Time for some linkage in this mid-week and last day of the 2012 MLB regular season. Lots of things to get to.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand analyzes the new MLB TV deals with Fox and Turner.
Nate Davis of USA Today’s Game On blog previews tonight’s NFL Network “A Football Life” documentary.
John Ourand and David Broughton of Sports Business Journal report on this season’s local MLB TV ratings.
Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter has a Fox Sports executive being very bullish on soccer.
Alex Ben Block of the Reporter goes over the MLB contracts with Fox and Turner.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that the American Cable Association, which hates everything, is railing against the MLB TV deals.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News also delves into the new MLB deals.
Mike says Monday night’s Chicago Bears-Dallas Cowboys game garnered cable’s third biggest audience of the year.
Kristian Dyer at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog notes that Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones has apologized for an unintentional insensitive tweet responding to the paralyzed Eric LeGrand.
Spiracle Media through Storify harnessed some tweets from athletes who watched the extremely fascinating 30 for 30 documentary, “Broke” on ESPN.
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report anticipates Fox’s next move to create an all-sports cable channel.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group looks at PGA.com’s video coverage of the Ryder Cup.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell explores the NFL financial advisory program in hopes of preventing athletes from going broke.
NFL referee Ed Hochuli is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe explores the latest Arbitron ratings for the city’s sports radio stations.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the new MLB TV deals.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 6 college football TV schedule.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that ESPN’s and former DC sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak celebrated the Nationals on SportsCenter.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes about the new MLB TV deals.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says last Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma State game registered huge local ratings.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a local sports anchor will not face charges stemming from a domestic violence case.
Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine profiles Trenni Kusnierek, now of Comcast SportsNet New England, on her battle with depression.
Robert Feder of TimeOut Chicago writes that the Bulls have renewed their Spanish radio rights (scroll down).
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch has a full story on the Bulls’ renewal.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the new TV deals with Fox and Turner gives MLB plenty of stability into the next decade.
James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that CBC’s Don Cherry is blasting the Maple Leafs for their treatment of one of their players.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Globe and Mail notes that the MLB Postseason will have teams from both small and big markets.
Cork Gaines at the Business Insider Sports Page has some memorable quotes from last night’s 30 for 30 “Broke” documentary.
John Daly at the Daly Planet explores the possibilities for the much discussed, but unconfirmed Fox Sports 1.
Joe Favorito says College Radio Day is a very good thing for aspiring broadcasters.
The legend of Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke is growing thanks to a new animated gif showing her warming up in the rain. This has nothing to do with sports media. Just me linking to Michelle Jenneke.
And that is all.
I’ll provide a few thoughts as we hit midweek. They’ll be in bullet form, of course.
- First, here’s hoping the people of New Orleans will be ok in the midst of Hurricane Isaac. They’ve put up with way too much from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Gustav and the BP oil spill, I pray they endure this without major damage.
- I’m going to be interested to see how Fox Sports’ new primetime college football package is going to fare against ESPN’s venerable lineup. Fox will focus on the Big 12 and Pac-12. ESPN/ABC can tap plenty of major conferences from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and place any big game it wants on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. We’ll see if Fox can hold its own.
- As both CBS and NBC attempt to get their sports radio networks off the ground, both are hoping to get that big name to anchor their lineup. CBS has Doug Gottlieb thus far. The rest of the dayparts have to be filled. NBC has Erik Kuselias plus a few other hires including Rodney Harrison for a weekend show. One of the X Factors for NBC is if it can land Dan Patrick and lure him away from DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio and get him for the 9 a.m. – noon ET slot. That would give NBC some credibility, stations and a big hole filled.
- Original MLB Network reporter Trenni Kusnierek, who’s been co-hosting an afternoon drive radio show in Milwaukee, is shipping up to Boston where she will become an anchor/reporter for Comcast SportsNet New England. In effect, she replaces Nicole Zaloumis who is at NFL Network.
- While the Pac-12 Networks have launched up and down the West Coast, it has yet to sign satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. Issues include the high price per subscriber and the seven networks under the Pac-12 umbrella. DirecTV just wants to carry the national network, but the league wants it to pick up everything. No sign of an agreement with either provider in the near future.
- And speaking of disputes, Time Warner Cable continues its holdout of NFL Network. While the network was able to pick up Cablevision this month, it still can’t get Time Warner in the fold. And it appears that there isn’t an agreement in sight. Time Warner can create its own Southern California regional sports network and attempt to get the Dodgers, but it remains steadfast in its refusal to provide NFL Network and also continues to be stubborn in not picking up MASN in North Carolina. It’s all about power and money in these disputes and who will blink first. Right now, neither Time Warner nor NFL Network are willing to talk. That’s too bad for the consumer.
- It’s unfortunate that none of NBCUniversal’s networks will carry the Paralympics live which begin this week in London. NBC Sports Network will air taped specials in September. Not good enough. Many of these athletes are quite courageous and it would be nice to get some live coverage to learn their stories. It’s not necessary for NBC to pick it up, but how about NBC Sports Network or Universal Sports? They need the inventory. C’mon, NBC.
And we’re done.
My apologies for not bringing you links over the last week. It’s been a crazy time for me. Some linkage now.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that NBC’s Rowdy Gaines doesn’t believe that Michael Phelps won’t be swimming competitively four years from now. And Hiestand reports that Matt Millen will ruin your college football viewing experience during primetime this fall.
John Ourand and Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal’s Olympics site find what former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol is doing in London during the Games.
Ourand talks with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts about the Olympics being a guinea pig for new media.
Ourand writes that NBC execs are feeling bullish on the Olympics after a very good start.
Mickle says a change in strategy has led the International Olympic Committee to increase its take in rights fees from global TV partners.
Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp writes that NBC saw a slight bump from Sunday’s Olympic Primetime from Beijing.
Tim Baysinger from Broadcasting & Cable says last night’s Olympic ratings were down from last Sunday.
Jeanine Poggi of Advertising Age says we can complain all we want, NBC is still laughing all the way to the bank with its increased Olympic TV ratings.
Media Life notes that NBC’s Today Show is back on top of the morning show ratings thanks to the Olympics.
A former GM of an NBC affiliate tells Chuck Ross of TV Week what the network can learn from the BBC in televising the Olympics.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report chastises NBC for not showing Usain Bolt’s gold medal-winning run in the 100 meters live yesterday.
Speaking of Bolt, BroBible has video of him stopping a post-race interview with a Spanish reporter as Sanya Richards-Ross was getting her gold medal at the Olympics.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group notes how the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Consortium downsized its operation for London as compared to its huge undertaking in Vancouver.
Jason looks at BBC’s preparation for the 2012 Olympics.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead says NBC’s handling of the London Olympics pales in comparison to the BBC in the UK.
Also from The Big Lead, Jason McIntyre notes that the increasingly bitter Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has set his sights on Olympic gymnasts wondering why they’re so tiny and don’t have any breasts. C’mon, Phil.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has video of the BBC track & field studio crew off-camera openly rooting for Mo Farah when he won his gold medal in the 10,000 meters and then again the following day for Usain Bolt in the 100 meters.
Peter Kafka of All Things Digital reports that the long-rumored Turner Sports purchase of the Bleacher Report for an estimated nine figures will finally close today.
John Koblin of Deadspin has the entire Twitter discussion between ESPN tome co-author James Andrew Miller and ESPN’s Darren Rovell from earlier today.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of NFL Network’s Mike Mayock singing during last night’s Hall of Fame preseason game.
Jane Kellogg of the Hollywood Reporter writes about NBC’s rights extension for the French Open.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says the NFL season hasn’t officially begun, yet CBS is close to being sold out for Super Bowl XLVII.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that US judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison got to meet Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the NBC Olympic studios in London where he’s the studio analyst for basketball.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post goes after MLB today.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun says NBC is attempting to ride the Michael Phelps gravy train for as long as possible.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has video of the new Subway ad starring DC NFL Team QB Robert Griffin III.
Dan has a look at the DC NFL Team’s preseason TV schedule.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NBC has not been hurt by tape delaying Olympic events.
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times writes about last week’s debut of the new local sports radio station.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Friend of Fang’s Bites Trenni Kusnierek will be leaving her radio gig at the end of the month to become an anchor/reporter for Comcast SportsNet New England. In effect, Trenni replaces Nicole Zalmouis who left for NFL AM on NFL Network.
At Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks says outgoing Comcast SportsNet reporter Sarah Kustok got a rousing sendoff from White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski the other night.
Sarah has a picture of the sendoff at her Twitter account.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY tells you where Sarah is going.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post looks at the Broncos’ radio and TV and other related broadcasts.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
Sports Media Watch notes that NBC’s Olympic daytime ratings are up.
And I’ll end it there for now.
While I’m away from a computer this morning, I provide these thoughts to you so you have some fresh material here. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving weekend.
As usual, I’ll go in bullet form.
- We’re three games into NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football schedule and the duo of Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock have already made my list of favorite announcing teams. After five years of juggling announcers, NFL Network may have finally found some stability in the broadcast booth. And the problems that plagued its production: missed replays, coming out of replays late and graphics that made no sense seemed to have disappeared. If NFL Network gets an expanded schedule next season, I look forward to hearing Nessler and Mayock on more games.
- With the NBA Lockout seemingly settled, the big beneficiary would be ESPN/ABC as the league’s new Opening Day would be Christmas, December 25. The networks would divide three games on that day. Also, TNT which has desperately missed the NBA on Thursday nights will be happy to have doubleheaders again. While I’m not an NBA watcher, I could get behind a 66 game schedule and a Christmas Opening Day every year. This is something the NBA should seriously consider, but it won’t.
- With the college football conference championship games coming up this weekend, I’ll be interested to see how Fox handles the Pac-12 and Big Ten Championships on successive nights with the same announcing crew of Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster. While Fox’s last foray into college football with the BCS was next to disastrous, at least this trio has worked an entire season on FX. I feel Fox should have assigned two crews, but I know the network wants to gain as much mileage from having Gus call both games. Still, flying from Eugene, OR to Indianapolis overnight is not going to be much fun.
- As NESN is considering candidates to replace Heidi Watney as its Red Sox field reporter, I can tell you that an early favorite, Molly Sullivan, sideline reporter for the mtn., is no longer in the running. I’ve heard NESN felt she wasn’t right for the job. Plus Molly said on Twitter that she’s comfortable with her current gig and staying in Las Vegas where she currently lives.
- I hear NESN is considering Jen Royle of 105.7 FM in Baltimore. Good article on her Sunday by Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle. Jen was back in New England to do another guest stint on WEEI. Once again, she killed co-hosting with Kirk Minehane. I don’t know if Jen is a top candidate on NESN, but as I’ve said in the past, she should be.
Another person NESN should consider if it already hasn’t is Courtney Fallon of WLNE in Providence. Just on the job for three months, Courtney has already made an impression here. She would be good on NESN. And if it doesn’t want to hire her for the Red Sox reporter’s job, the network should at least consider her for its NESN Daily show.
- I’ve seen just a few episodes, but Brian Kenny seems to have found a signature show in Clubhouse Confidential on MLB Network. Now if only Brian could find that boxing gig to go with his baseball assignments.
- Speaking of MLB Network, I miss Trenni Kusnierek. I know she’s happy co-hosting a sports show on WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee.
And we’re done. Enjoy your Monday
For the last week, I haven’t been able to do a full set of links. Work has been crazy, but I hope to give one today. It’s either going to the other office or heading out with the boss to various work sites or head to meetings, but today should be calmer.
I’ve started a series on People You Should Follow on Twitter in response to Sports Illustrated’s list published last week. Part 1 was posted Monday night and Part 2 came out Tuesday night. Look for more installments throughout the week.
Let’s get started.
First, ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute writes about the ESPN/Bruce Feldman suspension/non-suspension and for some reason, doesn’t do full due diligence on the story.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing does an excellent point-by-point takedown of the Ombudsman’s acceptance of ESPN’s company line on the Feldman suspension.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has graphic evidence of ESPN Radio Hack Colon Cowherd being a complete idiot.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand notes that ESPN is about to fully embrace Twitter and social media.
In the Business of College Sports, Kristi Dosh has a fascinating post on which sports turn a profit for BCS schools and which ones don’t.
Mike Reynolds from Mulitchannel News writes about the Women’s World Cup Final resonating with viewers.
Mike says a marketing firm is looking to package two pre-World Cup Western Hemisphere qualifying tournaments to networks.
Emma Bazilian of Adweek looks at Ross Greenburg’s departure from HBO Sports.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life Magazine goes inside the Women’s World Cup’s stellar ratings.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry writes about the marriage between sports and Twitter.
Jonathan Wall of Yahoo’s Devil Ball blog critiques ESPN’s coverage of the Open Championship.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is suing sports apparel manufacturer Champion for dropping him from endorsements after his tweets about Osama bin Laden last month.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe delves into the Boston Celtics buying a large stake into Comcast SportsNet New England.
Roger Catlin at the Hartford Courant says ESPN came out as the real winner of the Women’s World Cup Final.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir says ESPN produced a fair and compelling Women’s World Cup Final broadcast.
Richard Huff at the New York Daily News looks at ESPN premiering a Spanish language-edition of E:60.
Michael Blaustein of the New York Post writes that ESPN’s miniature cameras at the World Series of Poker are giving competitors an interesting advantage.
At Fishbowl New York, Jerry Barmash reports that Len Berman is dropping his sports reports on a local radio station and will be replaced by the same man who replaced him at WNBC-TV.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Open Championship final round ratings.
Evan Weiner at the New Jersey Newsroom wonders what the UK phone hacking scandal could mean for News Corp.’s sports partners here in the US.
From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that NFL Today host James Brown didn’t like how DC NFL team coach Mike Shanahan handled QB Donovan McNabb.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner looks at the ratings for the Women’s World Cup Final.
Travis Sawchik of the Charleston (SC) Post & Courier says lucrative TV contracts have helped to make college football a big business.
Candace Carlisle of the Dallas Business Journal says Fox Sports Southwest has hired a veteran writer from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to beef up its online coverage.
Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle says Texas A&M Regents are concerned over Texas’ Longhorn Network and what it means for the future of the Big 12 Conference.
Ryan Sharp of the Daily Oklahoman writes that Big 12 Conference schools can’t be too happy over the Longhorn Network’s airing of Texas high school football games.
Steven Matthews of the Dayton Daily News says the Western & Southern Open will have plenty of new looks including extensive TV exposure this summer.
Tim Prahl of the Muskego (WI) Patch talks with former MLB Network reporter Trenni Kusnierek about returning home to Milwaukee to co-host a radio show.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business notes two games scheduled for the Chicago Bulls that may never get played.
Kyle Ringo of the Boulder (CO) Daily Camera says the University of Colorado is in a unique position where it can sell the TV rights to its games this season.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times goes over some of the changes in the proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement including a new TV package.
Steve Zeitchik of the Times looks at Ross Greenburg leaving HBO.
Elizabeth Salaam of the San Diego Reader says a recent Facebook poll wasn’t kind to Padres TV voice Dick Enberg.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has some thoughts on various topics.
Sports Media Watch has some news and notes.
And we have some more news and notes from SMW.
Joe Favorito looks at who will benefit when the NFL lockout finally comes to an end.
And there is your full set of links.
Ok, let’s do the Wednesday linkage. Quite a few things to get to.
We begin with Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal who when we last saw him during the World Series last October, was wearing a bowtie despite his protests to management. Well, we find that Ken will continue wearing a bowtie this season, but rather willingly and for a very good cause.
Craig Calcaterra of NBC’s Hardball Talk applauds Ken for making this true fashion statement.
Now back to Ken, he writes at FoxSports.com that Major League Baseball has to do more to promote its game to a very tech-savvy fandom.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today has a few sports media observations in the Game On! blog.
Also in USA Today’s Game On! Steve Coogan writes that Jennifer Hudson is out from CBS’ One Shining Moment NCAA Tournament final montage.
One more from Game On! Mike McCarthy reviews Charles Barkley’s comments on truTV. It was a joke, people.
I had no idea that the former bassist for Guns ‘N Roses, Jane Addiction and Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan had his own column at ESPN.com. Well, this is a very touching and well-written column on the late Seattle Mariners voice Dave Niehaus.
