I need to be posting more. I’ve been busy during the day and find myself trying to catch up on Viewing Picks at night and it’s been a losing proposition. I’ll do my best to update more often here in the coming weeks.
Let’s do some thoughts while I can. As usual, they come in bullet form.
- CBC’s Don Cherry, the King of Media Firestorms, has another one on his hands after he said CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada that female reporters should not be allowed access to locker rooms. Cherry was defending Chicago’s Duncan Keith who snapped at a female reporter in Vancouver last week. Keith has since apologized and said he was not singling out the woman in particular. However, it did not stop Cherry from advocating for women to be excluded. Ron MacLean’s reaction to Cherry’s diatribe is perfect.
While some may agree with Cherry, we’re past the point of banning people from the locker room. Jeff Blair at the Toronto Globe and Mail correctly points out that many sports have specific rooms for postgame interviews and some teams have separate changing areas that are off limits to all reporters.
I’ve liked Don since he was a Bruins coach in the 1970′s and have always enjoyed his Coach’s Corner segments, but he’s managed to survive many controversies whether it’s been for previous comments about women, European players, environmentalists, writers or the Iraq War. While Cherry has stayed at CBC while analysts at other media outlets in the United States and Europe have been fired for less controversial remarks, Canada’s public broadcaster may be seeing the moment that provides the excuse to let “Grapes” go at the end of the season. Coach’s Corner is one of the highest rated segments in Canada and Cherry has become one of the most popular Canadians to the point he was listed in the Top Ten of CBC’s series “The Greatest Canadian” last decade.
I can’t see Cherry apologizing for his remarks because he truly believes what he says. We’ll see if the story grows legs over the next week.
- The 2013 NFL Draft is over. I concentrated my viewing solely on the first round on Thursday night and on NFL Network. While it was the network to watch in 2012, something was a bit off this year. Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock were solid. However, it appeared Michael Irvin who normally is animated was muted. Steve Mariucci whom I always like also seemed off. The ratings for NFL Network on the first day was up 23% from last year, but I really can’t put my finger on what was different for its coverage this year.
One aspect that was definitely missing was the tweeting of draft picks by ESPN insider Adam Schefter. Under orders not to “spoil” draft picks prior to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s announcement, the Draft was actually quite dull. And you add that to the fact that neither ESPN nor NFL Network showed any draft picks on the phone prior to their selections, you have productions that were not compelling at all.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports did tip off picks and while some of his followers got angry at him for doing so, I thought his tweets added to the experience. However, he was in the minority. I’m hoping the NFL changes this policy next year.
- Bob Socci replaces Gil Santos as the Voice of the New England Patriots. Socci just joined the Pawtucket Red Sox this season and he’s been one of the college basketball announcers on CBS Sports Network as well as being the long-time voice of Navy football. He’ll team with Scott Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
- Got to hear Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle’s debut on WEEI. Her first Saturday afternoon show was yesterday on the station. While I missed it in real time, I had the chance to listen on its website. She’s the first woman to host a regular show on the station since Janet Prensky co-hosted a midday show with Glenn Ordway in the early 1990′s. Glad to hear her and I’m hoping it leads to bigger things for her in Boston.
That will do it for now.
Now that a bad chapter for Boston and America is over, it’s time to look at some of the media coverage. I’ll do it all in bullet form and try to do it all in one sitting.
- First, the good from the week. Local channels in Boston really got the job done. WBZ, WCVB, WHDH and WFXT all provided bang-up coverage and didn’t fall into the trap of pack journalism. They had reporters throughout the area and kept digging for information. Reporters like Kathy Curran and Jack Harper of WCVB, Adam Williams of WHDH, Jim Armstrong, Christina Hager and Joe Shortsleeve of WBZ all provided solid information and showed their experience of being in the local market. WBZ anchor Jack Williams wasn’t afraid to offer an opinion during the coverage calling those responsible for the bombings on Monday, “S.O.B’s” and said as he signed off after a long shift, “Boston will go on. And we’ll get ‘em.” In addition, the stations provided their coverage online to computers, mobiles and tablets, expanding their audience beyond the Boston market. The stations acquitted themselves very well.
- The Boston Globe opened their site from behind the dreaded paywall to all readers and brought forth excellent reporting and writing throughout the week. They did have one hiccup in reporting on Wednesday that a suspect had been arrested, but after that, it recovered and continued to provide tremendous coverage. For an institution that has been maligned over recent management decisions and almost closing a couple of years ago, the Globe stepped up to show that it can report with the best of them. Here’s hoping that the Globe learned a lesson in this new day and age and will adjust with the times. It will bring back the paywall next week, but it probably picked up a lot of new readers as a result.
- Also WBZ Radio, the only newsradio station in town did very well in its reporting. Having listened extensively during the week, the station should win awards for its coverage.
- On Marathon Monday, ESPN’s Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap anchored the bombing coverage on SportsCenter. Tapping the resources of ABC News and dispatching Steve Levy to Boston, ESPN gave viewers some tremendous coverage. Whenever there’s news that affects the sports world, Bob Ley is the person you want to offer some perspective.
- For network television, CBS and NBC both had extensive coverage. Anchors Scott Pelley and Brian Williams led their networks to understated and restrained coverage throughout. Impressed with both men, Pelley and Williams did not go off-kilter as some network anchors have done in the past. They made appearances in Boston and asked the right questions of their correspondents. In addition, NBC’s Kerry Sanders gave some solid observations while he was in Watertown in the hours after a shootout early Friday morning to the arrest of the suspect later that evening.
- Now to the bad. The cable news stations seemed to be on a one day delay in their reporting. CNN led the charge in reporting a suspect had been arrested on Wednesday. Fox did as well. But it was Megyn Kelly of Fox who began to question whether that was correct and eased Fox News out of that quandary while CNN continued to stay on course. And when a former FBI director shot down John King’s report on CNN, the network then went to debate whether their sources hung them out to dry. It was some of the worst television since ESPN2 allowed Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to debate full-time. Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show who has been doing numerous takedowns of CNN over the last 12 months, did another one on Wednesday night calling the network, “The Human Centipede of News. “
- MSNBC seemed to be stuck in political debate and the implications of which side would benefit from an arrest. The network should just give up on reporting news and just stay with political debate.
- While social media has some bad sides, it seemed to be quicker on information than the cable networks. Some of it was wrong, but it was quickly corrected. Whether people were listening to the Boston Police Scanner or local reporters using it to offer information or Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino using it to declare the suspect was caught, Twitter was the medium of record. It’s true. The Boston Police Department’s Twitter feed offered up to date information on the Watertown situation to the one tweet declaring an arrest. Who knew a computer scroll would be “must see?”
Overall, the entire week was a lesson in journalism. And who would have thought that cable news, once the bastion of reporting would become the media dinosaur?
I’ll do a few links for you this evening.
I’ll start with a strange story that surfaced today from a University of Maryland journalism class during which ESPN Vice President and Executive Editor John Walsh made some rather strange statements about Deadspin’s John Koblin over the Lynn Hoppes plagiarism situation. Deadspin has raised issues of Hoppes lifting material from Wikipedia. In the journalism class, student Mark Sanchez asked Walsh about Hoppes and the plagiarism. Walsh then made puzzling statements that Koblin was angry that Hoppes stole his girlfriend. This is quite interesting except that Koblin is gay. The whole thing came out on Twitter in this very interesting thread. John Koblin later talked with Walsh who denied making the statements. One of the strangest stories I’ve ever seen this year or any other year.
A story that broke Wednesday night, Michael Hiestand of USA Today reports that CBS/Turner might get permission to use ESPN’s Dick Vitale on the NCAA Tournament and team him with Charles Barkley.
