Dennis and Callahan
Boston sports radio station WEEI has signed a deal with NESN to put its morning show, polarizing Dennis & Callahan on television. John Dennis & Boston Herald columnist Gerry Callahan are quite popular with Massachusetts conservatives as they spout Republican and right wing philosophy on their show. Most of the time, they complain about the Democratic Party, President Obama and the Kennedy family. When 24 was on the air, they talked about the show incessantly. And sports talk has mostly become a back seat.
They were suspended in 2003 for a comment that was perceived to be racist. D&C, as they’re often called, have also raised the ire of the Gay and Lesbian community for comments that are perceived to be homophobic. Figure skater Rudy Galindo was a frequent target of Callahan’s wrath during the show’s infancy.
So you can see what the show is, but it is quite popular and often in the top five in the men 25-54 demographic in Boston. NESN will simulcast the radio show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. not only in New England, but also on its NESN National channel which is available in the Carolinas and Florida.
Here’s the press release.
October 19, 2010 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, and WEEI Sports Radio, New England’s top rated sports radio station, announced today that they have entered into a programming partnership to simulcast The Dennis and Callahan Show on weekday mornings live from 6 am to 9 am. Beginning November 16, 2010, The Dennis and Callahan Show will be available on NESN in New England and across the country on NESN National.
“This programming partnership brings together the two most popular sports media companies in New England in a way that we think complements the strengths of each organization,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “We have worked closely with WEEI for several years to produce the annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. We now look forward to working with WEEI on a daily basis to bring The Dennis and Callahan Show to our television audience.”
“We’re excited because this is the next logical step in our progression as a powerful brand, giving us the ability to provide our great content far and wide,” said Julie Kahn, Entercom New England’s Vice President, New England Market Manager. “We’ve built an unprecedented regional radio network, we stream our radio content worldwide via the web, we have original web content, mobile streaming…and now we will be available regionally and nationally on TV Nobody in our business offers what we do the way we do…and this NESN partnership impressively expands on that.”
“When they see them on TV, people may be shocked to learn how handsome John & Gerry are,” added Kahn.
“Dennis and Callahan have achieved tremendous success in morning drive on WEEI, and this new partnership with NESN provides the perfect opportunity to expand their footprint across the region. NESN is the ideal partner for us given the incredible power of its reach across New England, and the combination of our two networks will make this new project an instant hit.” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s Vice President of AM Programming.
“This is a natural fit for NESN. Dennis & Callahan is the ‘go-to’ show in the morning for sports and entertainment,” said Joel Feld, NESN Executive Vice President, Programming and Executive Producer. “Passionate hosts, loyal fans and no holds-barred discussion. NESN viewers get that with our Red Sox, Bruins and other sports and lifestyle programming so this is a logical way to enhance how we entertain our audience.”
NESN will install four remotely controlled HD cameras in WEEI’s studio in Brighton, MA and fiber the feeds back to the NESN HD Television Center in Watertown, MA where NESN will direct the four feeds and add graphics. In addition to the live simulcast every weekday morning, NESN will also replay The Dennis and Callahan Show in primetime on NESN National. A one-hour “Best of Dennis & Callahan” is also planned for late night. The partnership also includes regular appearances by WEEI personalities on NESN’s Red Sox pre-game shows and other sports programs.
Dennis and Callahan were paired together on WEEI in October of 1997 from 10 am to noon and after immense success, were shifted to morning drive in September of 1999 where they’ve been ever since. The show made an immediate impact in the market and has consistently been the #1 rated morning show in Boston.
The show will start simulcasting in November.
Time for your megalinks on this Friday. With the Olympics in full swing, the Games will be a major theme for the links and in the Weekend Viewing Picks. Without further delay, let’s get to your viewing picks.
Weekend Viewing Picks
The Olympics head into its second weekend of action with Michael Phelps going for a potential record of gold medals. On Friday in primetime on NBC, he’ll swim in the 200 meter individual medley for his 7th gold medal in these games. And if he wins tonight, all Phelps will have to do is help his USA teammates swim for the 4 x 100 meter medley relay for his 8th gold medal. NBC’s primetime coverage on Friday begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday night, coverage starts at 7:30 and Sunday, it begins at 7 p.m. You can see the entire TV and online listings over at NBCOlympics.com.
Baseball continues as the pennant races kick into high gear. Fox will have three American League games on Saturday, the Angels at Cleveland, Chicago White Sox at Oakland and Seattle at Minnesota, all starting at 3:55 p.m. The regional splits and announcing assignments can be see over here. WGN has the Cubs at Florida both on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). TBS’ Sunday baseball game has the Milwaukee Brewers taking on the Dodgers at 4 p.m. And ESPN’s Sunday night game pits the Phillies at San Diego at 8 p.m.
Exhibition football continues this weekend. Fox has the Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans tonight at 8. NFL Network carries Brett Favre’s first game as a Jet live as his new team takes on Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday. NFL Network also picks up the Patriots visiting Tampa Bay, Sunday night at 8.
The PGA Tour’s final regular season stop before the exciting FedEx Cup playoffs (sarcasm dripping here) is the Wyndham Championship. CBS has weekend coverage beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The LPGA heads north for the Canadian Open. Golf Channel has tape delayed coverage at 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
NASCAR is in Michigan for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. ESPN2 has the Carfax 250 race, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ESPN has the 3M Performance 400, Sunday at 2.
And the US Open Series continues with the ATP Tour’s Legg Mason Classic championship match on ESPN2 this Sunday at 5 p.m.
The full listings can be seen at USA Today.
Let’s get to your links.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, he says NBC finally has gotten its primetime coverage of the Olympics right with plenty of live coverage.
Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily/Journal talks with NBC Olympics producer David Neal about his impressions of the Games to date.
The Sports Media Watch blog finds the reviews for the Tiki Barber and Jenna Wolfe-led Olympic Update on MSNBC are not very kind. And the SMW says NBC will not air Michael Phelps’ quest for a possible 8th gold medal live on the West Coast despite rumors to the contrary.
Joseph De Avila of the Wall Street Journal talks with the President and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media which is the most successful of all of the four major sports leagues new media ventures.
It may be summertime, but it’s never too early to think about hockey. Maury Brown in the Biz of Hockey looks at the release of the NHL national TV schedules in the US and Canada.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog catches up with Bill Pidto who left ESPN in June after 15 years at the network.
