SBD/Issue 145/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Adam Schefter Reportedly Heading To ESPN

Adam Schefter's Contract With NFL
Network Expires In August
PROFOOTBALLTALK.com's Mike Florio cited sources as saying that NFL Network reporter Adam Schefter "will join ESPN later this year." Schefter, whose contract with NFL Net expires in August, has not appeared on air since early March. Florio wrote the move "could make for a spirited-to-the-point-of-awkward in-house rivalry" between Schefter and current ESPN NFL analysts Chris Mortensen, John Clayton and Michael Smith (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/15). FANHOUSE.com's J.J. Cooper wrote Schefter's loss "would hurt the NFL Network a lot more than he would help ESPN." Schefter has been the "star insider -- the network's go-to man on any story requiring intensive reporting, much like Jay Glazer at Fox" (FANHOUSE.com, 4/15).

WHAT ABOUT BOB? MLB Network's Bob Costas will offer play-by-play for the net's coverage of today's Indians-Yankees game, his first time calling an MLB game since the '00 Yankees-Mariners ALCS. Costas said of returning to the booth, "I imagine there is some aspect of it that is like riding a bike, and then there is a little bit of rust to knock off. I don't anticipate any major problems, but is it possible that by the third or fourth game I'll be in a slightly better rhythm than the first game? Yes, I guess that's possible." Costas said he missed "being around the game on an ongoing basis, talking with baseball people on an ongoing basis and being steeped in the game" (THE DAILY). MLB.com's Tom Singer wrote Costas' call of the game, the first regular-season contest at the new Yankee Stadium, "will be visible proof of MLB Network's progress" since its January 1 launch (MLB.com, 4/13).

BUILDING BLOCKS: In DC, Tim Lemke wrote MLB teams "should never underestimate the value of having a good play-by-play man that is respected and admired by fans." The Nationals, "with their tumultuous short history, would be wise to provide as much consistency in the broadcast booth as possible." If Nationals TV announcers Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble "get along as well as they say they do," then they and MASN "should do whatever it takes to keep them together in that booth for the next two decades" (WASHINGTONTIMES.com, 4/15).

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED: In Philadelphia, Michael Klein reported Ray Didinger, who accepted a buyout from NFL Films in February, last week signed a deal to work full-time for CSN Philadelphia. Didinger, who had appeared on the net's "Eagles Postgame Live" since its inception in '97, will "turn up all over the schedule and on the Web, including csnphilly.com, 'Daily News Live,' and 'SportsNite'" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/12).

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