Yup, time for the Friday megalinks. As long as I don’t get interrupted, I should be able to do this all in one shot for you.
Your Weekend Viewing Picks have a whole lot of sports and entertainment programs so take a gander and see what suits your fancy.
To the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer diving headfirst into being a college football TV analyst for ESPN.
Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle blog notes that ex-NFLer’s and current TV analysts Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp don’t take much stock in Tiki Barber’s comeback.
Also in USA Today, Devra Maza talks with Hall of Fame baseball announcer Bob Wolff about his memories calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest is seeking to change his name to “Metta World Peace” while his wife, Kimsha is being cast for the new edition of VH1′s “Basketball Wives”.
Jon Weisman of Variety says David Feherty’s new show gave Golf Channel its most watched premiere in the history of the network.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that Wednesday’s Mexico-Honduras Gold Cup semifinal match was the highest rated primetime sporting event ever on Univision.
Sports Media Watch has some various news and notes.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the new DirecTV Football Cops ad featuring the Manning brothers.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with WEEI’s Dale Arnold who had to watch the Bruins championship run while being mostly on the sidelines.
Rich Fahey of the Globe says former Bruins TV host Tom Larson followed through on a 30 year promise to shave his beard.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says with a lockout looming, the NBA Players Association is standing firmly behind its leadership.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post has praise for ESPN’s Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershiser, but has to somehow temper it.
The Post’s Brett Cyrgalis has four questions for Mets radio voice Howie Rose.
Newsday’s John Jeansonne looks at how John McEnroe was perceived as a player and perceived now as an analyst.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says two local TV reporters were able to catch up with Jimmer Fredette after the NBA Draft.
Pete says Jimmermania kept fans watching the NBA Draft for about an hour.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at the new CBS Sports Network contract with the Patriot League.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes talks about the programming changes at one Baltimore sports radio station.
Dave says the Washington City Paper is firing back at DC NFL Team owner Daniel Snyder in his efforts to sue the publication.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times feels ESPN should not be leading the charge to move the Rays out of Tampa Bay.
William Brethertont of the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal says an Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional Soccer star will be on ESPN’s Women’s World Cup coverage.
Dan Murtaugh of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says Tennis Channel will focus on a local program that benefits young women and weaves in a tennis exhibition to help raise funds.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle recognizes one sports anchor’s longevity in the market.
Berry Tremel at the Daily Oklahoman says FX’s early college football schedule is all-Oklahoma, all the time.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Thom and Marty Brennaman don’t seem to have time to work together in the Reds broadcast booth.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk will be swinging a golf club on NBC’s celebrity golf tournament next month.
Bob says local overnight ratings for the NBA Draft on ESPN were strong.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has this week’s winners and losers in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports anchor is pinch hitting on the news side this month.
And Dan has a few news and notes.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune looks at Urban Meyer moving to the TV booth on college football Saturdays for ESPN.
Richard Eng of the Las Vegas Journal-Review explores the decision of former Triple Crown caller Tom Durkin to step down this year.
John Maffei of the North County Times says this weekend is a big one for soccer fans.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes that the Los Angeles Lakers will have different voices for next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Lenny Dykstra is now tweeting.
Tom also has a column on Captain Blowhard’s Grantland site.
Jack Humphreville of City Watch LA takes a look at Frank McCourt’s embattled ownership of the Dodgers and the collapse of his rich rights deal with Fox.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has yet another mediocre media column this week. I’m close to dropping him from the megalinks.
The Toronto Sports Media blog notes the one year anniversary of a huge lineup change on one local sports radio station.
And that’s going to do it for today.
Let’s do some linkage. Before I get into the stories of the day, you may have noticed that I have instituted a comment system using Intense Debate. If you were with me at my old Blogger site, you will know I used it over there, but then got rid of it as it was slowing down my site. Here with WordPress, it’s much faster and quicker. In addition, having an account with Intense Debate makes it easier to bring that here instead of using Disqus or another system. And for some reason, no matter how hard I tried, using WordPress’ comment system allowed for too many spammers to come in. Under Intense Debate, I can control that and also block people. You don’t have to create an Intense Debate account, you can sign in with your Facebook and Twitter accounts to comment. You can tell me I’m wrong and you can discuss posts, but one thing I don’t want is nasty, negative comments. No bashing of other commenters and don’t go overboard on negativity. So the comment system is up and feel free to talk about what I’ve posted.
To the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that NFL Draftniks have their choice of two channels for coverage starting Thursday night.