East and Mid-Atlantic
I’ll start this region with Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch who has his thoughts on noted plagiarist Ron Borges joining WEEI.com. The move is one of the strangest I’ve ever seen.
David Scott of the BSMW goes more in-depth into this crazy move and he has inexplicable reaction from WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan. David first explores the decision by Tony Massarotti to leave the Boston Herald for a role at the Boston Globe’s website.
Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe says a budding US vs. China rivalry is helping NBC’s Olympic ratings.
Marc Blaudschun of the Globe talks with NBC’s Bob Neumeier who’s in Communist China for the Olympics and he also takes a shot at former employer WEEI.
Now to Neil Best of Newsday who is most likely basking in the glow of seeing a story he broke back in June come to fruition. In today’s newspaper, Neil writes about the end of WFAN’s two decade pairing of Mike & the Mad Dog, with Chris Russo leaving the station yesterday. Neil goes over the history of the show which began in 1989. And here are some memorable moments from the show. Jim Baumbach of Newsday says WFAN will not be the same without Russo. Also from Newsday, Katie Strang says Russo’s departure has polarized listeners.
And Neil has a story totally unrelated to Mike & the Mad Dog. He says the Olympics are an event that has esssentially become group viewing.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that it’s now Mike without the Mad Dog on WFAN.
Over to the New York Post where Phil Mushnick says for better or worse, Mike & the Mad Dog made radio history. Eric Lenkowitz says WFAN and Chris Russo decided to part ways even though he had a year left on his contract. Mushnick feels sponsors are wearing the viewers out.
Justin Terranova from the Post talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about Brett Favre’s adjustment with the Jets. And Justin has five questions for ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla about the US men’s Olympic basketball team.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman looks into the breakup of Mike & the Mad Dog. Raissman also talks about the rumored move by Chris Russo to Sirius Satellite Radio.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette also discusses Russo’s leaving WFAN and Ken also gives props to Neil Best.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says the split of Mike & the Mad Dog will draw attention from all over. And Ken talks with ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman who was a big fan of Mike & the Mad Dog.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Philly-based Comcast is kicking off Big Ten Network programming as of today.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says NBC is keeping things moving during its primetime coverage of the Olympics.
Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina talks about high school football getting more exposure on TV and radio.
One of the bigger stories to break yesterday along with Mike & the Mad Dog splitting up, the moves at the Boston Globe’s sports department and Ron Borges signing with WEEI.com, was CBS signing the longest college sports agreement in history, by agreeing to pick up SEC football and basketball for 15 years beginning next season. Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us what this new deal means for college football fans and college sports in general.
Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel says the SEC stands to make a lot of money from this new deal with CBS. Jeremy Fowler of the Sentinel says the SEC also wants to finish deals with ESPN and Raycom within the next two weeks.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says the CBS/SEC deal runs through 2023.
David Brandt of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says both CBS and the SEC have reasons to crow.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the Olympics are striking gold with viewers.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma City is ranked 7th of all markets watching the Olympics. Mel lists the top ten markets watching the Olympics. Mel says these Olympics have become the multimedia Games. Among Mel’s sports media notes is CBS’ Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman calling Oklahoma University’s football season opener on pay per view. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says compelling stories are helping to drive the ratings for the Olympics.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Michael Phelps’ drive for 8 gold medals has become must see TV.
Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press feels it’s about time that Comcast has brought the Big Ten Network into the fold.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes about Michael Wilbon’s singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field this week and the issues it has raised. Teddy lists his five weekend viewing picks.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily News talks with sports radio talk show host Dan McNeil.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says college football fans in Minnesota won’t be able to see the Golden Gophers as the Big Ten Network remains off Charter Communications.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a former sports radio host will continue his wrongful termination suit despite having a judge rule against him this week.
Moving to the Western part of the country where many are angry over the fact that NBC is delaying the Olympics in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says NBC should stop using the “live” graphic during the Olympics when airing its primetime coverage in the West.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says despite the tape delay, San Diegans are watching the Olympics.
John Maffei in the North County Times writes that West Coast viewers are being cheated by the taped delayed airings of the Olympics.
The Ventura County’s Jim Carlisle says no matter if the Olympics are live or on tape, West Coast viewers are watching.
Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times writes that NBC is restricting its primetime Olympics coverage to beach volleyball, gymnastics and swimming with some diving thrown in.
Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News talks with NBC Olympics volleyball announcer Paul Sunderland. Tom has a bunch of media notes on the Olympics, baseball and other sports. And Tom says NBC will recap the women’s gymnastics all-around competition in the 8:00 hour of tonight’s primetime coverage as it ended at 1 a.m. today while many of you were asleep.
There you have it, your supersized Friday megalinks. Have a good day.
As NBC’s Olympic coverage is in a lull, I turn over to NESN and find the Red Sox and Texas embroiled in a 14-13 barnburner at Fenway Park. This is after the Red Sox put up 10 runs in the 1st inning and seemed to be cruising until the 5th inning when Texas scored 8 runs and now the Sox are hanging on for dear life in this game. I guess I’ll have to watch this until Michael Phelps comes on.
I’ll do some linkage in the interim.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth has found a way to get around NBC’s tape delayed Olympics coverage on the West Coast.
The Sports Media Watch links to a story which states that NBC is giving serious consideration to breaking its West Coast primetime embargo for one night only. And the SMW says the estimate of 1 billion people watching USA vs. China men’s basketball may be a bit overstated.
James Hibberd of the Hollywood Reporter writes that NBC is blowing away the competition with the Olympics.
Variety’s Rick Kissell says thanks to the Olympics, NBC is having one of its best weeks ratings-wise in a very long time.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says boosted by Michael Phelps, NBC is riding a gold medal ratings wave for the Olympics.
Newsday’s Neil Best blogs about a very funny incident at the Olympics involving the Aussies and the Brits. Neil previews the next YES “CenterStage” program which features an interview with Yankees Hall of Fame reliever Rich Gossage.
Heidi Dawley of Media Life Magazine says traffic to NBCOlympics.com is up 641% (!) from Athens.
TV Week’s Chris Pursell writes in his Pressbox blog that the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay won by the US in dramatic fashion is helping to steer traffic to NBC Olympics.com.
Andrew Smith of the Dallas Morning News blogs that NBC is even delaying webcasts of many events on NBCOlympics.com.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record gives praise to the Olympics boxing coverage on CNBC.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post talks with NBC Olympics equestrian analyst Melanie Smith-Taylor who’s calling the sport off a monitor in New York.
