned network.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing feels ESPN has lost its viewers trust.
The Big Lead speculates whether Sports Illustrated’s Peter King will remain with the magazine or leave when his contract expires.
Sports Media Watch says despite a fight, ESPN’s ratings for the next-to-last Sprint Cup race of the season finished down from last year.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz who’s back on the Patriots beat this week.
Chad has five questions with Nantz.
Boston Sports Media Watch Fearless Leader Bruce Allen speculates in SB Nation on who might become the Flash Boy or Girl for WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has NESN’s Jack Edwards becoming increasingly skeptical about playing hockey this season.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir notes that a new Broadway play will delve into the history of the Yankees.
Amy Chozick and Michael Cieply of the Times write about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. buying a stake into the YES Network.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about Mike Emrick calling college hockey tonight.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick conducts a character assassination on ESPN’s Dick Vitale.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for New York Knicks radio voice Spero Dedes.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with Dottie Pepper who’s leaving NBC Sports for a position with the PGA of America.
Ken McMillen of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Darrelle Revis’ comments to NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer about his season-ending injury for the New York Jets.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the ratings increases for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals reflect their successes on the field.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has some thoughts on the NFL Network’s documentary on John Riggins.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN’s NASCAR voice Allen Bestwick about the last race of the season.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that most CBS stations across the country and even in Texas have chosen to air the Dallas Cowboys over the Texans.
David has a few viewing picks for the weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn’t agree with Aaron Rodgers’ complaints about 60 Minutes.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch notes that the NCAA has removed one-third of the media’s courtside seats at the Final Four™.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about a local sports radio host who lost his job after making remarks about African Americans.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star has his Weekend Viewing Picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at a new documentary on the UCLA-USC rivalry.
Tom wonders why it took so long for DirecTV and Time Warner Cable SportsNet to make an agreement.
Tom has stuff that didn’t make it into today’s sports column.
And that’s going to do it.
Let’s do some links now.
Austin Karp at Sports Business Daily says the MLB TV partners saw record low ratings this season.
Sports lllustrated’s Richard Deitsch reviews ESPN2′s first foray into pro hockey since losing the NHL in 2005.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Bob Costas is back calling postseason baseball for the first time since 2000.
Chris Strauss at USA Today says Monday Night Football on ESPN easily beat the MLB League Division Series on TBS.
Gary Mihoces of USA Today writes that former NFL’er, Monday Night Football analyst and actor Alex Karras has died.
Len Pasquarelli writing for SI.com has this remembrance of Karras.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski recaps ESPN2′s telecast of Tuesday’s KHL game.
The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit about a resurgent Notre Dame program.
Ed says it appears that White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone won’t be splitting up with Ken Harrelson.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Andrea Kremer is joining NFL Network.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine looks at Philadelphia where there are a lot of radio and TV deals and where sports radio remains hot.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of an awkward CNBC interview of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in regards to …. Tim Tebow.
Michael Bradley from the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says the media has to appeal to fans to show compassion in the wake of Kansas City fans cheering the injury to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.
Ryan Hannable at Boston Sports Media Watch talks with NESN’s Jenny Dell about her first season as the regional sports network’s Red Sox on-field reporter.
Anthony Sulla-Heffinger, George King III and Mark Hale at the New York Post note that the Jets beat the Yankees head-to-head in the local ratings on Monday night.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times discusses WFAN’s move to the FM dial.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record also talks about WFAN going to FM.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says a local sports radio station will air selected AHL games.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says Nationals fans are angry about the early start time for today’s NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals and the fact that it’s on MLB Network.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle gets Milo Hamilton’s reaction to the Astros letting go of its radio team.
David has some local and national ratings.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman has the ratings of various events over the weekend.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Hall of Fame Reds voice Marty Brennaman will be throwing out the first pitch before today’s NLDS game against San Francisco.
