SBD/8/Sports Media


          RADIO: Jeff Torborg "has emerged as a leading
     candidate" to replace Mike Flanagan as lead analyst on HTS
     Orioles TV broadcasts this season.  Torborg, who works as an
     analyst for Fox MLB broadcasts, would "miss virtually all
     weekend games" from June through the end of the season,
     which "might be a major stumbling block to his candidacy"
     (Milton Kent, Baltimore SUN, 1/8)....Former Astros C Alan
     Ashby was named the radio analyst for Astros road games, and
     will host a post-game show after home games (Astros).
          NETWORKS: In L.A., Larry Stewart reviewed Fox Sports
     Net's new show, "The Last Word," with Jim Rome and Wallace
     Matthews.  Stewart: "The first word on 'The Last Word' is
     potential.  If you can't judge a book by its cover, you
     can't judge a TV show after one episode.  But after the
     debut of 'The Last Word' Monday night, the initial reaction
     is that the foundation is there, but the show needs work"
     (L.A. TIMES, 1/7)....ESPN's '97 college football ratings
     showed a 22-28% improvement over '96 among male viewers in
     the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories.  Overall, ESPN's
     college football ratings increased 6% from 2.23 in '96 to
     2.37 in '97, with an 11% increase in viewership, from 1.556
     million to 1.725 million households.  ESPN's "College
     GameDay" was up 25%, from a 1.2 to a 1.5 (ESPN).
          NOTES: CNBC's Tyler Mathison reported that the March
     launch of ESPN Magazine "is expected to cost" $75M
     ("Business Center," 1/7)....Raycom Sports and Sunbelt Video
     will syndicate "Think Fast," a NASCAR-endorsed weekly show
     available in September.  The 30-minute show, hosted by
     NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, will teach children problem
     solving and science based on NASCAR technology (Raycom). 

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