I am loving CNBC’s Darren Rovell’s blog dispatches from Beijing. They’re giving me a very nice taste of what’s going on in Communist China. Darren says the Speedo LZR swimsuit is going mainstream. Darren introduces us to Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic. We like her.
And Darren writes that the US men’s basketball is dominating, but did not cover the point spread.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says Baltimore remains on the top of the nation in Olympic ratings thanks to interest in native son Michael Phelps. Ray also blogs that for Saturday night only, the Orioles will be seen only on WJZ-TV while MASN carries the Ravens.
Brett Love of TV Squad isn’t spreading his love to the Olympics, but he’s still watching.
Mary McNamara of Multichannel News loves watching the Olympics in HD.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel writes that the ESPN family of networks will show all 32 games of the Little League World Series this month.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch has a funny look at what WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan would sound like in ten years.
It’s finally official, Jonathan “Coach” Coachman, formerly of the WWE, is now an ESPN SportsCenter anchor.
Lastly, since you’re most likely watching the Olympics and the women’s gymnastics team competition, here’s the video I put up earlier this year of Alicia Sacramone knocking out a guy at Brown University.
The Red Sox finally win 19-17. Unbelievable. Have a good night. See you tomorrow.
Time for links today.
Holly Sanders of the New York Post notes that the NFL won the Sunday ratings in the city, but the U.S. Open did well in its timeslot beating baseball and golf.
The BBC has signed a deal with the NFL to broadcast Super Bowl XLII and XLIII plus, it will show highlights of the Giants-Miami game in October at Wembley Stadium in London. And Bill Jordan of the Biz of Football blog expands on the story. Here’s the story from the BBC Sport website.
Evan Weiner in the New York Sun says it’s time that the New York market get a third baseball team.
Kevin Wright of the campus newspaper, the Michigan Daily, says a deal between the Big Ten Network and Comcast appears unlikely at this time. The lovely Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit Press writes that games on the Big Ten Network on cable and satellite are a blow to free TV. Ed Pardini, a Vice President with Mediacom, has an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register opposing the Big Ten Network (naturally). In fairness, the Register has BTN’s President Mark Silverman with an opinion piece of his own.
Tom Dorsey in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal says be prepared to be inundated with a lot of promos for fall network TV programming. How many times did we see promos for Cane and Kid Nation during the NFL on CBS on Sunday?
NBC will make Notre Dame football games available on cell phones that carry the MobiTV service.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times picks up a story that I linked to yesterday that Yahoo! Sports beat ESPN.com in unique visitors last month.
Seth Emerson of The State newspaper writes that a website devoted to taking shots at ESPN’s Lee Corso may scare College Gameday away from visiting the South Carolina campus.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says Dusty Baker is enjoying his year away from managing.
Jimmie Trammel in the Tulsa World writes about the rise and fall of the WAC conference which includes ESPN’s role in the breakup of a proposed 16 team league into two conferences.
Bob Wolfey from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about how athletes don’t have Suds City on their mind and the fact that ESPN will have a piece on retiring umpire Bruce Froemming this weekend.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette talks with WEEI’s Gerry Callahan who’s happy to be back on the air after being away for a long time.
Kathryn Shattuck from today’s New York Times writes about a new program premiering on SNY tonight.
The Sports Media Watch notes that David Beckham will be on ESPN tonight, but not on the field, in the broadcast booth.
NBC Sports says it will have extensive coverage of the Tour Championship this weekend.
That’s it for now.
You had a feeling that we would hear the return of John Dennis & Gerry Callahan on WEEI today and that’s exactly what happened. Usually, I don’t have WEEI on my clock radio first thing, but I made sure it was on just to make sure I would be able to hear them. Lo and behold, D&C were back. They said they would be back for five more years. In addition, the guys talked about stuff that Gerry could not for the last four months. Gerry’s voice at first was ok, but as the morning wore on, the raspiness returned. If you ask me, I think WEEI’s parent company, Entercom signed D&C a couple of months ago, but held them back until today. That’s me. Perhaps the two sides did come to an agreement last week, however, with Entercom’s track record of publicity stunts, I remain skeptical.
But David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch did his homework during the weekend and confirmed that negotiations took place bringing an agreement. And he also gave details of the agreement late last night. Then he blogged the first hour of the show early this morning starting at the ungodly time of 5:45. Scott’s second entry started at about 40 minutes later and the last entry coming at 6:45 a.m. Kudos to David for doing yeoman’s work over the weekend.
And the following links as well as the David Scott entries come courtesy of Boston Sports Media Watch. Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe has one version of the contract agreement. From the crosstown Boston Herald, Jessica Heslam has a more extensive story. And John Molori of Boston Sports Media Watch talks with NBC Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli.
Bruce Allen who runs Boston Sports Media Watch gets up earlier than I do and is more devoted than I am to blogging. He’s the best when it comes to providing links.
In regards to the problems with DirecTV’s Supercast service, I have sent an e-mail to DirecTV asking what happened yesterday. When I get a reply, I’ll pass it along here.
Hey! Neil Best of Newsday is back and he’s blogging with a vengeance. LOL! He started at 8:15 this morning re-introducing himself. Best says he corrected Keith Olbermann about a story that was relayed on Football Night in America last night. Best did go to ESPN back in August as part of the media seminar that David Scott blogged about last month. He writes about the “Who’s Now” segment (and notice the picture of Jessica Alba… Neil’s using pictures of beautiful women again …). Did you know Best was on the 25 hour marathon college pre-game show last month? I didn’t, but Neil wants you to know he was on. At 3:25 a.m. No wonder I didn’t know. That’s just a sampling of his entries from today! As of this writing, he has posted 10 times! Best wants to get his audience back. LOL.
From the Sports Media Watch, Paulsen looks at last year’s numbers for the NFL on CBS and Fox.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says tonight’s Monday Night Football doubleheader on ESPN is the most important telecast in the series history. I wouldn’t go that far. Mushnick is hoping that there won’t be any guests in the booth and according to Michael Hiestand of USA Today, there won’t be at least for tonight. And Hiestand’s main focus of this morning’s column is the ripping rookie analyst Bill Cowher took in the NFL Today studio on CBS. The part about MNF is at the bottom of the column.