ESPN’s corporate blog, Front Row, has now launched and has been churning out pictures since midnight to show “A Day in the Life” at its various offices around the world. I have to say it’s quite fascinating. The pictures will continue to be published until late tonight.
Marisa Guthrie and Lindsay Powers at the Hollywood Reporter discuss ESPN’s Josh Elliot moving to ABC’s Good Morning America replacing the always lovely Juju Chang.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable writes about ESPN’s latest pickup for Baseball Tonight.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says ESPN Films will air a documentary on Jack Nicklaus’ iconic 1986 win at The Masters®.
The great Ryan Ballengee of NBC’s Pro Golf Talk says The Masters® iPad app will stream all four days of live TV golf coverage next week. That is very cool.
Jack Neff of Advertising Age says Vaseline Men will be unveiling an ad campaign for the NFL Draft.
In Mediaweek, Anthony Crupi says ad buyers are looking for alternatives as the NFL lockout goes longer.
Doron Levin at Fortune notes that Cadillac has quietly returned to sponsoring golf tournaments.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell examines whether the Chicago Cubs made the right call for their public address announcer.
Darren looks at the MLB Fan Cave that has two men watching every single regular season and playoff game this year.
And Darren goes inside the numbers of college football.
All Access says a Muncie, IN radio station is dropping ESPN in favor of Fox Sports Radio.
All Access also discusses Trenni Kusnierek joining a Milwaukee radio station full-time.
Richard Huff of the New York Daily News writes about ESPN’s Josh Elliot leaving SportsCenter to move to Good Morning America.
Newsday’s Neil Best takes a look at Yankees and Mets ticket prices on the resale market.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union looks at former Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer joining ESPN.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Fox’s Tim McCarver thoughts on the Mets and Yankees.
Conor Orr at the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger says ESPN’s Jay Bilas is a man of many talents.
Neal Zoren of the Delaware County Times notes that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is ready to cover the Phillies this season.
Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post is amused with a new Pimlico Raceway ad that acknowledges the infield debauchery during the Preakness Stakes.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that ESPN will be airing a prestigious high school basketball tournament live from the DC area.
Brandon Marcello of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says Mississippi State University now has the announcers who will replace legendary voice Jack Cristil who retired after the basketball season.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman discusses ESPN shaking up its Sunday Night Baseball announcers and adding a new twist to Baseball Tonight.
Doug Zaleski of the Muncie (IN) Star Press notes that a Ball State-Indiana football matchup could end up on ESPN on Labor Day weekend.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports Wisconsin will add some bells and whistles to its Brewers game productions.
Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha (NE) World-Journal says the Kansas City Royals won’t be heard on local radio this season.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post looks at FSN Rocky Mountain changing its name as of Friday.
Lya Wodraska in the Salt Lake Tribune says the University of Utah is open to moving its football games to Sunday in case of an NFL lockout.
Scott D. Pierce of the Tribune looks at FSN Rocky Mountain’s change of name.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says FX’s plans to carry college football this fall might be part of a larger scheme to increase subscriber fees.
Mike DiGiovanna from the Times says while Fox Sports tested a new overhead camera during last night’s Dodgers-Angels exhibition game, players were concerned that it might be too intrusive.
Mark Hester from The Oregonian notes that ESPN is chock full of spring college football games.
Gretchen Holzang of the Portland Business Journal writes about FSN Northwest’s rebranding on Friday.
To the Toronto Globe and Mail where Bruce Dowbiggin talks with Rogers Sportsnet Blue Jays analyst Greg Zaun.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR on Fox hit a ratings low for the first time this season.
The Big Lead critiques CBS/Turner’s coverage of the NCAA Tournament.
And we’ll end it there today.
Thanks to the server host getting a Denial of Service attack last night, Fang’s Bites has been down for most of the day. Not happy for not being able to blog for most of the day, although I’m back up for now. I apologize for the inconvenience. I’ll give you linkage now and hope you’ll be able to continue to visit throughout the night. And I’ll try to catch up with press releases tonight.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that former CBS
bitter curmudgeon college basketball analyst Billy Packer agrees with ESPN’s Jay Bilas in bashing VCU’s selection to the NCAA Tournament.
ESPN’s corporate blog, Front Row has launched before its official midnight unveiling.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal notes that Turner Sports accomplished its mission by getting fans to find truTV for the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Van Riper of Forbes notes that three DirecTV-owned FSN regional sports networks will be re-branded as of April 1.
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry says two programs this week won’t forget what the NCAA Tournament is really about.
Royce Young of CBSSports.com notes that ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose was arrested earlier this month on DUI charges, something the Mothership is looking into.
Carolyn Giardina of the Hollywood Reporter explains why tonight’s Blackhawks-Bruins game is being transmitted via satellite to CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News writes that Time Warner Cable has received cease and desist letters over its iPad app.
Paige Albiniak at Broadcasting & Cable reports that March Madness ate into syndicated TV’s ratings.
To the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center reviews Frontline’s documentary on March Madness.
Marcus Vanderberg from SportsNewser writes that MLB Extra Innings will be free to all for the first week and a half of the season.
Andrew Gauthier at TVSpy notes that a TV live truck got mobbed during the VCU Final Four celebration on Sunday.
At SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty notes that Jay Bilas continues to pound the case that he was right in his VCU assumption.
Joe Favorito says the Cleveland Baseball Team is totally embracing social media.
Joe looks at the ever-shrinking television newscast in the biggest market in the country.
Newsday’s Neil Best has Fox’s Tim McCarver saying that the Wilpon family will have to sell the New York Mets over their off the field troubles.
Neil talks with ESPN’s Bobby Valentine over his new gig.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call recaps an appearance by ESPN/ABC’s Matt Millen.
Neal Shaffer of Bmore Media reviews Jen Royle’s tumultuous year after joining MASN and CBS Radio.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks about the total audience that has viewed at least a portion of the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times notes that the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg drew decent ratings on Sunday.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News says a local sports radio personality is switching stations.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle says CBS is bringing back a classic version of “One Shining Moment” next week.
David also has a preview of tomorrow’s Real Sports on HBO.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Friend of Fang’s Bites Trenni Kusnierek will be joining a local radio station. She had hinted to me that she would be doing something locally after leaving MLB Network. Congrats to her on her new gig.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic notes that Phoenix Suns voice and longtime network announcer Gary Bender is retiring at the end of the season.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News gets predictions on the Dodgers from a couple of network MLB analysts.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times says Fox is testing out a new camera during tonight’s Dodgers-Angels game on Fox Sports West.
NHL.com has posted some of the best calls of Edmonton Oilers voice Rod Phillips as he’s calling his final games with the tea.
Sports Media Watch notes that UConn steered ESPN to its highest NCAA Women’s Tournament ratings in eleven years.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that Sunday Night Baseball is back on TSN2 this season.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media wonders if CBS could brand the Final Four to draw viewers.
Emmett Jones of Sports Business Journal looks at ESPN Front Row.
And we’re done.
With the baseball season over, it’s time to bring you the 2nd Fang’s Bites Awards for broadcasting. You can see what transpired last year.
This will deal with the national partners, not local. Some of the choices will be obvious, some might not. Let’s get to this so we can bring the season to a close.
Once again, this is just Best and Worst, it’s not a competition, so please, no betting.
Starting from the top:
The Vin Scully Award for Best Play-by-Play: Brian Anderson of TBS. I’ve seen him call play-by-play very well for the Milwaukee Brewers on Fox Sports Wisconsin and over the last three seasons, he’s picked up a nice gig with TBS. This season, he got more work on Sunday Afternoon Baseball after Turner Sports got rid of Chip Caray after last year’s disastrous performance in the ALDS and NLCS. Brian called the bulk of the work for TBS on Sunday afternoons and he got the assignment for the Philadelphia-Cincinnati series and called the historic Roy Halladay no-hitter. Brian was on top of the game and allowed the moment to breathe as the no-no was about to be achieved. Great job by Brian and I hope to see him get more recognition down the line.
