SBD/Issue 222/Sports Media

Weather Report: Barberie Reportedly Out Of Fox’s NFL Show

Fox’ NFL Pregame Show To Feature (l to r) Howie
Long, Joe Buck, Terry Bradshaw And Jimmy Johnson
Weathergirl Jillian Barberie “is no longer part of” Fox’ NFL pregame show, according to Tom Hoffarth of L.A. DAILY NEWS. With the show originating from the site of the net’s primary game each week, Fox sources said that Barberie “decided the travel wouldn’t work out,” as she co-hosts the weekday “Good Day L.A.” morning show on KTTV-Fox. Fox is “talking of hiring someone to do the in-game [weather] updates that are easier to handle from someone based in L.A. rather than the remote site.” Fox Sports Exec Producer Scott Ackerson said, "It's all a scheduling thing. Taking her on the road with us wasn't going to work with her other stuff. I didn't want the alternative, to put her in the studio to do the weather, because to me that interaction isn't there. And since that's the case, it's time to move on and go with something else" (DAILYNEWS.com, 8/14).

ON THE ROAD: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Paul Gough writes the move to make Joe Buck the host of “Fox NFL Sunday” “gives Fox Sports the push it has needed to move the pregame show onto the road, where it occasionally has been during the postseason.” Fox Sports President Ed Goren: “It’s something that we’ve wanted to do forever” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/15). Fox Sports TV Group Chair & CEO David Hill said that the show “will originate from stadium parking lots and cost only ‘marginally’ more than doing it from” an L.A. studio (MIAMI HERALD, 8/15). Buck joked about handling studio and announcing duties: “I think I’ll be bad in the first half, but the game is won and lost in the fourth quarter” (NEWSDAY, 8/15). Hill: “We’re all scared about doing this. It’s technically tough. It’s sweaty armpits at 2 in the morning and getting back on Maalox.” Former Fox NFL studio host James Brown left in the offseason for the same job at CBS, which Hill said “was a wake-up call for us — we’d gotten fat and lazy” (USA TODAY, 8/15).

TERRY CLOTH: Buck and Fox’ Terry Bradshaw appeared on FSN’s “BDSSP” last night, where Bradshaw said, “When we’re through with this football season, (Buck will) be doing commercials, he’ll be doing movies.” After it was pointed out that Buck already appears in ads for Holiday Inn, Bradshaw said, “I forgot. He’ll be doing better commercials for more money.” Buck, on Bradshaw’s nude scene in the film “Failure To Launch”: “I think he did that to make everybody feel better about themselves” (“BDSSP,” FSN, 8/14).

TEAM WORK: The following chart lists Fox’ six NFL broadcast teams.

PLAY-BY-PLAY ANALYST SIDELINE REPORTER
Joe Buck Troy Aikman Pam Oliver
Dick Stockton Daryl Johnston Tony Siragusa
Kenny Albert Brian Baldinger Chris Myers
Sam Rosen Tim Ryan  
Ron Pitts Terry Donahue  
Matt Vasgersian J.C. Pearson Jay Glazer

BUS RIDE: Steelers coach Bill Cowher said he was “very disappointed” by new NBC studio analyst and former Steelers RB Jerome Bettis saying during halftime of the Sunday night game that he thinks this will be Cowher’s last season coaching the team. USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes Cowher “didn’t flatly contradict Bettis,” who “passed the first test for TV rookie analysts: Being willing to rile up old compatriots” (USA TODAY, 8/15). SI.com’s Peter King praised Bettis for having “the guts right out of the box on national TV” to make the comment about Cowher. NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol during the game’s forth quarter walked into the production trailer and said, “Jerome Bettis, journalist!” (SI.com, 8/14).

Ebersol Says NFL Smart To
Put Games On Own Network

TALENT NOTES: Former Texans GM Charley Casserly has joined CBS Sports as an “NFL Insider” for the net’s “The NFL Today” pregame show (CBS Sports)....Sterling Sharpe will join play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes for its coverage of two preseason games: Cardinals-Patriots on Saturday and Texans-Broncos on August 27 (NFL Network)....Rams RB Marshall Faulk, out with a season-ending injury, will serve as a weeknight analyst for NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/15).

NFL NETWORK: Ebersol said of the NFL putting the eight-game Thursday-Saturday package on NFL Network, “Long-term strategic, it’s very smart on their part. Who knows where our world will be in six years? Will there be four aggressive network bidders, and if not, why not find out what kind of business you can develop on your own as a potential home for more than just those eight games.” A media investment banker said, “Their big risk is that cable operators just say no [to carriage]. Then you’ve given up $400[M] a year and have a network that’s just not big enough.” BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Grossman & Higgins write, “For the investment to be worthwhile at the end of six years, NFL Network would have to be generating around $300[M] in operating cash flow and around $1[B] in revenue. If the league can ram its license-fee hike through its current distribution of 41 million subscribers, NFL Network will generate around $850[M] a year in license fees. At 60 million subscribers, that figure grows to $500[M]; at 80 million, $675[M].” NFL Network Senior VP/Distribution Sales & Marketing Adam Shaw said that the “near-term goal is 80% national coverage.” Shaw: “We know it might take a year or two to get there” (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/14 issue).

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