From the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth talks with Justin Gimelstob who’s retiring from tennis this year and is about to enter the TV booth as an analyst. And Hoffarth expands on his original story on Gimelstob in his Farther Off the Wall blog. Hoffarth posts a video showing Gimelstob interviewing Andy Roddick at the US Open.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about NBC’s Bob Costas making a special guest appearance on Fox NFL Sunday during a Frank Caliendo sketch.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says there was a lot of hot air being spouted during NFL broadcasts yesterday.
Let’s get to a couple of links about the Big Ten Network. Tom Witosky of the Des Moines Register says Mediacom Cable is suggesting that the University of Iowa should help pay for putting on the Big Ten Network. That’s right. Have taxpayer money fund carrying a cable channel. Come on. Derek Levarse of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader even though BTN has signed Dish Network, the channel is still having trouble getting cable to sign up.
There’s a lot of stuff out there, but I have to stop for now. I’ll have an afternoon update.
They say you’re supposed to come back from a three day weekend recharged. Whomever said that should be shot. I’m not recharged. I’m dragging more than usual. I think we should have a five day weekend so we come back Thursday, then leave for home on Friday. That’s what we should have. I think I would really be recharged, but a three day weekend, there’s not enough time to relax.
Anyway, enough about me, let’s get to the back to work links.
For those who think Dennis & Callahan would return to WEEI today, you would be wrong. The station now enters an important phase with the Patriots’ season beginning this weekend and the Red Sox heading into the postseason and its morning show is in flux. David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch has the latest.
John Molori of Boston Sports Media Watch has an article on CBS’ Jim Nantz who is preparing for his third season of lead play-by-play man on the NFL.
Neil Best of Newsday has a new entry in his Watch This! blog and he says he’s missed blogging during his vacation.
Darren Rovell of CNBC wonders who really is the winner of the Appalachian State-Michigan game.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick calls bullshit on a bunch of networks. Also from the New York Post, something we linked to last week, that ESPN will drop scripted programming for the foreseeable future.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports that tonight, Fox Sports Net affiliates across the country will have a two hour re-air of the Big Ten Network’s Appalachian State-Michigan game. The Detroit Free Press also reports on the FSN re-air.
Tim Cronin of the Chicago Daily Southtown has his take on the Big Ten Network’s first moments. Rick Petersen and Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register says the lack of BTN on Mediacom systems gives Iowa residents few options for the game against Syracuse this Saturday. Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek says BTN scored with ad sales despite a smaller than expected audience. Jay Hart of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the ESPN College Gameday crew had to take back its comments on Appalachian State.
Andrew Hinkelman of the Anchorage (AK) Daily News has a profile of native Mark Schlereth who’s been busy for ESPN.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week says NBC is tweaking the technology for Sunday Night Football.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News writes that the NFL is still a cash cow for its network partners.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star has a story on one local sports radio talk show host who wants to stay with his radio station.
Up in Canada, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun talks about the 15th anniversary of all sports radio station, The Fan 590 and talks about its influence throughout the US and Canada.
That’s it for now.
Before the links, let me comment on a couple of things. First, the United States got another gold medal in the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan when Tyson Gay made history with the rare 100-200 double today. He won the 200 Meters today in a time of 19.76 seconds and really it was no contest as Gay outpaced the field rather easily. Usain Bolt of Jamaica got the silver and Wallace Spearmon of the US edged out fellow American Rodney Martin for the bronze. And the long jump competition was fun as it went down to the final attempt. Irving Saladino of Panama won his country’s first medal ever in the Worlds by taking the gold in a distance of 8.57 meters (just under 29 feet) over Andrew Howe of Italy (8.47 meters or 27 feet 8 inches, but had just taken the lead over Saladino’s previous jump by a mere centimeter). Defending champion, Dwight Phillips of the US took the bronze. Good stuff to see online.
Second, there’s no need for Channel 5′s Bob Halloran to be on WEEI. To hear him and lackey Jon Meterperel talk about Bruce Springsteen’s album was just horrible. Either Dennis & Callahan should just bite the bit and come back or WEEI needs to find a show to replace them because the fill-ins just aren’t cutting it. It’s no wonder I subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio and listen to Howard every morning because these local morning shows are just unlistenable.
Speaking of John Dennis & Gerry Callahan and their protracted contract negotiations with WEEI, David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch.com has been keeping track of this story and he has an update on the talks. The latest round of talks is not scheduled until after the Labor Day holiday weekend so don’t expect to hear them right away unless the station’s management wants to allow D&C to work without a contract. It appears the host du jour concept will continue into football season.
Ok, let’s do the links for today.
The launch of the Big Ten Network is tonight at 8 ET. We’ve got a lot of links on this for you. Yesterday, it signed with Insight Communications, giving the channel clearance into Columbus, OH, Evansville, IN and much of Kentucky. But Insight customers in Illinois and other parts of Indiana won’t see it because their systems are being bought out by Comcast and the Big Ten Network won’t talk with Comcast right now. So this is still a mess. In the meantime, other cable systems are balking including Time Warner as Kyle Nagel of the Dayton Daily News writes. Nagel adds that smaller cable companies, however, are signing up. Mediacom in Iowa isn’t buying. Ryan Suchomel of the Iowa City Press-Citizen says some Iowans aren’t waiting to see if Mediacom is going to sign up, many have already bought DirecTV. Of course, Comcast remains the one big fish that still won’t take the bait and there won’t be any talks there for at least the foreseeable future. Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press says there are no winners in this. Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star writes that Fox Cable Networks is trying to drive the deals and finding it hard to win over the cable companies. Michael Cooper of the Springfield (OH) News-Sun says Ohio State fans will need the dish to watch the first two Buckeye games. Over to the Cincinnati Enquirer where Dustin Dow writes more about Time Warner customers being blacked out of BTN. Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch says money is driving the dispute. Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that BTN is ready to go tonight no matter what. Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times says BTN’s largest market of Chicago won’t be able to watch the channel.
Of course, if anything changes between now and the scheduled launch of the Big Ten Network, I will let you know.
In the meantime, fans of the University of Kentucky will see games on two TV stations in the Louisville area as Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal reports.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle breaks down where you can see national college games this fall. Barron also writes about former Houston Texan Tony Boselli who will do the color for four NFL games on Fox and also looks at the NFL’s TV partners’ plans to broadcast games.
FSN Midwest announces it will team up with the St. Louis Rams for two shows that will air on the channel.
