Just announced now by MLB Network, former NESN sideline reporter Heidi Watney will be joining the MLB-owned TV network in January.
Since leaving NESN in 2011, she went to Time Warner Cable SportsNet to work as a sideline reporter for the Los Angeles Lakers, however, she was dropped before the season began.
Watney will work for MLB Network as a studio host and a reporter. She’ll make her debut in January.
During her time with NESN, Heidi became quite popular with Red Sox Nation fanboys. However, women were another story.
Heidi tweeted that she’s joining MLB Network shortly after the announcement was made.
— Heidi Watney (@HeidiWatney) November 19, 2012
Here’s the press release from MLB Network on Heidi’s hiring.
Secaucus, N.J., November 19, 2012 – MLB Network today announced that Heidi Watney has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio host and reporter, appearing across MLB Network’s studio programming. Watney will make her MLB Network debut in January, 2013.
“I’m extremely excited to return to baseball by joining MLB Network’s on-air talent lineup. Baseball is a true passion of mine and I’m looking forward to covering all 30 MLB clubs 365 days a year,” said Watney.
Watney most recently covered the Los Angeles Galaxy for Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles, California. Watney previously served as the Boston Red Sox field reporter for New England Sports Network (NESN) from 2008-2011. In addition to providing live in-game updates and reporting for NESN’s pre- and postgame show, Watney hosted the “Red Sox Report” and the “Ultimate Red Sox Show.” Before joining NESN, Watney worked as a sports anchor and host for KMPH-TV and KFIG-AM radio in Fresno, California.
That is all.
I owe you linkage. I’m in a bad stretch so linkage is scarce. I try to give you breaking news when I can.
Let’s start with Michael Hiestand of USA Today who reports that MLB on Fox will go eight straight weeks in primetime during the upcoming 2012 season.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King says it’s time for him to step down as a voter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Matt Pepin of Boston.com announces that legendary writer Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe plans to retire after the London Summer Olympics. Ryan will be missed, but I have a feeling we’ll still be seeing him around.
At Sports Business Journal, John Ourand looks at how sports talk radio is thriving while other formats in the medium are failing.
John talks with a DC-based sports radio show on how it focuses on doing its program the old fashioned way.
SBJ lists some of the markets where sports radio wars are hot and heavy.
And SBJ has a look at sports talk radio by the numbers.
Dave Kindred at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center has hope for the future of sports journalism.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing has the MSG Network and TSN calls of the Jeremy Lin three pointer to beat Toronto to guide the New York Knicks to their 6th straight win.
Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog says Jason Whitlock is backtracking after his racist Jeremy Lin tweet from last Friday.
Edmund Lee of Capital New York goes inside the “hard-working” descriptions for Jeremy Lin.
Advertising Age notes that NBC is utilizing Google and ComScore to measure how people watch this year’s London Olympics.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News looks at a new internet streaming TV service that will challenge copyright laws, but has the support of rich investors and one particular media mogul.
Tim Nudd of Adweek talks about Ford creating a fake Sports Illustrated swimsuit model for an ad in this year’s issue.
Tim looks at Samsung’s Super Bowl ad which poked fun Apple groupies.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin has the awkward video of CNBC’s Darren Rovell asking SI Swimsuit Issue Cover Girl Kate Upton to be his Valentine.
Darren says SI had to put Kate Upton on the cover or suffer the consequences.
Jason Brough at Pro Hockey Talk has New York Rangers fans angry over the MSG/Time Warner Cable dispute.
Tom Lorenzo at SportsGrid says Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will grant his first post-relapse interview to … Glenn Beck TV?
Larry Mahoney of the Bangor (ME) Daily News says Maine native Ricky Craven will be a NASCAR analyst for ESPN this season.
NESN has a behind-the-scenes video with its Boston Bruins rinkside reporter Naoko Funayama on her gameday preparation.
NESN also has Friends of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle and ABC6′s Courtney Fallon talking about their dream dates as they attended a charity event in Boston last weekend. Former NESN Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney was also there.
Over to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times who says NBC is hoping the London Olympics will outpace the ad sales for the Vancouver Winter Games which ended up at a loss for the network.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says WFAN has made it official that Josh Lewin replaces Wayne Hagin on Mets broadcasts this year.
Bob’s Blitz looks at the overhyped CBS Radio mobile app for WFAN’s Mike Francesa who once proclaimed it to be a “Twitta Killa.”
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union writes that despite not having Time Warner Cable subscribers watching, MSG Network’s ratings for Knicks games featuring Jeremy Lin are red hot.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record states that MSG will simulcast Knicks games in Spanish.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies are hoping to cash in when their TV rights go up for bid after this season.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has samples of Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis’ takes on the print media.
Jose Lambiet of the Miami Herald notes that local sports radio talk host Sid Rosenberg owes a lot of money to an illegal offshore gambling site.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Hall of Fame Astros announcer Milo Hamilton is expected to announce his retirement on Wednesday.
David speculates on who could replace Hamilton in 2013.
Steve Campbell of the Chronicle writes that Hamilton’s retirement is just one of the many changes expected for the ‘Stros.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman looks at the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says local viewers watched golf over the weekend.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News notes one of the finalists for this year’s MLB Fan Cave inhabitants.
John Daly at The Daly Planet feels NBC SportsTalk should bring NASCAR into the mix.
John also looks at ESPN’s NASCAR announcing lineup.
Sports Media Watch gives us last week’s sports television ratings.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on NBC Sports Network drew decently last Sunday.
Steve looks inside the numbers of Sunday’s NHL on NBC Sports Network game.
Dave Kohl of the Broadcast Booth looks at Sid Rosenberg’s alleged gambling debts.
And we’ll end it there for now.
Let’s do some linkage on this MLK Day, a holiday for some of you.
We’ll begin with a story from an unusual source, Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Nick Summers of Newsweek writes about how ESPN’s subscriber fees could force cable providers to place the network on pay tiers.
Michael Hiestand at USA Today reports that CBS wants Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow as a guest analyst for The NFL Today before Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Hiestand delves into the overnight ratings for NFL Divisional Playoffs Sunday.
Mike McCarthy at USA Today notes that several TV analysts and national radio hosts ripped the officiating in yesterday’s New York Giants-Green Bay Packers NFL Divisional Playoff Game.
Ben Grossman at Broadcasting & Cable says filmmaker Peter Berg who’s “On Freddie Roach” series premieres on HBO this week, wants to produce a similar series on Washington State head football coach Mike Leach.
Michael Malone from B&C tells us that Sunbeam-owned TV stations in Boston and Miami were pulled from DirecTV forcing viewers to scramble to find ways to watch yesterday’s NFL action and the Golden Globe Awards.
Alex Weprin at TVNewser says Current TV host Keith Olbermann went to visit MLB Network, which housed his former MSNBC offices and found some interesting mementos.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has video of a Chicago Blackhawks fan professing his love for Comcast SportsNet reporter Sarah Kustok.
Brandon Costa from Sports Video Group looks at how the College of Charleston produces its own basketball telecasts for ESPN3 and local TV affiliates.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell doesn’t like how colleges and universities are restricting their student-athletes from using social media.
The Tennis Times has a video giving us an inside look at the Australian Open Media Day.
Dan Lamothe of the Springfield Republican’s Red Sox Monster blog notes that former NESN Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney returns to New England next month for a charity auction.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the Tim Tebow TV phenomenon.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is not a fan of Daryl “Moose” Johnston.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that the Dial Global/Westwood One broadcasts of the NFL Conference Games will be heard locally.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says a local talk show host is heading to Motown.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun actually praises CBS’ production of the Houston-Baltimore game.
The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins conducted the first interview with former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno since the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.
Sally also answered readers questions on the interview and how she got Paterno to speak with her.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN tennis analyst Darren Cahill about the Australian Open.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Tom Jones reviews the weekend in sports television.
Also from the Times, Eric Deggans wonders why news anchors were doing promos for a local Monster Truck event.
One more from the Times, Laura Keeley says Florida State fans lined up to be part of ESPN’s College GameDay’s appearance on campus on Saturday.
At the Houston Chronicle, David Barron isn’t a fan of the two minute commercial CBS gave to Subway during The NFL Today postgame show yesterday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reports that ESPN has settled a wrongful termination lawsuit put forth by former play-by-play man Ron Franklin.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the NFL insiders were reporting on possible Packers coaching news yesterday.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman looks at the 20th anniversary of sports talk radio in the Windy City with several local personalities.
To the Denver Post where Dusty Saunders talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz about the demise of the Broncos and Tim Tebow on Saturday.
Dawn C. Chmielewski of the Los Angeles Times looks at how ESPN is trying to push 3-D on the unwanting American people.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with ESPN Radio LA host Marcellus Wiley about his acute memory loss and also has his 20th annual bests and worsts in SoCal sports talk radio.
Tom has more with Marcellus in his blog.
Tom also has his SoCal sports calendar for the week.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail notes how slow motion has revolutionized sports television.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing is echoing what I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks, and that he’s becoming a fan of Joe Buck.
Sports Media Watch also looks at the ratings of the New York Football Giants and Green Bay Packers on Fox.
Joe Favorito wonders what’s next for Tim Tebow both as a player and as a marketer.
And that will conclude our linkage for today.
I haven’t written a sports media thoughts post in quite some time. I owe you one do let’s do this without further delay. As always, they come in bullet form.
- Last night’s BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and LSU was another dull affair, just like their first game in the regular season. ESPN did its best to step up for the game. Brent Musburger seemed to be in hype mode more than usual. Kirk Herbstreit was on his game as analyst. As Alabama’s defense was in lockdown mode, not allowing LSU past mid-field until midway of the 4th quarter, Brent and Kirk were quick to point out the differences in approach by coaches Nick Saban and Les Miles.Production of the game was also championship-worthy. Replays were sharp and close calls were resolved through ESPN showing the correct angles.However, ESPN overused last year’s BCS National Championship Game coaches, Gene Chizik of Auburn and Chip Kelly of Oregon. Both were dull and in need of personality transfusions. ESPN barely used their own analysts for College GameDay.Because the game was so dull, Musburger could not make a tie-in to sponsor Allstate as he did last year for Tostitos. He did overuse “Honey Badger.” What last night’s game did was to assist the skeptics’ screams for a college football playoff or at least a Plus One game. Overall, I give ESPN a B+ for the game.