Honorable mentions: Dan Shulman and Dave O’Brien, ESPN
Best Game Analyst: Ron Darling, TBS. Mets fans know what the country is beginning to discover, that Darling is a very good analyst. Teamed with Keith Hernandez on SNY for the Mets, Darling has become very strong in the booth and during the postseason, he was teamed mostly with John Smoltz. They worked well off each other and were on top of trends. Darling also worked solo for TBS during the regular season and came off quite impressively. Having him on the top games is just right. And he would be a fine candidate to replace Tim McCarver if Fox ever got bold and took him off its package.
Honorable mention: Jim Kaat, MLB Network
Best Debut: John Smoltz, MLB Network and TBS. Even though he has yet to officially retire, John Smoltz has just about committed his time to being a TV analyst. And whether it’s working with Bob Costas on MLB Network or Ernie Johnson on Braves games on Peachtree TV, Smoltz has proven to be as close to being a natural in the booth. He is not afraid to express his opinion or state when a player has to step up. Normally, it takes an analyst two or three years to form strong opinions, but Smoltz has done that almost immediately. He and Ron Darling played off one another quite well during the postseason and I wouldn’t mind seeing them back together next season. And Smoltz is definitely another candidate to replace McCarver or even Joe Morgan on ESPN. He’s that good.
Honorable mention: Ernie Johnson, TBS.
Best Studio Show: MLB Tonight, MLB Network. There’s only one show to turn to now for in-game updates, highlights and no-hitter cut-ins, and that’s MLB Tonight. Baseball Tonight used to be that show, but with a great production crew, studio analysts and reporter Trenni Kusnierek (see? I got you in this year, Trenni!!) going to game sites, there’s no show that bring the baseball fan closer to the field. Of the people I deal with on Twitter, Facebook or in person, everyone turns to MLB Network. ESPN sent me a press release saying its ratings for Baseball Tonight were strong during the MLB Postseason, but I don’t see it.
Best Studio Host: Karl Ravech, ESPN. With last year’s winner Victor Rojas going to the Anaheim Angels, Karl is the winner by default. He does a great job on the highlights on Baseball Tonight and as a game host on Wednesday Night Baseball. However, without the playoffs, Karl is kind of forgotten. Perhaps MLB Network can bring Karl over to be a host on MLB Tonight. In the meantime, Karl hosts rather quietly on ESPN.
Honorable mention: Matt Winer, TBS
Best Studio Analyst: Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, MLB Network. Whether it’s on MLB Tonight or his spots on the Dan Patrick Show, the “Wild Thing” really shined this season and he came into his own. Mitch can be candid, humorous and instructional all at the same time. Williams can spot things on the mound from the studio and also gave some strong opinions on Stephen Strasburg during his debut and when the rookie Washington Nationals pitcher got hurt later in the season. I was quite impressed with Mitch’s work this season.
Honorable mentions: Harold Reynolds, MLB Network; Bobby Valentine, ESPN
Best Reporter: Trenni Kusnierek, MLB Network. Trenni did a lot of traveling this season for MLB Network and was all over the country. I wonder how she manages to keep track of it all, but she does a great job and makes it look effortless when MLB Network sends her to Anaheim, San Francisco and Milwaukee at a moment’s notice. I wish she was at the World Series, and I hope she gets a bigger role at the network down the road.
Honorable mention: Matt Yallof, MLB Network
Best Game Coverage: MLB on Fox. While Fox Sports made the decision not go true HD and do the silly widescreen format for the postseason, the production by the team of Pete Macheska and Bill Webb still do a tremendous job.
Honorable mention: TBS
Most Valuable Network: TBS. Great coverage of the postseason gives TBS the MVN award for this season. During the American League Championship Series, producer Glenn Diamond called for a montage of Bengie Molina home runs against the New York Yankees in past postseasons. Lo and behold on the next pitch, Molina hits a home run that essentially knocks them out of the playoffs. In addition, replays were done well. The Turner network continues to provide understated coverage of the postseason and it works.
Best Move: Removing Chip Caray from the MLB Postseason, TBS. Without Chip Caray, TBS improved by leaps and bounds. While his replacement, Ernie Johnson got off to a show start in the ALDS, he improved to the point where he was quite competent in the booth and worked well with the aforementioned Darling and Smoltz. There were no more “FISTED” references and we the fans were rewarded.
Worst Play-by-Play: Joe Buck, Fox Sports. There’s no doubt that Joe isn’t committed to calling a full season of baseball. He called just 14 games this year, not including the All-Star Game and the postseason. His snark just doesn’t work in the booth and he sometimes comes off as arrogant. It’s not working. Fox Sports would be better served with an announcer who can do an entire regular season instead of working half the season.
Worst Game Analyst: Joe Morgan, ESPN. He can retire this award. Morgan is horrible. He refuses to do any homework and it shows. Morgan just enters the booth and makes statements that come off as aloof and distant. He’s mismatched with Jon Miller who does his best to draw him into conversations, but Morgan doesn’t want any part of them. Morgan’s contract is up now and it’s time for ESPN to find someone else for the Sunday Night Baseball spot. Viewers would be better served.
Dishonorable mention: Tim McCarver, Fox Sports.
Worst Studio Host: Chris Rose, Fox Sports. What is it about Chris Rose that when he’s hosting the World Series Trophy Presentation, he has to appear chummy with the players? Last year, he called Derek Jeter, “Jeets” offending fans all over the world. This year, he called Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, “my friend”. It was set people off on Twitter and Facebook. When he’s in the studio for MLB Network, Rose actually does a decent job, but on Fox, he’s goofy and he falls back to his annoying persona on the old Best Damn Sports Show Period. Bring back Jeanne Zelasko!
Dishonorable mention: Greg Amsinger, MLB Network
Worst Way To End A Career: Last year, it was Steve Phillips over the Brooke Hundley affair. This year, it’s Rob Dibble over his poor judgment in saying an injured Stephen Strasburg should pitch through pain. Just a few days after Dibble made his statement on Sirius XM Radio, Strasburg was shut down for the season and would not return for 12 to 18 months. Dibble was suspended from his Nationals analyst job on MASN and subsequently fired. While I felt he should not have been fired, the team felt he was too far damaged to return. Dibs is still working for MLB Home Plate and will probably get another team gig down the line, but he’ll have to do some penance before getting back to the broadcast booth.
And that will do it for our 2nd annual MLB TV Awards.
Ok, while I’m away at a wedding today, I give you my annual post of The Five Women Who Can Make Me Stop Flipping The Remote. Usually, I’ll try to make each year’s edition different. And since the weekend is near, why not give you a post that doesn’t make you think too much. Of course, you’ll jump on me because you think I missed someone or you’ll think someone doesn’t deserve to be on the list. That’s ok. You’re entitled to disagree.
Last year’s list included three women in sports and two in entertainment.
In 2008, Fang’s Bites faves, Trenni Kusnierek, Heidi Watney and Charissa Thompson made the list.
And the inaugural list in 2007 had Stacey Dales, Tina Cervasio and Erin Andrews.
Let’s see who made the list this year and if there are any holdovers. In each of the previous lists, you can see I have a very good eye and I think this year’s list is very good too.
I hate SportsNation, but only because of that untalented ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd. When I’m flipping the remote in the 4 p.m. ET hour and I see Michelle Beadle on ESPN2, I immediately stop and watch the show. Then when Colin Cowherd comes back on camera, I change the channel. That is the perfect definition of a woman who can make me stop flipping the remote. ESPN has some high hopes for Michelle and expect to see her on other programs down the road. Let’s hope so.
I need to get some Mad Men representation on the list and who better to represent than Christina Hendricks? I could have chosen January Jones as well, but then the list would be blond-heavy. Not that I have anything against blonds, but we move on. Whenever Christina is a scene, she lights up the TV. Her character, Joan, is one of the best on television and my TV is already on Mad Men, but the remote cannot be flipped when when she’s on.
|Courtesy: Asiance Magazine|
I’m also glad to get some Asian representation on the list. Betty was at CNN from 2004 until early this year, anchoring weekend coverage when she moved to CBS becoming a contributor and occasional host of The Early Show. When she was at CNN, my weekends would always start with her. Now, the remote goes to CBS where does the news on the Saturday Early Show. An excellent correspondent, she’s covered many stories including the Haiti earthquake, the death of Pope John Paul and Hurricane Katrina. Betty is also the co-founder of Help the Hungry, an organization that helps the poverty-striken.
|Courtesy: Trenni Kusnierek|
The only holdover from last year and now the first person to be on the list three times and consecutively at that! Trenni does a tremendous job at MLB Network. She’s now in pennant race mode as she’s starting to criss-cross the country reporting from game sites for MLB Tonight. When I put her on the list in 2008, she was working for Fox Sports Wisconsin as the sideline reporter for Milwaukee Brewers games and free lancing for Big Ten Network. Right after she made the list, she worked for TBS Hot Corner for the MLB postseason and got the gig at MLB Network. I’m not taking credit, but as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I do have a very good eye.
|Courtesy: Brian Bowen Smith|
I love Kate Walsh. I admit, I watched Grey’s Anatomy and just happened to start when Kate Walsh’s character, Addison, joined the show. I stopped watching when Addison was spun off to Private Practice and went with her to the spinoff. I really can’t find the words to write. She’s gorgeous. Kate’s a very good actress and I love watching her in every scene. Kate Walsh tops our list this year.