Robert Feder in his regular media column for the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Mike Ditka will providing NFL analysis for WMAQ-TV and Bear LB Lance Briggs (yes, the same one who crashed his car this past weekend) will be on every week on one particular radio station.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that NBC and CBC will share technology during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The networks are gearing up in case there’s a writers strike this fall. Variety reports that one option is purchasing international programming from the UK or Canada instead of relying on repeats or reality shows. Turning it back to sports, ABC may look to ESPN for some programming (think “Bronx is Burning”).
The next set of links involve the behemoth known as ESPN. Next month, the ESPN kingdom will have extensive coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup from China. Jackie Majerus of the Bristol (CT) Press talks with those who will be involved. Majerus also writes about the alleged Worldwide Leader looking to expand its presence on the West Coast with new studios in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
ESPN will also create a “MNF Luncheon Series” in 12 cities where the game will be played. Most of the MNF crew will be on hand. Speaking of MNF, Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post writes about Ron Jaworski joining the venerable series this season.
Paul Gough of the Hollywood Reporter writes that ESPN360 will relaunch this Saturday in time for college football. Steven Zeitchik of Variety says ESPN360 will only webcast live events and one potential for the site is the Olympics.
Ok, I will have an update tonight as I have to leave my office early to beat the traffic going to the Patriots game, plus the Deutsche Bank tournament is going on nearby so it’s going to be crazy today. I’ll do the Viewing Picks shortly.
After watching the finish of the evening session of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, it’s time to give you some links.
Let’s head over to Boston Sports Media Watch where Bruce Allen transcribed some rather idiotic comments made by former Boston Globe writer Ron Borges. He appeared on WEEI yesterday as substitute co-host for Dennis & Callahan and said that he got screwed by the Globe when he was fired for plagiarizing an NFL notes column from Mike Sando. Remember that, Ron? You don’t plagiarize other people’s work and pass it off as your own. And you don’t play yourself off as the victim in this either. Don’t make me go back to the Cold Hard Football Facts website which compares the two columns side by side. Dave Scott of BSMW has his take on the Borges debacle yesterday and also has an update on the Dennis & Callahan/WEEI negotiations. Ron, you may think you got screwed, but the only person who screwed you was yourself.
Paulsen from the Sports Media Watch blog has a look at the weekend ratings for the sporting weekend and the thing that sticks out is the fact that viewers are ready for football. MLB on Fox slipped for the 9th straight week.
In the New York Times, Richard Sandomir says Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should not whine about the prize money from the PGA’s FedEx Cup which will be deferred and invested for the winner. Talk about a nice perk. But Woods and Mickelson apparently want the money now.
Checking your links on the Big Ten Network, Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch says Time Warner, Insight nor WOW cable expect to pick up the channel in Ohio. George M. Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal says with the launch on Thursday, fans may still be left out in the cold. Jim Sabin of the Newark (OH) Advocate says Time Warner Cable is still negotiating down to the wire in hopes of coming to an agreement. The story is the same from Shawn Piatek from the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat where Comcast and Atlantic Broadband are the cable providers.
The NFL Network has been picked up by Grande Communications in San Antonio.
Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic spends five minutes with Pat Summerall.
Jean DePlacido of the Salem (MA) News profiles the lovely Michelle Bonner of ESPNews and anchors an occasional SportsCenter, who hails from nearby Marblehead, MA.
Mike Battaglino of the New York Post says the popular “Two-A-Days” show is moving from MTV to ESPN where it will get a new name.
ESPN has a big-ass press release hailing its coverage for college football including a weekly game of the week on radio. And the Alleged Worldwide Leader tells us that the last 11 races of the NASCAR Nextel series will be on ABC.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the NHL’s San Jose Sharks won’t have 10 games on TV this season.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Michael Vick story received all types of coverage.
Those are your links for now. Check back later for updates.
Middle of the week and time for some links for you. Lots of good stuff today.
Let’s start with the Dennis & Callahan contract situation. Notice I’m no longer putting the lockout, holdout, whatever it is in the headline. Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald writes in her Messenger blog that D & C did meet with Entercom last week. Still no word if they’re meeting again this week.
Are you ready for some college football? The season does begin August 30. ESPN wants you to be ready so it’s going to air a 25 hour, that’s twenty five hours, one full day plus one hour pregame show in advance of the LSU-Mississippi State game. It’ll begin at 7 p.m., August 29 on ESPN. SportsCenter will air in its regular time, but be more slanted towards college football. Rece Davis will be the host of the 25 hour pregame show. USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reports about ESPN’s plans. And Hiestand also adds that the CBS Sportsline website has been rebranded as CBS Sports.com just in time for NFL season.
By the way, CBS has announced its NFL announcing lineup for this season. And this marks the 40th year of the NFL Today.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir writes about former Pittsburgh Steeler coach Bill Cowher who joins the NFL Today this season. Pete Dougherty of the Albany (NY) Times-Union also writes about Cowher.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says this Saturday’s Redskins-Ravens game will be covered by the two teams’ TV production units.
The Zanesville (OH) Times-Recorder picks up a story from the nearby Lancaster Eagle-Gazette that Time Warner Cable will not air any of the first two Ohio State games which are scheduled to be televised by the Big Ten Network. From Ed Runyan of the Youngstown (OH) Vindicator says neither Time Warner or Armstrong Cable are going to pick up BTN. Mike Pramik of the Columbus Dispatch writes that fans are racing against the clock to get DirecTV dishes installed in time for the August 30 launch.
And to show how ridiculous the battle between the Big Ten Network and the cable companies has become, Comcast has been exposed for hiring a public relations firm to post anti-BTN messages on fan boards. Congrats to AOL’s Fanhouse blog for finding this. And this anti-BTN website is supposedly done a “fan”, but it appears to be done by Comcast. It looks too professional to be done by just one person. Yes, websites can look well done by one person, but this looks to be too slick.
Mike Dougherty of the Journal-News of Lohud, NY writes that officials from CBS and NBC Sports don’t know how to gage the ratings for the upcoming PGA FedEx Cup playoffs.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back later with more.
If you saw it in the Boston Herald this morning, the ad by WEEI with the juxtaposed heads of Dennis & Callahan made you wonder if they’re indeed coming back or if this “lockout” is indeed a publicity stunt. I admit I’m growing more cynical by the day.
Anyway, David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch has an updated entry on the D & C situation and he also has a scan of that ad.
Scott does wonder if D & C will “miraculously” appear on the WEEI airwaves on September 4 to announce a new contract. I do think this smells to high heaven.