- Still no word on whether NESN is any closer to a replacement for Heidi Watney as Red Sox field reporter. Of the candidates NESN has conducted interviews and those I’ve been able to confirm through several sources include Erin Hawksworth of Fox Seattle, Courtney Fallon of ABC6 in Providence, and Britt McHenry from WJLA-TV in Washington. I told you last month that Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle was interviewed and is not believed to be a candidate at this time. If anything happens, I’ll certainly let you know.
- You have to believe that CBS is happy to be riding the Tim Tebow wave as it heads to Foxboro, MA this weekend as Denver takes on the New England Patriots in the NFL Divisional Playoff round. The only game during Wild Card Weekend to see massive gains over last year was Sunday’s Pittsburgh-Denver game, garnering an amazing 25.9/43 overnight number for CBS. This would mark the 5th straight week CBS and its number one team, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have called the Broncos and Tebow. No matter how you feel about Tebow, he draws ratings and makes people watch. I don’t expect Saturday night’s game to draw near the Wild Card ratings because Saturday is not a big TV night, however, if Denver-New England is close going down to the wire, expect big numbers.
- Here’s looking forward to ESPN2/Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Australian Open starting Sunday night. Coverage will begin every night at 7 p.m. ET. Finals will take place in the wee hours of the morning at 3:30 a.m. on the East Coast, but it will lead to some very good tennis. The 16 hour time difference between Melbourne and the US Eastern time zone means for some disjointed viewing, but it’s always fun to see the summer weather from the Southern Hemisphere. Here’s looking forward to hearing from Chris Fowler, Cliff Drysdale, Pam Shriver, Patrick McEnroe, Darren Cahill, Bill Macatee, Martina Navratilova and Justin Gimelstob for two weeks.
And that’s going to it for the thoughts this morning.
Let’s give you some linkage on this Friday. Been a busy day. You deserve some links
The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment TV watching. And now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether networks should hire ex-coaches knowing full well they could make news and leave for another job.
ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute takes the Alleged Worldwide Leader to task for its failure to press the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story and holding a tape for eight years.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser writes that ESPN has hired Bloomberg News sports business reporter Michele Steele.
Over to Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk who has Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid angry at NFL Network for its portrayal of wide receiver DeSean Jackson after last night’s game with Seattle.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News discusses the viewership increase for Thursday Night Football.
Mike writes about the quintet of games that will open the NBA season on Christmas Day.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has an advance clip of a CNN Sunday interview with ESPN Vice President of News Vince Doria speaking about the handling of the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story.
Dan has a very strong promo for the return of the NBA.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that on the Dan Patrick Show, TNT’s Charles Barkley had some fighting words for notorious sports self-promoter Skip Bayless.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile truck operators are happy to have the NBA back in action.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says while the NBA Lockout has been settled, there’s still a battle that will continue for several years.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing looks at the machinations behind a longer Thursday Night Football schedule.
East and Mid-Atlantic
At the Boston Globe, Chad Finn looks at how Twitter broke the Bobby Valentine-to-Boston story and he handicaps the race to replace Heidi Watney as NESN Red Sox reporter.
Howard Beck at the New York Times notes that current NBA players are returning slowly but surely to NBA TV which has been stuck showing games from the 1980′s and early 1990′s.
The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson reports that the NFL is looking for big bucks from NBC to renew the rights to Sunday Night Football.
The Post’s Phil Mushnick wants the networks to stop showing touchdown celebrations.
Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler.
Newsday’s Neil Best bids adieu to WFAN’s Tracy Burgess who left the Boomer and Carton show today.
Neil looks at ESPN being a stepping stone for coaches who are looking for their next job.
Neil has a quickie review of the ESPN Films documentary on former quarterback Todd Marinovich.
And Neil notes that local football players aren’t making news on social networks, but the old fashioned way… on radio.
Bob’s Blitz has pictures of Tracy Burgess’ last day at WFAN.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox is trying to get the word out that it’s back in the college football business.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ Unguarded documentary, will be in town to talk about his battle with addiction.
In the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg tells us what happened to local sports radio host John Riggins who’s been missing as of late.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson and Charles Davis about calling back-to-back conference championship games on successive nights.
David Barron in the Houston Chronicle talks with NFL on Fox sideline analyst Tony Siragusa who will be part of the crew calling the Atlanta-Texans game on Sunday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge who will call the annual Bedlam game.
Mel says Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster are pulling double duty this weekend.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Time Warner Cable will be busy with local high school football this weekend.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the Detroit Lions have received more national media attention whether it’s deserved or not.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Charles Davis talking about Wisconsin running Montee Ball’s Heisman Trophy chances.
Bob says NASCAR races will be airing on a different Milwaukee radio station next year.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has his weekly winners and losers.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says it’s going to be a busy weekend for Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster on Fox.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis University may be a rising college basketball program, but it hasn’t translated to more national exposure.
John Maffei of the North County Times says local Cox subscribers will be able to see Time Warner Cable’s coverage of the state high school football championships this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the Pac-12 Championship won’t be the showcase that Fox had in mind.
Jim says the SEC Championship will have BCS National Championship Game implications like it always does.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Fox is doing its best to sell a less than stellar Pac-12 Championship Game matchup.
Tom has what didn’t make his column in his blog.
Tom says the new Los Angeles Dodgers radio flagship will hire former manager Kevin Kennedy as a postgame host.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail gleefully points out that Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada is drawing lower ratings than in the past.
And that’s going to do it for our linkage tonight.
Heidi Watney may be leaving New England for Southern California, but you can’t say she’s fearful. During a recent vacation to New Zealand, the birthplace of adventure sports, the former Red Sox field reporter took a bungee jump at the site of the very first commercial jump. Heidi decided to chronicle her adventure in the video below. I’ll say this. Heidi is not afraid of heights.
Here’s a pic of Heidi when she made the actual jump. Pretty fearless.
We’ll miss Heidi. She made it official on WEEI today that she accepted the gig to become the sideline reporter for the Los Angeles Lakers on Time Warner Cable’s new regional sports network starting in 2012.
Since the posts were sparse on Tuesday, I’ll give you some sports media thoughts here. All in bullet form as usual.
- I haven’t said much about ESPN’s handling of the Bernie Fine Syracuse story. I wanted to get some facts before commenting. I’m really distressed that ESPN held onto the tape of what was reportedly Fine’s wife telling accuser Bobby Davis that she knew of her husband’s transgressions. The fact that it held the tape dating back to 2003 makes the network look bad. While Vice President for news content, Vince Doria, said in ESPN’s public relations blog that it had no obligation to present it to the authorities, ESPN may have played an inadvertent role in allowing Fine to allegedly molest more children and it also looks like it was protecting an interest. ESPN may not have been doing so, but the implication is there.
- I’m hearing more and more that NESN is leaning towards Erin Hawksworth as the replacement for Heidi Watney as Red Sox field reporter. I’m not familiar with her work. She has worked in Boston for the local Fox affiliate from 2008-2010. She’s currently working for the Fox Seattle affiliate. Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle interviewed with NESN earlier this week. I still hold out hope that Jen will get the job. I also hope Courtney Fallon from WLNE in Providence gets an interview as well.
- Can you imagine five NBA games on Christmas Day? That appears to be the case. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times is reporting that TNT as under its contract with the league will get the season opener which will be Boston-New York at noon Eastern. Then ABC will have an afternoon doubleheader with ESPN getting a primetime double dip.
- On Thursday, the paperback edition of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” will be released. There are 50 new pages of material. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated recounts one new story from author James Andrew Miller involving SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm. And Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal and I will interview James in this week’s Sports Media Weekly Podcast about the additional material. I look forward to the new edition.
That’s going to complete the thoughts for tonight.
Let’s do some links. May not be a full set. Depends on how much I can get done here.
We’ll start with Alexandra Bruell of Advertising Age who says Penn State University has hired a public relations firm to help with crisis management for the Jerry Sandusky story.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says all of NBC’s online golf content will be branded through Golf Channel.
George Winslow of B&C writes that UFC has launched an Android app allowing subscribers to see any pay per view event.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says tonight’s Thursday Night Football game between the Jets and Denver Broncos will be aired in New York without the help of two major cable providers.
Emma Bazilian at Adweek says the NFL has tabbed a Canadian outfit that no one has ever heard of to publish its new magazine.
Also at Adweek, Katy Bachman writes that Cablevision is appealing an FCC decision forcing the cable provider to provide HD feeds of the New York Knicks and Rangers to Verizon and AT&T U-Verse.
Steven Church at Bloomberg Businessweek says Fox is seeking a delay of hearing on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ attempt to sell its media rights.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us what the NCAA makes off the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments from CBS/Turner and ESPN respectively.
The Inside Track at the Boston Herald notes Heidi Watney’s departure from NESN for the sunny skies in California.
Dan Lamonthe of the Springfield (MA) Republican in his Red Sox Monster blog jokingly says Heidi’s leaving means a curse on the Red Sox can be lifted.
For her part, Heidi did tweet the following when news began leaking of her departure.
NESN has released a statement announcing that Heidi is no longer with the network.
Ryan Durling at BostInnovation notes that NESN’s Bruins ratings are still high.
Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times looks at the Bob Costas interview of Jerry Sandusky and wonders why the embattled choose TV to defend themselves.
Jo Becker at the Times has the amazing story of how an internet posting helped to bring the investigation into Sandusky’s alleged molestations to the surface.
The Times’ Richard Sandomir notes that the Los Angeles Dodgers are suing Fox Sports saying the company is preventing the team’s sale.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that Golf Channel will be taking the air at an earlier time today for Day 2 of the Presidents Cup.
To the Washington Post where Matt Bonesteel notes that former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams will do some TV work this season.
The Post’s DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg has a couple of national writers coming down hard on the DC NFL team and coach Mike Shanahan.
Chad Conant of the Mansfield (OH) News Journal feels ESPN is overdoing it with MAC football this week.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has some various Windy City sports media news and notes.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News introduces SoCal to Heidi Watney.
Louis Brester of the San Bernadino (CA) Sun says ESPN will be all over NASCAR’s Sprint Cup finale this Sunday.
Blythe Blumleve at Awful Announcing has a story on the NFL on Fox robot, Cleatus, being embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal?
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has some mid-week thoughts.
The Sports Media Watch notes the conflicts of interest in reporting on the NBA lockout.
SMW says NASCAR’s next-to-last Sprint Cup race was up for ESPN.
We’ll end it there. It’s getting late. I have a lot of things to do later.
I guess it’s official now. After reports surfaced this week that Heidi Watney was finished at NESN after four seasons as Red Sox field reporter, we get this official statement from the New England Sports Network.
