Westwood One Radio
Well, I’m still having computer problems and I’ll be blogging less than usual over the next few days until they’re solved, but you’ll be getting posts from me when I’m at work. However, when I’m home, I’ll have to try to finagle something for you. Right now, I’m doing this from another location. I did give you some NFL opens, but I had stored that in the system to publish for today. Until I get my computer issues squared away, the blogging will be limited. However, I will give you something today.
I can give you some stuff from Neil Best of Newsday who talks about going on the record with reporters as he continues to explore the Willie Randolph issue from last week. Neil has some more insight into his Sunday column in his blog today. And Neil has some quotes from filmmaker Christopher Bell who has a documentary on the dangers of steroids.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about how some TV network crews get the heat after saying something perceived as negative against the teams they cover.
New York Daily News columnist Bob Raissman says the NBA lost when TNT’s Charles Barkley admitted he owed money to a Las Vegas casino. And this is guilt by association how, Bob?
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick has a lesson for journalism grads.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette tried to listen to Westwood One’s NHL Radio broadcast of the Stanley Cup Finals last night without much success. And he mentions it finally came up with 2 minutes left in Game 1. Perfect timing.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that despite not having a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Finals, CBC feels Detroit and Pittsburgh is the next best bet.
Mike DiMauro of The Day of New London, CT likes Kara Lawson’s analysis during the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament on ESPN.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says some petty nitpicking by the Yankees could kill a great MLB promotion at the All Star Game.
Joe Favorito’s sports marketing and public relations blog talks about how the two major motorsports brands are looking for ways to appeal to fans in this economically sensitive time.
That’s it for now. I’ll be in my office on Memorial Day so you can expect an entry on Monday. See you then.
AND NHL RADIO
– Exclusive Play-By-Play Coverage –
Westwood One and NHL Radio Present the 2008
Game 1 Saturday, May 24
Game 2 Monday, May 26
Game 3 Wednesday, May 28
Game 4 Saturday, May 31
Game 5 Monday, June 2
Game 6 Wednesday, June 4
Game 7 Saturday, June 7
To find out where to hear Westwood One’s NHL broadcasts in your area please use the
WESTWOOD ONE PRESENTS THE CONFERENCE FINALS
– Exclusive Play-By-Play Coverage –
Westwood One and NHL Radio Present the 2008 Conference Finals:
Western Conference Finals—-
Announcers: Dave Strader, Jim Fox and Brian Hayward
Game 1—Thursday, May 8th——–7:15 PM ET (@
Game 2—Saturday, May 10th——–6:45 PM ET ( ” )
Game 3—Monday, May 12th———7:45 PM ET (@
Game 4—Wednesday, May 14th—7:45 PM ET ( ” )
Game 5—Saturday, May 17th——-1:15 PM ET (@
Game 6—Monday, May 19th——–7:45 PM ET (@
Game 7—Wednesday, May 21st—7:15 PM ET (@
** denotes if necessary
Eastern Conference Finals—-
Announcers: Sam Rosen, Bill Clement and Billy Jaffe
Game 1—Friday, May 9th———-7:15 PM ET (@
Game 2—Sunday, May 11th——–7:15 PM ET ( ” )
Game 3—Tuesday, May 13th——-7:15 PM ET (@
Game 4—Thursday, May 15th——7:15 PM ET ( ” )
Game 5—Sunday, May 18th——–2:45 PM ET (@
Game 6—Tuesday, May 20th——7:15 PM ET (@
Game 7—Thursday, May 22nd——7:15 PM ET (@
** denotes if necessary
To find out where to hear Westwood One’s NHL broadcasts in your area please use the
Westwood One Radio will begin its NHL Postseason coverage this weekend:
– Exclusive Play-By-Play Coverage –
Westwood One and NHL Radio Present the 2008 Conference Semifinals:
Sunday, April 27—-
Thursday, May 1—-
Saturday, May 3—-
The Stanley Cup Playoffs complete Westwood One’s coverage of the 2007 – 2008 NHL season, which featured seven regular season Game of the Week broadcasts, as well broadcasts to radio stations nationwide. Westwood One’s NHL RadioÒ line-up includes This Week In The NHL – a weekly recap of game highlights and commentary hosted by Sam Rosen.
Westwood One will have extensive coverage of the NHL Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.
