SBD/30/Sports Media

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  • CBS WELCOMES HOME GUMBEL; WILL PREGAME BE BATTLE OF SEXES?

              CBS Sports has hired Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms as its
         No. 1 NFL broadcast team, according to Stephen Battaglio of
         the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Gumbel's final appearance on NBC
         will come this Sunday, when he calls the Heat-Knicks game. 
         He will join CBS on March 1, and serve as studio host for
         its NCAA basketball coverage.  Jim Nantz will anchor CBS'
         NFL pregame show (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/30).  CBS also
         signed former NBC announcer Randy Cross, who will either
         work games or be in the studio (Mike Bruton, PHILADELPHIA
         DAILY NEWS, 1/30).  CNN/SI's Peter King reported that CBS
         "is trying to get" Cowboys FB Daryl Johnston and Chiefs RB
         Marcus Allen "to retire and join their 1998 telecast team. 
         Allen is leaning toward TV; Johnston leaning toward playing
         another year" ("CNN/SI," 1/29).  In related news, NEWSDAY's
         Steve Zipay writes that CBS Exec Producer Terry Ewert "isn't
         ruling out any ideas" for the NFL pregame show, "including
         hiring a woman."  Zipay: "Ewert's intentions are intriguing
         and serious -- industry sources said CBS pursued ESPN's
         Bonnie Bernstein, but ESPN would not release her from her
         contract, which has a year remaining" (NEWSDAY, 1/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Heat, NBC, NCAA, New York Knicks, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

              In N.Y., Richard Sandomir examines Cablevision's
         ownership of the TV rights to all N.Y. sports teams except
         NFL teams.  Cablevision Exec VP Marc Lustgarten, on how the
         new partnership with Fox Sports Net will affect viewers:
         "For now, whatever's been on MSG and Fox Sports New York
         will continue on basic."  Sandomir: "Lustgarten's key words
         were 'for now.' ... Clearly, basic pricing is not forever"
         (N.Y. TIMES, 1/30).  Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman: "With Fox,
         Cablevision and MSG all aligned, fans better start paying
         close attention and get ready to speak out.  On Wednesday,
         Dolan said it was only a matter of time before you, the fan,
         will be paying a premium price to see games of almost every
         pro sports franchise in town" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/30).
              EXAMINING ISIAH: In Toronto, Marty York writes that the
         "transition from basketball to broadcasting has been bumpy
         for Isiah Thomas and media critics in the [U.S.] are
         beginning to wonder whether NBC erred" in hiring him.  "NBA
         on NBC" Producer David Neal: "He has to refine his
         mechanics."  Neal also "agreed that Thomas needs to refrain
         from repeating himself and, at times, should sound more
         excited."  Neal: "Overall, though, I'm pleased with him"
         (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/30)....Comcast SportsNet will premiere
         "Sixers Sunday Morning Jam" this Sunday.  The 76ers magazine
         show is produced by 76ers VP/Marketing & Comm. Dave Coskey,
         Dir of Marketing & Comm. Lara Price and Dir of PR Jodi
         Silverman, in association with NJ-based MediaWorks
         Communications Inc. (Comcast SportsNet).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Comcast-Spectacor, Madison Square Garden, NBA, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Philadelphia 76ers, Media
  • PUBLISHING NEWS & NOTES: NHL JOINS THE FUN WITH TOTAL SPORTS

              The NHL has licensed Total Sports to produce "Total
         Hockey," a comprehensive hockey encyclopedia.  The book will
         contain complete playing records of every player in league
         history.  It will be co-published with KC-based Andrews
         McMeel Publishing, and is expected to run around 1,600
         pages.  Look for "Total Hockey" this September (NHL).
              NOTES: The Source plans to launch a sports title in
         September called The Source Sports, which "will also have an
         urban hiphop orientation" (MEDIAWEEK, 1/26)....Two new books
         on NASCAR: Ballantine publishes "Wide Open: Days and Nights
         On the NASCAR Tour" by ESPN Magazine's Shaun Assael, while
         Wiley Books has released "The NASCAR Way: The Business That
         Drives The Sport," by Robert Hagstrom (THE DAILY).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NASCAR, NHL, Media, Walt Disney
  • RATINGS FOR LAST WEEKEND'S NETWORK SPORTING EVENTS

              The following lists ratings from last weekend's network
         sporting events.  All times are EST.  The numbers are
         gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).
    