Statement from NESN President & CEO Sean McGrail:
“Heidi Watney will not be returning to NESN next year. She is pursuing other opportunities that would bring her closer to her family on the west coast. We respect Heidi’s decision and would like to thank her for everything that she has brought to NESN over the past 4 years and wish her the very best.”
Whenever networks make statements like these, they’re always terse, contain “pursue other opportunities” and end with “we wish him/her well.” Translation, “we didn’t pick up his/her contract and have someone else in mind for the position,” but they can’t say that.
Best of luck to Heidi. She had a fan here and will be missed on this end. I hope she continues to do well in SoCal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Time Warner Cable.
I haven’t done a thoughts column in quite some time. And to boot, I’m doing this on the iPad. Not that you should care, but this will cause me to pause and think which is dangerous. Anyway, I’ll do this in bullet form.
Thanks for your indulgence.
- The Penn State media coverage has not been over the top as I had feared when the story went national. There has been great reporting from the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the Daily Collegian, the New York Times and NBC News. Bob Costas’ interview of Jerry Sandusky was excellent. In contrast, CBS’ overhyped 24 second interview of Mike McQuery gave us nothing. Not Armen Keteyian’s fault for the overhype, but we expected more. This story will not be going away any time soon. It will be interesting to see how the national outlets handle it as it moves into months and maybe even years.
- In my native area of New England, the big news is twofold, Don Orsillo staying as NESN Red Sox voice through 2015. He had been pursued by both Turner Sports and MLB Network. To be honest, I was convinced he would take the Turner job to be their main voice for Sunday Afternoon Baseball and the MLB Postseason on TBS, but on Wednesday, the news leaked that he would stay in New England to continue to be teamed with Jerry Remy, a pairing that dates back to 2001. Orsillo will continue to call the MLB Postseason for TBS. Sometimes, the best move is the one you don’t make.
- The other news from New England also involves NESN and the third member of the Red Sox team, Heidi Watney. It was reported that she’ll join Time Warner Cable to be the sideline reporter for the Los Angeles Lakers starting in the 2012-13 season. Heidi had been with NESN since 2008 and became popular with many male fans. Women were another story as she was polarizing. I was under the impression from several sources that the 2011 season would the last for Heidi at NESN. A native of California, Heidi returns to the West Coast. I thought she did a good job on NESN. She will be missed.
The attention now turns to who will replace Heidi for 2012. One good candidate would be Boston native Jen Royle who has been cooling her heels in Baltimore for CBS Radio and has covered the Orioles the last two seasons on both MASN and 105.7 The Fan. Jen did a successful weekend guest spot on WEEI last month and has made it no secret that she yearns to return to Boston. A perfect way to bring her back would be as Heidi’s replacement on NESN or as a host on WEEI. Let’s get this done.
- I thought Fox did a decent job in its UFC debut last Saturday. Curt Menefee is a competent host and got the job done as pre and post fight host. UFC President Dana White was ok as an analyst, but the man who impressed me was Brock Lesnar who showed no fear challenging his boss on the set. While the UFC Heavyweight fight lasted just over a minute, it was better than having five rounds of boring action with the crowd booing. Fox’s production was good. UFC announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan were on top of everything although Rogan seemed to be high on something as he was yelling more than normal. I expect bigger and better things from Fox in the next UFC event in January.
- I watched Wednesday’s New Jersey Devils-Buffalo Sabres game on Versus. Dave Strader and Ed Olzyck did their usual bang-up job. However, Pierre McGuire needs a muzzle. He talks too much and continues to be abrasive during interviews. I would prefer Darren Pang or even Mike Milbury as the ice level analyst, anyone but Pierre McGuire. NBC Sports is doing a disservice to hockey fans by continuing to use this butcher on the air.
And that’s going to do it for now. Enjoy your Thursday.
It’s Wednesday. It’s mid-week and it’s time for some sports media links. Let’s get to them without further delay.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about the “get” of accused child molester Jerry Sandusky for “Rock Center with Brian Williams”.
While NBC and Bob Costas are being praised for the Sandusky interview, Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes CBS is being mocked for heavily promoting a disappointing “get” of Penn State assistant coach Mike McQuery.
If you didn’t see the :24 second interview, the Big Lead has the video.
Back to Michael Hiestand, he writes that two Penn State alums will be on the call for ESPN/ABC for the next two Nittany Lions games.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says Golf Channel should see a ratings spike for the Presidents Cup for Tiger Woods and his ex-caddie Steve Williams.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says despite losing UFC to Fox, Spike TV will launch a mixed martial arts newsmagazine.
George Winslow of B&C notes that HBO and Sports Illustrated will use social and digital media to promote their new documentary series premiering in 2013.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News advises NBA Communist Sympathizer David Stern to cut the “nuclear winter” rhetoric.
Mike says the Minnesota-Green Bay Monday Night Football game despite being a blowout, drew over 14 million viewers for ESPN.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says even though Fox’s UFC debut had a very brief fight, it still came out a winner.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile production companies are being hit hard by the lack of NBA games.
SVG notes that CBS Sports Network will be airing National Lacrosse League games in primetime next year.
Dave Miller at the National Football Post says ESPN analyst Bob Davies will be the new head football coach at New Mexico.
Tim Malloy and Daniel Frankel of The Wrap take a look at how the NBA’s TV partners are coping with a lack of live games this season.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the NBA Players are taking a $3.3 billion gamble.
At the Boston Herald, Michael Silverman reports that Don Orsillo of NESN will stay on as Red Sox voice while reporter Heidi Watney is apparently heading back to her native California.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe confirms Heidi’s departure.
Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England also has the story.
Sean notes that former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will take 2012 off and possibly pursue broadcasting opportunities for next season.
CSNNE’s Boston Bruins beat reporter Joe Haggerty says B’s forward Brad Marchand isn’t happy over a nickname created by a local sports radio talk show.
Greg Sullivan at the Fall River (MA) Herald says former NBA player Chris Herren has become a high demand speaker after the airing of his ESPN Films documentary “Unguarded”.
Amy Chozick of the New York Times says the NBA’s TV partners are trying to fill programming holes left behind by the lockout.
Claire Atkinson at the New York Post says NFL Network will put a full court press on Time Warner Cable during tomorrow’s Jets-Broncos game.
To Jerry Barmash and Fishbowl NY, he tells us that ESPN Radio New York broadcaster Jared Max will be honored by a gay publication.
At the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty has the Week 12 college football TV schedule.
Peter Van Allen at the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski will be the local spokesman for a national tire chain.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog where Dan Steinberg has CBS News’ Armen Keteyian defending his piss poor interview with Mike McQuery.
Dan says the local CBS affiliate has yet to replace sports anchor Brett Haber who left station three months ago.
Maggie Fazelli Fard of the Post looks at the ESPN Zone auction in DC.
Bob Molinaro at the Virginian-Pilot is not a fan of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman has the local ratings of the weekend sports action.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable will air a couple of high school football championship games this weekend.
Scott Suttell of Crain’s Cleveland Business says ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt will host an awards show next year.
Bill Zavestoski of the LaJolla (CA) Patch says the local ESPN Radio affiliate will pick up Cal-San Diego basketball games.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers are suing Fox Sports for interfering in the sale of the team.
Chris Erskine of the Times reviews the new book on the late ABC Sports broadcaster Howard Cosell.
Also from the Times, Kevin Baxter and Joe Flint report that the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS are the latest team to join Time Warner Cable’s SoCal regional sports network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News also looks at the Galaxy’s move to TWC from Fox Sports.
Tom has the football TV schedules in both college and the NFL for SoCal.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin feels Bob Costas missed an opportunity to get real answers from Jerry Sandusky. What interview was Dowbiggin watching?
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media wonders why the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks rivalry hasn’t been aired nationally in either Canada or the U.S.
Kelsey Smith at Transworld Business says NBC Sports Network will be the home of Pro Motorcross Championship in 2012.
And that’s going to do it.
In the latest edition of her video diary, NESN Red Sox field reporter Heidi Watney took her camera and shot a behind-the-scenes look at Fenway Park while Hurricane Irene was bearing down on New England. It was during the August 27 day-night doubleheader between the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox. First, Heidi is looking very fashionable in her rain hat and galoshes.
In this video diary, Heidi shows Peter Gammons getting ready for a NESN spot and tours the press box speaking to a couple of beat writers. Then Heidi is shown doing a NESN hit with the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. But the best part comes at 3:10 when Heidi reveals Red Sox announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy sleeping during the delay. Now you know what announcers do when rain is falling.
Great stuff. I think Heidi has now topped the choking on chicken waffles viral video with this diary.
Let’s get the linkage out on this Thursday. The weekend is almost here.
Here’s an interesting article and I’m watching to see how it plays out. Eriq Gardner at Hollywood Reporter writes that Comcast is suing DirecTV over “deceptive claims” of free televised NFL games and exploiting the end of the lockout to conduct a false and misleading advertising campaign. Rut ro.
This is something I wasn’t expecting to read so soon. Anthony Crupi of Adweek reports that NFL Network is negotiating with Time Warner Cable for a long-term carriage agreement. TWC is the last of the 7 largest cable providers to not carry NFL Network.
Mike McCarthy at USA Today has your first look at an NFL ad that shows us all ready for some football.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says Galavision is seeing its best ratings ever this summer thanks to soccer programming and comedies.
Keith Idec at BoxingScene says the network that will air the Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez fight should be announced by this weekend.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if DirecTV should be charging for more its NFL Sunday Ticket package. Hell no. I pay enough as it is.
Darren chronicles his singing of “O Canada” and the Star Spangled Banner before today’s Toronto-Tampa Bay game.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy asks if the NHL shucking ESPN for Versus was the right move.
All Access says CBS Radio is flipping a Cleveland FM station from Alternative Rock to all-sports.
Deadspin has ESPN’s Michelle Beadle denying rumors that she conducted in inappropriate behavior after the ESPY’s last month. I’m giving Michelle the benefit of the doubt here.
Nellie Andreeva from Deadline notes that Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos is leaving the program to co-host Extra. Maria was listed in Fang’s Bites’ People You Should Follow on Twitter, Part 9 so this is quite relevant.
Neil deMause of Slate notes that the sports ticket market is stuck in molasses.
Michael Grotticelli from Broadcast Engineering profiles an ESPN executive who will oversee the network’s technology upgrades.
Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch notes that my predecessor at BSMW, David Scott (Scott’s Shots) is now working for ESPN’s public relations department.
Kimberly Primicerio of the Meriden (CT) Record-Journal goes in-depth on ESPN’s plans to expand its Bristol headquarters and add up to 800 new jobs.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about the humorless, witless and talentless Eric Mangini joining ESPN.
