I’m going to down a few quick thoughts as I’m going to busy during the day so I don’t know if I’ll be able to post much. I’ll give you some thoughts to tie you in the interim.
- I was saddened to hear that USA Today laid off reporters in its sports section. Those cut included media and business writer Mike McCarthy who became a friend to your humble blogger, Tom Weir of the extraordinary Game Om! blog and Tom Pedulla who described his surreal experienceof losing his job to Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.A piece of disclosure here. Fang’s Bites is part of the USA Today Media Group, but is an independently-owned blog. I was not aware of the layoffs until they were reported. I certainly hate to see anyone lose a job, especially in this economy. Here’s hoping Mike and Tom W. will find new positions soon.
- The move by the New Orleans Times-Picayune to reduce printing its newspaper to three days a week this fall stinks to high heaven. I know we’re in a digital age, but journalism is not about how many clicks you can attract. It’s about serving the community and acting as a check on local government. I hope the Times-Picayune can find a balance that keeps the organization alive.
- With NBC announcing the amount of hours it will provide on its various platforms for the London Olympics it’s a step in the right direction. With some 272½ hours on the main network, plus another 5,262½ hours on cable and online combined, we’ll see a plethora of Olympic coverage this summer. I hope NBCUniversal will step up. I’m still dreading seeing Ryan Seacrest while looking forward to seeing Michelle Beadle in London.
- I heard through a couple of sources that Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle was approached by ESPN for an unspecified role. Not sure if it means TV or radio. She nor ESPN are officially talking. I’ll let you know if anything develops.
- And congratulations to Steve Lepore of Puck The Media. He’s moved his site to SB Nation where he’ll continue to provide his quality work.
And that will end the thoughts. Enjoy your Friday.
Let’s do our Monday linkage today.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today writes that CBS/Turner’s Clark Kellogg will have a big “get” during halftime of Tuesday’s NCAA Tournament First Four game.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says MSG Network has a new show dedicated to the best and worst baseball trades and deals.
Mike says YES Network’s national feed will be seen by California cable subscribers for the first time.
Jason Del Ray of Advertising Age looks at SB Nation’s foray into producing original content for YouTube with former ESPN’ers Bomani Jones and Amy K. Nelson.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine says the NCAA Tournament can be a sports marketer’s dream.
Kevin Wagstaff of Time Magazine says YouTube will be the official video player for NBCOlympics.com, however, don’t expect to see live Olympics on the video streaming service.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead spent a day following ESPN’s Jay Bilas at the Big East Tournament.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead wonders if NBC’s entrance into MLS will help to grow soccer in America.
Timothy Burke of Deadspin has the funny video of ESPN’s Dick Vitale being Dick Vitale during last night’s Bracketology show.
Ken Belson of the New York Times describes the Mets first-ever radio broadcast which included the late Howard Cosell as pregame host.
Michael O’Keefe of the New York Daily News talks with former ESPN’er Sean Salisbury who has been battling depression and hoping to make a TV comeback bid. The story never mentions Salisbury’s MTV2 gig with the Lingerie Football League.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post writes that TV continues to ignore athletes’ bad behavior.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the tip times for the FIRST FOUR and 2nd Round games of the NCAA Tournament.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that the voices of the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league affiliate get their call to the big club this week.
Bob Rossi in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says NBC will go all out for the NHL Playoffs this spring.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports television and I find that I disagree with a couple of his points.
Richard Connelly of the Houston Press says the new Comcast SportsNet Houston plans to build studios that will allow for a Today Show-like atmosphere outdoors.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman says former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer is in talks to have a movie based on his interesting life.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says there wasn’t much anger directed at the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee this year from the TV analysts.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that Dan McLaughlin returned to Fox Sports Midwest Sunday after a long suspension over his drunk driving arrests.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says Peyton Manning’s visit to the Mile High City gave the local media plenty to talk about over the weekend.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times had a chance to tour Jon Gruden’s offices as he prepared to host several incoming NFL quarterbacks for his ESPN shows this Spring.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about rebranding the conference.
Tom also has his sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that the Canadian NHL clubs want some changes in CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Bruce also looks at the coverage of the death of Canadian skier Nik Zoricic over the weekend.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star says when Don Cherry leaves Hockey Night in Canada, he will be sorely missed.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR on Fox lost a million viewers for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from the previous year.