Saturday, April 5
The Final Four Show – CBS, 4 p.m. (hosted by Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis)
The NCAA Tournament Today – Westwood One Radio, 5 p.m. (hosted by Tommy Tighe and Jim Gray)
UCLA vs. Memphis – CBS/Westwood One Radio, 6:07 p.m, Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (CBS), Kevin Kugler, John Thompson and Bill Raftery (Westwood One)
Kansas vs. North Carolina – CBS/Westwood One Radio, 8:47 p.m., Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (CBS), Kevin Kugler, John Thompson and Bill Raftery (Westwood One)
Both games will be aired on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 123.
Now that the matchups for the Regional Finals are set, it’s time to give you the tip times and announcing assignments for both radio and TV for the Elite Eight in the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Sirius Satellite Radio will pick up all of Westwood One’s broadcasts. All times are Eastern.
Saturday, March 29
Road to the Final Four – CBS, 5 p.m.
West Regional Final/Xavier vs. UCLA – Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery (CBS), Ian Eagle/Bill Frieder (Westwood One), 6:40 p.m.
East Regional Final/Louisville vs. North Carolina – Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas (CBS), Kevin Kugler/Pete Gillen (Westwood One), 9:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 30
Road to the Final Four – CBS, 2 p.m.
South Regional Final/Texas vs. Memphis – Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (CBS), Brad Sham/Reid Gettys (Westwood One), 2:20 p.m.
Midwest Regional Final/Davidson vs. Kansas – Gus Johnson/Len Elmore (CBS), Wayne Larrivee/John Thompson (Westwood One), 5:05 p.m.
Again, thanks to Westwood One for providing the announcing assignments for the Division II Men’s Tournament Finals and the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Division II Championship (March 29, 2:30 p.m. ET) – Jerry Trupiano/Daymeon Fishback
NCAA Women’s Tournament
New Orleans Region – Jon Castleberry/Mary Murphy
Spokane Region – Jim Kozimor/Krista Blunk
Greensboro Region – Beth Mowins/Christy Winters-Scott
Oklahoma City Region – Craig Way/Ann Schatz
According to CBS Sports, Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union and Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun, here are the tip times plus the TV and radio announcer assignments for Thursday and Friday in the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Thanks to the people at Westwood One for providing the radio announcing assignments. Note that one announcer comes over from the TV side to do radio for the regional semifinals.
Thursday will have the West and East Regional Semifinals. Friday will Midwest and South Regional Semifinals. Again, all times are Eastern.
Sirius Satellite Radio will carry all of Westwood One’s coverage.
Thursday, March 27
7:1o p.m. – Phoenix I – Xavier vs. West Virginia – Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery (TV), Ian Eagle/Bill Frieder (Westwood One)
7:27 p.m. – Charlotte I – North Carolina vs. Washington State – Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas (TV), Kevin Kugler/Pete Gillen (Westwood One)
Approximately 9:35 p.m. – Phoenix II – UCLA vs. Western Kentucky – Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery (TV), Ian Eagle/Bill Frieder (Westwood One)
Approximately 9:50 p.m. – Charlotte II – Tennessee vs. Louisville – Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas (TV), Kevin Kugler/Pete Gillen (Westwood One)
Friday, March 28
7:10 p.m. – Detroit I – Wisconsin vs. Davidson – Gus Johnson/Len Elmore (TV), Wayne Larrivee/John Thompson (Westwood One)
7:27 p.m. - Houston I – Texas vs. Stanford – Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (TV), Brad Sham/Reid Gettys (Westwood One)
Approximately 9:35 p.m. – Detroit II – Kansas vs. Villanova – Gus Johnson/Len Elmore (TV), Wayne Larrivee/John Thompson (Westwood One)
Approximately 9:50 p.m. – Houston II – Memphis vs. Michigan State – Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (TV), Brad Sham/Reid Gettys (Westwood One)
Westwood One says it will decide the assignments for the Final Four next week. I’ll have tip times for Saturday’s games after Thursday’s action is complete.
Now that the first weekend of play in the NCAA Tournament is over, I want to give a quickie review of the announcing crews from both TV and radio. Having March Madness on Demand, Mega March Madness and Sirius Satellite Radio, I was able to watch and listen to much of the coverage.