Charles E. Ramirez, Ted Kulfan and Lynn Henning at the Detroit News remember long-time Red Wings public address announcer Budd Lynch who passed away this week.
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune has new Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco talking about the league’s TV rights and possibly creating its own in-house network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notices the omissions for the Ford C. Frick Award for the Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Wing.
Tom talks with Jennifer Allen, the daughter of the late Los Angeles Rams coach George Allen, who narrates tonight’s NFL Network “Fearsome Foursome: A Football Life” documenary.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says losing Hockey Night in Canada would create huge holes for CBC in more ways than one.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star says CBC is looking to fill NHL lockout holes with classic games as voted by viewers.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CBC is hurt the most as the NHL lockout goes further into the regular season.
The Classic Sports TV and Media site gives us a fascinating look at how ABC filled college football and MLB Postseason conflicts with its #1 announcer for both packages, Keith Jackson.
Joe Favorito has some suggestions on how MLB teams could make money during rain delays.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing looks at the Boston Globe’s crusty curmudgeon Dan Shaughnessy blaming the internet for just about everything wrong in the world.
Sports Media Watch notes that taped delayed English Premier League action on Fox beat a live MLS game on NBC.
And that’s going to do it.
After leaving NBC’s Sunday Night Football just before the 2011 season, Andrea Kremer has spent her time reporting for HBO’s Real Sports and working the 2012 Olympics for the Peacock.
Now, she’ll be back on the NFL, working for NFL Network to report on player health and safety. It’s a bit of a full circle for Andrea as she worked in the 1980′s at NFL Films as a producer/reporter.
For NFL Network, Andrea will be the chief correspondent for a newly-formed unit that will be staffed with experienced producers and reporters. It appears that NFL Network won’t shy away from some journalism which is appreciated by your humble blogger.
We have more details of Andrea’s hiring and what she’ll be doing for NFL Network.
Kremer to Head Newly Formed Unit Dedicated to Player Health & Safety Issues in the NFL
NFL Network has added veteran sports journalist Andrea Kremer to its ranks, it was announced today. Kremer will be the chief correspondent in a newly-formed unit dedicated to covering NFL player health and safety issues. She will also contribute other reports and features on major topics across NFL Network programming.
“Andrea’s journalistic credentials, particularly in regards to reporting on the NFL, speak for themselves and we’re thrilled to add her talents to NFL Network,” said NFL Network Executive Producer Eric Weinberger. “Reporting on player health and safety across the league is a key initiative for NFL Network and Andrea will do an outstanding job covering this issue.”
Kremer, who has been called “the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL” by the Los Angeles Times, served in the sideline and feature reporter role for the Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, for whom she has also covered the last three Olympic Games. Prior to her work for NBC, Kremer was a correspondent for ESPN, providing in-depth reports for “SportsCenter,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and “Monday Night Countdown,” among other studio shows.
Producer Arash Ghadishah has joined NFL Network to work with Kremer and other reporters on player health and safety coverage. Ghadishah previously worked as a producer on ABC’s “Nightline” and as a White House producer for ABC News.
Having worked more than 20 Super Bowls, Kremer’s forte is breaking news stories and in-depth feature profiles, and she has provided investigative pieces on social issues as they relate to sports.
Kremer will continue her work as a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”
Kremer can be followed on Twitter at: @Andrea_Kremer.
More coming up.
Fang’s Bites Medals For 2012 London Olympics, Part III — Event Analysts, Reporters & Non-Rightsholders
It’s time to finally wrap up the coverage of the 2012 Olympics on Fang’s Bites. The medals posts have taken too long, but sometimes life gets in the way and I had to divide them into three parts. This will complete the coverage and I can move on to other sports.
Part I focused on the Studio Hosts and Analysts. Part II concentrated on Event Play-by-Play. This installment will look at the work of the event analysts, reporters and for the first time ever, grade the non-rightsholders which had to report around the International Olympic Committee’s restrictions.
Here we go.