Anthony Kaufman of the Wall Street Journal looks at the new ESPN documentary on Steve Bartman.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says with TV solidly in bed with sports leagues, it can sometimes lead to some awkward moments when it comes to covering stories.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News notes that ESPN and ABC’s NBA TV ratings are up significantly over last year.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says the Fox Sports-owned Fuel TV is looking for a new Executive Vice President and General Manager.
At TVSpy, Andrew Gauthier says the lone remaining sports reporter at a Dallas TV station is leaving.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser has CBS’ Phil Simms slamming NFL Network. I think Phil is getting crotchety in his old age.
Toby Carrig at the Associated Press Sports Editors talks about the Washington Times re-establishing its sports section after dismantling it last year.
ESPN Front Row takes us behind the scenes at a Day In The Life of ESPN2′s SportsNation.
Jason Dachman at Sports Video Group says ESPN is taking a “less is more” approach at the NFL Draft.
To SB Nation where Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore wonders why NHL fans are cynical about the new TV contract with NBC/Versus.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell speaks with StubHub’s CEO about what’s next in sports ticketing.
Mary Ellen Fillo of the Hartford Courant says a couple of UConn stars attended the relaunch of the espnW website.
Newsday’s Neil Best has a review of the upcoming ESPN documentary on Chicago Cubs scapegoat Steve Bartman.
The New York Times’ Jeremy Egner speaks with the director of said ESPN doc.
Joe Drape of the Times writes about horse racing announcer Tom Durkin ending his career with NBC Sports.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty wants to know what’s going on with Versus’ NHL coverage for the Western Conference Semifinals.
Crowing Philadelphia Flyers fan Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette notes that the local Fox affiliate is moving a June NASCAR race to its secondary digital channel due to a local commitment.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says legendary Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame Announcer Bob Wolff will be making a local appearance this week.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says Tony Kornheiser has finally weighed in on the Dan Snyder lawsuit against the Washington City Paper. Kornheiser hosts a show on Snyder’s radio station.
And Dan talks about the departure of the DC NFL Team’s Editorial Director of Media.
Jeff Darlington and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald mourn the passing of former Miami Dolphins tight end Jim Mandich who became the team’s radio analyst and a beloved personality in South Florida. Mandich died Tuesday at the age of 62 after a battle with bile-duct cancer.
Greg Cote of the Herald says Mandich epitomized the Dolphins more than anyone.
Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Mandich was a larger-than-life figure.
And the Sun-Sentinel has Mandich’s radio station, WQAM, paying tribute through some of best radio calls.
The Miami Dolphins website has tributes from former teammates.
Jimmy Burch at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Big 12 has scheduled Texas A&M for the Sunday night before Labor Day for Fox Sports Net.
Brandon Chatmon from the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN has moved an Oklahoma State football game to a Friday night in the fall.
Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman talks with an ESPN.com NBA statistics expert.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy hating on the media.
Bob notes that the Brewers get a national showcase on MLB Network next week.
Larry Bohannan of The Desert (CA) Sun says the premiere of Golf Channel’s Big Break will occur in May.
David Reardon of the Honolulu Star Advertiser says the NFL Draft vs. the Royal Wedding is a true battle for our TV remotes. It’s really no contest and they won’t be on against each other to begin with.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR on Fox set a six year ratings high for its coverage at Talladega.
SMW says Saturday’s NBA games fared really well on TNT.
Joe Favorito says Indy Car is looking to get more fans to the oval.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the NHL Western Conference Semifinal schedule for CBC and TSN.
I think we’ll end it there.
This comes as surprising news as legendary horse racing announcer Tom Durkin has left NBC as the Voice of the Triple Crown. When NBC took over the Triple Crown from ABC in 2001, Durkin did the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He continued to call all three races even when ESPN/ABC took the rights to the Belmont in 2006 so he’s had a streak of the last 30 Triple Crown races.
As NBC signed the rights to all three races again this year, Durkin citing stress told NBC he was resigning. Then he quickly had a change of heart, but just recently told NBC he was opting out of the races.
David Grening of the Daily Racing Form says Durkin had to seek treatment for stress before last year’s Triple Crown.
Before NBC acquired the Triple Crown, he was the original voice of the Breeder’s Cup calling the first 22 runnings before ESPN took over the rights.
Durkin will continue to call the Belmont as he works for the New York Racing Association, although only the in-house audience will be able to hear it. Durkin is one of the best at calling horse racing. He will be missed.
NBC says it will have a new caller of the Triple Crown. I’d love to hear Dave Johnson and his famous call of “And down the stretch they come!” but it appears the network is leaning towards Larry Collmus of Gulfstream and Monmouth Parks whose 2010 call of the “My Wife Knows Everything” and “The Wife Doesn’t Know” became viral.
Thanks to Marcus Vanderberg of Sports Newser for the link.