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Published July 17, 1998
HE'S GOT THE EYE OF THE IGER: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that ESPN/ABC Sports President Steve Bornstein "is among those considered successors" to Bob Iger as ABC President. Martzke adds that ESPN's ratings improved 18% for the second quarter of '98 to 1.27, with "SportsCenter" up 13%. Both numbers are still down from '97. Martzke notes that ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys cited "increasing competition" from other nets, but did not mention FSN's "Fox Sports News" which was also up 13% this quarter. Fox Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika: "They (ESPN) have an unhealthy preoccupation with us. ESPN should worry about the menu for Monday Night Football" (USA TODAY, 7/17). OLBERMANN'S FOX HUNT? In Tom Hoffarth asks, "Why was Keith Olbermann touring the Fox Sports Net studios in Century City earlier this week? Is he already beyond miserable with his career in purgatory at MSNBC, even though it gets him an occasional appearance on NBC's occasional baseball coverage?" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/17). OTHER NOTES: Former Browns and Steelers Personnel Dir Mike Lombardi will be the off-air information man for CBS's "NFL Today" (USA TODAY, 7/17)....In Detroit, the Red Wings' Stanley Cup video "Return to Hockeytown" produced by NHL Productions, premiered last night at Detroit's Fox Theatre. In Detroit, Helene St. James writes "perhaps the most glaring omission" from the video is the "annual bloodfest" with the Avalanche (FREE PRESS, 7/17)....TSN anchor Mike Toth is leaving at the end of July (TORONTO STAR, 7/17).