Teddy Atlas, Boxing – If Teddy didn’t exist, you would have to create him in a Hollywood movie. I love his accent, I love the way he talks and I love his candor. When he doesn’t like how a boxer fights, he’ll say so. When he thinks a fight stinks, he’ll say so. When he thinks the referees don’t know how to officiate a fight, he’ll say so. And when the judging stinks, he’ll say so. The man is very good when it comes to talking about the Sweet Science and he makes boxing come alive. He continues to bring gold medal analysis to the viewer.
Ato Boldon, Track & Field – Ato has become a premier Olympic analyst. He’s worked very hard since being hired by NBC and done very well on the sprints. He became a little punny this year, but that can be overlooked. Ato was right on top of the Usain Bolt gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100 meters. He also gave us very good thoughts on why certain athletes ran out of their lanes and made good use of the pointer. Ato deserves to be on the medal stand.
Doug Collins, Basketball – Once the premier TV analyst in the NBA, the current Philadelphia 76ers coach stepped in at NBC and did not miss a beat. Despite Bob Fitzgerald’s pedestrian play-by-play, Doug shined. He was on top of trends and wasn’t afraid to criticize players. Collins demands so much respect among the players that after the gold medal game, many went to his courtside position and shook his hand. And I’m sure Doug will return to TV once his coaching career is over.
Kate Markgraf, Soccer – Kate worked out of New York calling games off a monitor with JP Dellacamera. She should be the main women’s soccer analyst in Rio in four years. She was very good in spotting trends and I was quite impressed with her work. She may not have the name of a Brandi Chastain, but Kate is a much better analyst.
Craig Masback, Track & Field – It was nice to have Craig back on the Olympics on the distance races. Craig certainly knows his running and has a very good chemistry with Tom Hammond.
John McEnroe, Men’s Tennis Final – Johnny Mac only called one event, but it was a big one, Andy Murray’s gold in the men’s gold medal match against Roger Federer. He was on top of the entire match.
Ann Meyers, Basketball – A former analyst on the NCAA Women’s Final Four for ESPN, Ann was very good on NBC in London.
Shannon Miller, Gymnastics, Olympic Broadcast Services – Shannon was not on any of the NBC broadcasts, but if you watched any of the gymnastics main feeds on NBCOlympics.com or on the Live Extra app, you heard her as the analyst on the World Feed. Her analysis throughout the Games was excellent. She explained the scoring system. She talked about what gymnasts had to do to get good scores. She explained how judges deduct points. When the NBC Gremlins in New York weren’t cutting off her analysis to fire online ads, Shannon’s analysis was clear, concise and to the point. This was a girl who was once so shy and could hardly talk to the media when she was a part of the Magnificent Seven in Atlanta to where she’s now a confident businesswoman and analyst. She was never overdramatic like the NBC crew and was always on top of the action. Here’s hoping NBC will hire her for Rio.
Cynthia Potter, Diving – I’m hot and cold with Cynthia. There were times when she sounded bitter and angry at the divers and others where she explained the action clearly and concisely. It seemed that the former was quite prevalent during the Games, but as she went on, Cynthia went into coach’s mode and educated us on proper dives, scoring and did a tremendous job in the post production Stromotion that gave viewers sequential stop motion replays. It was really educational. After a bronze medal start, Cynthia gets a gold.
Paul Sherwen, Cycling – Usually teamed with Phil Liggett on the Tour de France, Paul worked for NBC without his usual partner on the Olympics, either working with Todd Harris or Steve Schlanger. He knows the sport. He knows the players and he’s very good.
Rennae Stubbs, Tennis – Coming over from Tennis Channel and 7 Network in Australia, Rennae was on top of the action from Wimbledon. She was very good throughout the Olympic tennis tournament, but saved her best work for the women’s final which saw Serena Williams win the gold. Whether it working with Andrew Catalon, Brett Haber or Mary Carillo in the final, Rennae was on top of trends and first guessed instead of second guessed. And I liked her chemistry with Carillo. I hope she’s on the US Open for Tennis Channel later this month.
