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SBD/Issue 163/Sports Media
ESPN Unveils Storm's Hiring, "SportsCenter" Rebranding At Upfront
Published May 14, 2008
|ESPN Formally Announces Hiring
Of Storm During Upfront Presentation
STORM: In DC, Tim Lemke reports Storm after leaving CBS' "The Early Show" in December "did have discussions with CBS about staying on in some sort of anchor or reporting role," but Storm said that the "urge to return to sports ... was too strong." With Storm, ESPN has an "additional experienced anchor who can handle breaking hard news," to complement anchors Bob Ley and Trey Wingo, upon whom the net has "relied heavily" for big stories. ESPN Exec VP/Studio & Remote Production Norby Williamson said that ratings for the "recycled, hours-old versions of 'SportsCenter' were growing," but that it was "time to go live as viewers' appetite for up-to-the-second information increased" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/14). Williamson: "You innovate and drive from a position of leadership." Williamson added that the timing of the live launch is "perfect ... because the Beijing Olympics kick off the same day and excitement surrounding college and pro football surges" in August (CABLEFAX DAILY, 5/14).
NFL NET: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports NFL Network "looked into hiring" NBC's Al Michaels as the play-by-play announcer for the net's NFL broadcasts. NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein: "NBC was open to it, but it didn't work out from Al's point of view. We never got to the specifics" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/14).