SBD/25/Sports Media

ESPN PULLS PLUG ON THE DEUCE'S "SPORTS NIGHT"

     "SportsNight," the "hip" sports news info show on ESPN2,
will be pulled off the air at the end of this week, ESPN Inc.
officials said yesterday.  The network has apparently decided
that sports news on ESPN2 "would be better presented in separate
sports-specific programming."  ESPN2 plans to present more shows,
such as "NHL 2Night,"  with a weekly auto racing show possibly
going daily.  ESPN Senior Publicist Josh Krulewitz:  "Although
the show itself is going away, many of the elements are going to
be there. ... I don't think it's at all a statement of how the
network is doing. ... It's been a work in progress since the
start" (AP/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/25).  ESPN Exec Editor John
Walsh said, "It's like a second-phase launch."  According to
Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES, Walsh added that the decision
"does not presage a retrenchment from [ESPN2's] so-called hip,
Generation X mission" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/25).
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