Kevin Barnett, Indoor Volleyball – Worked well with Paul Sunderland. Made very good points. Kept his analysis short.
Yaz Farooq, Rowing – Four years ago, Yaz’s voice was very soothing. This year, Yaz either took personality pills or she drank 5 Hour Energy before every race. She yelled as the crowd roared its approval of the Great Britain rowers winning medals. She was good, but the yelling got in the way of many of her points.
Rowdy Gaines, Swimming – Rowdy got a gold medal in Beijing and he still does quality work, but his screaming takes away what could have been a top showing. His voice went up as many as 160 octaves during races. There’s no doubt that Rowdy is a great ambassador for the sport and does a great job in fundraising, but it’s time for NBC to replace him for Rio.
Eric Giddens, Canoeing Whitewater/Canoeing Flatwater – Eric was very good in explaining the sport and giving insight.
Lisa Leslie, Basketball – Lisa worked in New York calling games off a monitor with Dave Strader. I thought she did better as a studio analyst during hits with Liam McHugh in London. There were times when she had trouble pronouncing names, but overall, Lisa’s analysis was spot on.
Dawn Lewis, Handball – With Mike Gorman, Dawn formed a very good team. Gave us good explanations on the sport that is quite foreign to many of us.
Kyle Martino, Soccer – The main analyst for men’s soccer did a very good job working with Arlo White. MLS fans are familiar with their work on NBC Sports Network and they did well during the Olympics.
Melanie Smith Taylor, Equestrian – Melanie is the Voice of Equestrian analysis for many fans of the sport. She and Tim Ryan form a very good team every four years.
Dwight Stones, Track & Field – Mostly voiced tape delays and recaps of the field events. NBC butchers many of these events and show just three or four athletes. Not Dwight’s fault, but he doesn’t really get to analyze, he mostly summarizes.
Jamie Bestwick, Mountain Bike/BMX – It seemed that during his short stint on the last weekend of the Games, Jamie wanted to do play-by-play and let his partner, Todd Harris do the analysis. Then again, that is the British style as the play-by-play caller and analyst mix roles. He was ok.
Justin Gimelstob, Tennis – Justin is ok, but there are times when he goes off on a tangent or name drops. We don’t want that. Give us the match.
Tim Hutchings, Marathon – Tim was decent during both the men’s marathon.
Shep Messing, Soccer – Shep barely makes the podium. There were times when Shep made some head-scratching points. He gets on the podium because he wasn’t afraid to criticize or take a stand.
Elfi Schlegel, Gymnastics – Didn’t have much time to talk between Al Trautwig and Tim Daggett. There were times when she and Tim disagreed, but they were never allowed to argue.
Julie Swail, Water Polo – Did decently during water polo.
Kevin Wong, Beach Volleyball – Went overboard in saying the sand at Horse Guards Parade was deep to allow for rallies. I think Kevin said it once or twice a match. I understand you’re sometimes talking to different audiences every night, but it got tiresome. But he made valid points when he wasn’t consumed with the sand.
BOWL OF HAGGIS
Marcelo Balboa, Soccer – I was so happy that Marcelo was not the main analyst this year. He still made insane points and went off the track. Fans will never forgive his horrid performance with Dave O’Brien on the 2006 World Cup and he continues to be a bad analyst.
Brandi Chastain, Soccer – Too often, Brandi would interject “OH!” during goals going over Arlo White’s calls. Then in the USA vs. Canada women’s semifinal she began TO SHOUT IN THE SECOND HALF AND WOULDN’T STOP! WHAT WAS THAT??? WHY?? Up until that game, Brandi was on the podium and Hope Solo’s criticisms of her analysis made Chastain a sympathetic figure. Then the USA-Canada performance wiped that all away. She did better in the final, but it was not enough to put her back on the podium.