Neil is sad to hear about the death of former NFL star and ad pitchman Bubba Smith.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has some thoughts on Mangini’s hire at ESPN.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that Time Warner Cable will air Syracuse football’s media day.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says two area radio stations will pick up Compass Media’s Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys schedules.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that CBS and Showtime are teaming up for a new program on the Army-Navy football game.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog and Dan Steinberg who notes that ex-MASN analyst Rob Dibble who lost his job last year after criticizing Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is back at it again now.
Nakia Hogan from the New Orleans Times-Picayune says Crescent City native and former NFL running back Marshall Faulk has successfully transitioned to a TV analyst.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does a straight story on the hiring of Eric Mangini by ESPN.
Fox Sports Kansas City says Saturday’s game against Detroit will be sent via satellite to our troops stationed in Afghanistan.
In the Tucson Citizen, Victor Rodriguez goes over an interview with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach regarding ESPN college football analyst Craig James.
Sox & Dawgs has the video showing NESN’s Heidi Watney hustling to interview Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury after he hit a walkoff home run against the Cleveland Indians last night.
Craig Lyndall of Waiting For Next Year reacts to Cleveland getting an FM all-sports station.
The Big Lead has some confirmed media moves and some that aren’t.
Joe Favorito says he wouldn’t mind seeing more niche Olympic sports like fencing aired on TV.
Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder has the great audio of an Atlanta sports radio host defending his homerism by yelling that he’s not a homer.
And that’s going to do it for today.
I continue with my mini-series, People You Should Follow On Twitter. You have all types of accounts in sports business and sports media, college basketball and football, MLB, NFL, NHL, Golf, Olympics and Soccer. And you can find the previous installments here, here, here, here, here and here. Through the first six installments, we have 107 accounts for you to follow.
Tonight, I’ll give you Sports TV & Radio. Tomorrow, it will be Sports TV PR and Tennis. Then on Wednesday to close out everything, I’ll provide the Best of the Rest in and out of sports. I’ve got to finish this sometime.
SPORTS RADIO AND TV
dpshow — The official Twitter account of the best national sports talk show in the country, the Dan Patrick Show. This account provides you with the daily guest list, behind-the-scenes pictures, show quotes plus retweets from fans and the other Dan Patrick Show accounts. DP himself does not tweet, but this is as close as you can get to him on Twitter. The Dan Patrick Show account has 69,860 followers, but I feel that should be higher.
paulpabst — A member of the Dan Patrick “Danettes”, Paul Pabst is the Executive Producer of the DP Show. He also contributes on-air thoughts and if you watch the show on DirecTV, he’ll go into “The Box” to provide background insight on the show. Off air, Paul tweets alerts on potential no-hitters, retweet accounts he follows and general show info. Paulie has 17,141 followers.
HiMyNameIsSeton — The Director of Operations for the DP Show (are you sensing a theme yet?), Seton O’Connor runs the board for the show and is the one who interacts with the fans the most through his Twitter account. Seton is very funny and also provides insights on news stories as well. Seton has 18,938 tweeps.
twoadayz –Known just as “Two-A-Days”, Dan Overlock has gone from intern to backup board operator for the Dan Patrick Show. He’s mostly been one of Dan’s whipping boys and been relegated to an off-camera area of Dan’s Mancave. But every once in a while, he’s seen and heard, but mostly to receive Dan’s wrath when something goes wrong. Two-A-Days interacts with listeners and sometimes, one of Dan’s regular guests. This account has 3,091 tweeps.
JTTheBrick — The official account of popular Fox Sports Radio night time host, JT The Brick. JT brings it on his Twitter page reacting to news of the day and also providing some good show insight. He also follows people and a retweet from him can be as good as any endorsement as it can add as many as 20 tweeps to an account. I speak from experience. JT has parlayed winning The Smackoff on the Jim Rome Show to a very successful sports radio career and one of the best radio hosts in the country. JT The Brick has 15,677 followers.
SBRadio — This is for Sports Business Radio, a nationally syndicated radio show focusing on Sports Business. Hosted by Brian Berger, the show has great guests from all over the sports business and sports media lexicon. This account not only talks about its show, but also comments on sports news of the day. It’s a very good account to follow. The show is heard across the nation on stations across the country Saturdays at noon ET/9 a.m. PT and there’s a local version heard on Sundays in Portland, OR. The show’s site also provides archived podcasts. SBRadio has 3,817 followers.
TheDAShow — This is for Damon Amendolara, the nighttime host of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. This account interacts with fans plus DA tweets quite often. One of the better local hosts, he keeps up with blogs, mainstream reporters and other radio personalities. A good account to follow. It has 7,097 followers as of this post.
GreshandZo — Of course, if I mention The DA Show, then I have to put The Sports Hub’s midday show, Gresh & Zo here or I’ll never hear the end of it. Hosted by former Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio host Andy Gresh and former Patriots backup quarterback Scott Zolak, this account is mostly maintained by Gresh as Zo has his own account. This account has show details and some random tweets from Greshie. It has 7,487 followers.
ldrabick — This is for the lovely Liz Drabick, sports update anchor extraordinaire of 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC. Liz reacts to sports news on her account as well as interacts with her tweeps. She’s really a delight to tweet with and very funny as well. I’m a fan as you can tell. Liz has 1,479 tweeps, but do your part to increase that, ok?
TomCaron — Tom is the studio host of Red Sox baseball on NESN. A native of Maine, Tom does a great job hosting on NESN. He also engages with followers on his Twitter account during the game, and sometimes in between breaks during the postgame show. During the game, Tom will provide statistical updates to those following along. A very good person to follow, Tom has 6,402 tweeps to date.
HeidiWatney — This is the account of Heidi Watney, the on-field reporter for Red Sox baseball on NESN. You may not know that Heidi’s cousin is PGA Tour golfer Nick Watney. I admit, I’m a fanboy. I like Heidi’s work, but there are times like when she was sampling food at ballparks made you cringe. One thing I do like is when Heidi gets feisty with someone criticizing her work. She’s not afraid to mix it up. Heidi tweets during games and uses Twitter quite often. She’s using the medium very well. She has 21,653 followers.
NaokoFunayama — Naoko is the on-ice reporter for Boston Bruins broadcasts on NESN and like Heidi, provides updates throughout the season on the team she follows. And she will also tweet during games. Another person who interacts with her followers, Naoko is another delightful person with whom to exchange tweets. Naoko gained notoriety during Daisuke Matsuzaka’s introductory press conference with the Boston Red Sox and she translated his Japanese better than the official translator hired by the team. Naoko has 5,472 followers. That should be higher.
AndrewCatalon — Andrew is the sports anchor for WNYT-TV in Albany, NY. You may be familiar with his work nationally as he has freelanced for NBC for the Olympics in both 2008 and 2010, and also worked for CBS on the U.S. Open and The Masters secondary broadcasts. And he tweets as he’s watching events or giving alerts of when he’s about to hit air. Andrew has 673 followers, but you can make that go up.
BillVoth — Sports anchor for WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC, Bill Voth is a definite power Tweeter having accepted the medium to talk with fans and also branch out to other reporters and even yours truly. Bill has 2,673 loyal followers.
ThatSportsGirl — This is the account of sports anchor Gina Miller of KTVT/KTXA in Dallas-Fort Worth. Gina has done yeoman’s work in the Metroplex, hosting both the Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks on the CBS duopoly. And in addition, she’s expecting her first child. One of the first TV sports reporters to follow your humble blogger, she’ll react to games she’s watching, previews her postgame shows and also interacts with viewers. And Gina maintains her own blog. A very good tweeter, she has a following of 9,935.
karlravechespn — A recent addition to Twitter, Karl Ravech, the host of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, has embraced the medium by giving updates of MLB action before he goes on the air. He also interacts with fans making them feel closer to the games and program. One of the best studio hosts, Karl does a very good job in updating the tweets on nights he’s working. He has 16,119 tweeps.
AndrewSiciliano –The host of the original NFL Red Zone Channel on DirecTV, Andrew Siciliano is a definite Power Tweeter. I’ve seen him tweet during his shifts in between updates on DirecTV. He also provides non-sports tweets and links to news stories. A guy who knows every NFL player on the screen, he’s also America’s radio guest host as he has subbed for Dan Patrick and Tony Kornheiser. Follow Andrew if you haven’t already. He’s at 16,397 followers.
LindaCohn — The extremely lovely Linda Cohn of ESPN is a social media maven. Not only did she have her own social media network before the infamous ESPN Twitter crackdown two years ago, but she was an early member of Twitter. She answers questions from followers. She also tweets about her beloved Mets and NHL. Linda is a great follow. She has a solid following of 43,839 tweeps.
KennyAlbert — The MSG/Versus/Fox Sports announcer is one of the busiest men in sports, rivaling his dad, Marv in his prime. Kenny is a person who will tweet pictures of his location whether it be for Fox Saturday Baseball or his MSG assignments. Kenny tweeted his excitement when the NFL lockout ended on Monday. Follow Kenny and become one of the almost 3,200 people in his group.
LenBermanSports — The former sports anchor at WNBC-TV in New York has found a second career online through his site, That Sports and on Twitter. Len tweets his sports observations and is very accessible to followers. He responds to anyone talking to him online and that’s what makes his account a very good follow. And Len is back on TV doing guest spots on the Today Show doing his “Spanning The World” feature and assuring us that no one got hurt. Len has 2,874 followers.
CharissaT — If you’ve followed this blog dating back to 2007, then you know Fang’s Bites was one of the first sites to tout Charissa Thompson, the former Big Ten Network, Fox Sports and Versus sideline reporter and Yahoo host. She’s now heading to ESPN2 where she’ll co-host a new show, Numbers Don’t Lie, with Michael Smith this fall. Charissa is good at interacting with tweeps, but I’m not impressed with the color scheme on her Twitter page. Anyway, she has 9,013 followers. You can be one too.
So with an additional 21 accounts here, you have a total of 128 Twitter accounts you should follow. We’re not done. We have two more installments. You should have over 150 to follow when all is said and done.
Last Saturday, George Couture married his sweetheart Alley Jablonski at Fenway Park. They were supposed to be married during the afternoon. The problem was the Red Sox moved their game against the Oakland A’s to an afternoon start to accommodate fans who wanted to see the Boston Bruins play the Vancouver Canucks that night. So instead of making George and Alley scramble to another site, the Red Sox allowed them to move their wedding until after the game.