Paul Kennedy at SoccerAmerica feels NBC Sports Network did well in its MLS debut.
SoccerNation says NBC has tapped a well-known composer to produce its MLS theme music.
And that’s going to do it for now.
Ok, let’s get this done. Lots of linkage from yesterday and today. I need to catch up. Let’s go.
Check out your Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming for Saturday and Sunday.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today wonders if there’s a glass ceiling for women in sports television.
Former Comcast SportsNet New England anchor Jackie Pepper has her take about being a woman in sports television.
Back to USA Today, Michael Hiestand looks at the casting call for the new Broadway play focusing on the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry and friendship, produced by the same people who did Lombardi on Broadway.
Hiestand writes that Fox Sports will be using some of its own talent for its UFC debut next week.
Paul Thomasch of Reuters talks with CBS head honcho Les Moonves about the network’s SEC deal.
Emma Bazilian at Adweek notes that DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket promotion over the summer paid off in droves in the third quarter of this year.
Phil Swann of TV Predictions has his take on DirecTV’s subscriber spike.
The talk of the sports blogosphere the last couple of days has been the Deadspin story by A.J. Daulerio on a former ESPN executive who’s filed a lawsuit against an employee denying several displays of odd behavior including masturbating in Erin Andrews’ presence.
Congratulations to former ESPN reporter Amy K. Nelson who leaves the Alleged Worldwide Leader for SBNation. Deadspin has that story as well.
Aaron Kuniloff and David Mildenberg from Bloomberg Businessweek co-author a story on ESPN’s Longhorn Network and its ramifications on college sports.
Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek of Businessweek talk about the alternatives to the NBA and how the league’s TV partners have lost money airing the games.
Rick Chandler of NBC’s Off the Bench explains how an ESPN.com story mushroomed into the Occupy Tebow movement.
At ESPN Front Row, network spokesman Mike Soltys notes that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has new policy on employees writing books, something that got Bruce Feldman into trouble earlier this year.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group looks at a new MSG Network mobile app that brings live high school sports to your cell phone.
Ariel Sandler at the Business Insider Sports Page has video of two Canadian news anchors going crazy when their sports anchor is named the winner of a $2.5 million lottery on live TV.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews the results of having two In-N-Out Burgers shipped frozen across country.
Sports Media Watch says TNT’s replacement programming for the NBA’s canceled games on what would have been Opening Night of the season failed miserably in the ratings.
Joe Favorito wonders if the Bellator Fighting Championships can co-exist with UFC in Mixed Martial Arts.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says Brent Musburger got the job done in his cameo on an ABC sitcom.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth says it’s the subject matter, not the personalities that drive ratings for sports radio stations.
SportsbyBrooks notes that ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd sat with the beautiful people at last week’s Stanford-USC game.
Marisa Ingemi of In Lax We Trust reports that the National Lacrosse League has a deal in place with CBS Sports Network to air games in 2012-13.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe speaks with former ESPN MMA Live host Jon Anik who will work straight for UFC now.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle talks with Comcast SportsNet New England Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn who’s cooling his heels during the NBA lockout.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show has really taken off in the ratings.
Neil has more with Boomer and Carton that he could not provide in his feature story.
Scott Shifrel and Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News write that former ESPN executive Keith Clinkscales is claiming that he is the victim of a smear campaign.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wonders where’s the outrage on the Detroit Lions for what he feels was mocking Tim Tebow’s religion.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Cleveland Browns franchise assassin and ESPN analyst Eric Mangini. No, I’m not bitter about his tenure as Browns coach.
Justin previews MLB Network’s special on the 1986 Postseason.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union hears from SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson on LSU-Alabama.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call also has quotes from Danielson regarding this year’s Game of the Century.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks at a failed lobbyist’s efforts to get DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder to change the brand name.
And Dan has Joe Theismann’s thoughts on the whole John Beck/Rex Grossman QB controversy in Washington.
Monica Hesse of the Post says some of the items from the now-defunct ESPN Zone in DC are being sold at auction.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner finds out ESPN’s plans for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup.
Sean Cartell of SEC.com has Verne Lundquist’s thoughts on LSU-Alabama.