Day 5 of the WEEI/Dennis & Callahan lockout. It appears that there’s no end in sight to this. Over at Boston Sports Media Watch, David Scott says WEEI’s parent company, Entercom has trumped John Dennis & Gerry Callahan and their options are for the most part, limited except for a return to WEEI. Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says Entercom pulled a out all the stops to sign an agreement with Nassau Broadcasting to form a regional sports network and possibly end D & C’s dream of competing against WEEI. In the Boston Globe, Christopher Rowland says D & C have been boxed out (his words). And Rowland’s collegue, Susan Bickelhaupt writes that Dan Patrick will host WEEI’s morning show, Thursday & Friday of next week (scroll to the bottom) and also focuses on ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series. With this story changing so frequently, we’ll continue to monitor this throughout the weekend.
Let’s check the other media columns today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Fox is going Hollywood for the Super Bowl by using Ryan Seacrest to interview celebrities as they enter the stadium. Great.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with Boomer Esiason who will co-host WFAN’s morning show starting in September. Best reports Esiason will do all but three Monday Night Football games for Westwood One Radio. In his blog, Best says the wall-to-wall coverage of the Little League World Series by the Disney sports networks is too much. I agree with him.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times summarizes the fans’ love for Phil Rizzuto.
Bob Raissman in today’s New York Daily News says MLB’s network partners are hoping the Yankees are in the pennant race down the stretch.
In the New York Post, Phil Muschnick says Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN at the right time. Also in the Post, Keith Terranova has 5 questions for SNY Mets analyst Keith Hernandez. And Terranova says the move by David Beckham to the MLS’ LA Galaxy has been good off the field in ticket sales and TV ratings, but it has yet to translate on the pitch.
Laura Nachman of the Bucks County Courier Times talks with Comcast SportsNet’s soccer analyst Phil Andrews who’s hoping Becks will have a huge impact on the sport here in States. Nachman also has an assessment on the Philadelphia Eagles’ first preseason telecast.
In The State newspaper in Columbia, SC, Doug Nye says the good ol’ days of sports TV were good, but today is pretty good too. And Nye says the Detroit-Yankees game tomorrow is the weekend’s best bet.
Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post says ESPN is the big loser in Dan Patrick’s departure.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the NFL trying to restrict the media’s coverage of its sport.
Barry Jackson writes in today’s Miami Herald that a promo by WQAM has led to one of the Miami Dolphins players canceling a show on the station.
Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the picture of the Big Ten Network being seen in Wisconsin is very fuzzy.
In the Chicago Tribune, Teddy Greenstein writes a Q & A about the potential of BTN to appear in Chicagoland.
George M. Thomas in the Akron Beacon Journal writes that SportsTime Ohio is garnering excellent ratings for Cleveland Indians games.
Over to the San Deigo Union-Tribune where Jay Posner says no one has been hired to work with Ted Leitner on San Diego State University football radio broadcasts and the first game is three weeks away.
John Maffei in the North County Times says ESPNU is making inroads in the San Diego market.
In the Los Angeles Times, Larry Stewart says former New York Giant Tiki Barber is making career inroads in his first year away from football.
According to Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, Clippers play-by-play announcer Matt Pinto is leaving the team to go to the Seattle Supersonics. Hoffarth writes that ESPN has made poker a legitimate sport. And Hoffarth has a long follow up entry in his Farther Off the Wall blog.
In Canada, the Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says CBC plans to pull out all the stops for its coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the last it will broadcast until at least 2014.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Score will attempt to expand its distribution across Canada.
I’ll be back later today. My plans to blog Dan Patrick’s final hour on ESPN Radio may have to be scrapped as I have to get out of work early. The Patriots play two miles from me and I want to get out before traffic gets too heavy. Check back with me.
Late Thursday, Entercom announced that it had entered with a partnership with Nassau Broadcasting to set up what? A regional sports network, the same thing reported by both David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch.com and the Boston Herald. Scott has the latest details in this crazy story. This certainly weakens the bargaining chip for John Dennis & Gerry Callahan. Unless CBS Radio has plans to sign them for WBCN or Greater Media signs them for WTKK, there isn’t much D & C can do but go back to WEEI. As a result, classical station WCRB will keep its format and Nassau will simulcast WEEI’s signal on its stations across New England. What a turnaround of events.
The NFL Network is close to reaching a deal to broadcast an exclusive edition of NFL Total Access for MyNetwork TV starting next month. John Consoli of Mediaweek says the MNTV edition would air on Saturday nights at 9. This would help MyNetworkTV gets some male viewers and NFL Network will use the platform to urge viewers to call Comcast and Time Warner to urge those companies to carry the channel.
Neil Best of Newsday announces that he’s going to be shutting down his blog while he goes on vacation (of course, he said he would do this on his last vacation and ended up updating his blog throughout the week). And he also announces that the overexposed Ryan Seacrest will be the “entertainment host for the Super Bowl XLII pregame show on Fox. Please, no. TV Week also picks up the Seacrest story. Oh god.
College football will be back with us in a few short weeks and the Sports Media Watch blog researches the ratings for games from last season.
Judd Zulgad from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the rhetoric between the Big Ten Network and the cable companies is going to get ramped up over the next few weeks. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer says a story that surfaced last week that the Big Ten Network would allow viewers to watch the first two Ohio State football games despite not having an agreement with Time Warner Cable is not true. Randy Petersen of the Des Moines Register says BTN and Mediacom Cable are talking about an agreement. That’s encouraging for Iowa fans.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has a follow up entry to yesterday when he discussed the soon-to-be Tiger Woods-designed golf course. Originally walk-only, apparently the course will indeed have carts and Rovell remains steadfast that no carts would have been a bad business decision.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks to ex-heavyweight boxing champ Buster Douglas who’s embarking on an acting career.
The Biz of Baseball blog says Blackberry users can now access MLB.com with one click by downloading an icon.
Pat Hickey in the Montreal Gazette says CBC won’t be showing as many Toronto Maple Leafs games on Hockey Night in Canada this upcoming season.
And those are the links for tonight. Friday will be our huge megaupdate. Watch for it.
Let’s give you a few things on this Thursday afternoon.
First, Dan Patrick has launched a website that includes a couple of videos of him around the house and a blog. Dan says he will let his fans know when and where he will be (Content Factory sometime in September). I will blog Dan’s final hour tomorrow. I thank Neil Best of Newsday for the link to the website.