Also coming to the rescue was NESN Red Sox in-game reporter Heidi Watney. Little did I know she can preside over weddings and could marry George and Alley as you can see from this video.
I’m amazed that not only can Heidi report and eat food at the same time, she’s also an ordained minister. Holy frijoles.
UPDATE: One note, George and Alley were officially married by a priest that morning so Heidi presided for show.
Last week, NESN’s Heidi Watney paid a visit to the MLB Fan Cave in New York. I’m not a fan of the Fan Cave, but I digress.
You may remember in April during a visit to Jacobs Field in Cleveland, she attempted to sample some chicken waffles and gagged. That video went viral as not only did it air on NESN, but the game was also picked up by MLB Network so people sent it to YouTube where it took a life of its own.
Well, during the visit to the MLB Fan Cave last Thursday, Heidi decided to try again and redeem herself. Thanks to MLB.com for allowing me to embed this for you. I hope I get to embed more down the line for you.
Glad to see Heidi was able keep it down this time.
Now that I’ve learned that I don’t have to travel in between two offices today, I’ll do some megalinks for you.
You can check out the Weekend Sports and Primetime Viewing Picks here. Now to your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with TNT’s Steve Kerr on the similarities he sees between the Chicago Bulls teams he played on with Michael Jordan and the Miami Heat of today.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News breaks news that TNT’s Marv Albert is in talks with CBS to possibly replace Gus Johnson for the NCAA Tournament. Bob isn’t national, but it’s big enough news to be placed here.
In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and Michael Smith report on how ESPN and Fox came together for the Pac-12 TV contract.
Kimberly Nordyke of the Hollywood Reporter says Oprah Winfrey’s booking of the United Center for her overblown farewell shows has forced the NBA to juggle the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals.
To Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News who writes that TNT is on a fast track to have its highest-rated NBA postseason in its history.
Mike has a story on the NBC Sports Group signing Saratoga Race Course for horse racing programming in the summer.
Noted FoxSports.com basketball writer Jeff Goodman announces that he’s leaving for CBSSports.com.
Also writing his farewell column is noted hockey reporter E.J. Hradek who’s leaving ESPN.com for the NHL Network.
At the Business of College Sports, Kristi Dosh says despite what rivals’ complaints, there’s nothing unfair about the new Longhorn Network.
Matt Hinton at Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday college football blog notes that ESPN.com really messed up in reporting the death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Davis.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem about a faltering Tiger Woods and what it means to the Tour.
Darren explores the new magazine put forth by energy drink distributor Red Bull.
Darren notes that Nike is coming under fire again for factory conditions in Asia.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for nights 25-28 of the NHL Playoffs.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has audio of a Captain Blowhard call into the Tony Korneheiser show this week.
Dan also has video of a deeply subdued Gus Johnson talking to Dan Patrick about his move to Fox.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that Versus’ Jeremy Roenick gave praise to Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks, two games after calling him “gutless”.
In Publiside, the lovely Gail Sideman advises athletes to keep using social media despite some recent incidents where some did not think before tweeting.
In Major League Programs, Dave Kohl reviews the sports media news of the week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe quotes a WCVB-TV interview with NESN’s Jerry Remy in which he states he expects to return to analyzing Red Sox games on Monday. Remy has been out with pneumonia. Chad also breaks news that NESN’s Kathryn Tappen is being targeted by NHL Network as a possible studio host.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen says the Bruins now have the Hub’s attention all to themselves.
NESN has Heidi Watney visiting the MLB Fan Cave.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee actually saw Tiger Woods’ implosion at the Players Championship coming before it happened.
Melissa Hoppert of the New York Times discusses NBC Sports Group bringing Saratoga horse racing into the fold.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick hates everything and everybody today, but when is that different from any other day?
Justin Terranova at the Post has five questions for NBA TV’s Kevin McHale.
Ken Belson from the New York Times writes that the famed Melrose Games may leave its Madison Square Garden home where it’s been held for almost a century.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Siena lacrosse fans have a few ways to monitor their team’s NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse this weekend.
Ken says an NCAA Division III Lacrosse Tournament game will be online for fans to listen.
Patrick Berkery from the Philly Burbs papers talks with Comcast SportsNet Phillies analyst Chris Coste.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from this same time last year.
Dan says the DC sports media is firing shots at each other over whether DC NFL Team quarterback Donovan McNabb refused to wear a wristband to help him calls plays because it didn’t look good.
Dan says one DC radio show is sending barbs at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic over its reporting on the McNabb wristband.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NBC will be all over The Players Championship this weekend.
Jim notes that NASCAR is coming to the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend.
And Jim says the NBA is heating up on both ESPN and TNT.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at the latest sports media news.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks with the man who’s spearheading ESPN’s Longhorn Network and getting it ready for launch this summer.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has a chat with NBA TV’s Kevin McHale over Oklahoma City’s win over Memphis the other night.
Mel says the Thunder are setting local ratings records.
Mel also has his media notebook.
Jeff Bell of Columbus Business First writes that Fox Sports Ohio will be a corporate sponsor of the local sports commission.
The Detroit News says last night’s wild Game 7 between the Red Wings and San Jose Sharks set a ratings record for Fox Sports Detroit.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about ESPN getting all hands on deck for a special college basketball game on Veterans Day.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman lists his weekly winners and losers.
Erin Meyer of the Chicago Tribune says the staff of WMAQ-TV is shocked over the death of sports anchor Daryl Hawks who was found in a hotel room as he was to cover last night’s Bulls-Hawks game.
Maudlyne Ihezjerika of the Chicago Sun-Times says another WMAQ-TV sportscaster died under similar circumstances almost a decade ago.
NBC Chicago has a slideshow of Daryl’s career not only at the station, but before he came to the Windy City.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports radio executive’s tumultuous tenure is coming to an end.
The Phoenix Business Journal reports that the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers now have a local TV deal.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks about announcers shuffling back and forth between networks.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says TNT’s Charles Barkley’s premonition about the Lakers ended up coming true.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News answers real sports media questions from fake readers.
Tom looks at an organization that aids reporters and writers in need of assistance.
Bruce Dowbiggin says golf viewership is getting out of red numbers.
We’re going to end it there. Enjoy your sports weekend
This from NESN, a.k.a. The New England Sports Network, we have their coverage plans for the Boston Red Sox. Overall, NESN will carry 150 regular season games plus plenty of pregame and postgame programming. In addition, there will be weekly programming involved. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy return to call the games in their 11th season together. Heidi Watney will be the on-field reporter to cover breaking stories and conduct interviews. Tom Caron is back as studio host and he’ll be joined by a host of analysts including Peter Gammons, Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice. We have the particulars from NESN.
NESN ANNOUNCES 2011 RED SOX SEASON PLAN
Spring Training Game Ratings on NESN Up 108%
BOSTON, MA – Charging into the 2011 regular season with impressive spring training ratings, NESN will launch its 28th season of Red Sox coverage on Friday, April 1 from Arlington, Texas when the team will face the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers. NESN’s opening day coverage will begin at 3:00 PM with the premiere of the network’s new half-hour pre-game show Red Sox First Pitch. Red Sox GameDay LIVE will begin at 3:30 PM with live game coverage at 4pm.
Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy and Heidi Watney will lead NESN’s broadcast of 150 exclusive, high definition Red Sox games. The network’s 2011 Red Sox programming will offer unprecedented team access including micing of players, in-game interviews and post game appearances by Red Sox players. The game telecasts will introduce new robotic cameras in both dugouts at Fenway Park. The programming will also include an enhanced production package with new show openings, music and graphics.
“While the Red Sox were making plenty of exciting news this off-season, our NESN team has been creating new and enhanced production elements which will bring the ballpark experience directly to our fans,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “We will have a lot of fun this year micing the players, using innovative camera angles and telling more in-depth stories about the players.”
NESN’s pre and post-game studio programming will be led by host Tom Caron. Caron will be joined by NESN’s lineup of analysts Dennis Eckersley, Peter Gammons and Jim Rice, all members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The network will again originate its home pre-game coverage from Yawkey Way, the most unique outdoor setting in baseball. This year many post-game shows will also be produced from NESN’s Yawkey Way stage and feature live appearances by Red Sox players, questions from fans, in-depth game analysis and clubhouse interviews.
NESN’s 2011 Red Sox Programs and Talent
- Play-by-Play – Don Orsillo (11th year)
- Analyst – Jerry Remy (24th year)
- Reporter – Heidi Watney (4th year)
- Red Sox First Pitch – half-hour show that airs one-hour before the start of every game
- Red Sox GameDay LIVE – half-hour before every game
- Red Sox Monster Monday – Half hour special, Starts 90 minutes before every Monday night game
- Friday Night Fenway – Half hour special, Starts 90 minutes before every Friday night home game
- Host – Tom Caron (8th year)
- Analysts – Dennis Eckersley (9th year), Jim Rice (9th year), Peter Gammons (2nd year)
- Extra Innings LIVE – half-hour show that airs immediately following the game
- Red Sox Final – a second half-hour of post-game coverage that airs immediately after Extra Innings LIVE
- Same talent team as pre-game shows
- The Ultimate Red Sox Show with Heidi Watney – Every Sunday at Noon featuring in-depth interviews with players and other team personnel. Season premiere: Sunday. April 10.
- Red Sox Report – Weekly look at the team’s off-the-field work
NESN is in its 28th season of covering the Red Sox dating back to 1984. Time Warner Cable and Bright House subscribers receiving NESN National will receive the pre and postgame shows, but not the actual games unless they subscribe to the MLB Extra Innings out-of-market pay per view package.
NESN airs a Town Hall meeting this Monday. Fans both in attendance and through NESN’s website will be allowed to ask questions of Red Sox ownership. Of the Red Sox management team, fans will see Tom “Smiley” Werner, Larry “The Fixer” Lucchino, manager Terry Francona and General Manager Theo “Round Up The Usual Suspects” Epstein. Details are below.
NESN to Deliver Same Night Coverage at 9:00 PM
BOSTON, MA – As the Boston Red Sox prepare to head to Fort Myers to begin the 2011 baseball season, the team is partnering with NESN to host a special town hall style meeting for fans on Monday, January 31 at 7:00 pm. The 2011 Red Sox Town Hall will feature a lively and interactive conversation between fans and Red Sox executives. It will be held at WGBH’s Calderwood Studio, and televised in its entirety on NESN at 9:00 pm.
The Red Sox executive panel is expected to include Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Larry Lucchino, Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein and Manager Terry Francona. NESN’s Tom Caron and Heidi Watney will serve as hosts for the one-hour event.