Tim Daggett, Gymnastics – A mistake was either “catastrophic” or “disastrous” for gymnast’s medal chances. He overdramatized mistakes. There were times he and Al Trautwig focused so much on crying Russian gymnasts, it made you wonder about them. I’m hoping NBC brings in new blood for gymnastics in 2016 because Al, Tim and Elfi aren’t working.
Drea Avent, Soccer – She did the first few women’s soccer games then did some features for NBC primetime and daytime. Thought she did a good job in London.
Heather Cox, Beach Volleyball – Heather has reported on the sport for NBC either during the Olympics or when the now-defunct AVP Tour was on the network. She knows the players and inserted good information during the matches. Now we’ll see if she gets the plum ABC Saturday Night Football sideline assignment in September.
Alex Flanagan, Diving – Alex was a studio host in New York for the Beijing Games. This year, she got to report from a venue. She did very well in her interviews and reports.
Craig Sager, Basketball – Craig seemed like just another sideline reporter with his bland polo shirts on the sidelines. If Craig is going to Rio, NBC needs to allow him to break out the loud shirts as it will go hand-in-hand with the Brazilian party that will be the 2016 Olympics. The players all like Craig and they all flocked to him after the games.
Michele Tafoya, Rowing/Women’s Soccer – Michele’s a pro’s pro and asks the right questions. Her queries are never clichéd.
Russ Thaler, Boxing – Russ had to wade through the madness that was the ExCel Arena. Did a very good job.
Jon Wertheim, Tennis – Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim was more like the insider during the tennis broadcasts on Bravo. He gave good info and brought an extra element to the coverage.
Lewis Johnson, Track & Field – The US athletes all knew Lewis, but he was limited to getting out of breath answers from many of them.
Andrea Kremer, Swimming – I like Andrea, but her questions at the Aquatic Center were very strange. “What makes you so good?” What? A bitter fall off the gold that she achieved in Beijing.
BOWL OF HAGGIS
Andrea Joyce, Gymnastics – Once again, I like Andrea, but this wasn’t her best Olympics. Getting a tearful Jordyn Wieber after she didn’t make the All-Around Final wasn’t necessary. I heard that NBC were trying to guilt her to talk. I don’t think Andrea did that, but even so, we knew her reaction. We could see the tears.
TWO BOWLS OF HAGGIS
Pierre McGuire, Water Polo – The man is abrasive. I really don’t know what NBC sees in him. He asked abrasive questions of the water polo coaches and players. And for some reason, he conducted interviews with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant of the USA men’s basketball team. I was hoping for someone on either the women’s or men’s side to pull him underwater, but it didn’t happen. Oh well.
Fox Sports – Using its website, Fox did a very good job covering the Games utilizing Laura Okmin, Maurice Greene, Christian Laettner and Amy Van Dyken. They would record video and have it on the website just minutes after events finished. Very good coverage.
Yahoo – Utilizing reporters like Pat Forde, Maggie Hendricks and Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo managed to claim a victory over NBCOlympics.com in unique hits for its coverage. The service used Twitter and Facebook to provide in-progress coverage. Quite impressed.
And that will conclude our Olympics coverage for 2012.
Ok, NBC’s press release on its 2012 Olympics hosts and announcers has yet to arrive. Thanks to an alert reader, I was tipped off to NBC Sports Group’s press release website which has the talent bios of its announcers for London. I’m not sure if NBC wants to make that site public, so I won’t link to it for now. But through this website, I’ll be able to piece together the announcing teams for you.
We already know the hosts for NBC and the hosts for Bravo (tennis), CNBC (boxing) and MSNBC. And this week, we learned the hosts for NBC Sports Network.
Ok, let’s list everything I’m able to compile. This is not complete as some sports are missing analysts and one is missing a play-by-play person, but it’s based on what I’ve been able to piece together from NBC’s PR site. I’ll provide reactions to the announcers later.
Randy Moss and Steve Schlanger will call multiple events during the Olympics. There are a couple of analysts who will provide color on multiple sports.