Neil recaps his attendance at a Fox Sports gathering on Wednesday which unveiled its announcing lineups and plans for the NFL season. Tim McCarver was there and what he was doing at the gathering is beyond me. And Best gives the Fox lineup here.
David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch talks to the Program Director of Boston classical music station WCRB which was the subject of speculative stories that Dennis & Callahan of WEEI would land there to start up a regional sports network. Naturally, the staffers at ‘CRB were quite surprised to read the news. Owner Nassau Broadcasting would not outright deny the reports to Scott.
NBC Sports tells us that it will have primetime taped coverage of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships this weekend. And that Tiki Barber makes his debut on NBC for Sunday Night Football during halftime of the New York Giants-Baltimore Ravens game.
USA Basketball has announced that ESPN2, ESPN Classic, NBA-TV and FSN will show the FIBA Americas Championship with Fox Sports Net showing the gold and bronze medal games. ESPN2 and ESPN Classic will show all games involving Team USA. NBA-TV will show 40 games of the tournament and FSN will have 12 games. Interesting setup.
Let’s give you a couple of links regarding the Big Ten Network. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the University of Iowa sent out a mass e-mail to fans urging them to call Mediacom cable and demand the Big Ten Network. Randy Petersen of the Des Moines Register says talks between Mediacom and BTN are still ongoing.
Joanne C. Gerstner has a profile on ESPN’s Mike Tirico who remains very busy doing Monday Night Football, college football, the NBA and a bunch of other stuff for the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail says Canadians will be able to watch every CBC Hockey Night in Canada game online.
Speaking of online, Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says more sporting events are being made available online.
Subscribers to Sirius Satellite Radio will be able to listen to New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush every week on Sirius NFL Radio. Orbitcast which covers satellite radio news has the story.
Primetime and Late Night Viewing Choices coming up.
Thursday morning and if it’s WEEI, it must mean Day 4 of the D & C Lockout and we get more interesting developments with each passing day. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Boston Sports Media Watch has been following this story very closely. Website owner Bruce Allen and David Scott have both been reporting the latest developments on this story and they are responsible for finding the following link. From the Inside Track girls in the Boston Herald (scroll down to the bottom), John Dennis & Gerry Callahan are now talking with other parties and …. get this Dan Patrick who will be gone from ESPN Radio on Friday will fill in on WEEI all next week. And David Scott says Dan Patrick is not set in stone, and D & C are being courted by Nassau Broadcasting to start a regional sports radio network. As we would say in the radio business, stay tuned.
Speaking of Dan, as we all know, today and tomorrow mark his final shows on ESPN Radio. He talks with John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer about why he’s leaving. And Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post talks with Dan as well.
Going back to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dustin Dow looks at how ESPN influences the schedule of matches for the ATP Masters tournament this week.
The Medfield (MA) Press has a feature story on local Steve Berthiaume who is one of the major anchors on SportsCenter.
Former Chicago Bear Tom Waddle has signed on to be an analyst on the NFL Network (scroll down).
Paul Gough of the Hollywood Reporter writes that DirecTV will break ground with its NFL Sunday Ticket package. This includes streaming games online.
James Briggs of the Oakland (MI) Business Review reports Comcast is getting ready for the public relations onslaught from the Big Ten Network. In an opinion piece in the Evansville (IN) Courier-Press, Anthony Thompson, the assistant director for development at the Varsity Club at Indiana University says BTN will be a big boost for the school. And an editorial in the Warren (OH) Tribune Chronicle says there are no winners in the BTN-cable dispute. Tom Oates in the Wisconsin State Journal says there is no good guy either.
We’ll have more links later today. Check back with us.
I’ll give you a few links on this early evening.
The NHL has released the TV schedules for its network partners. The first two games are in London and in a tremendous move (sarcasm added), the season opener between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings will be aired in the US by HDNet, a channel that is run by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and has just a few subscribers on DirecTV and various cable systems. Thank you, Gary Bettman. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will have the game so it can be seen across the Great White North on over the air TV. The following day’s game will be on Versus which is seen by 100 people, but that’s an improvement over HDNet. I just wonder what Bettman is thinking. Anyway, here’s the schedule for Versus. Versus also informs us that Bill Patrick will be the host for its “Hockey Central” studio show meaning that Bill Clement loses his hosting job at both Versus and NBC. Harsh.
Here’s the schedule for NBC which will have one national game, but have a choice from two to three games each week. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada schedule is here. And the CBC says it will coverage of 85 games including the All Star Game, Hockey Day in Canada and the Stanley Cup Finals. Canada’s TSN schedule can be found at this link. TSN says it have coverage of 70 games this season including more games involving Canadian teams.
Neil Best of Newsday has more in his blog about the release of the NHL TV schedule including how it affects the Islanders.
The Sports Media Blog notes the ratings for the PGA Championship which were down from last year, but still good numbers for CBS.
John Dennis spoke to David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch and the co-host of WEEI’s morning show contends the lockout is not a ratings stunt. I’ll have to take Dennis at his word. In her Boston Herald blog, Jessica Heslam has the schedule for WEEI’s morning show for the rest of the week.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders why Tiger Woods’ first U.S. golf course that he’s designing (he’s currently doing one in Dubai) is not going to have carts.
That’s it for now. I may be back later tonight. Check back often.
I had to go to a meeting earlier today so there were no links, but I’m back now so let’s go to it. I’ll have more on the Dennis & Callahan lockout further down in this entry.
Earlier today, Fox Sports had a webcast of its NFL seminar featuring its Sunday pre-game crew of host Curt Menafee, analysts Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson. Several other Fox analysts were there including Troy Aikman, Moose Johnston and Brian Baldinger. I have yet to see it, but it is archived here.
Talking about the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, Hal Bodley of USA Today remembers him and looks at his career as both a player and a broadcaster. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says the Yankees broadcasts were never the same when Scooter left the booth for good in 1996. Mike Puma of the New York Post recaps the tribute the Yanks paid last night before the game wit the Orioles. Phil Mushnick remembers some of the lovable banter Phil had in the booth with his partners. In Newsday, Neil Best writes that Rizzuto’s on-air partners knew him as quite the unorthodox teacher.