“This town hall event is an example of our commitment to have an honest dialogue with fans,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “It will give fans the chance to ask any question, and members of ownership and the front office will be on hand to provide the answers. We’ll all benefit from this important conversation.”
“Red Sox fans are very excited about the upcoming season and with good reason thanks to the addition of Crawford and Gonzalez to the lineup,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “We see it as our responsibility to give fans unparalleled access to the team. This event is one way that fans can interact directly with the people who call the shots for the Red Sox.”
Fans throughout Red Sox Nation can participate in the 2011 Red Sox Town Hall by submitting questions in advance via NESN.com/townhall. A complete recording of the town hall event will also be posted on NESN.com/townhall immediately after it airs on NESN. Due to the limited space, in-studio audience attendance will be by invitation only.
That will do it.
Time to do the megalinkage on this Friday. Lots of things going on today into this evening and let’s get cracking. Of course, we have the Weekend Viewing Picks.
Now let’s do the links.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy wants to know who’s your favorite NFL announcer.
Mike says this year’s World Series ratings are down 26% from last year’s.
David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal says there’s too much laughter on the Sunday NFL pregame shows.
Mike Farrell of Multichannel News looks at Dish and Fox coming to a new carriage agreement which restores several of its cable networks and prevents the broadcast network from being pulled.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says the FCC Chairman is pleased over the Dish/Fox agreement.
In Multichannel News, John says Cablevision is accusing Fox of conducting intimidation tactics.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell speaks to a sports executive who feels the Tampa Bay Rays should give away their all of their tickets next season.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred shares memories that shaped him as a sportswriter.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser says Game 2 of the World Series steered Fox to another primetime ratings win.
The Big Lead notes that not everyone at ESPN was thrilled with Hannah Storm’s ensemble on Tuesday.
Deadspin says The Daily Line’s cancellation really had nothing to do with the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger story.
Jon Weisman of Variety says a long time CBS Sports Communications and PR person is leaving the network.
Sports Media Watch has an interview with HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg.
SMW says this year’s World Series is barely above 2008′s record low ratings pace.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media notes that Versus will continue to carry UFC events.
Joe Favorito compares and contrasts the marketing approaches of the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn talks with NESN’s Heidi Watney.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says ESPN will make a decision on the fates of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan after the World Series.
Richard wonders if the World Series can continue a head-to-head winning streak against the NFL this Sunday.
Stuart Elliot from the Times notes that Fox has sold out its inventory of Super Bowl XLV ads three months early.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath who’s embracing new and social media.
And Neil gives us some of his week in blogging and tweeting.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says the viewers are the losers in the Cablevision/Fox battle.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says Jets fans are the next victims in the Cablevision/Fox dispute.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the World Series is now dependent on market size than actual matchups. I totally disagree with this.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the DC NFL Team’s flagship radio station will add a delay so fans can sync up the TV broadcasts.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner says a CBS College Sports sideline reporter also pulls duty for CBS News.
Anne Blythe of the Raleigh News & Observer says several North Carolina news organizations are suing the University of North Carolina in regards to the NCAA’s investigation into the school’s football program.
The Dallas Morning News notes that ESPN Radio Hack Colon Cowherd blasted the Metroplex as a baseball area.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle previews the Monday Night Football matchup involving the Texans with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski.
The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht talks with ex-Oregon coach Mike Bellotti who will be with ESPN2 calling the Colorado-Oklahoma game.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike will be in town next month.
Mike Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press likes the early start time for Game 3 of the World Series.
At the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley says MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig isn’t worried about the World Series ratings.
From Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune says a huge crisis was averted when Dish Network and Fox came to a deal on Friday.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Halloween is perfect for a primetime NFL game.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar wonders if the World Series can beat the NFL head-to-head on Sunday.
Dan says Dish subscribers will be able to watch the St. Louis Blues and Missouri sports once again.
John Maffei of the North County Times says Saturday’s Armed Forces college football tripleheader on CBS College Sports could go a long way in deciding bowl games in December and January.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that local Time Warner Cable customers can now watch ESPN online.
Jim notes that the World Series gets some direct NFL competition this Sunday.
Meg James at the Los Angeles Times looks at the Dish/Fox resolution.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with director John Singleton about his new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on disgraced track star Marion Jones.
Tom has his extensive media news and notes in his blog.
Tom says with tickets unsold for Saturday’s Oregon-USC game and Sunday’s Chargers contest, can the NFL really consider re-entering the L.A. market.
And that’s going to do it for tonight.
Well, I don’t have to rush back to another office today so I’ll provide some much desired linkage. We’ve already heard about Brett Favre this morning and I don’t want to suckered into another summer of “Will he or won’t he” again. Tired of the whole machinations and ESPN having Rachel Nichols stationed in Mississippi reporting every 15 minutes on SportsCenter. I saw the news break on Twitter. Just glad I wasn’t watching ESPN when the news broke.
Ok, to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand crunches some of the TV ratings numbers from the weekend.
Brian Lowry in Fox Sports.com isn’t a fan of TV dictating game times.
Fox Sports Net Vice President of Public Relations Chris Bellitti breaks news on Twitter that Fox will not bid for the Texas Rangers.
Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal notes that NFL training camps have become giant reality shows.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says DirecTV is about to do an all-out blitz for its NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse says be prepared to see Kurt Warner on Dancing with the Stars this season.
Clay Travis at Fanhouse talks with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and how he got the richest media rights deal in college sports.
Trey Kirby of Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog says expect to see a lot of the Miami Heat on national TV.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says despite taking a hit to his image, Upper Deck still believes in LeBron James.
Darren wonders why the Miami Heat had to fire its entire season tickets sales staff.
To the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center and Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times who writes that Shaquille O’Neal is giving us a lesson on how the sports media world has changed in the 21st Century.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call notes that Speed is the closest thing a NASCAR fan has to a 24/7 channel dedicated to the sport.
Bob Flounders of the Patriot-News (PA) profiles Michael Barkann of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
Bob has a little more with Barkann.
Sam Sessa of the Baltimore Sun saw ESPN’s corporate letter announcing the closure of the ESPNZone restaurants.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner tells us to look for the Ravens to partner with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg says LaVar Arrington will join the Post to write a blog.
Hal Boedecker of the Orlando Sentinel says Bright House cable customers are used to disputes as ESPN is in danger of being pulled in September.
Jeff Shain of the Sentinel looks at Whit Watson joining the Golf Channel.
And Hal says Erin Andrews begins her Good Morning America gig on Thursday.
Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that News Corp. will not bid for the Rangers.
Jennifer Floyd Engel in the Star-Telegram feels Mark Cuban is in for the Texas Rangers bidding for himself and not the fans.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will put all of its games, except for those picked exclusively by TNT or ABC, on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
Eric Hansen of the South Bend (IN) Tribune looks at Mike Mayock as the new TV analyst for Notre Dame football.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune says the local Fox affiliate is surprised over losing a sports anchor.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says the White Sox refute manager Ozzie Guillen’s claims about MLB’s treatment of Latin players.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times reports of the long term agreement between CBS and Comcast that carries coverage for CBS College Sports as well.
John Consoli of The Wrap says ESPN is selling BASS, LLC. to a former Time Inc. executive.
AJ Daulerio of Deadspin says it appears the new book on ESPN is going to be a blockbuster.
The Big Lead tells us about some rumblings at Yahoo! Sports.
Steven Collins at Bristol Today notes that actor Mark Wahlberg put ESPN’s public relations at Defcon 4 after an interview with Moviefone.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR’s ratings bounced back on Sunday.
SMW notes that the Miami Heat will have two big national games in December.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media teases a five part series on the future of the NHL on US TV.
Emmett Jones in Sports Business Digest praises DirecTV for making its SuperFan package available to all NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers instead of a select few.
SportsbyBrooks notes that ESPN writer Arash Markazi has had stories spiked before.
Bob’s Blitz has video of NESN’s Heidi Watney throwing out the first pitch for the Lowell Spinners during her Bobblehead night.
That will do it.
Trying to get ahead on some linkage before diving head first into some paperwork. Lots of stuff going on and let’s get busy, shall we?
Tom Weir of USA Today’s Game On blog has ESPN denying LeBron James put pressure on the network to pull a story from its website.
At Fanhouse, Milton Kent discusses ESPN spiking the Arash Markazi story on LeBron in Las Vegas.
To the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center where Dave Kindred mourns the death of Vic Siegel of the New York Daily News.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes that TNT will air the first two days of the PGA Championship in 3-D.
John Eggerton of Multichannel News says Comcast is talking with DirecTV and Dish about placing its SportsNet Philadelphia regional sports network on both systems which would come as good news to subscribers.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes that former Cowboys QB and current Fox NFL analyst Troy Aikman will be participating in Dancing with the Stars this season.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about golfer Fred Couples on the forefront of a new shoe trend.
Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson of the New York Times has Pac 10/12 Commissioner Larry Scott talking about a TV channel similar to the Big Ten Network.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union says MLB Network is cutting its trade deadline coverage in half as compared to last year.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says new Miami Heat star Chris Bosh has been making the rounds on national TV and in the local area.
Jay Weiner of MinnPost writes that a noted media critic and women’s sports advocate is joining ESPN to advise the network on increasing its coverage on women.
The Big Lead has video of an ESPN anchor saying what was on most Mets fans minds.
Sox & Dawgs says NESN’s Heidi Watney is getting her own bobblehead doll. There’s a joke there, but I’m not going to say it.
This is not the end of the links. Lunch is beckoning. More links coming up.
Back to work after a weekend that was much too short. I’ll do some linkage for you now.
Starting with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand who says ESPN’s Jon Gruden has adjusted to being a TV personality.
John Ourand and Michael Smith of the Sports Business Journal give us the anatomy of the CBS/Turner deal for the NCAA Tournament.
John has a story on Fox Sports.com and the Wall Street Journal sharing editorial resources for the first time this week.
In the Sporting News’ Sporting Blog, On The DL’s Dan Levy talks with ESPN’s Trey Wingo and goes over the weekend’s NFL Draft coverage.
John Consoli of Mediaweek says as the NHL’s ratings are hot and that’s good for the league as it enters a TV rights renewal.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry is wary of six Gannett newspapers taking stories about the New Jersey Devils written by a team employee.
Dan Lamothe of the Springfield Republican’s Red Sox Monster blog notes that Heidi Watney returned to work on NESN after a brief absence.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the history of the Mets and Yankees theme songs.
