SBD/Issue 172/Sports Media

Media Notes

Millen Reportedly Upset He
Isn't Replacing Kornheiser
PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited sources as saying that when former Lions President & CEO Matt Millen joined ESPN as a football analyst, he "did so with the understanding that if/when a spot opens in the ['MNF'] booth he would be given the assignment." A source said that Millen is "not happy about the fact that he didn't get" to succeed outgoing "MNF" analyst Tony Kornheiser, whom ESPN replaced with Jon Gruden. Millen reportedly "has tried to resurrect discussions" with NFL Network for the net's vacant game analyst position now that he "has been stiffed for a spot" on "MNF." But Florio reported it is "expected ... that the league-owned network will pass" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/22). ESPN Exec VP/Production Norby Williamson said that "neither Millen nor anybody else besides Gruden was considered for the gig." In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the "loquacious Millen is better suited to a two-man booth." Meanwhile, Jackson wrote Kornheiser's decision to leave the show is the "best move for both parties -- and viewers, too." As "talented as Kornheiser is as a writer and sparring partner for Michael Wilbon" on "PTI," his time on "MNF" had "run its course" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/23).

MAKING A PLAY? BROADCASTING & CABLE's Atkinson & Weprin report Turner's TruTV will feature a program tentatively titled "NFL Full Contact," which offers "some grid irony in behind-the-scenes looks at pro football." The show, which will be produced in conjunction with NFL Films, "may represent Turner's attempt to play up an interest in NFL rights." But Turner President of Sales, Distribution & Sports David Levy noted that the NFL is "extending deals with existing partners and there won't be an opportunity until 2013, making the notion premature" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 5/25 issue).

ON THE DL: In Detroit, Tom Gage reports Tigers radio announcer Dan Dickerson missed last night's Tigers-Royals game and "will miss more after a jogging injury near the team hotel." The extent of his injuries was "not immediately known, but it's expected he will return home to Detroit today for surgery on his left leg, forcing him to miss the upcoming four-game series in Baltimore." FS Detroit announcer John Keating "joined Jim Price in the booth" for last night's game, but it is "not known if that makeshift team will continue" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/27).

NOTES: In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote of Spike TV's "4th and Long" reality series, "This show is starting to exceed my expectations. It's really no nonsense football that has yet to go for theatrics" (DALLASNEWS.com, 5/26)....Outdoor Channel Holdings' aerial camera company Skycam has "inked a multi-year contract to provide services for ESPN sports coverage," including "MNF" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 5/27).





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