ESPN has gained the rights to air the NBA in the UK and Ireland.
Jason Howerton at The Blaze writes that Bob Costas and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly had a discussion on guns.
Dave Scott from ESPN’s Front Row public relations blog notes that Sean McDonough is recovering from surgery to correct a rare ear condition.
Tom Van Riper of Forbes says former ESPN’er Brian Kenny brings a big network feel to MLB Network.
Reuters has a Disney executive crowing about ESPN ad sales being ahead of last year’s pace.
David Goetzl from MediaPost notes that SodaStream will advertise in Super Bowl XLVII on CBS.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age looks at the companies buying time in the Super Bowl.
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report talks with former Fox Sports Vice Chairman Ed Goren about a career that spans many decades back to his days with CBS.
Ed also has former New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte discussing Bob Costas’ halftime commentary on Sunday Night Football.
Dee McVicker from Radio World says ESPN has been studying consumers’ cross-platform habits.
SportsRantz notes that Cumulus Media has purchased radio stations that ensures that CBS Sports Radio will be heard on FM in the nation’s top three markets.
Matthew Kitchen of Esquire talks with ESPN’s Samantha Steele.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has video of a Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic anchor mocked LeBron James after the Washington Wizards defeated the Miami Heat last night.
Sports Media Watch says the SEC Championship Game on CBS did really well in the ratings.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton went out on a limb to say the NHL Lockout could be resolved.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News talks about Fox’s spending spree reaching to Cleveland.
Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl New York notes that the Jets are staying with ESPN Radio NY for years to come.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 14 NFL TV Schedule.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says TV rights fees help teams spend on free agents.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner delves into a Sports Business Journal report stating that Fox Sports was interested in buying MASN.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with former Astros analyst Jim Deshaies about leaving for the Chicago Cubs.
The Chronicle prints a press release stating that ESPN’er Steve Bunin is joining Comcast SportsNet Houston.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman has the weekend TV ratings for Oklahoma City.
Jay Miller at Crain’s Cleveland Business speculates about the sale of Sports Time Ohio to Fox Sports. Your humble blogger is quoted in the story. (subscription might be required)
Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch says the extra cash from STO’s sale may not help the Dolan family which owns the Cleveland MLB team.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN’s Samantha Steele is now engaged.
Chris Kue of the Chicago Tribune has Jim Deshaies looking forward to being the new Cubs analyst.
Lewis Lazare at the Chicago Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet Chicago has hired a new news director.
Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune writes that the Raiders are shooting down any rumors of ESPN’s Jon Gruden coaching the team once again.
Jeff Blair from the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about the late Blue Jays voice Tom Cheek being bestowed a Baseball Hall of Fame honor posthumously.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski speculates on how many games would be played if the NHL Lockout ever gets resolved.
I think that will end our linkage for the night.
Time for some Wednesday links. Won’t be a full set as I’ll be monitoring NBC’s Olympic conference call.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discusses Chris Berman heading to the Monday Night Football booth for two games.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says national nightmare Berman in the booth is not what NFL fans want.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner says it isn’t Berman who we should be worried about.
Matt writes about ESPN replacing Craig James on Thursday Night college football.
Michael Smith in Sports Business Daily writes that the PGA has a new sponsor for its developmental tour.
Scott Foxborough at the Hollywood Reporter notes the huge increase for EURO 2012′s ratings on ESPN from the last event four years ago.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says MLB Network has upgraded its production control room for its signature MLB Tonight show.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Sportsman Channel is gaining ground for its HD network.
Patrick Hipes of Deadline notes the TV bidding for the new college football playoff system to begin with the 2014 season will be worth beaucoup bucks.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with the former owner of WFAN and how it was a risk to start an all-sports radio station 25 years ago.
Ed says no matter what you think of him, Don Imus’ move to WFAN helped save the sports radio format and sent it flying to new heights.
Ed says ESPN’s public relations blog fired salvos on behalf of ESPN Radio at CBS and NBC.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group says Fox Sports Net has developed an MLB app for second screens.
In GoLocalProv, former WBZ-TV anchor Bob Lobel gives one of the greatest moments in his career when he brought Boston legends Bobby Orr, Larry Bird and Ted Williams together for one show. I watched that when it happened. It was a great show.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN 20/20 Sports update man John Minko.
Jerry also talks with another WFAN original, Steve Somers who schmoozes S-P-O-R-T-S every night.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes about Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer being teamed for two Monday Night Football games.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg says Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from last season.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald reviews LeBron James’ appearance on Late Show with David Letterman last night.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic talks about the strange removal of Daron Sutton from Diamondbacks broadcasts.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says the Diamondbacks have suspended Sutton for “insubordination” and won’t say anything more.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 won the most NCAA Championships this academic year.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if it’s soccer time to shine in Canada and the U.S.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and CTV dropping their joint bid for the 2014/16 Olympics.
Sports Media Watch looks into the move to put Chris Berman into the Monday Night Football booth.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says bitter little hedgehog Danny Sheridan is buying Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl in The Broadcast Booth talks about multiple national sports radio networks.
And that’s going to do it today. Had to cut the links short because today will be quite busy. Leaving the afternoon free for the NBC Olympics announcements.
NESN and CBS Boston have announced a on-air partnership that will affect both parties.
Starting Friday, NESN’s Red Sox announcing team involving Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy and Jenny Dell will be seen on WBZ-TV on the station’s local newscasts for pregame appearances for all games, road and away.
WBZ’s sports staff including Dan Roche will become regular guests on NESN’s Red Sox pregame shows. In addition, WBZ will provide weather reports on NESN’s Red Sox pre and postgame shows as well as during rain delays. And WBZ’s weather forecasts will be incorporated year round into NESN Daily’s highlight shows.
We have the joint press release from NESN and WBZ-TV.
WBZ AccuWeather to be the “Official Forecast of NESN’s Red Sox Coverage!”
April 12, 2012 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, and WBZ-TV, the top-rated Boston broadcast station in primetime, announced today that they have entered into a partnership that will connect the two market leaders in a unique content sharing relationship associated with NESN’s Red Sox and Bruins coverage. The partnership, thought to be the first-of-its-kind in the country between a regional sports network and a broadcast station in the same market, will launch on Friday, April 13 for NESN’s exclusive coverage of the Red Sox home opener and will feature a number of regularly scheduled game-day activities, including:
- NESN Live Shots for WBZ-TV Newscasts
NESN will provide live pre-game reports from Fenway Park and all NESN road telecasts for WBZ-TV’s 6:00 PM and Noon newscasts. The live shots, which will primarily feature NESN’s Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy or Jenny Dell, will take place throughout the baseball season beginning tomorrow for the home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
- WBZ-TV Sports Anchors on NESN
WBZ-TV sports anchor Dan Roche will appear as a regular guest on NESN’s Boston Red Sox pre-game shows, joining NESN host Tom Caron and Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Jim Rice, Peter Gammons, and NESN’s newest analyst, former MLB slugger Matt Stairs.
- WBZ-TV Weather Updates on NESN
· WBZ-TV News’ team of AccuWeather meteorologists, led by meteorologist Todd Gutner, will provide the “Official Forecast of NESN’s Red Sox Coverage.”
· WBZ-TV’s AccuWeather team will provide NESN with weather updates for NESN’s pre and post-game shows.
· WBZ-TV’s AccuWeather team will provide NESN in-game weather updates during rain delays.
· WBZ-TV’s AccuWeather updates will also be provided year-round to NESN Daily, NESN’s nightly sports news program, which airs at 10:00 PM on non-game days or immediately following NESN’s post-game coverage on Red Sox and Bruins game days.