Lynn Zinser of the Times says now that the NFL Draft is over, it’s time to get back to regular sports viewing.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post feels WFAN’s Mike Francesa should have scolded Giants co-owner John Mara on personal seat licenses during an interview.
Larry McShane of the New York Daily News chuckles over the fact that a BBC reporter was not allowed into Augusta National Golf Club to cover The Masters and did live shots back to the UK from a nearby course.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Daily Gazette looks at the record viewership for the NFL Draft.
Aaron Nathans of the Delaware News-Journal says a Philly sports fan isn’t too happy that he can’t watch Phillies games on DirecTV.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner has a preview of tonight’s NBA Playoff action on TNT and NBA TV.
Eric Frazier of the Charlotte Observer says teams are turning more to social media to attract fans.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks over the weekend in sports TV.
Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the NFL couldn’t be more pleased over the Draft’s TV ratings.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman says the Cubs-White Sox Crosstown Series will get its own trophy.
Ed talks with Comcast SportsNet Chicago President Jim Corso about the channel’s relationship with the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks.
Robert Sanchez of the Chicago Daily Herald says former Chicagoan Greg Gumbel will be in town this week to give a motivational speech.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post says Avalance TV voice Mike Haynes sees a bright future for the team.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says TSN host Michael Landsberg was not offended by an anti-Semetic remark made by analyst Jacques Demers.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says NHL TV coverage can be confusing at times.
The Sports Media Watch says the Boston-Miami NBA playoff game on Sunday did not perform well on ABC.
SMW notes that four of five NBA playoff games on ESPN increased on their ratings from last year.
SMW says San Antonio-Dallas, Game 4 on TNT really went up from last year.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says NBC had matching ratings for its NHL coverage this past weekend.
Joe Favorito says Rutgers is waiting on a big decision on whether to go to the Big Ten or remain in the Big East.
We’ll finish there.
Let’s do the Thursday links. I’m waiting on an employee who was supposed to be here at 9:30. It’s now past ten. Not good when someone’s late.
Here are your links.
USA Today’s Vicki Michaelis looks at the legacy of former International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch who died yesterday at the age of 89 including what he meant to NBC and its broadcast of the Olympic games.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch looks at how NFL Network and ESPN will handle their respective coverages of the Draft this week.
And here’s NFL Network’s open for tonight’s Draft. Looks special.
ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer discusses various issues including announcers who talk too much, President Obama’s NCAA Tournament brackets and complaints about Big East basketball runovers.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says ESPN and the NHL are among the first to use a new Facebook feature.
David Tanklefsky of B&C talks with Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman about carrying President Obama’s commencement speech to the University of Michigan.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at the NFL Draft going into primetime tonight.
Aaron Kuriloff of Bloomberg News says the NFL is betting on their fans watching the Draft in droves in primetime.
From the Boston Herald, Jessica Heslam writes about NESN’s Heidi Watney who has been missing from Red Sox games since the beginning of the season.
You can hear that interview Jessica refers to in her story, Heidi talking with WZLX’s Kevin Karlson and Pete McKenzie (both of whom I worked in Groton, CT at Q-105 a long time ago. Karlson & McKenzie, not Heidi) right here.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir asks if you’re ready for the NFL Draft at night?
Richard also writes about the inauspicious end of the US Olympic Network before it even go to make the air.
Jen Wielgus of the Bucks County Courier Times says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia will be all over the Eagles’ draft picks.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner feels ESPN will get the job done during its NFL Draft coverage.
And Jim says three DC outlets will be all over the picks by the Washington NFL team.
Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wonders if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will ham it up for the cameras during tonight’s Draft.
John Niyo of the Detroit News says the NFL Draft has evolved from the smokey-filled rooms to Radio City Music Hall.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Green Bay Packers get four primetime games this season.
Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles legendary Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Joe Tait who will leave his job after next season.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that ESPN and NFL Network have a heightened interest in the Rams’ 1st round draft pick.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times feels TNT’s Charles Barkley went too far in calling co-horts Ernie Johnson, Jr. and Kenny “The Jet” Smith a-holes this week.
Marcia C. Smith of the Orange County Register profiles Los Angeles Lakers announcer Spero Dedes.
Matthew Coller of the Biz of Hockey delves into why the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff TV ratings are up.
Sports Media Watch asks the legitimate question, is the NFL getting arrogant?
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media feels CBC made the wrong choice in going with the Penguins-Ottawa series instead of taking Washington-Montreal.
Steve says the ratings for the San Jose-Colorado NHL playoff series is doing well in the Bay Area.
This will do it. With the announcement of the NCAA Tournament going to CBS and Turner Sports, I’ll be covering that for the next hour or two.
It’s been quite some time since I have done late night links. Usually, I reserve late night for posting the press releases, but since I still don’t have a TV and there was a minimal amount of sports that I wanted to see, I was quite productive posting the release earlier tonight so I can do some linkage for you now.
We’ll start with ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer to whom I’ll give credit for discussing the network’s handling of the Steve Phillips affair, the reporting of the Tom Cable domestic violence story, Bob Griese’s suspension and finishing off with the 30 for 30 documentary series. All quite candid and I was glad to see Ohlmeyer address the Phillips story, although I would have preferred if he had done it earlier.
Editor & Publisher reports that Chicago Sun-Times baseball writer Chris DeLuca has been promoted to the paper’s top spot in its sports department. Thanks to Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center for the link.
We’re finding out more about the creepy stalker who videotaped Erin Andrews in the nude not just once, but several times.
Rick Kissell of Variety writes that the NFL continues to dominate the network primetime ratings.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says Monday Night Football steered ESPN to a cable primetime win last week.
Hibah Yousuf of CNNMoney.com writes that CBS is 90% sold for Super Bowl XLIV.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine tells us that the NFL continues to set ratings ablaze this season.
Jay Fitzgerald of the Boston Herald reports that the Celtics and Comcast are teaming up to provide Video On Demand programming
I’m not sure why, but NESN.com is offering a photo gallery of Heidi Watney.
The Lehigh (PA) Express-Times says Fox Sports Net and Gatorade are teaming up to air a special, recreating high school football rivalries across the nation.
Here’s the press release anouncing the program.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg who’s been keeping track of the on-air Tony Kornheiser-Mike Wise radio feud says Mr. Tony decided to not to throw verbal barbs on Wednesday.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times writes that FedEx Field isn’t just used for the DC NFL team exclusively anymore.
In his blog, Tim talks about how FedEx Field hopes to be the site of the FIFA World Cup Finals in either 2018 or 2022.
MASN has announced it will air some 200 college basketball games this season.
Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail says the West Virginia-Rutgers Big East regular season finale will be aired by ESPN on December 5.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News says Fox’s Terry Bradshaw is sharpening his claws on Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams.
Also in the Morning News, Tim Colishaw looks at noted charlatan Bill Simmons’ book on the NBA.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Bearcats football brought in good ratings for ESPN last Friday.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gives us an update on what’s up with the planned new USFL.
Carl Steward of the Oakland Tribune says DirecTV subscribers will be shut out of Saturday’s Cal-Stanford game as it will be shown on Versus.
To the Sports Media Watch and a few links from that blog.
The NFL on Fox continues to score this season.
Pats-Colts helped to steer NBC’s Sunday Night Football to higher reaches.
A lackluster Monday Night Football matchup gave the series its lowest ratings of the season.
The NBA on TNT is off to a fast start in the young season.
And a developing story, SMW says MLB plans to cut the number of off days during the postseason.
Steve Lepore from Puck the Media says Versus’ ratings for the NHL are all over the place.
Dave Kohl’s Major League Programs blog looks at some various sports media issues from the last week.
Lots of good links for you as we head into the wee hours of Thursday morning. I’ll be back with you later today.
Well, where do I begin? There’s the Erin Andrews story which continues to pick up momentum. And we have ESPN finally acknowledging the Ben Roethlisberger civil lawsuit story two days after other media outlets have been reporting it. Personally, I found some Harry Chapin albums on iTunes and videos on YouTube so expect to see those in a future edition of Videos of the Week.
Here’s one video before we go to links. Harry Chapin doing “Mr. Tanner” with bassist John Wallace doing the baritone backup. Great song.
After that, it’s time to delve into the links.
Yesterday, I did an interview with 16 year old Alex Reimer of the Without A Curse podcast. We talked about the WEEI/WBZ-FM competition. Click here and you can forward the podcast to about the six minute mark and we talk for about ten minutes or so. Adam does a good job. He knows his stuff.
Starting with Sean Leahy of USA Today’s The Huddle blog, he writes that ESPN finally reported the Roethlisberger story last night.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that ESPN for whatever reason played it cautious with the Roethlisberger civil lawsuit.
I’m warning you before the link that Newsday’s website underwent a major redesign so you may be a bit shocked when you see white fonts on a blue background instead of dark fonts on a white background. Anyway, Neil writes about ESPN’s decision to come out of its ivory tower and report on Roethlisberger.
Christopher Byrne of Eye on Sports Media writes that ESPN is taking a hit to its integrity to which I say it hardly has any for its reporting of this story.
Kevin Blackistone of Fanhouse believes ESPN swung and missed by joining the coverage late.
Excellent article from the great Ed Berliner, a former sports TV anchor himself, saying ESPN did not do itself any favors.
Dan LeBatard writing in the Miami Herald says ESPN showed restraint by not reporting the story originally. I don’t think it was restraint, it might have been protecting an interest.
To the Erin Andrews story.
Bob’s Blitz which has done a tremendous job following the story says the New York Post is hitting back at ESPN banning its reporters from its network and radio stations for publishing pictures of the creepy video, saying Erin Andrews’ lawyer is to blame for all this putting the name of the website on its complaint.
Here’s the New York Post Page Six article referred to in Bob’s Blitz post.
The Big Lead asks now that New York Post reporters are banned from ESPN, will Fox News be next after Bill O’Reilly ran the video on his show last night.
Jay Mariotti of Fanhouse fires shots at everyone over the video.
The Rookies blog fires back at Jay.
The Buffalo News reports the video may have been shot in Western New York, although that is rather sketchy.
Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune says the coverage of Erin Andrews has hypocrisy written all over it.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times wants all of us to grow up.
Reid Cherner and Tom Weir of USA Today’s Game On! blog has Christine Brennan clarifying her comments about Erin Andrews.
Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says NESN’s Heidi Watney has chimed in on the video.
To the SEC Network.
Tim Griffin of ESPN.com says the Big 12′s fears came true when it was announced that the SEC Network’s footprint extended into Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Marc Weiszer of the Savannah (GA) Morning News says the SEC just got bigger thanks to ESPN’s power.