Well, my day has been planned for me, but I don’t want to leave you without links so I got up early to provide some until I return home sometime after 6 tonight.
Without further ado, here are the links.
Tom Van Riper at Forbes cautions fans who are caught up in the Pac 10/12 media hype.
John Walters at Fanhouse says the Pac 10/12 has many obstacles to overcome including its TV contracts.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that fans are feeling their NFL game tickets are worth more this year than last.
Darren explains why IMG’s purchase of college sports syndicator ISP is good for the game.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Outdoor Channel gets picked up by Comcast in Houston.
Jesse Quinlan of the Stamford (CT) Advocate talks with ESPN’s Steve Young.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports that there will be no disciplinary action against ESPN writer Arash Markazi on his story about LeBron James’ Boys Night Out in Las Vegas that was eventually spiked.
Phil “Dr. Doom and Gloom” Mushnick of the New York Post now goes after NFL Commish Roger Goodell on last week’s Town Meeting in Green Bay. In Mushnick’s World, nothing is ever good enough for him.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News notes that the Bills fans can follow their team through Twitter.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog notes that two local TV reporters attempted the same physical conditioning test that Albert Haynesworth failed twice for the DC NFL team.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that the DC NFL team will be well covered by the local media during the preseason.
David Walsh of the Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch talks with the Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner about his familiarity of The Greenbrier Resort, site of this weekend’s PGA Tour stop.
Walsh adds that the TV exposure thanks to Golf Channel and CBS to The Greenbrier Resort is good for the local area.
The Miami Herald’s Dan LeBatard says ESPN spiked the LeBron James story for the right reasons. Don’t forget LeBatard appears regularly on ESPN either on Pardon The Interruption or the Sports Reporters.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has a quick blurb on why Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would be interested in buying the Texas Rangers.
Barry talks with Fox Sports’ Daryl Johnston about picking up a new gig with NFL Network.
Mike Heika of the Morning News reports that News Corp., parent company of Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net, is a bidder for the NHL’s Stars.
MLB Network’s Trenni Kusnierek (and a Friend of Fang’s Bites) suggests we take a break from Facebook and Twitter every once in a while.
Melissa Harris of the Chicago Tribune notes that despite having a championship season, record breaking attendance and TV ratings, the Blackhawks still lost money.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says Dish Network is taking shots at Comcast for keeping SportsNet Philadelphia off the satellite provider.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News loves a new website which alerts you to big things happening on TV.
Tom has more about the website in his blog.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the Blue Jays may be out of the pennant race, but continue to do well in the ratings.
Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun talks with Stacey Bieber who is one of the golfers taking part in this season’s Big Break Sandals Resort on Golf Channel.
Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
SMW has some ratings news and notes.
And SMW notes comments from ESPN’s John Skipper that I picked up in the Friday megalinks and bear watching that he feels ESPNews and ESPN Classic are not performing to par and could have an announcement on the two channels in the coming months.
Sox & Dawgs has the video of the Red Sox epic comeback against the Detroit Tigers yesterday.
And that will do it. Enjoy your Sunday.
Ok, we haven’t done linkage since Thursday. Was busy Friday and Saturday and on Sunday, I rested. So it’s time to give you stuffage today. You deserve it.
I am experimenting with logos on the top of the page so if you see something different over the next few days, you’ll know that I’m trying some new things. In addition, I’ll be ready to make an announcement regarding Fang’s Bites very soon. But let’s get to first things first.
Here’s the story from Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Michael Smith regarding ESPN nosing out Fox Sports for a multimedia rights deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The story also notes that Turner Sports is looking for regular season basketball games to compliment its recent entry into the NCAA Tournament.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says rising ratings for Versus and NBC for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will bode well for the league’s TV negotiations.
In Sports Illustrated, Peter King writes in Monday Morning Quarterback that he’s hopeful that “NFL Matchup” will be saved (scroll down to #7).
Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk says NFL Films is optimistic that ESPN will pick up ownership of NFL Matchup.
Pip Bulbeck of the Hollywood Reporter says Australia’s SBS network will air 15 World Cup games in 3-D.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week’s NewsPro section feels sports journalism needs to change with the times.
Jon opines that NBC Sports will help Comcast gain a foothold in broadcast TV and shore up its sports programming.
Jarre Fees of TV Week’s NewsPro section speaks with the Executive Director of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, Dave Goren, about the state of the organization. One aside. I interned at WJAR-TV in the 1980′s and Dave was sports producer for the channel. He since went on to be a sports anchor in North Carolina and now is the Executive Director of the NSSA. Do Dave a favor and join the NSSA for just $30. That’s quite affordable.
Hillary Atkin writing in the NewsPro section looks at Philadelphia’s WTXF-TV getting fans’ input for its sportscasts.
Hillary also has a story on Mary Carillo who has gone from being a tennis analyst to a host and journalist.
Hillary talks with ESPN’s Erin Andrews.
Debra Kaufman in NewsPro says 3-D is adding another dimension to sports broadcasting.
I welcome Friend of Fang’s Bites Trenni Kusnierek of the MLB Network to the blogging world. She has begun her new blog, “Girl Talk” on MLBlogs and she has two posts there already.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry looks at the Wall Street Journal giving courtesy titles to athletes and other figures in its new sports section.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says it’s now not worth it to be an NFL team doctor based on the grief from lawsuits.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Jets and its personal seat licenses policy.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union notes that Saturday’s Preakness Stakes ratings were considerably down from last year.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s Sporting Bog says Redskin star Fred Smoot is looking for opportunities in sports media after his playing career.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with the program director of one of DC’s sports radio stations.
Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times looks back at the weekend in sports on TV.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel debunks some myths about Hank Aaron.
Natalie Meisler of the Denver Post says Colorado State University has made some changes in its football broadcasts.
Dusty Saunders of the Post says ESPN’s Rick Reilly is becoming feistier as he focuses more on TV.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth has your SoCal sports calendar.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels Rogers Sportsnet overhypes its coverage of the Memorial Cup.
One piece of news from last week in Canada. William Houston in Truth & Rumours notes that the Blue Jays will drop TSN as a rightsholder and put all of its games on Rogers Sportsnet. Just two years ago, the Jays divided its games on Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and CBC. Now, just one carrier will air the game.
William says CBC is about to make its Bold cable channel an HD channel just in time for the World Cup.
The Sports Media Watch says Celtics-Magic Game 1 held up well for ABC on Sunday.
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media writes that NESN got high ratings for Game 7 of Bruins-Flyers from last Friday.
Steve says there are many pros and cons for having Bob Cole call the Montreal-Philadelphia series for CBC.
Good friend Ian Bethune of Sox & Dawgs has the video of ESPN’s Outside the Lines story in which former Red Sox Bernie Carbo admitted he wanted to go all gangster on Keith Hernandez back in the 1980′s. Interesting stuff.
That is going to do it for now. I have a couple of network press releases to post. They’re screaming at me so I’ll post them now.
One of my favorite features last season was when MLB Network launched was the “30 Clubs in 30 Days” show that visited every single baseball team during Spring Training. I totally ate this up and I’ll do so again this year. This is the schedule for this season. Friend of Fang’s Bites Trenni Kusnierek will be traveling quite a bit and again will be heavily featured during the series.
