SBD/Issue 71/Sports Media

Media Notes

TV MONITOR: Last night's 10:00pm ET 60-minute edition of FSN's "National Sports Report" led with Univ. of VA-Wake Forest Univ. NCAA men's basketball, followed by OH St. Univ. firing football coach John Cooper. The first NFL report, at 6:19 into the broadcast, was the Rams firing defensive coordinator Peter Giunta and two of his assistants. The first NBA report, at 9:18, was Heat-Spurs. The first NHL report, at 45:44, was Canadiens-Islanders. Last night's 11:00pm ET 30-minute edition of CNN/SI's "Sports Tonight" led with a 12:15 discussion about Cooper's firing, followed by Univ. of VA-Wake Forest Univ. NCAA men's basketball. The first NBA report, at 15:29, was Heat-Spurs. The first NFL report, at 22:32, was Ravens LB Ray Lewis being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The first NHL report, at 24;10, was Canadiens-Islanders. Last night's 11:30pm ET 90-minute edition of ESPN's "SportsCenter" led with the Univ. of Miami-Univ. of FL in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, followed by Cooper's firing. The first NBA report, at 10:16, was a four-player trade between the Cavs-Hawks. The first NHL report, at 14:59, was Senators-Blues. The first NFL report, at 19:35, was the Rams coaching changes (THE DAILY).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that ABC "expects" an audience of 53 million for tonight's Univ. of OK-FL State Orange Bowl, "in keeping with the trend" of audiences "remaining stable" for major bowl games. The five network bowl games played New Year's Day averaged an 8.3 overnight Nielsen rating, down 2% from last year's 8.5. Martzke writes that ratings for ESPN's bowl games "displayed stability," as the seven games have averaged a 2.8, down 7% from last year, while ESPN2's four games increased 15% to 1.5 (USA TODAY, 1/3). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes on his bowl-watching marathon, as he watched at least half of each of the 24 bowl games. For ESPN's '99 bowl games, 32% of the audience had HH income levels above $75,000, compared to 28% of its NFL audience and 24% of its audience overall (USA TODAY, 1/3).

NOTES: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar noted that "in a move to draw younger listeners to the station," KFNS radio will add the "Jim Rome Show" to its lineup. KFNS President Greg Marecek said, "We want to be more controversial than we have been, and this is a big step to get that going" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/2)....In Salt Lake City, Gordon Monson wrote that Trail Blazers radio broadcasters Brian Wheeler and Mike Rice "stretched the normal limits of protocol" along press row by showing "over-the-top partisanship" during a recent game against the Jazz. But Blazers G Greg Anthony said, "Those guys are fans. That's the way we like it. It's good" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/31).

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