“This unique partnership brings together two of the strongest and most popular media companies in New England in a way that we think complements the strengths of each organization,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “WBZ-TV has a long-standing history as a local leader in the Boston market and we are looking forward to working closely with them.”
“We are delighted to partner with NESN, the region’s top-rated sports network, and combine the significant resources of our two powerhouse media organizations to bring viewers even more comprehensive and compelling weather and sports content during Red Sox and Bruins seasons,” said Ed Piette, President and General Manager of CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV.
That concludes this post.
I’ll give you some Thursday linkage while I can. Waiting on an appointment, but while I’m free I’ll do the links for you. Lots of stuff to get to so let’s not keep you waiting.
Jack Carey of USA Today notes that ESPN was a major factor in Brigham Young University declaring independence from the Mountain West Conference.
Cynthia Littleton and Tom Lowry of Variety note that the negotiations between Time Warner Cable and Disney continue today.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that Disney networks will continue to be carried on Time Warner systems even though the current deadline has passed.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says NFL Network has made carriage agreements Cable One and Knology.
Alex Weprin of SportsNewser writes that Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio will be expanding his empire to the Sunday Night Football postgame show.
At CBS Sports.com, Will Brinson informs us that rival NFL owners Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder have filmed a Papa John’s pizza ad.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that Maria Sharapova is playing with a tennis racket that appears not to be the brand that she’s supposed to endorse.
Speaking of rackets, Darren tells us about rising brand Babolat.
Ann Donohue of Billboard says ESPN will use Atlantic Records artists during its college football coverage.
In the Boston Herald, Jessica Heslam writes that Comcast and NESN are squaring off with rival style shows. Let’s just stick to sports, ok?
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe goes after WBZ-TV for its cozy relationship with the New England Patriots. Stop being bitter, Dan.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the son of boxing promoter Bob Arum is missing.
In the New York Examiner, Evan Weiner says the media and the public just loves to feed off Tiger Woods’ misery.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says Time Warner Cable has released its high school football schedule for the Capital Region.
Pete has the college football TV schedule for this week.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV looks at the firing of MASN analyst Rob Dibble from Washington Nationals games and other Baltimore-Washington sports media news.
I love this next name. J. Freedom duLac of the Washington Post writes about Dibble’s firing.
The Post’s Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog has Dibble’s statement about his firing on Sirius XM this morning.
Dan has Dibble weighing on last night’s Nationals-Marlins basebrawl.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the Nationals brought Dibble in to be opinionated and that’s what he was.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times talks about the new NFL Network documentary series on the top 100 players of all-time.
George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel writes that despite being retired from the broadcast booth, John Madden still has the power to pitch products.
Jon Solomon from the Birmingham (AL) News says the SEC and ESPN are pleased with their new marriage, but both parties would like more.
Eva Ruth Moravec of the San Antonio Express-News writes that a local sports promoter and public address announcer for various sports teams has been charged with harassing a TV reporter online.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma University usually fares well when football games are put on pay per view.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals, Big Brother and Cris Collinsworth dominate the local airwaves tonight.
John would like to have a local sports morning show instead of syndicated programming so he can listen to Reds talk.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew are bullish on the Green Bay Packers.
Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune says the WaPo’s Mike Wise didn’t use his noodle when he triggered off a Twitter firestorm.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks about the return of the Cardinals to Midwest radio powerhouse KMOX-AM.
Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune says ESPN’s money and Notre Dame’s prestige will help BYU’s football independence.
Dick Harmon from the Deseret News notes that ESPN presence was too big to ignore for BYU.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reads the ramblings in USC football voice Pete Arbogast’s blog so you don’t have to.
Cam Inman of the Oakland Tribune has ESPN’s Jon Gruden singing the praises of his former Raiders team.
Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star notes that CFL dominated the Canadian TV ratings.
Sports Media Watch says the ratings dropped for the season finale for ABC’s “Shaq vs.”
Joe Favorito says UFC continues to reinvent its brand.
The Big Lead says Andy Roddick may have lost his 2nd round match in the US Open, but it means more looks at Janko Tipsarevic’s wife, Biljana Šeševi?.
Matt Clapp over at Awful Announcing notices that Screamin’ Gus Johnson’s voice is on a Buffalo Wild Wings ad.
Matt Boutwell at the Central Maine Sports Blog appeals to NESN to stop treating Boston as if it represents all of New England.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball notes that the MLB At Bat mobile app is being offered at half price for the rest of the season.
Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski tells us how much the NHL Center Ice package will cost us this season.
Tony Farinella of 411mania talks with former ESPN’er Sean Salisbury about his new internet radio show.
And we will end the links there for today.
Let’s do the megalinks for you. Time to give them to you now.
As always, you get the Weekend Viewing Picks which this weekend has the skinny on the college basketball conference tournaments and other sports.
Now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at ESPN providing ABC with some sports programming starting in April.
Writing for SI.com, Kevin Armstrong profiles popular ESPN/CBS college basketball analyst Bill Raftery.
The Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center recognizes the winners of the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News says the ESPN Mobile TV service is being picked up by Sprint cell phones.
Multichannel News looks at Speed’s changes to its Formula 1 announcing crew.
The Sports Media Watch notes that last Sunday’s NHL Game of the Week did not get a post-Olympics bump, but still did well for NBC.
SMW says last week’s NASCAR ratings dropped yet again.
SMW informs us that TNT’s Inside the NBA crew will be heading courtside to call its first game since 2001.
Joe Favorito can’t wait to see the new movie on Vince Lombardi which would star Robert De Niro.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says HBO Sports will focus its next documentary on the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970′s.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with long-time WBZ-TV sports reporter Alice Cook who was given the pink slip last week.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram interviews local native J.P. Ricciardi who goes from being Blue Jays General Manger to ESPN analyst.
Joe Haggerty from Comcast SportsNet New England writes about a new ESPN ad starring Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz and Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.
A rare Neil Best sighting! The Boston Herald picks up a story from Newsday which continues to hide behind pay wall. In this story, Neil writes about CBS being poised to keep the NCAA Tournament.
From the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman looks at the possibility of the NCAA opting out of its current contract with CBS.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post is nitpicking over a dunk highlight.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with CBS/Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis about Siena’s experience as an NCAA player.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record has an appreciation of the late Merlin Olsen.
Tim Lemke explains why he is now a fan of the college basketball conference tournaments.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner says NBC begins its Paralympics coverage this weekend.
Jim transcribes an interview Billy Packer did with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Jim talks about a Baltimore radio host who’s conducting a contest to give Orioles Opening Day tickets to several families.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talks with sports radio host Sid Rosenberg about his new book.
Sarah Talalay from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says JetBlue will unveil a Florida Panthers tailfin on Tuesday.
Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that HBO has some big plans for tomorrow’s Manny Pacquaio-Joshua Clottey championship fight at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
To David Barron of the Houston Chronicle who discusses the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Reggie Miller’s rivalry with the New York Knicks.
David catches up on some ratings news and notes since returning home from the Olympics.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer remembers an interesting story regarding the late Merlin Olsen and former NBC NFL analyst Bob Trumpy.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes that the White Sox have shot down manager Ozzie Guillen’s request for a website.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his usual Friday winners and losers.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Time Warner Cable gave subscribers frozen pictures that hampered fans from viewing of the Big East Tournament.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin writes that hockey fans in the Gopher State will have plenty of action to watch this weekend.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says not everyone in the Gateway City will be able to see the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend.
Scott D. Pierce in the Deseret (UT) News says DirecTV subscribers won’t be able to see the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball championship games as they will be carried on Versus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune speaks with Padres voice Dick Enberg who won’t be calling his first game until the season opener in April.
John Maffei in the North County Times says the San Diego State men’s basketball team might get some national love if they keep winning in the Mountain West Tournament.