NEW SEASON OF30 CLUBS IN 30 DAYS SPRING TRAINING SERIES BEGINS ON MLB NETWORKOne-Hour Specials on Every MLB Club Shot On Location Throughout Spring TrainingMLB Tonight, MLB Network’s signature studio show, returns March 1
– With 41 days until Opening Day, MLB Network today announced it will once again televise the Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days, with hour-long features on each of the 30 Major League clubs previewing the 2010 season. Starting March 3, MLB Network hosts Greg Amsinger, Victor Rojas and Matt Vasgersian as well as reporters Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae will report from each of the 30 Spring Training camps throughout Secaucus, N.J. Floridaand , conducting interviews with key players, coaches and others associated with each club. MLB Network analysts Peter Gammons and John Hart will also report on select camps throughout the series and on MLB Tonight, MLB Network’s signature studio show during the regular season, which returns on Monday, March 1 live at 6:00 p.m. ET. ArizonaThe new season of 30 Clubs in 30 Days will provide extensive coverage of each team with field reports, interviews, predictions and inside access to every club’s training camp as Opening Day approaches. Each episode will also focus on the past and the future of each club, with a By the Numbers segment looking at each team’s fantasy statistics; a look at each team’s offense, defense and farm systems; a recap of each club’s 2009 season; highlights of the best moments in club history; an all-time homegrown club roster by position; and a Prime 9 countdown on the best plays in club history. A preview of the new season can be viewed on MLB Network’s web site.30 Clubs in 30 Days premieres on Wednesday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. ET with the Detroit Tigers, followed by the New York Yankees on Thursday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m. ET (full schedule below). Grammy Award-winning recording artist TobyMac’s upcoming single “Tonight” has been chosen as the theme song for 30 Clubs in 30 Days and will be featured throughout each episode.“In 2009, 30 Clubs in 30 Days established our ability to give fans the best in behind-the-scenes access to every MLB club,” said Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network. “This series shows our commitment to providing in-depth coverage of all 30 MLB clubs and we’re excited to bring fans the second year of this Spring Training franchise.”As part of the 30 Clubs in 30 Days Spring Training Tour, MLB Network is visiting select teams’ camps with a virtual experience that gives fans a chance to pretend they made the roster of a Major League team. Guests can see themselves interviewed virtually by MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds and Hazel Mae when they visit the traveling studio. After being videotaped in front of a screen and answering team-specific questions, interviewed fans will be able to download their video to both view and share.The complete on-air schedule of premiere dates for each episode of 30 Clubs in 30 Days appears below. (All times ET and subject to change, check www.mlbnetwork.com for updates)
LA Angels of
Baseball is coming and I’m ready after a brutal winter in the Northeast.
A new edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast with Southeastern New England media mogul Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal. This was a very good edition if I do so myself.
In the first segment, Keith and I talk about MLB Network getting the big interview of Mark McGwire as he admitted using steroids to Bob Costas. We discuss the increasing influence of league-owned networks and their increasing role in sports media.
Then, Keith and I look at CBS cutting its rate for a Super Bowl ad and the economy’s role in the lower prices. We also converse about the new Fox Soccer Plus premium channel that launches in March, and our last subject was Tennis Channel’s increased role in the Australian Open.
Our guest this week is the always lovely Trenni Kusnierek of MLB Network. We ask Trenni about her impressions of the first year of the new network, her travels, her beginning in sports television, and what she sees for Year Two of MLBN.
It’s a great listen. Trenni’s great to talk with and it’s safe to say that we’ll have her on again.
Download the podcast
It’s time for the 2009 edition of The Five Women Who Can Make Me Stop Flipping The Remote. It’s an annual tradition here at Fang’s Bites and one which I take time from providing the links to providing the list. No gratuitous photos, but I will provide a few pics where I can find them.
The 2007 List:
1. Giada De Laurentiis – Food Network
2. Erin Andrews – ESPN
3. Tina Cervasio – then at NESN, now at MSG Network
4. Nigella Lawson – Food Network
5. Stacey Dales – then at ESPN, now at NFL Network
The 2008 List:
1. Charissa Thompson – Big Ten Network/Fox Sports and now, Versus
2. Heidi Watney – NESN
3. Robin Meade – Headline News
4. Aida Mollenkamp – Food Network
5. Trenni Kusnierek – then Fox Sports Wisconsin, now MLB Network
If you notice, my lists are pretty good and some of the women have moved to better jobs. There’s no correlation to my list and their moves, but you notice I have a very good eye. Let’s move to this year’s list.
5. Lindsay Soto – Fox Sports West/Versus/NFL Network
Lindsay’s been getting some national attention thanks to her work during the 2008 Olympics for NBC, plus sideline reporting for the NHL on Versus. Lindsay got notice in Southern California for her work at Fox Sports West. She’s also getting work at NFL Network as both a fill-in host and reporter. It’s welcomed on this end. Here’s hoping Lindsay gets some more national exposure.
4. Olivia Munn – G4
The co-host of Attack of the Show on G4, she’s the subject of geeks’ and gamers’ fantasies since joining the Comcast-owned network in 2006. In addition, she’s done her share of modeling and acting. And lately, she’s been doing the talk show circuit promoting what I have no idea. Doesn’t matter. I love watching Olivia and she’s always Tweeting away.
3. Amber Theoharis – MASN
Whether she’s on the sidelines for Orioles games or does work for MASN’s Ravens postgame broadcasts, Amber is a very solid broadcaster. I saw her for the first time in 2007 and I was going to lobby my friends at the then-790 The Score to bring her to Providence to work, but alas, the Score fell by the wayside. She can talk sports with the best of them and here’s hoping she can get some national work over the next 12 months.
2. Trenni Kusnierek – MLB Network
The only holdover from last year, Trenni jokingly complained to me during the weekend that she was left out of the MLB TV Awards. Well, I do pledge that I’ll try to fit her in next year, but she does move up from 5th place to 2nd in this year’s list. Trenni did a tremendous job in hopscotching across the country for the new MLB Network. One day she would be in Anaheim, the next, Milwaukee, and then flying back to New York at a moment’s notice. She was all over the place and Trenni handled it extremely well. In addition, the Milwaukee Brewers fans constantly lament about her departure from Fox Sports Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s loss is the nation’s gain and I’m not talking Red Sox Nation here.
Yeah, I became enamored with Bridget last year after watching a free preview of very first episode of the syndicated Legend of the Seeker series on iTunes. If you’re a regular visitor to Fang’s Bites, you’ll know that the show has been a regular recommendation in my Weekend Viewing Picks. And I’ll plug the fact that show returns this weekend for a 2 hour season premiere! Bridget did a great job in the show acting as Kahlan Amnell the Confessor in the series based on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books. Bridget just has this look that makes you want to watch her and I do every week.
And that is the list for 2009.
It’s raining here in Southern New England and with a washout expected for the entire weekend, why not give you the megalinks so you can peruse any time while you look for something to keep you busy.
You can check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for the major sporting events of the weekend and it contains the College Football Viewing Picks, NFL Viewing Picks and primetime viewing picks as well. In addition, you can check the ALCS/NLCS schedule for games over spanning over the next few days.
Let’s do the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that the networks are going high-tech for their MLB Postseason coverage.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable writes that HBO Sports is expanding its 24/7 brand to NASCAR.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the League Championship Series is filled with big market teams.
Mike adds that the Chicago Blackhawks set a ratings records on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek reports that out-of-home viewing of the League Division Series for TBS spiked last week.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to talk about the scheduling of MLB Postseason games.
Sports Business Daily has the final sports ratings for the week ending October 11.
Robert Seidman from TV by the Numbers says no matter who’s in this year’s World Series, it’ll draw a much better rating for Fox than last year’s.
Josh Alper from Pro Football Talk says Jacksonville will be blacked out again this week as the Jaguars failed to sell out in time.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the new Richmond minor league baseball team did not choose his network’s name submission.
Vanessa Voltolina of FolioMag.com says ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue has boosted ESPN.com Insider subscriptions.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball says the most viewed MLB games on Fox involved either the Red Sox or Yankees.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media tries to explain the NFL Broadcast Rules.
The Sports Media Watch says Game 1 of the NLCS got off to a good start on TBS.
Joe Favorito talks how the military is an excellent brand for sports.
