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Published March 11, 1998
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: ESPN Magazine was profiled in the "In Focus" section of today's USA TODAY. ESPN Magazine Exec Editor John Walsh: "We have the mandate to be the print version of ESPN. How do we translate that sensibility to a magazine? By being the alternative, being exciting and fun to look at" (USA TODAY, 3/11). In Chicago, Tim Jones on the launch: "ESPN will begin to find out if it can transfer that television popularity to a magazine" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,3/11). NOTES: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke calls NBC's NBA analyst Isiah Thomas "a work in progress." Thomas: "I don't mind the criticism, but give me a chance to show I can improve and do the job." Martzke also reports that ESPN has renewed studio host Chris Fowler's contract "for about $500,000 a year" (USA TODAY, 3/11)....Sunshine Network and Orlando Predators Entertainment have reached a three-year marketing/ promotional pact that grants the net exclusive telecast rights to AFL Predators games (Sunshine Network)....The NHL Panthers "received an angry reaction" when they "abruptly removed" hosts Joe Rose and Jeff DeForrest from coach Bryan Murray's weekly radio show on WQAM. The team owns the show, and replaced the pair with play-by-play announcer Chris Moore and analyst Randy Moller, both team employees (MIAMI HERALD, 3/11)....The Marquee Group will produce ESPN2's coverage of the Swatch King of the Beach Invitational by P.S./StarGames volleyball tournament. It will be aired as two one-hour shows in April (The Marquee Group).