And when NBC finally sends its official press release with the complete announcing teams, I’ll publish that in a separate post.
Here we go.
Today at the Olympics: Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, Ann Curry, Al Roker
Weekdays/Weekend: Al Michaels, Dan Patrick
Primetime: Bob Costas
Late Night: Mary Carillo
Correspondents: Mary Carillo (primetime), Jimmy Fallon (primetime), Bela Karolyi (primetime) John McEnroe (primetime), Jimmy Roberts (daytime), Ryan Seacrest (primetime), Shaun White (primetime)
NBC Sports Network
Morning: Michelle Beadle
Midday: Willie Geist
Afternoon: Liam McHugh
Olympic Sports Desk Reporters
Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Jim Kozimor (play-by-play)
Steve Kearney (analyst)
Basketball (men’s & women’s)
Chris Carrino (play-by-play)
Bob Fitzgerald (play-by-play)
Dave Strader (play-by-play)
Doug Collins (analyst)
Lisa Leslie (analyst)
Ann Meyers (analyst)
Craig Sager (reporter)
Chris Marlowe (play-by-play)
Kevin Wong (analyst)
Heather Cox (reporter)
Fred Roggin (venue host)
Bob Papa (blow-by-blow)
Teddy Atlas (analyst)
Russ Thaler (reporter)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Todd Harris (play-by-play)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Ted Robinson (play-by-play)
Cynthia Potter (analyst)
Alex Flanagan (reporter)
Tim Ryan (play-by-play)
Melanie Smith Taylor (analyst)
Mike Corey (play-by-play)
Missy Meharg (analyst)
Al Trautwig (play-by-play)
Tim Dagget (analyst)
Elfi Schlegel (analyst)
Andrea Joyce (reporter)
Mike Gorman (play-by-play)
Dawn Allinger Lewis (analyst)
Leo White, Jr. (analyst)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Rowdy Gaines (analyst)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Chris Maddocks (analyst)
Terry Gannon (play-by-play)
Yasmin Farooq (analyst)
Shari Legate (analyst)
Steve Cangialosi (play-by-play)
Glenn Davis (play-by-play)
JP Dellacamera (play-by-play)
Arlo White (play-by-play)
Marcelo Balboa (analyst)
Brandi Chastain (analyst)
Allen Hopkins (analyst)
Cobi Jones (analyst)
Kyle Martino (analyst)
Shep Messing (analyst)
Dan Hicks (play-by-play)
Rowdy Gaines (analyst)
Andrea Kremer (reporter)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Heather Olson (analyst)
Ari Wolfe (play-by-play)
Sean O’Neill (analyst)
Pat O’Brien (venue host)
Andrew Catalon (play-by-play)
Brett Haber (play-by-play)
Ted Robinson (play-by-play)
Justin Gimelstob (analyst)
Rennae Stubbs (analyst)
Jon Wertheim (reporter)
Track & Field
Tom Hammond (play-by-play)
Ato Boldon (analyst)
Craig Masback (analyst)
Dwight Stones (analyst)
Tim Hutchings (analyst -Marathon)
Lewis Johnson (reporter)
Al Trautwig (play-by-play)
Tim Dagget (analyst)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Julie Swail (analyst)
Paul Sunderland (play-by-play)
Kevin Barnett (analyst)
Mike Emrick (play-by-play)
Julie Swail (analyst)
Wolf Wigo (analyst)
Jim Watson (play-by-play)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Jason Knapp (play-by-play)
That is your list for now. As stated above, when NBC provides the press release with the complete teams, I’ll put that on the site.
UPDATE, 1:35 a.m.: Through a check of Twitter and hearing from sources, I’ve added NBC MLS voice Arlo White to soccer, and through Drea Avent’s account and in particular, her tweet to me directly, she’ll be a reporter during the Games, in what capacity, we have not been able to confirm just yet. More to follow when it becomes available.