TV Technology looks at ESPN’s new Innovation Lab.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with CBS’ Phil Simms who tells Patriots fans to be patient.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette praises MLB and Fox for pushing back the start times of the ALCS.
Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant discusses ESPNU covering Midnight Madness at 9 schools including UConn tonight.
Neil Best of Newsday talks with Fox’s Tim McCarver about how catchers make for good managers.
Neil has a few more sports media tidbits.
Neil has a classic moment from Celebrity Jeopardy where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar forgets his great line from “Airplane!”
Neil reviews ESPN’s upcoming “30 for 30″ documentary, “Who Killed The USFL?”
Neil has the video of 30 Rock’s “Tennis Night in America”.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post gets on the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for seeing racism where they see fit.
Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News seems to take glee in the bad weather expected for the first two games of Yankees-Angels ALCS.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union says a media basketball practice at the University of Albany earlier this week looked rather ugly.
Pete points out that Chip Caray is overmatched calling the NLCS on TBS.
Pete writes that the 1989 Bay Area Earthquake during the World Series helped to establish ESPN’s journalism reputation.
Rick Scarcella of the Reading (PA) Eagle writes that ESPN/ABC football analyst Matt Millen gets a homecoming to Penn State this weekend.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN college basketball analyst Adrian Branch about tonight’s Midnight Madness coverage.
Scott D. Pierce from the Deseret (UT) News says the Mountain West’s efforts to bolster its schedule are hurt by its TV contracts with the mtn. and Versus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden who will always have a soft spot for the Stadium formerly known as San Diego Jack Murphy.
John Maffei in the North County Times says Gruden has become a good addition to ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin critiqued TBS’ presentation of NLCS Game 1.
In her regular Friday column, Diane asks baseball announcers to avoid using cliches.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News gets the particulars on what TBS is using to air the NLCS.
Tom reports that the Dodgers will have billboards with the updated NLCS score placed throughout SoCal.
Tom looks at the ESPN documentary on the USFL that airs on Tuesday.
Tom has more on the documentary in his extensive media notes.
Tom has Dennis Eckersley’s comments on TBS regarding Randy Wolf not being ready to pinch run during last night’s NLCS Game 1.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Miami’s (OH) hockey team gets some games aired on local cable TV this season.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local minor league hockey team gets a boost by picking up an FM all-sports station.
Fang’s Bites fave Trenni Kusnierek of MLB Network writes a blog post for OnMilwaukee about life on the road.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel says the Brewers got lower ratings this season.
Tim Cary from the ChicagoNow blog talks with another Fang’s Bites fave, Charissa Thompson of Big Ten Network and Fox Sports about the injury that is keeping her off the sidelines.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Dish Network subscribers in the Gateway City won’t be able to watch almost half of the Blues’ remaining games due to dispute with Fox Sports Midwest.
Dan adds that Joe Buck is grateful over Peyton Manning’s mention of him on NBC last Sunday.
Dallas Morning News NHL beat writer Michael Heika says Dish Network is also in a dispute with Fox Sports Southwest over 20 Stars games.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle points out that ESPN has replaced its Big 12 Big Monday announcing crew.
Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN’s Lee Corso has for the most part, come back from the stroke that debilitated him earlier this year.
Mel writes about ESPN putting Bob Knight on Big Monday.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail goes inside the CFL on TSN booth.
Chris Zelkovich’s blog at the Toronto Star is misbehaving for me, but the two top stories on the blog are the ones I want you to read.
And that will do it for the megalinks.
Because I was at a jobsite today, I was not able to provide links so I’ll catch up on them now.
Bill Griffith writing for Sports Illustrated gives his grades to ESPN and NFL Network for the Draft.
Ben Klayman of Reuters says Red Sox owner John Henry is making an offer to buy the Boston Globe.
Over to Newsday’s Neil Best who breaks news that NBC is unlikely to renew Jerome Bettis on Football Night in America. Neil says if Saturday’s Pittsburgh-Washington NHL Playoff game goes beyond one overtime, NBC will shuffle it over to Versus to make way for the Kentucky Derby. Neil says on Tuesday, the Yankees barely beat the Rangers in the ratings. Neil says the Baltimore Sun has parted ways with excellent sports media writer Ray Frager, a regular Fang’s Bites link and I certainly hope Ray finds work very soon. He is an excellent reporter and I have come to enjoy his columns. We exchanged e-mails back in February and he will be missed in the Friday megalinks.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says lost in the reporting on Under Armour’s earnings yesterday was the fact that its shoe sales are climbing fast up the charts. Darren reviews the reasoning behind the price reduction for selected Yankee Stadium premium seats. Darren says it’s one thing for Jenny Craig to own a horse running in the Kentucky Derby, but she might want to change his name. Darren says Wells Fargo was shamed into taking Wachovia’s name off of this week’s PGA Tour stop.
Tom Hererra of the AOL Fanhouse blog talks with the ravishing Erin Andrews.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union is not feeling the love for Versus and I totally agree with him.
Mike Kerwick of the Bergen (NJ) Record profiles ESPNews anchor Mike Yam who takes care of his grandmother when he’s not in Bristol, CT.
Laura Nachman says Wednesday was the last day for one Philly sports anchor.
Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says FSN Pittsburgh is taking some heat for back-to-back in-game blackouts last week.
Scott Brown of the Pittsburth Post-Tribune writes that Thursday could be the final day for the NFL Network on Comcast systems across the country.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times has the TV schedule for the Capitals-Penguins NHL Playoff series.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says NBC will stay with Caps-Penguins in the local markets even if the game cuts into the Kentucky Derby.
Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times says former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Grudin was comfortable in front of the cameras during the NFL Draft.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News notes that TNT’s Charles Barkley is not a fan of the Mavericks. Barry says in the series clincher with San Antonio, the ratings for the Mavs finally hit paydirt.
Jerry Garcia from the San Antonio Express-News was amused by TNT’s Spurs edition of “Gone Fishin’”.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that after Clear Channel’s bloodletting of a local sports radio station, it replaced all but one local program with Fox Sports Radio.
Speaking of the Clear Channel bloodletting, Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs blog goes into some of its other sports radio stations that let go of staff this week. Clear Channel means we’re clearing staff.
George James Malik of Michigan Live says Fox Sports Detroit will have up to four games of the Red Wings-Anaheim Ducks series.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley says the NFL Draft’s ratings were solid.
WTMJ in Milwaukee talks with MLB Network’s and Fang’s Bites fav Trenni Kusnierek. Thanks to LC over at the 38 Cliches blog for that link.
Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times talks with TNT’s Doug Collins who almost became coach of the Bulls before this season.
Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star says CBS/TNT’s Kevin Harlan returns to the Chiefs to call two exhibition games this summer. He was the radio voice of the Chiefs from the mid-1980′s to early 1990′s.
Samuel McKewon of the Nebraska State Paper reports that former ESPN and CBS College Sports college football analyst Trev Alberts has become the Athletic Director of Nebraska-Omaha despite not having any administrative experience.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News did play-by-play for an inning of minor league baseball today. Really. And Tom links us over to a press release on the whole thing. And Tom talks of his experience calling the game. I can’t wait to get a hold of the .mp3 file that Tom will post on Friday.
Ted Green of the Los Angeles Times writes a blasphemous blog post calling out Vin Scully?
Richard Guzman of Los Angeles Downtown News reports that Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket will get some new digs.
Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star says fans actually found the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts games online when its flagship radio station could not air some games due to various conflicts. Chris says thanks to having the Calgary Flames on its air, TSN’s ratings were up while CBC’s were down.
Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says May is a good month for boxing on Pay Per View.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that TNT’s NBA ratings are solid gold.
Mike says the Chicago Blackhawks gave Comcast SportsNet Chicago its highest rated NHL game.
Kevin Downey from Media Life Magazine says TNT is seeing its best ratings ever for the first round of the NBA Playoffs while ESPN’s are sluggish.
The Sports Media Watch says the NHL Playoffs did not score for NBC last weekend. SMW says the NFL Draft’s ratings were flat with last year. Paulsen notes that Yankees-Red Sox are still a ratings draw. And SMW has some news and notes on various media personalities.
I will end it there. Good night now. Oh actually, I have one more press release to give you. I’ll say good night later.
Today, the MLB Network held a conference call with reporters involving its new talent and President/CEO Tony Petitti.