Before I continue, I forgot to add “Aftermath, the Station Fire Five Years Later” to my Viewing Picks tonight. I lost a friend to the fire and another five of my friends got out before things really got out of control. I don’t ask you for anything, but I do ask you this once to donate what you can ($5, $10 or $20) to the Station Family Fund which tries to help the victims’ families and the survivors with medical expenses. I’m not going to rehash what happened in the fire, but if you can donate, please do so. If you can’t and I know times are tough, I understand, but if you’re in a position to do so, please give. Thanks. And I want to thank Dee Snider of Twisted Sister for all of his fundraising efforts.
Ok. Let’s talk about some of the coverage.
For the most part, CBS is in a thankless position. When a game gets out of hand, it has to decide which market to switch and which market not to switch. However, some of those decisions took a bit too long to make. When CBS was airing Wisconsin-Kansas State in the Providence market, a game that the Badgers had mostly in hand, the network stayed with the broadcast until 53 seconds left in the game and finally switched over to Xavier-Purdue which was a tighter contest. On Friday, Providence had the start of North Carolina-Mount St. Mary’s which became a blowout at the opening tip and remained with the game for much of the first half being switched to other action. I know the decisions are not easy, but if a game gets out of hand, a switch has to be made. Granted, a game like today’s Davidson-Georgetown game was out of hand early, then became exciting as Stephen Curry got his shooting stroke in order and there is no way to predict a comeback, but CBS has to get better at switching out of blowouts.
As far as announcing crews were concerned, the worst announcer by far was Craig Bolerjack. I wrote a brief blurb on him Thursday night as he was fracturing the Belmont-Duke game. He and Bob Wenzel were overgushing throughout the broadcast and I felt that they were each going to have a heart attack.
So here are my grades on the TV side:
Host – Greg Gumbel – A
Studio Analysts – Clark Kellogg – A/Seth Davis – D
Jim Nantz/Billy Packer – B
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery – B
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel – B
Gus Johnson/Len Elmore – B
Carter Blackburn/Jay Bilas – B
Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner – B minus
Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas – C
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski – C minus
Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel – F
I thought the best debut was Carter Blackburn whom I really did not want to like, but I thought he did rather well in the afternoon session at Anaheim. As I mentioned in my original post on Thursday, I thought that if CBS decided to bring him in full-time next season, he would be an excellent replacement over Bolerjack.
On the radio side, I came in with high expectations after hearing Wayne Larrivee do so well last season with Larry Farmer. This season, he was with Kevin Grevey and during the San Diego-UConn overtime game, there were times when he miscalled shots and also called the winning basket, “going for the tie!” Not good. Larrivee is usually a solid announcer, but that is a bad miscall.
Dave Sims remains one of the best play-by-play men on radio. He can call the NFL, college basketball, baseball, he’s very solid. Teamed with Bill Frieder, they made a very good team. It’s too bad they won’t be working in the Sweet 16 because I thought they meshed very well.
Overall grades for the NCAA Westwood One Radio Network:
Host – Tommy Tighe – F (he talks too fast and relies too much on puns)
Host – Steve Torre – B (he should be the main host, but only works on Sirius Satellite Radio)
Dave Sims/Bill Frieder – A
Spencer Ross/Kyle Macy – A minus (Spencer is a pro)
Kevin Kugler/Reid Gettys – B
Mark Champion/Glenn Consor – B
Joey Wahler/Pete Gillen – B minus
Wayne Larrivee/Kevin Grevey – C
Ted Robinson/Mike Montgomery & Brad Sham/John Thompson – Incomplete (didn’t hear enough to grade them)
I’ll have more my complete awards after the Final Four, but this is it for now.
With the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament now over, it’s time to look forward to the 2nd Round. By the end of Easter Sunday, we’ll know who’s in the Sweet 16. But let’s get to Sunday’s tip times and TV and radio announcing assignments. CBS has a triple header starting at noon ET. As usual, all times listed are Eastern.
