SBD/Issue 96/Sports Media

Media Notes

Many Boston TV Stations Not Sending 
Reporters To Cover Red Sox Spring Training
In Boston, Jessica Heslam reports some Boston-area TV stations are "scaling back their Red Sox spring training coverage" in part due to the economic climate. WHDH-NBC "isn't sending a sports reporter or anchor to spring training for the first time in the station's history," while WFXT-Fox "may not send anyone to cover spring training either." WBZ-CBS is sending a sports anchor and a reporter from February 16-18 and WCVB-ABC is sending an anchor "for six days next Thursday." Meanwhile, NESN, which is 80% owned by the Red Sox, is "expanding its spring training coverage" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5).

OFFENSIVE FOUL: OUTSPORTS.com's Jim Buzinski reported ESPN has "apologized for and stopped running an ad promoting its NBA coverage" featuring the net's Mike Breen attempting to give Suns C Shaquille O'Neal a "fist kiss." The ad was "really weird and problematic," mainly for O'Neal's "reaction to Mike Breen asking for the 'fist kiss.'" Buzinski: "Shaq's revulsion at Breen went on too long, which is why I can see the point of those who found it homophobic. It didn't bother me a great deal, but this stuff is all in the eye of the watcher, so kudos to ESPN for being sensitive" (OUTSPORTS.com, 2/2).

NOTES: The AP's Eli Segall reported more than 12 baseball and New Jersey state officials attended MLB Net's new studio unveiling yesterday, including New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. The studios are "expected to bring 200 new jobs to the state" (AP, 2/4)....HDNet will soon debut a new weekly television series, which will bring Ring of Honor Wrestling to a national television audience for the first time (HDNet).

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