Here are the highlights.
Quotes from MLB Network On-Air Talent Conference Call, 11/12
Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer, MLB Network
On The New Talent:
“One of things we’re most excited about here is they all have great versatility. What we were looking for in analysts were guys who could play the game at the highest level, but also those who are really comfortable talking about it and bring great experience. In Hazel and Trenni’s case, they followed local clubs and are able to function both as hosts and also as reporters. We have a great, diverse team.”
On Preparations for the January 1 Launch:
“Lots of preparations underway here — we’re building our program schedule, we’re building out our facility, everything is right on track and we think that today is a good indication of the type of quality we are going to bring to the screen with the quality of people we have here.”
“We’re going to be doing an unprecedented amount of programming with our MLB Tonight Show, which will be our main show. It will be something that I don’t think people have seen before in the way we are following the game.”
“We’re going to launch with an unprecedented amount of live hours for a new 24/7 sports network. We think we will be somewhere north of 1,400 live hours, led by the MLB Tonight Show, [which] will be on six to seven hours a night in season.”
“Baseball is unique. We think the history of baseball is incredibly important to people, and fans relate to it. So you will see some shows out of the archives of the game. We have shows that are in production now that will be ready to launch over time in the first few months that we come on. Obviously in January, there will be less live programming and as we get closer to the start of the season the amount of live programming will increase.”
Matt Vasgersian, Studio Host, MLB Network
On Getting Started:
“I can’t wait to get started. I was intrigued by this concept when I heard about MLB starting their own network, and everything I heard about business plan, about the facility, about the operation and specifically about the people involved got me more and more excited.”
On His Role:
“I’m looking forward to starting. I fashion myself as the David Mead of the MLB Network. First pick for the expansion team, I’ll make very little impact in my career and then fade into obscurity after two or three seasons at the big league level.”
Harold Reynolds, Studio Analyst, MLB Network
On Getting Started:
“I’m very excited and honored to be a part of this whole thing. I think it will be incredible – with the opportunity, with the reach – to be apart of the Network.”
On the Fan-Focus of MLB Network
“I think I speak for all of us that this is about serving the fan. There is no greater vehicle in sports right now that is going to be able to do what we’re doing in servicing the fans in and out of games with a long extended show with analysis, programming and different things of this sort.”
“It’s time for baseball to have a 24-hour network. If you’re a baseball fan, you’re going to love it. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Al Leiter, Studio Analyst, MLB Network
On Getting Started:
“For me, being a retired player for only a few years and having worked with the Yankees, I know what the prospect is, and looking forward to working with Tony and some of his staff and the people he’s put in place. A lot of players that are recently retired, they’re excited, they’re intrigued.”
“Having met Tony and pondered the opportunity and the possibilities – this is the future stuff. To be a part of a ground floor operation, with Major League Baseball and its backing… We’re going to be able to do analysis and cut-ins and in-depth programs. I’m really excited, and I think the possibilities are endless when it comes to covering a sport.”
Hazel Mae, Reporter, MLB Network
On Getting Started:
“I am over the moon to be a part of the inaugural on-air talent here at MLB Network. It’s a special opportunity for me to leave New England and Boston, where they live, eat and breathe baseball, so I am beyond thrilled and very humbled that I am here.”
On Her Role:
“The great thing about MLB Network is we have a lot of versatility with on-air talent. The great thing about this job is that I’ll have my hand in a little bit of everything.”
On Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Rivalry:
“We are still going to be a part of [the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry] but I will be a little bit more objective. We’re not going to choose, but we’ll still be involved in the rivalry that may not be as intense the last couple of years, but every time the Yankees and the Red Sox get together it’s always a big event.”
Trenni Kusnierek, Reporter, MLB Network
On Getting Started:
“I think when you get into this business, your dream is to always work at the highest level and this for me is a dream come true. It was going to take a lot for me to leave my hometown of Milwaukee and being able to cover a team I grew up watching.”
“I grew up a huge baseball fan and to come to New York and to have the opportunity to work with Matt and Al and Harold and Hazel, I have never been more excited for an opportunity in my career and I really look forward to be a part of the beginning of what I believe will be a really successful network.”
Nice to see quotes from Hazel Mae who became a favorite among Red Sox fans and Trenni Kusnierek.
Checking the links for you, I’ve found quite a few stories so let’s get to them.
Starting with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand, he says TBS’ Ron Darling has taken a nontraditional route to becoming a TV analyst.
Tom Regan of the Christian Science Monitor says thanks to his cell phone and the internet, he’s watching more sports than ever.
Newsday’s Neil Best says TNT will be all over the NBA’s first-ever outdoor game. Now do this in the middle of winter in Chicago, and I’ll promote it to the hilt.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the 2008-09 NBA TV schedule for the Capital Region.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star says Chiefs play-by-play man Mitch Holthus of the famous “TOUCHDOWN! KAN! SAS! CIT! TEEEEE!“fame, is being honored.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News recaps Terrell Owens appearance on Michael Irvin’s radio show yesterday.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentine reports that the Packers beat the Brewers in the ratings on Sunday, but again, over the air vs. a cable audience. Not everyone in Milwaukee is wired for cable.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks about football’s ratings beating baseball this past week.
But the Sports Media Watch says the League Division Series steered TBS to a cable primetime ratings win over USA Network. SMW has the final weekend ratings. And Paul Sen says the Dallas Cowboys are a ratings juggernaut.
Kristi E. Swartz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says there are a number of factors that led to TBS’ lower ratings for the League Division Series.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week also looks at TBS’ lower ratings for the LCS.
Ted Fleming of the Tampa Bay Examiner says maybe the Rays can finally get some respect from the national media. And Paula Duffy from Examiner.com suggests that MLB should add local announcers to the postseason TV broadcasts. NBC used to do this until the mid-1970′s.
Ken Walker of the Tampa Bay Times says area fans have several dilemmas on Sunday as the Bucs and Rays will be playing virtually at the same time.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette plugs his own regular appearances on a local sports radio station. You can hear Ken online and he provides a link in his story.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Tom Jones says the Tampa Bay Lightning have the misfortune to have their home opener scheduled against Game 2 of the ALCS.
This certainly is not as earthshattering as when it signed with the Southeastern Conference, but ESPN has signed a long term deal with the Big West Conference to televise basketball games on ESPNU and ESPN2.
Todd Heffernan of The Southern tells us that the Missouri Valley Conference has announced its TV schedule for the basketball season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the NHL TV schedule for SoCal.
Ken Bensinger of the Los Angeles Times discusses the reasoning behind Honda’s sponsorship of the NHL.
Helene Elliott of the LA Times says Saturday will be quite crowded for the SoCal sports fan with the Kings NHL season opener, the UCLA-Oregon game and Game 2 of the ALCS.
Broadcaster Magazine out of Canada reports the NHL Network has hired a new Executive in Charge of Programming and Production.
The San Jose Mercury News’ John Ryan says San Jose State University’s Spartan Stadium will have three games televised on national TV for the first time .
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s new ad campaign.
Christopher Huber of the Sammamish (WA) Review profiles a local native who won two Emmy Awards for ESPN.com.
That’s going to do it.
This goes out to my friends at Turner Sports who have been loyal readers of Fang’s Bites since last year. Bring back the TBS Hot Corner studio show for next postseason. Since TBS Hot Corner relaunched for this year’s League Division Series, I have visited the site three times. If you came here last season, you’ll know I live blogged Hot Corner throughout the LDS and NLCS. I quite enjoyed the interaction between the hosts and the viewers.
While the interactive camera angles are nice this season, the silence from Atlanta is deafening. I’ve seen Beau Estes and Trenni Kusnierek conduct interviews for Hot Corner from the field before games and they have done a great job, but overall, it has not been compelling enough for me to stay with the features this season.
I admit Heather Catlin and Kelly Cross were very easy on the eyes while tool Matt D’Agostino annoyed me to no end, but the studio show hit its stride and I thought it deserved to come back this season.
Hot Corner will return for the American League Championship Series and Fox Sports plans similar interactive features for the National League Championship Series with different camera angles, but so far, no word if it will have an online pregame show like it did last season.
So for next season, bring back the TBS Hot Corner pregame and in-game studio show and I’ll return to live blogging like I did last season.
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.