12:10 p.m. — Tampa I — Siena vs. Villanova — Tim Brando/Mike Gminski (TV), Wayne Larrivee/Kevin Grevey (Westwood One)
2:15 p.m. — Little Rock I — Miami vs. Texas — Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel (TV), Spencer Ross/Kyle Macy (Westwood One)
2:30 p.m. — Birmingham I — Tennessee vs. Butler — Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery (TV), Joey Wahler/Pete Gillen (Westwood One)
Approximately 2:40 p.m. — Tampa II — Western Kentucky vs. San Diego — Tim Brando/Mike Gminski (TV), Wayne Larrivee/Kevin Grevey (Westwood One)
2:50 p.m. — Raleigh I — Davidson vs. Georgetown — Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (TV), Brad Sham/John Thompson (Westwood One)
Approximately 4:40 p.m. — Little Rock II — Memphis vs. Mississippi St. — Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel (TV), Spencer Ross/Kyle Macy (Westwood One)
Approximately 5:00 p.m. — Birmingham II — Oklahoma vs. Louisville — Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery (TV), Joey Wahler/Pete Gillen (Westwood One)
Approximately 5:10 p.m. — Raleigh II — North Carolina vs. Arkansas — Jim Nantz/Billy Packer (TV), Brad Sham/John Thompson (Westwood One)
We’ll have the announcing assignments for the Sweet 16 sometime early next week.
Here are the games with tip times and announcing assignments for both radio and TV on Saturday, March 22. As always, all times are Eastern.
1:00 p.m. — The Road to the Final Four (Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis)
2:10 p.m. — Washington D.C. I — West Virginia vs. Duke — Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel (TV), Mark Champion/Glenn Consor (Westwood One)
4:20 p.m. — Omaha I — Kansas St. vs. Wisconsin — Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner (TV), Kevin Kugler/Reid Gettys (Westwood One)
Approximately 4:30 p.m. — Washington D.C. II — Xavier vs. Purdue — Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel (TV), Mark Champion/Glenn Consor (Westwood One)
6:40 p.m. — Denver I — Washington St. vs. Notre Dame — Gus Johnson/Len Elmore (TV), Ted Robinson/Mike Montgomery (Westwood One)
6:45 p.m. — Anaheim I — Stanford vs. Marquette — Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas (TV), Dave Sims/Bill Frieder (Westwood One)
Approximately 6:45 p.m. — Omaha II — Kansas vs. UNLV — Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner (TV), Kevin Kugler/Reid Gettys (Westood One)
Approximately 9:00 p.m. — Denver II — Pittsburgh vs. Michigan State — Gus Johnson/Len Elmore (TV), Ted Robinson/Mike Montgomery (Westwood One)
Approximately 9:05 p.m. — Anaheim II — UCLA vs. Texas A&M — Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas (TV), Dave Sims/Bill Frieder (Westwood One)
The Sunday games with tip times and announcer assignments will come after the Friday 1st Round games are over.
Some of you may not be able to watch the NCAA Tournament whether it be online or on TV. Depending if you have Sirius Satellite Radio or a local station carrying the tournament, I have the announcer assignments for Westwood One and the NCAA Radio Network.
Bill Rosinski and Steve Lappas
First and Second Rounds, March 20-23
Mark Champion/Glenn Consor
Brad Sham/John Thompson
Wayne Larrivee/Kevin Grevey
Joey Wahler/Pete Gillen
Kevin Kugler/Reid Gettys
Little Rock, AK
Spencer Ross/Kyle Macy
Ted Robinson/Mike Montgomery
Dave Sims/Bill Frieder
Last night I took a break from the blog and my computer and watched my URI Rams inexplicably lose to St. Louis, the same team that scored just 20 points against George Washington a week ago, then watched some Australian Open coverage.
I am happy to see Tennis Channel pick up early evening coverage at 7 p.m., then hand off to ESPN2 whenever the Worldwide Leader is ready to pick up after its commitments. It makes for better comprehensive coverage of the first Grand Slam of the Year. Perhaps when Tennis Channel picks up more cable systems, it can get the entire tournament instead of just two to three hours a night. It’s been enjoyable.
Ok, let’s get to your Friday links now.
First, from the “This Is Not A Surprise” Department, Golfweek has replaced Dave Seanor, the editor responsible for putting a hangman’s noose on the cover of this week’s issue in regards to the Kelly Tilghman controversy. I had a feeling this was going to be incendiary and it was.
Next, USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes about how CBS analyst Phil Simms’ advice during a 2005 radio interview still resonates with Brett Favre today.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Under Armour is seeing a huge stock price fall today after news about its Super Bowl ad was released.