Over to the Ventura County Star where Jim Carlisle says Hall of Fame defensive lineman Merlin Olsen was also a great broadcaster.
Jim is not a fan of the NCAA Tournament expanding to 96 teams.
Diane Pucin in the Los Angeles Times says both CBS and ESPN will be all over the NCAA Tournament selections.
In the Los Angeles Daily News, Kevin Modesti with help from Tom Hoffarth, has a remembrance of Merlin Olsen.
Tom has his usual media notes.
Tom has Dick Enberg’s thoughts on his former broadcast partner, Olsen.
Tom also looks back at the week in sports media.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the NHL knocking out head shots was the right thing to do.
The Toronto Star says CTV has relented and will show the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics live, but only in British Columbia.
Chris Zelkovich of the Star says the Paralympics are not a huge money maker, but are worthy of TV coverage for the Canadian Olympics Broadcast Media Consortium.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours says the head of the Media Consortium may be leaving.
And that will do it for the Megalinks.
It looks like this will be a late night for me. I’m going to finish my review of Real Sports from Tuesday and I want to give you some links before the night is finished. Here we go.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is into his Elite Eight in his “As Seen On TV” products tournament.
Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball has the apparent winner of the Chicago Cubs sweepstakes. Maury reports that the Houston Astros have announced a deal to remain on Clear Channel flagship KTRH for at least four more seasons.
Shane Bacon of the AOL Fanhouse blog talks with A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin about ESPN quoting Deadspin as a source about Mark McGwire’s brother injecting him with steroids.
Thanks to Bob Ekstrom at the Boston Sports Media Watch for this link. Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com explains that the CBS Scene restaurant next to Gillete Stadium played a big role in the Patriots moving its programming from ABC affiliate WCVB to CBS-owned WBZ and WSBK.
Thanks to Friend of Fang’s Bites Ian Bethune of the Sox & Dawg blog, the great Art Martone of the Providence Journal has the list of Red Sox Spring Training games to be carried by both NESN and radio flagship WRKO.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News talks with former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin about his new reality show.
LeAnna Kosub of the San Antonio Express-News has another sports radio victim of the Clear Channel nationwide personnel purge.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the Diamondbacks has cut its Spanish language TV broadcasts for the time being.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Versus plans to ride Lance Armstrong’s coattails during the Tour of California next month. Tom has a preview of his Friday column which is about his tagging with the TNT crew during its telecast of the Cavs-Lakers game on MLK Day.
Kevin Dunleavy of the DC Examiner went inside the TNT truck for the Celtics-Wizards game on Monday.
Steve DeClue of the Baltimore Sports Examiner is not happy to have Anita Marks back for one more year.
Despite my requests for college basketball press releases from CBS Sports, I still don’t receive them and I have to depend on the CBSSports.com site to link you to the network’s coverage for this weekend.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times has an in-depth look at the Capitals’ TV ratings.
Steve Lepore’s Puck The Media blog has the highlights of a Versus media conference call about the channel’s coverage of Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game. And Steve has CBC’s press release about its All-Star Game coverage.
From the Nielsen TV blog, it shows that moving the NHL All-Star Game away from direct competition from football turned out to be a good idea for the ratings.
Ron Judd of the Seattle Times writes that Universal Sports is picking up coverage of one of alpine skiing’s most famous events this weekend.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel TV says GolTV has acquired the US and Canadian rights to the top Brazilian Soccer League.
Alex Marvez of the Scripps Howard News Service talks with former WWE personality-turned ESPNews anchor Jonathan “Coach” Coachman.
Peter Svensson of the Associated Press has some tips for you in case you want to buy that HDTV set in time for the Super Bowl.
Andy Scheidler of the Franklin (NC) Press suggests you watch the Australian Open to help your warm up during this cold winter.
Ok, that’s going to do it. Back tomorrow with more links. In the meantime, look for the Real Sports review up in about a couple of hours.
I have some links for you today.
The Boston Herald’s Inside Track Girls report that NESN’s Heidi Watney is dating a former Fenway Park groundskeeper. Thanks to Sox & Dawgs for that link. So much for the rumors Heidi dating Jason Veritek.
The lovely Jessica Heslam of the Herald reports that the New England Patriots are moving their weekly “All Access” show from WCVB to WBZ next season after Channel 5 was its home for 10 years (scroll down).
Newsday’s Neil Best says the “Giants On-Line” crew do not feel this season’s Eagles are like last season’s Giants.
This link comes courtesy of Neil. Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News says Fox’s Michael Strahan wonders why Philly does not show the love for Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.
Scott Collins from the Los Angeles Times says the Indianapolis-San Diego NFL Wild Card playoff game on NBC was the highest rated program of the week.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer discusses tonight’s 3-D broadcast of the BCS Championship Game.
The Sports Media Watch says Fox Sports had a ratings fiesta for the Fiesta Bowl.
Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Mid-American Conference is waiting for news on its new TV package.
Jason Anderson of the Stockton (CA) Record writes that tonight begins the Big West Conference’s 13 game TV package with ESPN and FSN.
Jim Ecker of the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette feels the Big Ten Network should have more of a Hawkeye presence.
Christine Hall from Houston Business Journal talks about Fox Sports Houston’s transition to a 24/7 network.
Le Anna Kosub of the San Antonio Express-News writes that the local market will see both Fox Sports Houston and Fox Sports Southwest.
The Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Fox Sports North will air a tribute to Twins owner Carl Pohlad tonight.
Eric Degerman of the Tri-City (WA) Herald says FSN Northwest has picked up 24 Utah Jazz games from sister network, Fox Sports Utah.
Awful Announcing also summarizes Dick Vitale’s commentary on last night’s Miami-Denver game.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business says the new Comcast SportsNet morning show will have some big guests when it premieres next week. And Ed says golf’s heavy hitters are staying away from this weekend’s season opening tournament.
Vlada Gelman of TV Week says Golf Channel is launching an HD feed.
Puck The Media lists the regional sports networks that will carry the AHL All-Star Game.
Broadcast Engineering reports that MLB.com is switching its media player from Microsoft Silverlight to Adobe Flash.
That will do it for now. That might do it for links today, we’ll see.
Back to the work grind and time to provide some linkage today.
Starting with USA Today’s Game On! blog which has Michael McCarthy interviewing Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his debut on Sirius Satellite Radio today. And Michael says any thought of the Patriots collapsing due to Tom Brady’s injury should be perished.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks into the concept that better looking athletes get higher pay.
Some links from the Sports Business Journal.
Steve Bilafer writes that CBS’ owned and operated WBZ-TV whored itself out to promote the new CBS Scene restaurant at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
John Ourand says NBC is off to a good start in selling commercials for Super Bowl XLIII.
Austin Karp writes that ESPN saw increased viewership over the summer, but its other networks did not.
New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick says despite criticism from its own Ombudsman, ESPN continues to overhype its own events.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the Michael Phelps-hosted Saturday Night Live had its best overnight rating in quite some time. And Neil feels the Football Night in America guys must have felt euphoric when the Denver Broncos succeeded in a two point conversion to win its game over the Chargers.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette wondered why a local Jets Radio Network affiliate wasn’t carrying the Jets broadcast of the Pats-Jets game yesterday.
Tom Jones from the St. Petersburg Times looks back at the weekend in televised sports.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog says Fox’s Terry Bradshaw missed an opportunity when he spoke about Vince Young’s troubles with the Tennessee Titans. Chris adds that SI.com is not providing the entire picture to its readers.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball celebrates its two year anniversary. Congrats, Maury and I thank him for the support to Fang’s Bites.
