Stephen A. Smith
I don’t watch Saturday Night Live unless … Ok, I just don’t watch, there is no unless. Anyway, NBC sent this clip from last night’s Weekend Update with Seth Myers and Jay Pharoah did a bang up job as ESPN’s Stephen A. “A is for Acrimony” Smith. In this segment, Seth asks “Stephen” to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers’ troubles at NBA All-Star break and what Kobe Bryant should do. The rest is hilarity.
Very funny stuff.
Ok, now that the Olympics bidding is over until the next round sometime later this decade, I can focus on other sports media stories and there are quite a few of them now.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong has taken down his anti-60 Minutes website stating its report on his alleged PED use has been debunked.
Lindsay Rubino of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Game 4 of the NBA Finals scored a primetime win for ABC on Tuesday.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News talks about ESPN signing a new deal with the West Coast Conference for basketball and Olympic sports.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel says ESPN is ready to convert to a full HD format.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says Captain Blowhard is trying to save the internet from a certain type of advertising. Nice of him to appoint himself as our savoir.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life says the NBA Finals are on pace to become the most watched in seven years.
Bill Simmons’ Grantland site finally had its official launch yesterday. Already people are assessing it including Nicholas Jackson of Atlantic Monthly.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead has his first impressions.
Tim Carmody of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University wonders if Simmons’ mix of sports and pop culture will work.
Tommy Craggs at Deadspin tells us why Grantland Rice for whom Simmons’ site is named, was really overrated.
Deadspin runs an excerpt from former New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte’s new book in which he recalls an encounter with an overtalkative Bob Costas.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes that this week’s successful Olympic bid was key for the new NBC/Comcast.
The Nielsen Wire blog has a look at the top NHL players in name recognition.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser has TNT’s Charles Barkley ripping Miami Heat fans.
Cam says the Denver Post’s Woody Paige has apologized to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal for lifting quotes from an ESPN story he wrote.
Corey Nachman of the Business Insider Sports Page has his 100 Best Venues in Sports.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has the video of a Brazilian writer typing away on a small laptop while showing a bit more of himself than he realized.
And Dan says Steven A. “A is for Allude” Smith hinted on ESPN Radio that something is up with LeBron James, but won’t say exactly what.
Chris Chase of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner gives some examples from the ESPN book that he feels evidence how NBC’s Sunday Night Football is superior to Monday Night Football.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has a strange endorsement story involving the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
ESPN PR pro Bill Hofheimer helps to unveil the new Monday Night Football logo that will be seen when the NFL starts playing again.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that NBC now has to follow through on promises to show the Olympics live.
Brian Stelter of the Times reports that UFC is in talks with Comcast to buy its G4 gaming channel.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that ESPN has added 7 more Big Ten games to its ESPN/ESPN2/ABC college football schedule.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable airs some local high school lacrosse finals this weekend.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will air 10 WNBA games this season.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that there’s something brewing between writer John Feinstein and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt.
Iliana Limon at the Orlando Sentinel writes that Central Florida along with Conference USA have announced their TV schedules.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News reports that the SEC and ESPN are ready to re-evaluate their 15 year deal which now looks antiquated when it was signed in 2009.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says the NBA is gaining increased interest in the area thanks to the Thunder.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Sentinel notes that outgoing ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson cites Rick Pitino was his best coach.
Yesterday was Tom Hoffarth’s birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Tom.
Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times says keeping the Olympics was top priority for NBC and Comcast.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury Times has some thoughts on ESPN’s new contract with the West Coast Conference.
Lisa K. Anderson in the Sandy (OR) Post writes about a local woman who’s hosting a reality show for Comcast SportsNet Northwest.
Dan Robson of the Toronto Star says CBC has signed a five year deal with the International Skating Union for figure skating, speedskating and other events.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that TSN will air BBC’s coverage of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.
Joe Caporoso of Gunaxin asks Erin Andrews or Michelle Beadle?
Cosby Sweaters looks at how Olympic viewing will change with Comcast in charge of NBC.
We have a new sports media blog, The Sports Tube, headed by Chris Hadley. He looks at the Olympic bidding.
Sports Media Watch notes the ratings for Games 2 & 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final are down from last year.
Joe Favorito wonders if any New York sports teams or events will take advantage of the Congressman Anthony Weiner mess.
That’s going to do it for now.