East and Mid-Atlantic Region
Let’s go East to South and then head West today. Starting with Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe, she says local TV stations will be rolling out the cameras for pregame coverage for the AFC Championship this weekend.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NFL analysts Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino can all relate to Eli Manning’s maturity as a quarterback. And Sandomir writes about the controversial Golfweek magazine cover.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News who has been in a rotten mood for the first three weeks of 2008 informs us that the NFL cares about ratings and not about “ideal playing conditions.” He says the NFC Championship should be played in a dome. So we never would have had the 1967 Ice Bowl if Raissman had his way. Whatever.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post remembers former New York Met Don Cardwell who died earlier this week. The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson. And he talks with former Giants coach and current Westwood One Radio analyst Jim Fassell about the change in the team throughout the season. In his blog, Terranova writes that a Wisconsin TV station will pre-empt its normal airing of Seinfeld so Eli Manning won’t be able to watch his favorite show the day before the game.
Neil Best always has a bunch of stuff for readers on Fridays and today is no exception. Let’s start with his column in Newsday which focuses on Fox Sports’ Pam Oliver who made the comment in Week 2 that the Giants defense was listless on the sidelines. Neil also has a story on the Golfweek cover. From his blog, Neil adds a couple of paragraphs that were dropped from his column. And he adds a few things about Pam Oliver including her comments that she’s not speaking to Eagles QB Donovan McNabb after he threw her under the bus earlier this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes in his Best Seat in My House blog about the healthy dosage of coverage for the Australian Open this year.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun has a news and notes column starting with the Eli Manning-Seinfeld story.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his blog that Ravens fans have forgotten about Jason Garrett and are now focusing on Martyball.
From The State in South Carolina, Doug Nye has some TV news and notes.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talks about the hiring of former Red Sox radio announcing hack Glenn Geffner by the Florida Marlins.
Dave Darling in today’s Orlando Sentinel writes about Deadspin’s Will Leitch who’s new book is being released on Tuesday.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the NFL playoffs are the 800 lb. gorilla of the airwaves.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that Golfweek’s cover only exacerbates the Kelly Tilghman controversy.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman is surprised with the NFC Championship matchup.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad says the CBS and Fox production crews are preparing for cold weather this Sunday.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News writes that Fox is getting up to $3 million per 30 second ad for the Super Bowl.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the Chargers could really foul things up and be a Super Bowl spoiler for Fox. Here are the ratings for the last weekend in San Diego. Note the ratings for the Chargers-Colts game.
In the North County Times, John Maffei writes about the cold weather preparation for the network crews in the AFC and NFC Championship games.
The Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle says Packers QB Brett Favre is always fun to watch.
In her Sound and Vision column, the Los Angeles Times’ Christine Daniels previews the viewing weekend including the NFL Conference Championships.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth says the networks would love to see snow in the Conference Championship games. And he has a healthy helping of media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog today.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Patriots’ pursuit of perfection is the main storyline for the AFC Championship.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says boxing is picking itself off the canvas as a viable television sport.
The 38Cliches blog has reaction to Glenn Geffner going to Florida to butcher four innings a game for the Marlins this coming season.
Awful Announcing notices that Versus is going to have The Karate Kid movies on this weekend.
The Biz of Baseball notes that veteran writer Hal Bodley will be covering the sport for MLB.com.
John Crowe of The Crowe’s Nest blog (and Executive Producer of 790/99.7 The Score in Providence) has some Friday musings.
And Joe Favorito has some tips for those wanting a job in sports marketing and PR.
That’s it. We have more things to do today so keep it here.
Let’s give you a few more links on this Thursday.
It appears the Kelly Tilghman controversy isn’t going away. Newsday’s Neil Best who broke the story isn’t too pleased that Golfweek magazine is fanning the flames with an incendiary cover showing a hangman’s noose. Jerry Potter of USA Today talks with the magazine’s publisher who claims it was done to spark dialog and debate. I can think of better ways than a noose. And Justin Terranova of the New York Post wonders if the cover was necessary.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in his Farther Off the Wall blog that cable channels are announcing their plans to counter program against the Super Bowl halftime show. And Hoffarth looks into Jose Canseco’s plans to find another publisher for his sequel to his first book on steroid use in baseball.
The DC/Baltimore Examiner’s Jim Willliams says the Baltimore media is now focusing on another candidate for the Ravens coaching job after Jason Garrett turned them down.
NBC Sports has a press release on its NHL flexible schedule which begins this Sunday.
Here’s a press release detailing TNT’s coverage for NBA All Star Weekend next month.
Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about NBA TV and NBA.com moving to CNN Center as Turner Sports will manage both for the NBA. And R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News also has the story of Turner managing the NBA’s digital properties.
Continuing on the Turner Sports bandwagon, here’s another press release touting the relaunch of PGA.com which is managed by Turner.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports that FSN North will air three games of the Houston Aeros, the Minnesota Wild’s minor league affiliate.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley talks about the Longest Day, the 1962 NFL Championship Game involving the Giants and Packers, which was the first time NFL Films shot a game.
Jason McMahon of the Capital (WI) Times writes that Madison radio stations which are part of the Packers Radio Network cannot carry the NFC Championship Game unless they pick up the Westwood One broadcast.
Jon Hemingway of Broadcasting & Cable reports that Verizon Fios customers in Portland will now be able to see Comcast SportsNet Northwest. However, the channel is still not available on DirecTV and other non-Comcast cable providers in the area.
That’s it. Primetime and Late Night Viewing Picks coming up.
Some more links to give you on this Veterans’ Day afternoon.
Thanks to being off today, I can check out some daytime programming on the various sports networks. I already gave you my quickie opinion on ESPN’s First Take. Some Regional Sports Networks will just air programming from FSN, but in the case of YES and MASN, they’ll simulcast local sports radio talk shows. YES will air Mike & the Mad Dog, Mike Francesca and Chris Russ from WFAN while MASN simulcasts the Anita Marks Show from ESPN Radio 1300 in Baltimore. It’s a cheap way to fill time and also to sell ads.
As far as Mike & the Mad Dog, they’re the Gold Standard as far as sports radio is concerned. They have been together since 1989 and every sports talk show has to be compared to them. While some of their rants sound uninformed, Francesca and Russo do have their loyal listenership.
Anita started in Baltimore last year, but has quickly acclimated herself to the sports scene. She came over from Miami where she hosted an afternoon drive show. I’ve seen her off and on and have enjoyed hers show. Today, she’s hosting a post-mortem on the Ravens which lost to the Steelers and Bengals in a span of six days. She lets the callers talk and doesn’t interrupt. Anita also knows what drives sports radio and she allows the opinions to breathe.
Ok, let’s get to some links for you.
Neil Best of Newsday is back to blogging today. He has an entry on former Giants coach Jim Fassel who’s doing some color commentary for Westwood One Radio on NFL games. Best gives us some quotes from the Sunday NFL studio shows. And finally, Best has a brief blurb on Kevin Burkhardt of SNY who has some expanded duties at the RSN after signing a new contract.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in his Farther Off the Wall blog about the new programming schedule for 710 KSPN.
From the Sports Media Blog, Paulsen writes that it’s not time to shovel dirt on the NBA as its TV ratings are doing quite well.
The NFL Media website tells us that there will be no change in the Sunday Night Football game for Week 12 (November 25) which is Philadelphia at New England, but there is one slight change in the afternoon schedule:
The final Week 12 NFL schedule was announced today with the originally scheduled
So there will be three late games on Sunday afternoon on Thanksgiving weekend, the Denver-Chicago game, Baltimore at San Diego and San Francisco at Arizona.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes that the announcers for the Broncos-Chiefs game had little good to say about the local team on Sunday.
Jason Schwartz of Boston Magazine blogs that Patriots fans may get shut out of Week 17 game against the Giants as it’s on the NFL Network.
Multichannel News reports that Fox Soccer Channel will carry the next two international matches for the men’s US Soccer national team.
Rick Kissell of Variety writes that Sunday Night Football performed well for NBC last night.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable reports that Raycom has bought Lincoln Financial Group’s TV stations including its sports syndication arm. Raycom and Lincoln Financial Sports are partners for the ACC and LFS is the lone syndication partner for the SEC. Andrew Edwards of the Wall Street Journal says the deal totals $863 million.
The Birmingham News says the annual Iron Bowl, the clash between Alabama and Auburn will be picked up by ESPN on November 24 in primetime after CBS passed. Also from that date, the UConn-West Virginia game is in limbo because ESPN has to decide what time (noon, 3:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.) and which network (ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC) will carry it.
Richard Oliver of the San Antonio Express-News talks with ESPN’s Dick Vitale.
That’s it for today. Back with Primetime Viewing Picks and Videos of the Week.