Dusty Saunders from the Rocky Mountain News feels CBS’ two man booth on Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game worked better than ESPN’s three man booth last Monday night.
But on the other hand, Awful Announcing feels Dick Enberg lost track of time when Denver scored its last TD and winning two point conversion. I’ll agree with that and I also felt up until that moment, Enberg was doing a good job in calling the game.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable says NBC’s Universal Sports cable channel has been picked up in nine markets on the network’s digital tier.
R. Thomas Umstead says Universal Sports will be replaying various events from NBC’s Olympics coverage this month.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life Magazine says ESPN’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys is the highlight of the TV week.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week says the Big Ten Network is now focusing on video on demand services.
That will do it for now. I should have an update later on.
After running some errands this morning, I’m back and it’s time to give you some links.
We start with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times who talks with Harold Reynolds who did a stint with SNY this weekend. And Richard says unlike the Kentucky Derby where he feels NBC Sports dropped the ball in the Eight Belles tragedy, the network did a good job covering the issue in its coverage of the Preakness Stakes.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says Mets’ closer Billy Wagner’s weekly interviews on 1050 ESPN Radio are must listens.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes that the Mets aren’t learning their lessons from last year.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at a documentary on an 87 year old surfer who’s still riding the waves and has lived a rather interesting life. And Tom has more on Dorian Paskowitz and his family.
David J. Warner of the AOL Fanhouse blog has word that ESPN may convert ESPN Classic into an “ESPN3″ channel devoted to soccer and international sports.
Mark Haselden of South Carolina Now profiles Rosalyn Durant, the recently named Vice President and General Manager of ESPNU.
Here’s a chat former WBZ-TV sports anchor Bob Lobel did for Boston.com.
Joe Favorito writes that the WNBA season is starting off strong.
That will do it.
I’m back from running errands so it’s time for some links on this Wednesday.
First, I’m seeing increased traffic the last two days. It’s all for my post last year on Hot Chicks, formerly in Sports Broadcasting, who should be back in Sports Broadcasting. It’s mainly for this picture of Jillian Reynolds.
On to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the vacant New York Knicks coaching and GM positions could throw a monkey wrench in the NBA TV analyst world.
Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy spares his usual venom and pays tribute to WBZ-TV sports anchor Bob Lobel who signed off for the last time on Tuesday night.
Adam Leetch of the Portsmouth (NH) Times Herald profiles local resident Dave O’Brien who has his dream job as secondary radio voice of the Red Sox.
Doug Doughty of the Roanoke (VA) Times says the Voice of the Virginia Cavaliers has resigned.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes that the Voice of the Chiefs is not leaving the booth and nor is he moving to TV.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Basketball blog says TNT is still seeing double digit ratings increases for the NBA Playoffs.
Langston Wertz, Jr. of the Charlotte Observer likes Inside the NBA on TNT (scroll down).
From CNN Money, Time Warner is selling off its cable unit which includes CNN, TNT, TBS and HBO.
Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes that says organizers from the city, ESPN, the Big East and Conference USA are making a presentation to the NCAA for yet another college football bowl game.
The Chattanoogan of Tennessee tells us that FSN’s Amazing Sports Stories will feature a 17 year old girl who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931.
Chris Dufrense of the Los Angeles Times writes that Fox Sports is not standing in the way of the BCS changing format.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN Deportes Radio is coming into town.
Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Blackhawks apparently will move to WGN-AM next season.
That’s going to be it for now.
Some more links on this late Wednesday night.
First, John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that with Time Warner Cable’s agreement to put FSN South on its systems to provide Charlotte Bobcats games may help its argument in its arbitration case against MASN.
Bruce Allen of the Boston Sports Media Watch says WBZ sports reporter Dan Roche and political analyst Jon Keller debated over Bill Buckner in their blogs and on TV.
Scott Greczkowski writes in his Satellite Dish blog for Multichannel News that DirecTV will be ready to launch several channels dedicated to The Masters on Thursday.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union wonders if a Masters video game could be closer to reality than we think.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at ESPN’s plans for The Masters on Thursday.
Doug Smith from the Austin American-Statesman talks about Verne Lundquist pulling duty at the 16th and 17th holes for CBS’ coverage of The Masters.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says the men behind the stodgy Masters had specific reasons for bringing ESPN into the Augusta fold.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says an exciting final for the NCAA Men’s Tournament made up in the ratings for otherwise lackluster games.
The Associated Press says the NCAA Women’s Tournament Final performed well for ESPN.
The Hackensack (NJ) Chronicle reports that students foiled a sexual predator’s ploy after he posed as a lower tier ESPN college basketball analyst. Good for those kids.
The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy says Providence College would not do any better if they hired ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla as its men’s basketball coach.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week talks about the NHL launching its new online digital network.
Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review goes behind-the-scenes with FSN Pittsburgh as it produces Penguins games for TV.
The Digitalhome.ca blog looks at the CBC and TSN NHL Playoff schedule.
Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette says CBC seems to be getting behind the Montreal Canadiens as the Toronto Maple Leafs are home for the playoffs.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald says CBC and TSN are squaring off in a battle for playoff supremacy.
By the way, TSN.ca has redesigned its website and it looks a lot like ESPN.com.
Lance Hornby of the Winnepeg Sun writes that CBC and TSN are actually hoping to televise plenty of Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals during the NHL playoffs.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says the resurgence of the Caps will help all of the NHL’s TV partners in the US and Canada.
One more from Canada, Alan Cameron of the Calgary Herald writes that CBC is actually providing some good coverage of the World Men’s Curling Championships.
That’s all for tonight. Back in the morning with more linkage.
I’ll give you some more links this evening.
It appears that NBC is close to renewing its deal with the NHL for next season. More on that in the Friday megalinks.
Bruce Allen from Boston Sports Media Watch gives his impressions from an evening with WBZ-TV sports anchor Bob Lobel who is being bought out by CBS. I don’t think there’s one person who hasn’t said Bob is a nice guy.
The Big Lead says it appears that the New York Times’ baseball writer extraordinaire Murray Chass will accept a buyout.
Michael Singer of Information Week says for the first time, the NCAA Final Four will be available as an online video stream.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times talks with ESPN’s Doris Burke who will be in Tampa this weekend to call the Women’s Final Four with Mike Patrick.
Newsday’s Neil Best has the video of ESPN’s Brian Kenny interviewing Ocho Cinco, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Brown about several subjects and not really succeeding. Neil also links to a Will Leitch story for Fast Company about MLB Advanced Media being a cash cow for MLB.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is happy the Seattle Mariners will still go through with J.J. Putz Soul Patch Night even though the closer is currently injured.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News writes that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is now offering replays of both recent and classic San Francisco Giants games on demand.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News wonders why Comcast SportsNet Bay Area had Christan Slater on during the Giants-Dodgers game on Wednesday. I saw that and I wondered that as well.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News feels even though Donnie Walsh was open in his introductory press conference as the new President of the Knicks, he’ll eventually fall under the Wall of Secrecy known as Madison Square Garden.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette writes in his blog about the NFL releasing the national TV preseason schedule.
ESPN talks about its NFL presesason schedule. Maria Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal says my Cleveland Browns get some national exposure on ESPN playing the Super Bowl champs New York Giants on August 18.
Del Milligan writes in his Extra Holes blog at The Ledger (FL) that ESPN is going to make the most out of its showing of The Masters.
The Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave talks with ESPN’s Pedro Gomez who is now covering soccer????
Jeffrey Marcus writes in the Goal blog for the New York Times that ESPN is now entering a new era in televising MLS games.
I think that’s going to do it for tonight. The next update will be the Friday megalinks. See you then.
Let’s give you some links for Thursday.