Last week when we learned that Michele Tafoya had left ESPN’s Monday Night Football, it was speculated that the natural landing spot for her would be Sunday Night Football. That indeed became true today in the announcement put forth by NBC Sports.
The next question was what happened to the woman Michele replaced, Andrea Kremer? Since 2006, Andrea roamed the sidelines for NBC and did it quite well. But was Andrea fired? Did she leave on her own volition? Had Andrea grown tired of the sideline reporting?
An e-mail to NBC referred me to her agent at Octagon, an agency that represents athletes and sports media personalities. After a brief discussion with Andrea’s agent, this is what I can deduce.
- Andrea felt she had outgrown being a sideline reporter and thus;
- She will no longer work the sidelines at Sunday Night Football. Michele officially replaces her;
- Andrea is a free agent and is negotiating with other networks;
- She is still open to returning to NBC to possibly have a role on the 2012 Olympics and future Games if NBC wins the International Olympics Committee bid in June;
- She will still work for HBO’s Real Sports as a contributing correspondent; and
- Andrea still has an interest in the NFL (remember she got her start at NFL Films) and is open to working as a reporter for one of the league’s TV partners, but not on the sidelines.
So from what I’m led to believe, Andrea decided to leave the Sunday Night Football sidelines on her own and was not blown out by NBC. She’s talking with other networks and is open to returning to NBC for other duties.
Andrea came to NBC in 2006 after working at ESPN for 17 years as a reporter on SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown as well as a host on ESPN’s Up Close interview program. We’ll see where she lands.
Last week, it was announced that Michele Tafoya was leaving ESPN for an unspecified role at NBC. Well, we can now specify what that role will be. She’s going to be on the sidelines for Sunday Night Football. This is a reunion for Tafoya having worked with this production crew when it was at ESPN/ABC producing Monday Night Football. Michele was roaming the sidelines from 2004 & 2005 when the series was on ABC and she stayed as it moved to ESPN in 2006. In the last couple of years, ESPN de-emphasized the role of sideline reporters on Monday Night Football and last week, Michele decided to leave ESPN and sign a contract with NBC.
She’s worked with Al Michaels on MNF and on the NBA on ABC so this is a comfortable fit for the Sunday Night Football crew.
It appears Michele is going to replace Andrea Kremer on the sidelines. No word if Andrea is leaving the network or will have another role at NBC. She’s also a correspondent on HBO’s Real Sports and had a role in the 2008 Olympics in Communist China. (UPDATE: For more information on Andrea’s departure from Sunday Night Football, go here.)
We have the press release.
“Michele is well versed in the ways of the National Football League.” – “Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli
NEW YORK – May 4, 2011 – Critically acclaimed NFL reporter Michele Tafoya is joining NBC Sports’ award-winning “Sunday Night Football” coverage as sideline and feature reporter, Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports Group and Executive Producer, “Sunday Night Football,” announced today.
“Michele is a versatile and experienced reporter who is well versed in the ways of the National Football League,” said SNF producer Fred Gaudelli, who along with play-by-play voice Al Michaels and director Drew Esocoff worked with Tafoya on Monday Night Football from 2004-05 at ABC Sports. “I can speak for Al and Drew when I say that we’re all thrilled to be working with Michele once again.”
Tafoya is a 13-year veteran of the NFL sidelines, having previously reported for CBS, ABC and ESPN. Her extensive experience also includes covering the Olympics, the NBA, college football and college basketball. She joins SNF just two days after an award-filled night for the franchise at the Sports Emmy Awards.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a group for which I have great respect and admiration,” said Tafoya. “I have many friends on this crew and I know how high they set the bar.”
This past Monday night, “Sunday Night Football’s” production team, led by Ebersol and Gaudelli, won its third consecutive Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series; play-by-play voice Al Michaels was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Cris Collinsworth won his third consecutive award for Outstanding Sports Personality in the analyst category; and Bob Costas won for studio host for his work on both the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Football Night in America.