Day 5 of the WEEI/Dennis & Callahan lockout. It appears that there’s no end in sight to this. Over at Boston Sports Media Watch, David Scott says WEEI’s parent company, Entercom has trumped John Dennis & Gerry Callahan and their options are for the most part, limited except for a return to WEEI. Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says Entercom pulled a out all the stops to sign an agreement with Nassau Broadcasting to form a regional sports network and possibly end D & C’s dream of competing against WEEI. In the Boston Globe, Christopher Rowland says D & C have been boxed out (his words). And Rowland’s collegue, Susan Bickelhaupt writes that Dan Patrick will host WEEI’s morning show, Thursday & Friday of next week (scroll to the bottom) and also focuses on ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series. With this story changing so frequently, we’ll continue to monitor this throughout the weekend.
Let’s check the other media columns today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Fox is going Hollywood for the Super Bowl by using Ryan Seacrest to interview celebrities as they enter the stadium. Great.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with Boomer Esiason who will co-host WFAN’s morning show starting in September. Best reports Esiason will do all but three Monday Night Football games for Westwood One Radio. In his blog, Best says the wall-to-wall coverage of the Little League World Series by the Disney sports networks is too much. I agree with him.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times summarizes the fans’ love for Phil Rizzuto.
Bob Raissman in today’s New York Daily News says MLB’s network partners are hoping the Yankees are in the pennant race down the stretch.
In the New York Post, Phil Muschnick says Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN at the right time. Also in the Post, Keith Terranova has 5 questions for SNY Mets analyst Keith Hernandez. And Terranova says the move by David Beckham to the MLS’ LA Galaxy has been good off the field in ticket sales and TV ratings, but it has yet to translate on the pitch.
Laura Nachman of the Bucks County Courier Times talks with Comcast SportsNet’s soccer analyst Phil Andrews who’s hoping Becks will have a huge impact on the sport here in States. Nachman also has an assessment on the Philadelphia Eagles’ first preseason telecast.
In The State newspaper in Columbia, SC, Doug Nye says the good ol’ days of sports TV were good, but today is pretty good too. And Nye says the Detroit-Yankees game tomorrow is the weekend’s best bet.
Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post says ESPN is the big loser in Dan Patrick’s departure.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the NFL trying to restrict the media’s coverage of its sport.
Barry Jackson writes in today’s Miami Herald that a promo by WQAM has led to one of the Miami Dolphins players canceling a show on the station.
Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the picture of the Big Ten Network being seen in Wisconsin is very fuzzy.
In the Chicago Tribune, Teddy Greenstein writes a Q & A about the potential of BTN to appear in Chicagoland.
George M. Thomas in the Akron Beacon Journal writes that SportsTime Ohio is garnering excellent ratings for Cleveland Indians games.
Over to the San Deigo Union-Tribune where Jay Posner says no one has been hired to work with Ted Leitner on San Diego State University football radio broadcasts and the first game is three weeks away.
John Maffei in the North County Times says ESPNU is making inroads in the San Diego market.
In the Los Angeles Times, Larry Stewart says former New York Giant Tiki Barber is making career inroads in his first year away from football.
According to Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, Clippers play-by-play announcer Matt Pinto is leaving the team to go to the Seattle Supersonics. Hoffarth writes that ESPN has made poker a legitimate sport. And Hoffarth has a long follow up entry in his Farther Off the Wall blog.
In Canada, the Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says CBC plans to pull out all the stops for its coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the last it will broadcast until at least 2014.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Score will attempt to expand its distribution across Canada.
I’ll be back later today. My plans to blog Dan Patrick’s final hour on ESPN Radio may have to be scrapped as I have to get out of work early. The Patriots play two miles from me and I want to get out before traffic gets too heavy. Check back with me.
Lost in the shuffle in the Dennis & Callahan lockout and the death of Phil Rizzuto is the news that WFAN has officially announced that Boomer Esiason will be the new host of its morning show. To help out, Craig Carlton, one of “The Jersey Guys” on New Jersey 101.5 will be co-host. The show is officially called “Boomer and Carlton In the Morning”. Kind of unoriginal, but what are you going to do?
They officially replace Don Imus who was ousted earlier this year for his “Nappy headed hos” comment. And this announcement comes on the same day that CBS Radio settled with Imus for $20 million. It frees up Imus to find employment elsewhere and also allowed CBS Radio to finally make the announcement about Esiason and Carlton.