Let’s provide the Friday megalinks. Lots of things to get to.
We, of course, provide the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment weekend programming.
Now let’s get to the linkage from across the country.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age reports that NBC is already seeking $3.5 million for a 30 second spot for Super Bowl XLVI.
Mike McCarthy at USA Today writes that ESPN’s Erin Andrews will be working the red carpet during the Oscars for ABC’s Good Morning America.
Mike and fellow USA Today sport media writer Michael Hiestand debate the pros and cons of airing the NFL Scouting Combine.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable writes that a tennis tournament has decided to use NeuLion’s platform to stream matches online in HD quality.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News discusses Versus’ good ratings for the NHL Heritage Classic.
Multichannel notes that Style Network will be turning a NASCAR wedding into a reality TV series.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has a video of Erin Andrews looking for that perfect dress for the Academy Awards red carpet.
Marcus Vanderberg from SportsNewser says Versus will air its next UFC MMA card in 3-D.
Sports Media Watch writes that MSG saw its highest ratings in 16 years for the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony’s debut.
SMW says NASCAR’s Nationwide Series got off to a slower start in the ratings from last year.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on Versus continues to be red hot in the ratings
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says outsourcing has helped smaller teams stay in contention.
Awful Announcing notices the notorious “Schwab” making a cameo in the new Hooters ad featuring ESPN’s Dick Vitale.
SportsbyBrooks gives the legendary voice of Mississippi State football and basketball Jack Cristil a very nice tribute as he had to step down immediately due to health issues.
In Examiner.com, Evan Weiner looks at the NFL lockout and what it means to the league’s TV partners.
All Access says the embattled Charlie Sheen called into a Fox Sports Radio show to once again rant against CBS, Warner Brothers and Global Warming.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reviews the week in Boston sports media news.
Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch notes that WEEI buried the news of the naming of its new midday show late Friday.
In SB Nation Boston, Bruce has a look at the WEEI shakeups and a tumultuous week for the once-dominant sports radio station.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks about a local part-time radio reporter who has been reporting on the Red Sox for almost two decades.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times writes about MSG’s boffo ratings for Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks debut.
Richard discusses how a panel takes over as the ESPN Ombudsman.
Richard and Pat Borzi team up for a story on the NFL Players Association trying to prevent the NFL from collecting its TV rights fee during a potential lockout.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with Steven A. “A is for Amiable” Smith who’s happy to be back with ESPN.
Bob Glauber of Newsday says both New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and HBO will not be back on Hard Knocks at least this year.
It’s official. Phil Mushnick from the New York Post really hates Madison Square Garden and Cablevision Chairman James Dolan.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for MLB Network’s Al Leiter.
As of today, I’m am no longer linking to Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News over his extreme hate. He went after Friend of Fang’s Bites Tina Cervasio the other night and that was it. He’s persona non grata as far as I’m concerned.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union has ESPN releasing its Big East football schedule.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says the local Fox affiliate will have an extra high school sports highlight show this weekend.
In the New Jersey Newsroom, Nicole Pride talks with an ESPN producer who felt a story on paralyzed Rutgers football Eric LeGrand really hit home.
Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates have announced their spring training TV and radio schedule.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt ripping the students of his alma mater once again.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner says NASCAR is back in full swing on TV.
Bob Molinaro of the Virginian-Pilot says there’s too much speculating in the sports media today.
Erin Barnett of WSLS-TV in Roanoke, VA reports on College GameDay’s visit to the Virginia Tech campus.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald says like them or not, the Miami Heat are among the top of the heap in the local and national NBA TV ratings.
Carlos Frias of the Palm Beach Post talks with Pam Tebow, mother of Tim, about life after the controversial Super Bowl ad she and her son did last year.
Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaking about how he felt Super Bowl XLV went.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with syndicated radio host Paul Finebaum about now infamous confession from the Alabama fan who said he poisoned the Auburn tree. That confession occurred on Finebaum’s show.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman talks with the new TV voice of the Texas Rangers.
In his media notebook, Mel says the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be featured nationally this weekend.
Kevin Bull of the Detroit Free Press has highlights of an ESPN.com chat conducted by former Michigan Fab Five standout Jalen Rose regarding the new ESPN documentary on the 1992-93 team.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that a local radio host is making sure that high school sports gets its due.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has former Brewers manager Ken Macha responding on MLB Network Radio to one of his former player’s comments.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
The Des Moines (IA) Register reports that Iowa State’s football game against UConn has been scheduled for a Friday night on ESPN2.
From Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals spring training games will be pre-empting Rush Limbaugh on KMOX.
Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune has CBS’ Clark Kellogg looking forward to seeing San Diego State and BYU square off tomorrow.
John Maffei of the North County Times says it’s BYU and Jimmer Fredette as to why San Diego State is on national TV on Saturday.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the Poynter Institute panel that will play the role of ESPN Ombudsman.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times also looks at the new ESPN Ombudsmen.
Ben Bolch of the Times says Fox Sports Net will honor the late UCLA coach John Wooden during Pac 10 basketball games this weekend.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that TSN continues its TV rights shopping spree, this time at the expense of one of its competitors.
And that is going to do it for the megalinks. Enjoy your sports weekend
Let’s provide the sports media links this morning. Lots of things to do today so I hope I can get this done and finish up the work I have to do later.
John Czarnecki at Fox Sports is amazed at how the NFL Scouting Combine has become a made-for-TV event.
George Winslow at Broadcasting & Cable writes about ESPN 3D picking up coverage of The Masters in April.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says Carmelo Anthony’s introduction at Madison Square Garden last night was definitely made for TV.
Dan says a former New York Yankee who was part of an infamous wife swap in the 1970′s is now shocked that Academy Award winners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck now want to do a movie about the story.
Dashiell Bennett of the Business Insider’s Sports Page is amused by Buzz Bissinger’s tweets.
At TVbytheNumbers, Bill Gorman notes that the NBA All-Star Game on TNT topped the cable primetime ratings for last week.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that the ultimate product placement in the NBA Slam Dunk competition is paying off in droves.
Awful Announcing has the video of the Big Ten Network’s Tom Hart calling a buzzer beater.
Ricardo A. Hazell from the Electronic Urban Report catches up with former NFL Today co-host Jayne Kennedy.
At Boston Sports Media Watch, Bruce Allen recaps Dale Arnold’s final show on WEEI.
Mark LaMonica at Newsday has the New York Post’s Peter Vescey’s comments about Steven A. Smith.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette reports that a local radio station will pick up Big East Tournament night games in early March.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning News says a local indoor football analyst has his eyes on the big leagues in Philadelphia.
Paul Farhi of the Washington Post writes about the slashing of the staff at the local-run TBD.com which was hoped to be a DC news and sports online destination. While it did have get site hits, revenue was not where the owners had projected so last night came word that the site will focus on arts and entertainment.
Dan Steinberg of the Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt was very critical of Maryland students for failing to show up at last night’s game against Florida State.
To the Washington Examiner and Jim Williams who writes about the new look at Golf Channel and NBC Sports.
The Tampa Bay Newspapers have the Rays’ spring training schedule on Sun Sports.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN has hired a former Green Bay Packers executive to be an NFL business analyst.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business writes about Comcast SportsNet Chicago hiring former Bulls forward Scottie Pippen as a game analyst.
Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a reader wanting more Minnesota Twins spring training games on TV.
Patrick Saunders in the Denver Post wants to institute a Sports Fans Bill of Rights.
Mike Sunnucks from the Phoenix Business Journal says the Suns will put all of their games on cable next season.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star writes that the Pac 10/12 is hoping to get a better TV contract.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that a minor league hockey announcer suspended himself after he realized he was guilty of blatant homerism.
Pro Golf Talk’s Ryan Ballengee has the video of CBS golf analyst David Feherty getting hit in the groin.
The Canadian Sports Media blog has the 2011 Toronto Blue Jays schedule on Rogers Sportsnet
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media projects the NHL playoff matchups and TV network projections if the postseason started today.
Joe Favorito says companies with natural tie-ins are missing the boat on the NBA and NHL Trading Deadlines.
And that’s where I’ll end it now.
My hopes of having a night off from the blog have gone by the wayside. Too many things going on. I’m going to give you an extra set of links this evening.
Our first story is in regards to the NFL Players Association complaint that the NFL improperly negotiated its TV contracts, insisting its TV partners pay for games even if there’s a lockout. A special master ruled against the union, however, did award damages to the NFLPA.
For its part, the NFLPA released a statement giving its reaction to the ruling.
