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MONDAY NIGHTS? BOOM! MADDEN RE-UPS WITH FOX FOR FIVE YEARS
Published January 16, 1998
John Madden has signed a new five-year deal to return to Fox Sports. The 61-year-old Madden rejoins his partner of 17 years, Pat Summerall, as Fox's No. 1 NFL team (Fox Sports). Industry sources said that Madden's contract "was close" to the $8M a year he was paid to join the network (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 1/16). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that Madden will be paid $8M a year (USA TODAY, 1/16). Madden's agent, Barry Frank, said the deal was for "at least" $8M a year (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16). A 2ND BOOMER? In Cincinnati, Geoff Hobson reports that ABC "went after" Bengals QB Boomer Esiason on Thursday with a five-year contract to be an analyst for "MNF" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/16)....In N.Y., Richard Johnson of the POST's "Page Six" reports that Kathie Lee Gifford, is "threatening to quit her own show" if her husband, Frank Gifford, "gets axed" from "MNF." Johnson adds that Kathie Lee met with ABC President Bob Iger (N.Y. POST, 1/16). EASY, DAVE: CBS' Jim Nantz was on the "Late Show" with David Letterman last night. Letterman, on speculation that Madden would return to CBS: "That carpetbagger, we're not bringing him back. I'm telling you, before the ink was dry on the deal at Fox he was outta here." Nantz: "[W]e would love to have him back." Letterman: "No, no, no. We don't want him back. He's a traitor. ... Who needs him? And Pat Summerall, how old is Pat Summerall? ... (imitating Summerall) 'You know when I used to kick, we wore cardboard helmets.' ... It certainly shows, Pat" ("Late Show," 1/15). KEEPING AN EYE OUT: CBS announced that it "has ended its long-standing policy of automatically making matching contributions to employee 401(k) retirement plans." Tim Jones of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that future payments "will be tied to CBS meeting overall company objectives and profit goals." Jones: "Although the policy switch was made before CBS announced its expensive return to NFL broadcasts, employees are grumbling that the football contract will only heighten corporate cost pressures" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/16).