The press release also mentions that Esiason will continue to Monday Night Football on Westwood One Radio, although I wonder if he’ll be able to do an entire season.
Let’s give you a few more links before bowing out for the day.
Earlier this week, I had a link to a very good article by Thomas Hauser on the fractured relationship between HBO and Larry Merchant. Now we have a second article on HBO Boxing, this time by Michael Swann for the site, 15Rounds.com. Swann says HBO Boxing is in a downturn and he squarely puts the blame on HBO Sports President Ross Greenberg. It’s been said last year was a down year for boxing on the pay channel and even Larry Merchant himself said during a couple of fights that the matchups on HBO were less than stellar. The Golden Age of HBO Boxing was led by Seth Abraham, but he’s been gone from HBO since 2000. Swann says Greenberg has paid more attention to sports documentaries at the expense of boxing. Good read.
Over to Newsday and Neil Best’s Watchdog Blog. He has two good entries today. One on XM Satellite Radio about to become the exclusive home of the NHL as of this Sunday. And the other on SNY’s production on Mets games. Neil says his back is hurting. Feel better, Neil.
Tom King of the Nashua (NH) Telegraph has a story on a local pitcher who portrayed Jim “Catfish” Hunter in the ESPN mini-series, “The Bronx is Burning.”
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail has a story on this being the last season for the CFL on CBC.
Teddy Greenstein in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune writes about Tony Roberts, the former Voice of Notre Dame football on Westwood One, hoping a change of radio rights holders will bring him back to the job he loves the most. Don Criqui did the games on WWOne last year. It appears that Notre Dame has decided on a new radio partner. The contract with Westwood One expires after this season. ESPN Radio and ISP are both vying for the rights.
Mike Tankersley writes for the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser and he has a story on ESPN College Gameday going to Blacksburg for its season premiere. I already gave a link to another site this morning.
That’s it for now. I’ll give you primetime viewing choices later.
Hello to you all. Sounds like the NBA is going to be announcing an eight year extension of its current agreement with Disney/TNT today. If you click on the link in the last sentence, Neil Best of Newsday says a conference call will be held later today. I’ll try to give a listen to it and perhaps give you highlights of it.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times had the following blurb:
The N.B.A. will conduct a news conference call today to announce the renewal of its media rights deals with ESPN, ABC Sports and Turner Sports. ESPN and Turner are expected to pay modest increases over their current contracts, which have averaged $766.6 million annually since they went into effect in the 2002-3 season and will end after next season. The new deals are for eight years.
The NBA likes to keep the status quo unless a change is absolutely necessary. In the mid 1970′s to the early 1990′s, CBS had the rights, then NBC started to carry the games until 2001 and then the rights reverted to ESPN/ABC.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reports on batting practice for MLB’s All Star Game will be put online at MLB.com for the first time. He also talks about Kyle Petty’s cursing during the TNT NASCAR telecast.
With the problems surfacing from the Chris Benoit murder-suicide this week, the WWE has been backtracking two days after airing a tribute to him on Raw on USA Network Monday night. Then on ECW the following night on Sci-Fi Network, Vince McMahon basically said there will be no more mention of Benoit. CNBC’s Darren Rovell says this whole thing is becoming a mess and McMahon should have apologized and the faked death storyline of Vince is affecting the company’s stock price. And here’s a statement by the WWE which claims the killings of Benoit’s wife and child were not steroid related. It’s too early to claim that and I don’t know who the WWE is using as an expert, but for them to make that statement is a huge leap of faith.
It now seems like there are Big Ten Network stories every day. Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal says this new venture by the Big Ten Conference shows that it’s now learning the cost of big business. Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press says the migration of games to cable is a loss for viewers. And Dickerson doesn’t seem to be a sports fan so be wary of his agenda here. Mike Lucas of the Capital (WI) Times says Big Ten Commish Jim Delany should know when to pick his fights and this isn’t a good fight.
The Atlanta Braves are not happy over their game on July 22 being moved by ESPN from a 1:05 p.m. to an 8:05 p.m. start for Sunday Night Baseball.
One piece of news, ESPN Radio is attempting to wrest the radio rights of Notre Dame football away from Westwood One. The current contract expires next season and Mutual/Westwood One has been broadcasting Notre Dame games since 1972.
Ok, we’ll keep an eye on the NBA TV rights announcement and have an update later in the day.