SBD/18/Sports Media

MONTANA GETS NBC TO AGREE ON PART-TIME ANALYST GIG

     Joe Montana's deal to join NBC's NFL team was made official
yesterday.  Montana will be paid $400,000 to be a studio analyst
for six regular-season weekends and four in the post-season.
Posed with the question facing all former coaches or athletes who
head to booth or studio ("Can they be candidly critical?"),
Montana said, "I think there's a way of being critical and
analytical at the same time."  Montana stressed that he wants to
avoid the media's focus on the "negative," and admitted that the
constant criticism necessary for game analysis would have been
difficult.  USA TODAY's Mike Heistand reports that NBC Sports
President Dick Ebsersol "suggests there's a happy medium between
Montana trying somehow to huff or just giving viewers puff" (USA
TODAY, 5/18).  In San Francisco, C.W. Nevius writes, "As a
conference call yesterday proved, when you've won four Super
Bowls, you don't have to say much to make news."  One reporter to
Montana:  "Are you going to save your best stuff for the last two
minutes of the broadcast?" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/18).  In
Baltimore, Milton Kent writes Montana "will work from the safety
and security of the pre-game studio, where there's more time to
form an opinion and fewer opinions are needed" (Baltimore SUN,
5/18).  Montana debuts on "NFL Live" on September 3 (WASHINGTON
POST, 5/18).
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