In Sports Business Daily, John Ourand reports that Versus President Jamie Davis is being replaced by the NBC Sports hierarchy.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! has details of a meeting between Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry looks back at Super Bowl XVIII where one particular commercial took hold and paved the way for advertisers.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser clears things once and for all on the back of John Clayton’s head.
Dashiell Bennett of the Business Insider’s Sports Page delves into ESPN’s rehiring of Stephen A. Smith to host two local radio shows in New York and Los Angeles.
Rob Gloster and Andy Fixmer from Bloomberg write about the new naming rights deal for Los Angeles’ new stadium which doesn’t have an NFL team.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell explains why he’s watching the Super Bowl from home instead of being at the game in person.
Milton Kent from Fanhouse writes about Stephen A. Smith’s return to ESPN.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union also writes about ESPN bringing back Stephen A.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci telling Packers fans that they’ll forgive Brett Favre eventually.
Lance Pugmire from the Los Angeles Times has a story on the new stadium naming rights deal.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks to various play-by-play men about Vin Scully.
First, Tom asks CBS’ Jim Nantz about Vin.
Tom also talks with one of the worst play-by-play men of all-time and a writer of Cheers, Ken Levine
Tom then talks with one of Vin’s former partners, Ross Porter.
Tom taps former Padres play-by-play man and current MLB Network host Matt Vasgersian to talk about Vin.
Tom finds current Anaheim Angels voice and Friend of Fang’s Bites Victor Rojas to discuss what he can learn from Vin.
And finally, Tom talks with Vin’s current partner, Charley “Follow Me To Freedom” Steiner.
David Shoalts from the Toronto Globe and Mail delves into the NHL US TV rights negotiations which get a bit more interesting now that Versus’ exclusive negotiating window has ended.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Globe and Mail reports that TSN which obtained Euro 2012 & 2016 along with the Tour de France today, appears to have wrested the Canadian rights to Major League Soccer away from CBC and Rogers Sportsnet.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks into TSN’s acquisition of MLS.
Dave Kohl from Major League Programs writes about Super Bowl coverage from the local point of view.
That’s going to finish us for tonight. Glad to provide some linkage for you.
Just a short two months after ending his Fox Sports Radio morning show, Stephen A. Smith has resurfaced at his old employer, ESPN. He’ll host two daily radio shows, one on ESPN Radio in New York and the other on KSPN in Los Angeles. In addition, he’ll write columns for ESPNNY.com as well as ESPNLA.com. He’ll also be heard on ESPN Radio’s coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend and the NBA Finals. So Stephen wasn’t without a job for long and we’ll see how long he stays with the Alleged Worldwide Leader. Stephen appears to get bored easily and takes off.
Here’s the press release.
Stephen A. Smith Returning to ESPN
Stephen A. Smith is returning to ESPN as a local radio host and ESPN.com columnist. Smith will host a pair of two-hour, weekday local radio shows – one airing on 1050 ESPN (WEPN-AM) in New York from 7-9 p.m. ET and another on 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM) in Los Angeles from 6-8 p.m. PT. Both shows will focus on local sports topics, with a concentration on the NBA on game nights (1050 ESPN is the flagship station for the Knicks and 710 ESPN for the Lakers). Smith will begin to contribute to both stations this week. Smith will also cover NBA All-Star events and The Finals on ESPN Radio. Additionally, Smith will be a featured ESPN.com columnist, writing regularly for ESPNLA.com and ESPNNY.com.
“Stephen A. consistently offers strong opinions on a wide variety of topics,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production. “He has a proven track record as an authoritative voice, which will lead to insightful conversation leading into Knicks and Lakers game coverage.”
“Words cannot express how excited I am to return to ESPN,” said Smith. “The five-plus years I spent here in my previous stint were unquestionably the best years of my professional career. To have the opportunity to return to a place where I have an abundance of friends – with individuals whose contributions to my life, both professionally and personally, deserves far more credit than I can describe – simply makes my return that much more special. I’m sincerely grateful. And very, very ready. As in right now. Let’s go!”
Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08. Smith hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07. Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show. He also regularly appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN2’s First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning.
Smith most recently hosted a morning show on Fox Sports Radio. Previously, Smith held several positions – most recently as a general sports columnist – during 16 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer (1994-2010). Prior to joining the Inquirer, Smith was a reporter with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News.
I think I’ll be taking a break from the blog this evening, unless something breaks.