SBD/Issue 49/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Longtime SI Scribe McCallum Takes Buyout

ESPN.com's Henry Abbott reports Sports Illustrated NBA writer Jack McCallum "has accepted a buyout" from the magazine after 27 years with the publication. McCallum: "Whenever anybody 'takes a buyout,' it sounds like code for being pushed out the door. But that isn't the case. It was just the right time for me." McCallum added he would still contribute to the magazine on occasion (ESPN.com, 11/21)....Chicago Tribune sports columnist Mike Downey is leaving the paper after five years (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).

Writer Thinks Knight Should Wear Suit
And "Pay Attention To The Discussion"
KNIGHT MOVES: ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight made his season debut Tuesday night during "College GameDay," and SI.com's Nina Mandell offered Knight a "couple of helpful pointers" for his appearances. Mandell wrote Knight should wear a suit instead of just a sweater, noting, "Think of it as showing up to the game in uniform." Also, when "you're on camera, look like you want to be there. Pay attention to the discussion, not whatever you were staring at off camera" (FANNATION.com, 11/19). But SPORTING NEWS' Will Leitch writes Knight is "deliriously entertaining," and it is like "watching Marv Albert suddenly come on court and start diagramming triangle-and-two defenses" (SPORTING NEWS, 11/24 issue). Meanwhile, AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell wrote he was "extremely impressed" with ESPN's basketball version of "GameDay." Rece Davis is a "great host," analyst Hubert Davis is "improving [and] Bob Knight actually seemed to be enjoying himself" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 11/20).

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: MLB Net analyst Joe Magrane, who this week signed with the net after 11 seasons as the Rays' TV analyst, said his responsibilities will range from doing "some studio analyst work to doing work with the World Baseball Classic." When asked about MLB Net's other hires, Magrane, a former MLBer, said, "There are one or two names that I either have worked with or played with, and it certainly makes it more attractive to know how much of a commitment is going into this." Magrane added he was "completely happy" working with the Rays, but "this was a new challenge. I thought it was a ... leap of faith worth taking" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/21).

Mendoza To Serve As Sideline Reporter
During Cal-Stanford Football Game
SWITCHING SPORTS: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth reports U.S. national softball team OF Jessica Mendoza Saturday will serve as a sideline reporter for ABC/ESPN's coverage of the Cal-Stanford football game. Mendoza previously has covered college softball and volleyball for ESPN and is "considering more college basketball reporting as well." Mendoza: "ESPN has been great with teaching me a lot of different areas, and it was their idea for me to explore sideline reporting in college football" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/21).

LOSING HIS VOICE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports KFNS-AM has suspended sports personality Bob Ramsey, with pay, for "possible breach of contract." Ramsey's contract with the station runs through the end of the year, but he is announcing St. Louis Univ. men's basketball games for WMVN-FM. WMVN in January plans to begin a sports-talk format in partnership with KSLG-AM, and Ramsey is "said to be in line to become" one of the station's hosts. KFNS Program Dir Dave Greene: "Bob will not be back on the air with us. Period. In all of my years I have never dealt with a situation that has been handled more unprofessionally than the way Bob went about this" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/21).

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