Newsday’s Neil Best says new New York Knicks Donnie Walsh did his best to schmooze the media during his introductory press conference on Wednesday. And in his blog, Neil says a new era between the Knicks and the media began with free sandwiches and cookies.
Richard Sandomir and Howard Beck of the New York Times also write about the new media outreach by the Knickerbockers.
The Sports Media Watch says the merged Champ Car and Indy Racing League brought increased ratings for ESPN2 last weekend. And the blog has some idle notes including stuff on the Chicago Blackhawks, the Arena Football League and the NBA.
The Biz of Baseball has a couple of items for us today. First, Maury Brown writes that Major League Baseball’s out of market internet package, MLB.TV, has reached some record activity levels in the new season. And Maury says Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Red Sox DH David Ortiz will be “campaigning” for XM Satellite Radio.
Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet Philaldelphia will air a day night doubleheader between the Phillies and Nationals today.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post talks with TBS Sports’ Chip Carey about his broadcasting the new MLB package for the once-labled Superstation.
CBS Sports will have final round coverage of Lesbian Spring Break (you would know this if you watched the L Word or are a member of the Lesbian community), or what’s officially known as the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major of the season.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times talks about ESPN taking over coverage of The Masters. This is not like they’re taking over everything. CBS is still producing the telecast on Thursday and Friday and CBS Sports will still broadcast 3rd and Final Round coverage.
Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads (VA) Virginian-Pilot says while people are talking about the NCAA Tournament, the ratings are still down.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has quotes from various college basketball analysts and coaches who say Tom Crean left Marquette’s basketball program in better shape than when he arrived.
Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times says Blackhawks fans won’t have to leave home to see their team on TV.
Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post says having Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup playoffs could be big for NHL, Versus and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says it’s likely that Steve Burton will take over as the top sports anchor at WBZ-TV now that Bob Lobel has been let go. Jenn Abelson of the Boston Globe writes that Lobel’s departure means the end of an era in Boston TV.
A couple of items from NBC Sports. It will start its countdown towards the Kentucky Derby with live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial this Saturday. And NBC Sports ends seven straight weeks of PGA Tour coverage with the Shell Houston Open this weekend.
NBC Sports.com will stream the Women’s Marathon Olympic trials live on April 20.
Meanwhile, Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog feels NBC Sports overhypes everything, especially its golf coverage.
Norma Reveler of the Hollywood Reporter says a battle is brewing in Canada as regulators are considering allowing US cable networks into the country.
That’s going to do for now.
I’ll give you some linkage this evening.
Earlier today, I was listening to the Red Sox-A’s game through MLB Gameday Audio and noticed that Joe Castiglione was broadcasting solo for the first two innings. Because partner Dave O’Brien was working the Blue Jays-Yankees game for ESPN2, this was one of the games where the Shaw’s WRKO/WEEI Red Sox Radio Network was to use either Dale Arnold or Jon Rish when Dave was not there. However, both Arnold and Rish were in Boston and Joe went solo with special guest appearances from two Red Sox beat reporters. LC from the 38 Cliches blog wonders how this happened. This cannot happen again.
And we already have reaction from South Florida on Glenn Geffner who’s now butchering Marlins games as badly as he did Red Sox games last season.
Neil Best of Newsday reports in his blog that the Yankees season opener scored well for YES as did the Mets for SNY.
Earlier tonight, I had a press release from Fox Sports in which Executive Producer Ed Goren talked about the bullish ad sales for the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable has more of Goren’s comments about the Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week.
MSNBC’s David Sweet says CBS and the NCAA are cashing in on the Final Four.
John Consoli of Mediaweek writes that ESPN has seen a 43% increase in the ratings for the Women’s NCAA Tournament.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Bryant Gumbel will interview Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (IL) on this month’s edition of Real Sports.
Stuart Levine of Variety says Tuesday night will be movie night on ESPN2 starting April 22 as the network will air various documentaries produced by the ESPN Films unit.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says SoapNET has picked up the steamy CBC series, MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says parents can now test their kids for steroids.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about Jose Canseco’s interview with Howard Stern on Sirius Satelllite Radio as well as The Masters on CBS.
USA Today picks up an article written by the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson about The Masters showing more of its coverage online and going global thanks to ESPN.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune says watching an entire Blackhawks season on TV and in HD becomes reality in the fall.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with ESPN’s Julie Foudy about David Beckham playing in the Galaxy’s home opener tomorrow.
That will do it for tonight. See you in the morning.
It’s been a big week for media layoffs and buyouts. As someone who follows the sports media, it seems like every week, a local news or reporter is bought out or has had his/her contract terminated as part of cost cutting. It’s happening in newspapers, TV and radio. But this week, the bloodletting has cut really deep.
Yesterday, David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch broke the news that Boston Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan accepted a buyout from her paper.
This week, CBS has been has been laying off staffers at its Owned and Operated stations across the country. Michele Greppi of TV Week says the cuts at the CBS O&O’s and CBS News are part of a major restructuring at the company.
WBZ in Boston was hardest hit with 30 layoffs. WBBM in Chicago let go of 17 employees and KPIX in San Francisco said goodbye to 14. It did not matter if the employee was newly hired or a long-time veteran. As far as sports reporting is concerned, WBBM decided to part ways with anchor Mark Malone who has done work at ESPN. A weekend sports wrap up show in New York was cut and in Boston, long-time sports anchor Bob Lobel accepted a buyout from WBZ-TV.
David Scott has more on Lobel’s departure which ends an era in Boston sports reporting. The lovely Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald talked with Lobel after he got the bad news. The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley treats Lobie as if he was a pioneer, which he was not. And the following story has nothing to do with sports, but I link to this story only for my own personal interest. Included in the WBZ cuts was entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik on whom I had a massive crush when she did features on Evening Magazine in the early 1980′s. She was the last full-time entertainment and arts TV reporter in Boston and her departure was not a surprise.
Unfortunately, the buyouts have become the norm in the media business. As I mentioned last month when my friends at sports radio station WSKO in Providence lost their jobs, on-air talent will most likely be able to find other work, but the grunts and behind-the-scenes people are the ones that get hurt the most. Plus, the product whether it be the stories you read or watch suffer as staffs get stretched thin and have to make up for those who have been cut. When I entered the news business in the mid-1980′s, radio was already cutthroat, but it was nothing like it is now. Media is in transition as it tries to determine how to provide news and sports in a timely manner.
Your newspaper is practically out of date when it arrives on your doorstep. In addition, fewer people are reading papers. The traditional early and late evening newscasts are losing viewers and sportscasts on local news program are being cut as people turn to other outlets like ESPN and the internet to get their information. This is a new age for information and newspapers and local TV stations have to figure out how to use the internet as a tool and not treat it as shovelware.
Ok, enough of me, let’s get to other links.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has the winner of the Minor League Baseball Logo Contest after 17 days of voting. And Darren has a new twist in ballpark food.
Neil Best of Newsday has his take on NESN’s hiring of Tina Cervasio’s replacement.
The Sports Media Watch says the Davidson-Kansas game ended a series of downward trends for CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament. And the SMW has the final weekend ratings.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune looks forward to the Final Four on CBS.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball blog has the latest Bon Jovi video promoting the Sunday MLB package on TBS.
Rick Dean of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that Cox Cable will not pick up 40 Kansas City Royals games from FSN. Kirk Seminoff of the Wichita Eagle also explains why Cox will not pick the entire Royals TV schedule.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says Comcast SportsNet’s first day on the air on Monday was a success.
Mark Berman of the Roanoke (VA) Times says MASN2 will be put on expanded basic cable so fans can watch overflow Orioles and Nationals games.
Andrew Neff of the Bangor (ME) Daily News talks with Red Sox announcer-in-exile Sean McDonough.