    
    EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
    IRL: Indy 200
    1/24
    ABC
    12:30-2:30pm
    1.8/5
    Men's Senior Skins Game
    1/24
    ABC
    2:30-5:00pm
    2.6/7
    European Figure Skating Champs
    1/24
    ABC
    5:00-6:00pm
    3.9/6
    NCAA Basketball: Duke-Virginia
    1/24
    CBS
    noon-2:00pm
    1.9/6
    NCAA Basketball: Regional Action
    1/24
    CBS
    2:00-4:00pm
    1.7/5
    NCAA Basketball: Regional Action
    1/24
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.7/4
    "NBA on NBC": NYK-DET/LAL-SEA
    1/24
    NBC
    3:30-6:00pm
    3.8/10
    "NHL on Fox": Regional Action
    1/24
    FOX
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.7/5
    Men's Senior Skins Game
    1/25
    ABC
    1:30-4:00pm
    2.5/6
    NCAA Basketball: Regional Action
    1/25
    ABC
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.2/3
    NCAA Basketball: Mich.-Illinois
    1/25
    CBS
    2:00-4:00pm
    1.7/4
    NCAA Basketball: Regional Action
    1/25
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.9/4
    "NBA on NBC": UTAH-CHI
    1/25
    NBC
    1:00-3:30pm
    6.6/16
    Super Bowl Pre-game Show
    1/25
    NBC
    3:30-6:00pm
    15.4/31
    Super Bowl XXXII: GB-DEN
    1/25
    NBC
    6:00-10:00pm
    44.5/67

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Foot Locker/Venator Group, IndyCar, NBA, NBC, NCAA, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • THESE AREN'T THE DAYS: SPORTSWRITERS LAMENT THEIR CRAFT

              The state of sportswriting is examined by Bob Drury of
         MEN'S JOURNAL, who writes that it "has become a dead-end
         job, the buggy-whip profession of the twenty-first century. 
         Fiber optics are killing it."  Boston Globe Sports Editor
         Don Skwar, on today's athletes: "They don't need us as much
         as they need ESPN or Nike.  Their time is not our time." 
         N.Y. Times sports columnist Harvey Araton: "Sportswriters
         today are like whiskey.  We get blamed for a lot of things
         we didn't do."  Araton, on the inaccessibility of players:
         "Now you're never allowed into practice with them.  They've
         all got charters, so you're not on the plane.  You're left
         with a choice: gangbang press conferences or grabbing
         whatever tidbits you can as athletes flee the locker room
         toward the team bus. ... Today, there's just such a
         difference between us and them that the only way to pierce
         the veil is to, essentially, be a TV partner.  Ahmad Rashad
         wants to do a puff piece on Michael Jordan?  Fine.  Ahmad
         won't hurt him.  Hell, he's the host of Jordan's off-season
         sales tour.  Otherwise, [NBA Commissioner David] Stern
         doesn't want reporters around" (MEN'S JOURNAL, 2/98 issue). 
              CIRCUS CIRCUS: The Globe's Skwar, on the depth and
         breadth of coverage: "It's true, we're not driving the
         beast, the beast is already driven.  It's driven by
         Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy and talk radio and a
         coverage of gossip that sometimes, I admit, I find
         absolutely ridiculous.  I shudder when I look back and see
         some of the unsavory things we did during the Tonya Harding-
         Nancy Kerrigan affair.  Making a reporter stand all night in
         Kerrigan's driveway.  Jeez."  In a sidebar, MEN's JOURNAL
         takes an informal poll to determine the top sportswriters in
         the U.S.  Twenty-one are named (MEN'S JOURNAL, 2/98 issue).
              ON THE BEAT: WASHINGTONIAN magazine reports that
         Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon was offered
         more than $300,000 and a signing bonus to go to the Chicago
         Tribune.  He remained at the Post, and in doing so may "have
         topped $200,000" in his annual salary (WASHINGTONIAN, 2/98).
         
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, Nike, Media, Walt Disney
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