SBD/Issue 46/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Martzke Gives Simms Top Honor

Melissa Stark Learning From John Madden

NFL: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke gives his midseason awards for NFL broadcasters, and CBS analyst Phil Simms earns Martzke's award as the "top NFL analyst," as he has developed an "informative, authoritative style, linked with an understated humor." ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" earns the top award for most improved; "best new faces" go to Fox' team of Joe Buck, Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman, as well as Tony Siragusa on FSN's "The NFL Show" (USA TODAY, 11/15). In L.A., Larry Stewart writes there are two reasons why ABC "MNF" sideline reporter Melissa Stark is "excelling this season. One is that she is now the only sideline reporter, giving her more room," as Eric Dickerson is no longer on the show. Secondly, new "MNF" analyst John Madden has "taken Stark under his wing," and has suggested that Stark "come to Saturday practices with him" (L.A. TIMES, 11/15).

LEARNING THE HARD-AWAY: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes ESPN's NBA presentation is "still wobbling around on unsteady legs." Studio analyst Tim Hardaway has been "one tough watch," as English is "his second language. Maybe third" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/15). In K.C., Jason Whitlock: "Is someone at ESPN playing a joke on its viewers? Did anyone watch Hardaway's audition tape? ... Hooked on Ebonics might make you double-platinum at Def Jam, but it shouldn't qualify you for a job at [ESPN]" (K.C. STAR, 11/15).

ADMISSION: In Wednesday's edition of the Westchester Journal News, the paper announced that sports columnist Barry Stanton has resigned. In Stanton's November 2 story of a mentally-challenged high school football player from OH, "numerous sentences and phrases ... were identical or similar to those that first appeared"

Bill Wennington Keeps
Bulls Issues Away
From Spotlight
in an October 31 column by Joe Posnanski of the K.C. Star (THE DAILY).

MORE MEDIA PEOPLE: In Chicago, John Jackson writes FSN Bulls sideline reporter and former Bulls C Bill Wennington "doesn't pretend to be totally objective in his current role." Wennington: "There are a lot of things I may not report that other people might. I'm going to protect the Bulls players a little more than someone else — especially because I'm also working for the Bulls. ... I'm not going to be real negative on anything. If guys are not playing well and not doing what they're supposed to be doing, then we're going to report that. But that's about the extent of it." FSN Chicago GM Jim Corno, on Wennington: "We think he adds something that differentiates himself from other sideline reporters. To us, it brings an insight people are not getting from other places" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/15).... David Amber, who has been with TSN as a Toronto reporter and weekend sportscaster for the past five years, is leaving to join ESPNews (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/14).

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