Neil Best was quite busy Tuesday as WFAN announced the hiring of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carlton as replacements for Don Imus. In his blog, Best has a bunch of posts, but one notable entry regarded the Fox NFL Sunday crew which returns to Los Angeles after being a traveling road show last season. And Newsday’s Bob Glauber gets on Best’s case for putting Jilllian Barberie’s picture in the above entry and says Best buried the lead from the Fox seminar. Michael McCarthy of USA Today writes about what Glauber was pointing out, that Fox will pit Jimmy Johnson and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer in a one-on-one segment together. Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News also has a quick blurb on the new segment.
In the New York Times, Richard Sandomir reviews the first episode of ABC News’ five part series on NASCAR. Sandomir correctly questions why ABC News would do a documentary on the sport when corporate cousins ESPN and ABC News are television partners of NASCAR. In addition, Sandomir says the first episode does not break any new ground nor does it have any hard hitting journalism.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune notes that with 15 days until launch, the Big Ten Network still lacks contracts with the major cable companies. In the crosstown Chicago Sun-Times, Lacy Banks points out that most of Illinois’ and Northwestern’s men’s basketball schedule will be televised on BTN. Dave Lubach of the Sheboygan (WI) Press says he wasn’t a supporter of BTN before, but after seeing that the channel will pick up most of the Wisconsin basketball schedule, he is now. Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch says Ohio State fans will only see half of the men’s basketball schedule unless BTN is picked up locally. Dave Goetzl of the Media Daily News says BTN has for the most part picked most of the top hoops games of the conference for itself.
Do you care that Perry Farrell, formerly of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros and now of Satellite Party, has written the new theme song for ESPN’s college football? No? Good. I’m not linking to any stories about it.
But I will give you an ESPN press release discussing its extensive Little League World Series coverage which begins Friday and will conclude on Sunday, August 26.
Yesterday, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch gave five reasons why the WEEI/Dennis & Callahan contract dispute could, could be staged. Let me say this. Entercom is a company that is known for staging walkouts, suspensions, vacations and fights for ratings. In its Boston cluster, Entercom has WRKO, WEEI, Mike 93.7 and WAAF. When Rocco & Birdsie were doing afternoon drive for WAAF, they were constantly “suspended” for acts that were staged. Interestingly enough, those “suspensions” came during weeks that were not in ratings periods, thus Rocco & Birdsie were really on vacation. When WEEI was “looking” for a midday co-host to join Dale Arnold, Program Director Jason Wolfe went through a charade of “auditioning” various co-hosts when it was known that Bob Neumeier would be joining him. And when the nighttime job opened, Mike Adams staged a “sit-in” in the WEEI studios until he got a contract and lo and behold, Program Director Jason Wolfe called in to inform Adams that he had the job (but this had been decided before the stunt). Listeners are smarter than Entercom gives them credit for, but the company continues to stage these stunts. However with the D&C situation, there are clues leaning to the fact that the lock out could be real. There are clues leaning to the fact that it could be staged. John Dennis is still heard on WEEI promos for the Jimmy Fund Radiothon this Friday. But as Bruce points out today in the Boston Sports Media Watch, D&C want to be paid in accordance with that Entercom makes off their show. We’ll see. Entercom has not been called out for its stunts in the past, but if this lockout is not real, there will be consequences for the company and WEEI.
Those are your links for now. I could be back later with an update.
I turned on WEEI this morning to see if the contract dispute between the radio station and morning show hosts Dennis & Callahan had been settled and in D & C’s place were John Rooke and Larry Johnson. I’ve worked with Rooke and he’s good as usual. There’s a reason why Larry is usually on the weekends. Anyway, there’s apparently no end to this in sight and if this continues, parent company Entercom will be looking for a new morning show to anchor the sports radio station.
As usual, Bruce Allen and David Scott are keeping track of the story at Boston Sports Media Watch. Scott says advertisers are wary of paying for a show that doesn’t include D & C. And Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald continues the advertiser theme. Heslam does get a quote from her collegue, Callahan. We’ll continue to monitor the story.
Over to the 38Cliches blog which continues to press the issue of Glenn Geffner, a Red Sox corporate officer, doing the games on the radio. This is something that is not going to go away. Geffner broadcast last night’s game on radio and again, was a conflict of interest. If he’s a corporate officer, there’s no way he should be broadcasting games. It would be like having Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino himself working on NESN or WRKO. With Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien, you know you have a modicum of objectivity. Geffner is not only a bad broadcaster, but he’s also spouting the company line. The Red Sox should resolve this now.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notes that Fox’ Joe Buck called his last baseball game for the network this season until the playoffs. With a 26 game schedule, Buck will have called 8 overall. And he’s supposed to be the #1 announcer? If he’s only going to work less than half the season, isn’t it time for Fox to find someone else to work on the #1 team with Tim McCarver?
Neil Best of Newsday talks with Dan Patrick who’s doing his last shows for ESPN Radio this week. And in his blog, Best expands on some stuff from his Patrick interview that didn’t make it into his column.
Eric Lacy of the Detroit News says even though the Big Ten Conference doesn’t have hockey as a sport, the Big Ten Network will televise games involving member schools. George M. Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal says time is running out for BTN to gain carriage on cable.
Tim Tucker in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says ratings for Braves games on Sports South, FSN South and TBS are up.
The Boston Globe has an editorial criticizing the NFL’s policy on limiting video on the web.
Phil Swann in the TV Predictions website says DirecTV will carry 180 NFL games in HD.
That’s it for now.
The contract dispute between WEEI and Dennis & Callahan have reached a new level. Bruce Allen and David Scott from Boston Sports Media Watch have broken the story that John Dennis & Gerry Callahan are not allowed to do their show until contract negotiations are settled. It meant that Craig Mustard and Larry Johnson were on in their place this morning. Scott spoke with Dennis and has a long piece this morning. And Jessica Heslam and Laurel Sweet have the story in the Boston Herald where Callahan is a columnist. As my Boston readers are aware, Callahan has been off the air since April due to a throat condition that made listening to him extremely difficult. He underwent surgery and WEEI has had various guest co-hosts to join Dennis in the interim.
A spokesman for WEEI’s parent company, Entercom, quoted in the Herald story says D & C are on vacation, but as you can read from Scott’s story, that could not be farther from the truth. With the botched situation on WEEI’s sister station, WRKO, with its star talk show host Howie Carr, Entercom did not want a repeat, thus the lockout of D & C. You can read more about the dispute between Entercom & D & C and Howie Carr at Boston Radio Watch.
I’ll have Monday links coming up.