SBD/Issue 204/Sports MediaPrint All
CBS Not Bringing Packer
Back For 28th Season
REAX: On Long Island, Neil Best writes Packer was “famously stubborn and opinionated, but was at his best in breaking down strategy and anticipating its impact.” He also “regularly generated controversies” (NEWSDAY.com, 7/14). In DC, Patrick Stevens writes Packer has an “all-business approach that can come off on television as curmudgeonly or downright grouchy.” However, if Packer is “not on the air in some capacity or another at next year's Final Four in Detroit, it's going to seem very, very strange” (WASHTIMES.com, 7/14). But SPORTINGNEWS.com's Dan Shanoff writes Packer "wasn't just a curmudgeon; he was joyless, which made listening to him excruciating. His ouster is a great day for college hoops fans" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/14). AWFUL ANNOUNCING’s Brian Powell writes, “I have to say that today I'm pretty happy with this move. … In all honesty, I can’t believe he lasted this long.” Noting the net selected Gus Johnson to call second-weekend games during last season’s tournament, Powell writes, “For the second year in a row CBS has decided to make an amazingly smart decision for it's March Madness broadcast” (AWFULANNOUNCING.BLOGSPOT.com, 7/14).
UF Inks Multi-Year Media
Rights Deal With Sun Sports
END AND A BEGINNING? BOSTON SPORTS MEDIA WATCH’s David Scott wrote Felger leaving ESPN Radio 890 "could very well be a death knell for the struggling all-sports talk radio also-ran in the Boston market." ESPN 890 cannot "spin this thing as a positive step forward for the station. Felger is a marquee name in the market." Scott noted Felger's WEEI radio and WEEI.com duties "mean that Felger's near-20-year run with the Boston Herald is over." Upon coming to WEEI.com, "it is believed Felger ... will bring a version of his Patriots Report Card" from the Herald (BOSTONSPORTSMEDIA.com, 7/11). In a separate piece, Scott wrote WEEI.com is expected to "snag other local talents from established media organizations to join the dot-com line-up." Murphy hopes that the result will be a "combination of straight news delivery blended with opinion (blogs) and other, logical extensions of 'EEI's terrestrial audio content (and personalities)." Murphy: "The idea is to distribute our audio content more aggressively" (BOSTONSPORTSMEDIA.com, 7/10).
EA Sports To Allow Users To
Update "NBA Live 09" Player Ratings
WARDROBE MALFUNCTION? Meanwhile, Brett Favre's Friday request to the Packers to grant him an unconditional release places EA with the possibility of an unprecedented occurrence in which the current "Madden" cover athlete is wearing a different uniform than the one on the game. Packers GM Ted Thompson said Saturday he would not release Favre or allow him to return as a starter, and numerous published reports over the weekend speculated on potential trades. "We're still assessing what all this means for us. But Brett Favre is still an icon, and we'd love to see him play this season," said EA Sports spokesman David Tinson.
Francesa (l), Russo Quiet On Future During
First Broadcast Together Since Spat
INCOMPLETE PASS: SI.com's Peter King writes CBS "made a major mistake in not including Dan Marino in the cast" of "Inside the NFL," which will air on Showtime this season. King: "As someone who worked with Marino for six years on the HBO 'Inside the NFL' show, I saw the magnetism he brought to the show every week." CBS' Phil Simms will be one of the show's panelists, and King writes, "I do understand the reticence to have the two-white-quarterbacks-on-the-set thing, but Marino is synonymous with the show, and I think the public will miss him greatly on Showtime" (SI.com, 7/14).
REPORT CARD: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich reviewed the CBC's baseball crew of Jim Hughson, Jesse Barfield and Rance Mulliniks during this weekend's Yankees-Blue Jays series and writes there was "much that was to be lauded and much that was to be condemned." The trio "often raise the level of the broadcast," and Barfield and Mulliniks "are at their best when discussing the finer points of the game and telling stories." Mulliniks also "isn't afraid to question players," but his "continuing abuse of the English language" was an issue. Zelkovich: "Grammatical sins are only part of the problem. Then there are the inanities produced by the perceived need to fill airtime" (TORONTO STAR, 7/14).
NOTES: A source said former ESPN Radio 1250 Pittsburgh host Mark Madden later this year will join WXDX-FM at either 3:00-6:00pm ET or 3:00-7:00pm. Madden was fired by the ESPN affil in May after insensitive remarks about U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/14)....Univ. of Alabama radio announcer Ken Stabler will take a leave of absence from the booth "in the wake of his arrest last month on drunken driving charges." UA radio announcer Tom Roberts will handle color commentary in Stabler's absence (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 7/11)....Nuggets F and U.S. men's basketball national team member Carmelo Anthony will be contributing a basketball diary and photographs for the N.Y. Times' Olympics blog during the Beijing Games (NYTIMES.com, 7/14).
Over the weekend, the most popular topic in the blogosphere was former NFLer Brett Favre and the Packers and whether Favre would play football again. Other hot topics were the news that CBS college basketball analyst Billy Packer would not return next season; former MLBer Jose Canseco getting knocked out in the first round of a celebrity boxing match; an FBI investigation into Nationals GM Jim Bowden's alleged involvement in a financial scandal involving signing players from the Dominican Republic; and Knicks G Stephon Marbury reportedly getting a tattoo of the logo of his Starbury shoe line on his head. Visit www.sportsmediachallenge.com for more info or see chart below.