“Sunday Night Football” is also coming off a record year for viewership. Last season it was the No. 1 show all 18 nights (100 percent) vs. its competition (16 Sundays, one Tuesday and one Thursday). In 2009, SNF was the most-watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a then-record 15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks. In 2008, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights. In 2007, SNF won 11 of 16 (69 percent) and, in 2006, SNF won nine of 16 (56 percent).
For the full 2010 season, “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched primetime show of the fall television season, averaging 21.8 million viewers, a gain of 12 percent from 2009 (19.4 million), marking the best viewership for the NFL’s premier primetime broadcast package in 14 years.
Michele Tafoya joins the NBC Sports Group after more than a decade at ABC/ESPN where she saw her profile rise steadily since 2000 through a variety of on-air roles, most notably as a reporter for Monday Night Football and ESPN’s NFL studio programs.
After serving as the sideline reporter for ABC Sports’ Monday Night Football for two seasons (2004-05), Tafoya joined ESPN’s Monday Night Football in 2006. On Mondays throughout the NFL season, Tafoya provided regular updates on the participating MNF teams during multiple ESPN programs, including SportsCenter and Monday Night Countdown, in addition to reporting during the games.
On Christmas Day 2006, Tafoya combined her high-profile NFL and then-NBA responsibilities to complete a rare double, covering the Lakers-Heat broadcast in the afternoon on ABC, as well as the Jets-Dolphins MNF game that same evening on ESPN. A year later, she completed a similar feat, working the MNF season-finale in San Diego on Christmas Eve, followed by the NBA’s Suns-Lakers Christmas Day game in Los Angeles on ABC. In the fall of 2008, Tafoya made the difficult decision to step down from her NBA reporter role to spend more time with her family.
Tafoya’s versatility included on-air roles for the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball play-by-play and studio hosting, and college football and basketball sideline reporting. She also has served as a substitute host on Pardon the Interruption and as a panelist on Sports Reporters. Previously, her ESPN assignments included calling WNBA games, hosting skiing telecasts, a substitute host for ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt Show (now Scott Van Pelt Show) and working on ESPN’s college basketball selection shows as a reporter.
Tafoya also hosts The Michele Tafoya Show (3-6 p.m. CT) on WCCO News Radio 830 AM in Minneapolis-St. Paul where she lives.
Prior to ABC/ESPN, Tafoya worked for CBS Sports from 1994-2000 as a game reporter and studio host for NFL, college football and college basketball telecasts. She also hosted CBS’ NCAA Tournament selection show, Goodwill Games and U.S. Open coverage, as well as CBS’s late-night Winter Olympics programs in 1998. She was also a WNBA commentator on Lifetime from 1997-99.
Earlier in her career, Tafoya worked as a host and Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter for KFAN-AM in Minneapolis (1994-98). During that time she also served as a Minnesota Timberwolves host and sideline reporter for the Midwest Sports Channel and play-by-play commentator for Big Ten women’s basketball and volleyball. She also spent three years at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis as a sports anchor and reporter from 1995 to 1998. Prior to her many roles in Minnesota, she previously worked for WAQS-AM in Charlotte (1993), where she was the first female analyst to call UNC-Charlotte men’s basketball games.
A native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Tafoya graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in broadcast journalism and earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California.
The American Sportscasters Association voted Tafoya among the top female sportscasters (No. 4) in 2009, while the Davie-Brown Index ranked her among the most likeable TV sports personalities in 2006, including “Biggest Trend-Setter.” In 1997, The American Women in Radio and Television honored Tafoya with a Gracie Award for “Outstanding Achievement by an Individual On-Air TV Personality” for her WNBA work with Lifetime. Tafoya is also on the Board of Directors for Taste of the NFL, an annual Super Bowl event raising money in support of food banks across the United States.
The new role with NBC will not effect Michele’s regular job as daily afternoon drive talk show host with WCCO Radio in Minneapolis.