Rick Kushman of the Sacramento Bee says NBC Sports will most likely treat Communist China with kid gloves during the Summer Olympics.
Phil Swann of the TV Predictions site says ESPNews HD has been added to the DirecTV lineup. By the way, ESPNews HD looks absolutely great.
David Goetzl of the Mediapost Publications says ESPN will put its Masters coverage on TV and online.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Masters coverage on CBS and ESPN will focus on Tiger Woods and offer some new technology.
Aaron Williams of the Redding (CA) Record-Spotlight says a local radio station is dropping ESPN Radio in favor of music.
That’s your update for today.
My fault that the Friday megalinks weren’t here yesterday. Lots of issues that I don’t need to get into, but I’ll give them to you today with your weekly Saturday links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about Fox’s plans for its silly Red Carpet Super Bowl pregame show.
TV Week has the sports TV ratings for the week ending January 20.
Let’s go from East to West
East and Mid-Atlantic
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe writes about WBZ-TV being the “official Patriots station”.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times tells us that Marv Albert is still learning from his mentor, the late Marty Glickman.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman lectures the media on how to do their jobs when asking Bill Belichick questions during Super Bowl week.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says Boomer Esiason is going to have to make a choice soon. Mushnick’s arguments here really don’t water.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Giants fans who want Super Bowl tickets are finding the process frustrating.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says Orioles fans remain interested in the team despite the recent hard times.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says there’s a lot to watch this weekend even if there’s no football.
Doug Nye of The State says the Buick Invitational is a pick to click this weekend. And Nye says there was a lot of talk about South Carolina basketball coach Dave Odom’s retirement announcement this week.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says WQAM beat rival 790 The Ticket in the most recent Arbitron ratings.
Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel says there’s going to be plenty of sports to watch before the Super Bowl.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox will cover other things besides the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says former Dallas Mavericks announcer Allen Stone has found a new calling in life.
Ray Buck from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson share the same philosophy when it comes to the Super Bowl.
Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News asks are you ready for a lot of football?
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says NBC hopes to bring figure skating back into the national spotlight.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin writes that NBC is pulling out all of the stops for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this weekend.
Bob Wolfley has Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson talking about their frozen experience in Green Bay last week.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says KSDK hopes to resolve problems with hockey and golf conflicts when it airs the Cardinals during the spring and summer.
Scott D. Pierce in the Deseret Morning News writes that Versus will keep the NHL for the next three seasons.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says he’s relieved not to hear about LaDanian Tomlinson this week. And here are the ratings in San Diego from last week.
John Maffei of the North County Times says CBS and the Golf Channel are showcasing a lot of the San Diego area thanks to the Buick Invitational.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star previews the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on NBC.
Christine Daniels writes in the Los Angeles Times about the technical glitch that marred Kelly Tilghman’s apology on the Golf Channel on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth says there’s a whole lot of apologizin’ going on. He has a follow up to the column in his Farther Off the Wall blog. And there’s his extensive media notes as well.
In the Toronto Star, Chris Zelkovich writes that the CBC is hoping to jump into the all-sports parade.
And William Houston writes in the Toronto Globe and Mail that CTV is charging a premium for Super Bowl spots.
I’ll have another post later. Keep it here.
Let’s give you some more links today before I work on some other things.
First, Neil Best of Newsday writes that Patriots-Giants on Saturday was the most watched program of 2007. Not an easy task considering that Saturday are the least watched day of the week.
The Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam writes in her Messenger blog that WCVB was the winner of the Patriots-Giants ratings sweepstakes easily outpacing WBZ and WHDH.
In his Medium Well blog, Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes his thoughts about the NFL Network production of the Patriots-Giants game.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes about the overnight numbers for Pats-Giants in his Four DVRs, no waiting blog.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us the winner of the copyright infringement battle between Western Kentucky University’s mascot, Big Red and beloved Italian TV character, Gabibbo. I’m not making this up. It’s a funny story.
Drew Houff of the Winchester (VA) Star hung out at various sports bars on Saturday to watch the Pats-Giants game with sports fans (many of whom are Boston haters I might add).
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel liked the way the Fox crew called the Lions-Packers game on Sunday.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail gives us some of the more interesting sports quotes of 2007.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable says Tennis Channel has moved into new production facilities to accommodate its High Definition broadcasts.
The Sports Media Watch blog has named Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock as the Worst of Sports Media 2007. And here are Paulsen’s runners up for Worst of Sports Media. Paulsen is working on his Stories of Sports Media for 2007 and when they’re up, I’ll link to them.
We have some quotes from the last Football Night in America broadcast for the season on NBC last night.
ESPN’s self promotion goes into overdrive with a new “This is SportsCenter” ad starring the always-flamboyant Richard Simmons.
And that will do it for now. Look for Amazing Race and Amazing Race Asia recaps as well as my look into the Best and Worst of Sports Media in 2007.
Primetime & Late Night Viewing Picks coming up.
Let’s do the megalinks today.
Starting with USA Today, we get the weekend viewing picks.
We’ll do the links from East to West today.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe says Patriots fans got a huge holiday season present on Saturday.
A couple of stories from the Boston Herald. The lovely Jessica Heslam writes that the ratings winner among WBZ, WCVB and WHDH for tomorrow night’s Patriots-Giants game will depend on which local pre-game show viewers prefer to watch. Jessica and Jay Fitzgerald report that WCVB is in talks with the NFL about losing its exclusive rights to the game.
From the New York Post, Phil Mushnick rips the NFL Network. Also from the Post, Justin Terranova has five questions for ESPN’s Lee Corso. Terranova talks to the NFL Today’s Bill Cowher about the Giants.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about Giants fans selling their tickets for tomorrow’s game to Patriots fans. And Neil says in his blog that his scheduled appearance on MSNBC today was pre-empted due to coverage of the Benazir Bhutto funeral in Pakistan.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the move by the NFL to put Saturday’s Patriots-Giants game on CBS and NBC was a lesson in humility for the league.
Brian Heyman of the White Plains (NY) Journal News writes that WWOR is still fuming over losing exclusive over the air New York rights for the Patriots-Giants game.
Laura Nachman has the Philadelphia Sports Media Year in Review.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News says the ratings for the Papajohns.com Bowl were up for ESPN.
Doug Nye of The State has his Best Bet for viewing this weekend.
Dave Darling from the Orlando Sentinel has his Top 10 Sports Media stories of 2007.
Keeping up with that theme, Barry Jackson has his Best and Worst of Sports Radio and TV for the Miami Herald.
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ray Buck writes about Fox Sports’ Grumpy Old Coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News says the NFL and the NHL will be the viewing picks for this holiday weekend.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the NFL served its own interests by putting tomorrow’s Patriots-Giants game on CBS and NBC.
Paul Christian from the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks about the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day being telecast on NBC.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune says the NFL took a sack for this weekend.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says the fans win out with the Patriots-Giants being on three outlets.
Over to the San Diego Union-Tribune and Jay Posner says look up “caved” in the dictionary and the NFL’s picture will be there. Here are the ratings from last week in San Diego.
John Maffei of the North County Times says it’s tough to predict the NFL Wild Card playoff picture for next weekend.
Jim Carlisle in today’s Ventura County Star says NBC is trying to sell the NHL’s Winter Classic as a special event.
In the Los Angeles Times, Christine Daniels in her Sound and Vision column says football will be the viewing choice this weekend. Also from the Times, Greg Johnson writes that advertisers get one stop shopping with Fox Sports for the Bowl Championship Series.
Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News talks about the late Stu Nahan’s movie cameos. And Hoffarth talks about NBC’s preparation for the NHL Winter Classic. And in his Farther Off the Wall blog, Hoffarth has his extensive weekly media notes.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star has his Best and Worst in Canadian and U.S. Sports Media for 2007.
Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province says the NHL Network is great for American hockey fans.
The Sports Media Watch talks about the lowest ratings ever for network primetime NFL games this season. And Paulsen has some ratings news and notes.
Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com says don’t confuse the NFL with Santa Claus on the Patriots-Giants issue.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball website shoots down the rumors that Fox Sports’ MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal is leaving to go to ESPN.
Lot of links today. That will do it. I’ll be back later.
Time to give you some links on this Thursday. On WEEI, it was WBZ-TV’s Bob Lobel and Steve Burton filling in for Dennis & Callahan once again. Tomorrow is the day when D&C’s contracts expire.
On this opening night of the NFL season, Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe talks with CBS’ Dan Dierdorf and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about the Patriots. Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union writes about Jaworski joining Monday Night Football. Don Benevento of the Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier Post also has a story on Jaworski. In the Philadelphia Daily News, Mark Kram says Jaworski is ready for some Monday Night Football. Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says NFL Network games will be hard to see in the Bay Area. Mike Burrows of the Denver Post looks at the building of a football nation, some of the events listed include TV watersheds. Also from the Denver Post, Anthony Cotton says football is king in the US, thanks partly to TV.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star talks about the opening of the NFL season and some of the changes in TV partners in Canada. And William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks with NBC’s John Madden about being ready for the season. Bill Harris of the Winnepeg Sun talks with NBC’s Al Michaels.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says the Raiders game against Detroit is close to being blacked out locally in the Bay Area.
Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes about ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson, NBC’s John Madden and Bethanie Mattek’s wardrobe.
Andy Fixmer of the Bloomberg News service writes that due to higher rights fees for MLB, NFL and NASCAR and lower subscription fees from the cable companies means ESPN’s growth has slowed, and lowering Disney’s stock price.
The Worcester Telegram and Gazette’s Bill Doyle talks with NESN’s Don Orsillo who for some reason changed his policy about mentioning no-hitters on the air.
Dave Dye of the Detroit News says controversy over the Big Ten Network stands to get uglier. From very amateurish looking West Liberty (IA) Index, Susan Sedlacek writes that Liberty Communications has BTN while Mediacom customers still cannot watch it. Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says BTN is worth watching.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has his media power rankings for August.
While ESPN announced last week it would reduce the scripted fare it had offered, news comes from the Television Critics Association Convention that the network is still considering doing a movie about the late Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Bob Molinaro of the Virginian-Pilot says even with a local TV station dumping its traditional sports report on its newscasts, other stations feel local sports still needs to be covered.
A lot more links than I expected for a Thursday, but the opening of the NFL season has helped. I’ll be back later.
I’ll do as many links as I can this morning. I do have to leave work today so I’ll give you as many as my time permits.
First, USA Today, Fox and ESPN are talking with Major League Baseball about expanding their coverage when Barry Bonds gets closer to the all-time home run record. You may recall both networks went all out for the single season record in 1998 when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were close so expect similar coverage here. No matter what you think about Bonds, whether you feel he did steroids or you feel he was railroaded, this is a major story.
Michael Hiestand says the TV networks need to get creative to boost NBA TV ratings.
Dave Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch has his usual Friday column. He’s really good and I enjoy his stuff. Today, he’s mildly surprised at some intelligent talk coming out of WEEI in Boston, plus he discusses the blogging policy of the major sports leagues in the wake of the NCAA stopping real-time blogging of a reporter out of Louisville.
Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe says the just completed NBA Finals lacked competition and did not showcase the best of the league. She also has a blurb on WBZ-TV renewing its “5th Quarter” postgame Patriots show for three more years.
I always laugh when I read Phil Mushnick in the New York Post. He always rails against something, but lately, I find myself agreeing with him. Today, he goes against ESPN for not showing any live golf in the first ten minutes of its US Open coverage yesterday and takes Chris Berman to task for being a woefully poor play-by-play announcer.
Bob Raissman looks into the hiring of Harold Reynolds by MLB.com. Raissman correctly asserts that MLB must have done its homework in bringing HR into the fold especially in the wake of his firing by ESPN last year for alleged sexual harassment.
In Newsday, Neil Best’s Friday column focuses on a new law in New York banning ticket scalping. He wonders if this lead to increasing ticket prices or if ticket re-sellers like StubHub will get more busines.
Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines that sideline reporters don’t serve much purpose on a telecast. I’ll agree with that somewhat, but there are times when they’re needed. One definitely, not two in some cases, especially on Monday Night Football when ESPN uses both Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya.
In the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager discusses Johnny Miller and the US Open and looks deeper into the ratings of WHFS for Orioles radio broadcasts.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel urges his readers to watch the US Open.
Judd Zulgad in this morning’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a story about Twins owner Carl Pohlad purchasing an FM station leading to speculation that the team might be changing stations when its current deal with KSTP runs out.
Bob Wolfey in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes about the city’s AHL team moving stations.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle tells us what programs are beating the NBA Finals. It’s not pretty, let me tell you.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the University of San Diego has hired Padres announcer Andy Masur as its basketball play-by-play man for this season. And Maffei previews the US Open TV coverage.
Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News feels like me on the subject of Chris Berman and golf. Get him off my TV!!
Time to go across the country and get the links from TV/Radio Sports columnists on this busy Friday. And it’s a good sport viewing weekend including the NBA Finals, Interleague MLB play, NASCAR debuts on TNT, the French Open Finals and a whole host of other events.
Let’s start with Michael Hiestand of USA Today. Last night marked the first time the NBA Finals were seen on multiple platforms, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN360, ESPN.com, etc., etc., etc. This was overkill to the max by the Alleged Worldwide Leader. Hiestand calls these multiple airings, “roadblocks” as a way to promote synergy and this isn’t limited to ESPN. NBC gets involved next week in a big way with the US Open golf tournament. It’s a novelty at first, but it has the potential to be very annoying if this is done too much.
To my native New England region and Dave Scott from Boston Sports Media Watch. He blogs about the effort to unionize at NESN, Bob Ryan’s new show at said NESN, plus Comcast taking over Fox Sports Net New England.
Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe gives an update on two well-known Boston sports personalities, Gerry Callahan, part of the Dennis & Callahan morning team on WEEI, and Bob Lobel, long time sports anchor at WBZ-TV. Both have been ailing of late. Callahan had polyps removed from his throat and Lobel underwent back surgery. Both have been away from their jobs for a prolonged period of time.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says the idea of MLB Commish Bud Selig ordering Yankee Jason Giambi to talk to George Mitchell in the steroids investigation is nothing more than a dog and pony show.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson talks to two men who lost their broadcasting jobs over remarks they said. Lamar Thomas who’s notorious comments during the Miami-Florida International University got him canned from Comcast, and Steve Lyons who lost his gig on Fox after making a comment during the NLCS.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel has a column stating that the NBA needs to have good ratings from the Cleveland-San Antonio finals, especially with LeBron James as the focus.
In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein gives his picks for weekend viewing.
Dave Barron of the Houston Chronicle says ESPN would like to have Jeff Van Gundy do more work on NBA games next season.
John Maffei of the North County Times (kind of strange to call it that when it’s located just north of San Diego, in Southern California, but that’s me) has a long news and notes column today. He talks mostly about college baseball not being too conducive for television.
As usual, Larry Stewart of the LA Times has two stories on Fridays. His first story focuses on Johnny Miller who will be front and center next week during NBC’s coverage of the US Open. Stewart’s other story looks at the Ruffian movie and the legal problems that surfaced this week.
Those are the links for now. More later as they warrant.