Brian Reynolds in the Tuscaloosa News says ESPN is giving LSU-Alabama the Super Bowl treatment.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says both CBS and ESPN are pulling out all of the stops for LSU-Alabama.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that former Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be profiled on Sunday’s edition of The NFL Today.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ratings for the World Series were good, but the games showed that instant replay was greatly needed.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that former Brewers radio voice Corey Provus now has a new gig with the Twins.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Ted Gruber in Chicago Now feels ESPN gets a big fail in covering Mixed Martial Arts.
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Corey Provus takes over for former Minnesota Twins voice John Gordon who retired this year.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks about Provus’ hiring by the Twins.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feels the national media undersold Albert Pujols’ achievement in Game 3 of the World Series.
Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News says ESPN’s partnership with BYU has been beneficial for both parties.
John Maffei in the North County Times notes how CBS obtained LSU-Alabama for primetime.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says it’s rare to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the regular season.
Jim says Brad Nessler is ready for primetime when Thursday Night Football begins next week.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says we’re in a Golden Age of sports documentaries.
Tom has more in his blog.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Hazel Mae is officially back with Rogers Sportsnet.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog which broke the news of Hazel’s return discusses what her duties will be.
That’s going to do it for the megalinks today.
Well, I didn’t see this one coming. The powerful SB Nation sports blogging network has announced a new content sharing agreement with WEEI.com, the internet arm of Boston sports radio station, WEEI. Under the new agreement, WEEI.com will provide content from SB Nation on its site. In exchange, WEEI’s content will be seen on SB Nation’s Boston sites. This is quite interesting to see this come about.
WEEI.com launched with a huge splash, but since it started, has lost writers Joe Haggerty and Jessica Camerato to Comcast SportsNet New England. This provides WEEI with more content and gives it some extra juice outside New England. The press release:
First of its kind content sharing & promotional partnership makes WEEI.com the exclusive in-market partner for national online sports network SB Nation
BOSTON (April 11, 2011) – WEEI.com today announced it has reached a content sharing partnership with SB Nation that will integrate content from the nation’s fastest growing online sports network with WEEI.com’s premier local coverage. The new agreement will enhance the experience for users of WEEI.com by providing fans with relevant content and national & regional points of views on sports news. The partnership also makes WEEI.com the exclusive in-market content partner for SB Nation and its network of over 300 online fan communities.
“We are continually exploring new ways to bring the very best content to our visitors, and partnering with SB Nation furthers that mission,” said Tim Murphy, Vice President of Digital Strategy & Enterprise Platforms for Entercom. “SB Nation is the leader in fan-driven content, opinion and analysis. It will complement our dynamic local journalism to give Boston sports fans the most complete, entertaining experience on the web. Partnering with an emerging sports leader from a national perspective will allow our fans to see how the rest of the country is looking at our beloved teams, and follow national stories of interest from SB Nation’s unique, fan-centric POV. ”
“This is a groundbreaking opportunity that brings one of the nation’s leading sports media brands together with a new generation and form of sports content,” said Scott Langerman, General Manager of SB Nation’s local initiatives. “We see a trailblazing spirit in WEEI.com that mirrors our own and allows us to do new things in the space together.”
The agreement, which is the most expansive of its kind for both WEEI.com and SB Nation, will blend the best of traditional media with interactive user-generated content. Highlights include:
ØWEEI.com will feature headlines and content from SB Nation websites relevant to all the Boston teams, and SB Nation will bring WEEI.com’s highly-regarded reporting and personalities to its readers in Boston and beyond.
Ø A new feature on WEEI.com called “Behind Enemy Lines” will provide news and commentary from SB Nation’s network of team-focused blogs about upcoming Boston opponents.
Ø A new, co-branded landing page will include links to SB Nation content appearing on WEEI.com as well as outbound links to national stories within the SB Nation network.
ØWEEI.com and SB Nation will integrate relevant content within each other’s coverage of Boston sports teams, offering a unique diversity of perspectives on all the local teams.
Ø Content from each partner will appear on dedicated team pages & blogs in widget form for easy-to-use functionality.
In addition to the robust content sharing elements of the partnership, WEEI.com and SB Nation will work together on sales, promotional and other business opportunities.
Added Murphy: “This is a partnership in every way. Not only are we providing better content than ever to Boston sports fans, but our relationship with SB Nation provides new and unique opportunities for sponsors.”
More stuff to follow.