Andy Bitter and David Hale of the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer write that ESPN will air 23 more SEC football games this season thanks to the SEC Network.
Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tries to sort out the new ESPN/SEC contract.
Bill King of the AJC says Georgia fans can sit back and turn on their TV to see every game this season.
Tommy Hicks of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says the SEC has released the TV schedule for the first three weeks of the season.
Let’s move on to other links now.
This might have been a lead story had it not been for Erin Andrews, Ben Roethlisberger and the SEC Network. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit is suing the Internal Revenue Service for not allowing him to claim a tax deduction after he donated his house to the local fire department. Is suing the IRS a good idea?
From the DC Metro Weekly paper, Sean Bugg interviews Tennis Channel analyst and World Team Tennis player Rennae Stubbs.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that the Capitals will remain on its current radio flagship station.
Back to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and TV/radio writer Rodney Ho who reports the Braves are changing their radio flagships next season.
John Royal of the Houston Press says the Texas Bowl made the right move in going to ESPN after not being seen on the NFL Network for the last three years.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers a day early.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about tonight’s ESPN Homecoming show starring former Rams QB Kurt Warner.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News digs into the Sports Illustrated vaults and finds an article from 1979 about a small cable TV network that was hoping to show sports 24 a day.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News asks what’s the big fuss over the LeBron James dunk video which was no big deal after it was released yesterday afternoon.
Erica Ogg of CNET.com looks at the MLB At Bat iPhone app which now has every game available on streaming video.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball has an excellent article on the top 10 Marketing issues facing MLB right now.
Evan Weiner writing at the MCN Sports site calls on Congress to change the cable TV laws that allowed networks like ESPN to get too big.
David Goetzl of Mediapost writes about Fox Sports taking a stake in Open Sports Network for fantasy sports.
Wayne Friedman of Mediapost says NBC Universal putting on the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifying match on a little-known and barely seen channel is all about business.
Colby Hall of Mediaite talks with ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons. The less I say about him the better.
Chuck Hanf of the Two Cents from Beantown blog lists his five top sports stars of all time in the Hub. I like his top choice.
I would be remiss if I didn’t link you to the latest edition of The Five on WEEI.com hosted always by the lovely Kristine Leahy.
Wow. Lots of links. I need to clear my head so I’m taking a walk. See you later.
Today, NESN’s Tom Caron and Heidi Watney took part in a fundraising event to raise money for the Masachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition. Then during the Red Sox Gameday Live pregame show tonight, Heidi and Tom discussed it. Just to see Heidi in a one piece bathing suit was worth it.
Nice to see.
I have some links for you today.
The Boston Herald’s Inside Track Girls report that NESN’s Heidi Watney is dating a former Fenway Park groundskeeper. Thanks to Sox & Dawgs for that link. So much for the rumors Heidi dating Jason Veritek.
The lovely Jessica Heslam of the Herald reports that the New England Patriots are moving their weekly “All Access” show from WCVB to WBZ next season after Channel 5 was its home for 10 years (scroll down).
Newsday’s Neil Best says the “Giants On-Line” crew do not feel this season’s Eagles are like last season’s Giants.
This link comes courtesy of Neil. Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News says Fox’s Michael Strahan wonders why Philly does not show the love for Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.
Scott Collins from the Los Angeles Times says the Indianapolis-San Diego NFL Wild Card playoff game on NBC was the highest rated program of the week.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer discusses tonight’s 3-D broadcast of the BCS Championship Game.
The Sports Media Watch says Fox Sports had a ratings fiesta for the Fiesta Bowl.
Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Mid-American Conference is waiting for news on its new TV package.
Jason Anderson of the Stockton (CA) Record writes that tonight begins the Big West Conference’s 13 game TV package with ESPN and FSN.
Jim Ecker of the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette feels the Big Ten Network should have more of a Hawkeye presence.
Christine Hall from Houston Business Journal talks about Fox Sports Houston’s transition to a 24/7 network.
Le Anna Kosub of the San Antonio Express-News writes that the local market will see both Fox Sports Houston and Fox Sports Southwest.
The Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Fox Sports North will air a tribute to Twins owner Carl Pohlad tonight.
Eric Degerman of the Tri-City (WA) Herald says FSN Northwest has picked up 24 Utah Jazz games from sister network, Fox Sports Utah.
Awful Announcing also summarizes Dick Vitale’s commentary on last night’s Miami-Denver game.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business says the new Comcast SportsNet morning show will have some big guests when it premieres next week. And Ed says golf’s heavy hitters are staying away from this weekend’s season opening tournament.
Vlada Gelman of TV Week says Golf Channel is launching an HD feed.
Puck The Media lists the regional sports networks that will carry the AHL All-Star Game.
Broadcast Engineering reports that MLB.com is switching its media player from Microsoft Silverlight to Adobe Flash.
That will do it for now. That might do it for links today, we’ll see.
Last year, I had an entry, Five Women Who Can Make Me Stop Flipping The Remote. Every once in a while, I notice people doing a Google search for the women on that list will stop on that page and look at what I came up with. If you don’t want to click on the link above, the list from last year is as follows:
1. Giada De Laurentiis – Food Network
2. Erin Andrews – ESPN
3. Tina Cervasio – formerly of NESN, now of MSG Network
4. Nigella Lawson – Food Network
5. Stacey Dales – ESPN/ABC
A very strong list. But I figured it was time to revise the list after watching some college football and the Food Network today. It’s a completely new list so there are no carryovers from last year. As I did in 2007, I go in reverse order.
5. Trenni Kusnierek – FSN Wisconsin
Trenni is looking like she’s smirking here. I don’t know the circumstances behind the pic, but it’s what I could find because she’s not listed at the FSN Wisconsin website. She’s the sideline reporter for the Milwaukee Brewers games and also does freelance work for the Big Ten Network. Her work is quite strong and she’s well liked by BTN to possibly do some work during college basketball season. We certainly hope we see more of her.
4. Aida Mollenkamp – Food Network
Who can resist that smile? The host of Ask Aida on Food Network answers questions on recipes, ingredients, food, you name it. Get rid of her tool tech guru on the show and it would be perfect. The show is great to watch and she can certainly whip up Pasta Bolognese in no time. And I’m getting hooked on the show every Saturday. And it’s just before Everyday Italian with last year’s number one Woman Who Can Make Me Stop Flipping The Remote, Giada!
3. Robin Meade – CNN Headline News
Host of Morning Express with Robin Meade, mornings on CNN Headline News, this is the show I turn on every morning before I go to work. She just doesn’t make me stop the remote, she’s the first face I see as I get ready to leave my house. And it’s not a bad thing at all. The news is presented very well on Morning Express and whenever Robin is on vacation or is on assignment, the very capable Christi Paul substitutes for her so the show doesn’t miss a beat. In my opinion, Morning Express is the best morning news program on TV.
2. Heidi Watney – NESN
Sideline reporter on NESN for Red Sox games, Heidi replaced the lovely Tina Cervasio this year after the Jersey girl decided to return home. While Heidi hasn’t made Red Sox Nation forget about Tina yet, she is very lovely and when she’s on with Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe on the NESN multi-sponsored pregame show, ratings for their segment go up (ok, I have nothing to base this on, I’m just saying). There are rumors that NESN will cut her loose after this season, but I certainly hope she’s given at least another year.
1. Charissa Thompson – Big Ten Network/Fox Sports/FSN
I keep using this picture for Charissa, we really need a new one, but that’s ok, it will suffice. Charissa’s star is rising at Fox. Last year, she hosted the FSN Baseball Report and did the sidelines for the Big Ten Network. I still maintain that Fang’s Bites was one of the first blogs to sing her praises before she began to get notices. And this year, Fox made her as one of the hosts on Best Damn Sports Show Period and added NFL sideline duties to her resume. She’s getting more notice and for good reason, being compared to Erin Andrews. I’ll be honest, I think she’s better than Erin and I feel that by the end of next year, she’ll surpass Erin in popularity. You heard it here first.
And that’s the list for this year.
I got up this morning and saw it was 47 degrees in Rhode Island. It’s cold. The temps are warming up now, but this feels like mid-October.
Let’s do your links.
Newsday’s Neil Best thought it was funny that SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett didn’t know “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Neil also previews what YES will show in its pregame for the Yankee Stadium farewell.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union doesn’t like the way Fox is treating baseball as it heads to the postseason. Judging from the announcing assignments from last week and today, I have to agree.
Over to the great Sox & Dawgs blog which has this great picture of NESN’s Heidi Watney and the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin together.
Anyway, the point of linking to Sox & Dawgs was the fact that Ian of the blog has the video of NESN’s Dennis Eckersley correctly ripping Red Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon for refusing to pitch out of the bullpen.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions. Paul Sen also notes that the ratings for MLB on Fox are in a downward spiral. And some more bad news for Fox. The SMW says Fox was the only network to experience a downturn in Week 2 of the NFL while all of the league’s other partners were up.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News does not feel a lot of people are logging on to watch Sunday Night Football Extra on NFL.com and NBCSports.com, but I disagree.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News mentions that members of the Oakland Raiderettes squad will be in town for an appearance.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record has the NFL games that will be seen in the local area on Sunday. And Ken lists the college games available in the Hudson Valley on TV today.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette who’s not just a media writer for the paper, remembers the late Cornell, RPI and Union hockey coach Ned Harkness who passed away Friday. A side note, Ned almost came to my alma mater, the University of Rhode Island to start a hockey program in the 1970′s, but was later turned down by the school. It would have been nice to have a major hockey program at URI in a state that is known as a hotbed for high school hockey.
Ken is a fan of the NHL Live radio program that is simulcast on XM Satellite Radio (and soon to join Sirius!) and the NHL Network.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News says Matthew Barnaby looks forward to joining ESPN to be its NHL analyst.
Joe Favorito likes the way the Women’s Tennis Association is bringing fans closer to its players through virtual video games.
Speaking of the WTA, the Women’s Tennis Blog says the Sony Ericsson Tour will offer live streaming video of 21 tournaments on its website starting next season. This is a good thing.
The next link from the Women’s Tennis Blog has nothing to do with sports media, but because I like Jelena Jankovic, I’m linking to it. Apparently, Jelena fell in love at the Summer Olympics in Communist China.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says FSN will launch a year long awareness campaign on diversity.
Apparently former CBS Sports host Pat O’Brien has left the celebrity gossip show, The Insider. This time for good.
That’s going to do it. I hope to have a recap for the second episode of The Amazing Race Asia sometime this weekend.