SBD/Issue 197/Sports Media

Media Notes

TNT NASCAR play-by-play announcer Bill Weber will not be part of the net's coverage of the final two Sprint Cup Series races it has this season. Ralph Sheheen will take over for Weber during the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Int'l Speedway and the LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway (TNT). THE DALY PLANET notes Weber was "involved in a late night incident last Friday night at the TNT hotel" in Manchester, New Hampshire, that "spilled-over into Weber being sent home by TNT executives on Saturday and now his release from the TV package." The net is being "tight-lipped about the issue and gave no indication whether or not Weber would continue with the network in 2010" (DALYPLANET.BLOGSPOT.com, 7/1).

 
HARD TO SAY GOODBYE: Fox confirmed that "Best Damn Sports Show Period" taped its final studio show yesterday, and it was telecast last night. The show will remain on the schedule through the fall in its "Top 50" format. A few new "Top 50" shows will be produced as well. The demise of "BDSSP" is the result of the Fox RSNs producing more local pro games and shoulder programs, which shrinked the window where this type of show could be telecast. "It was unorthodox from Day 1 as it challenged contemporaries to dust off their formats and do more than run highlights, and that will be its legacy," a Fox spokesman said. "Its departure shouldn't minimize the tremendous effort the cast and crew gave every show. FSN is now focused on its regional sports networks which have become the industry's leader in local sports programming" (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

BRENNAN OUT AT ESPN: In Vermont, Mike Donoghue reported ESPN college basketball studio analyst Tom Brennan "has been cut loose ... after four years." Brennan said that he had "one year left on a three-year contract, but the sports network indicated it was not going to pick up his option." ESPN has been "trimming staff and costs," and Brennan said that he "believed he might get released." Brennan: "I kind of knew that I might not continue. I knew I was on the bubble" (BURLINGTON FREE PRESS, 6/30). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell wrote, "I actually enjoyed Brennan from time to time. ... I suspect he'll go back into coaching, given the lack of College Basketball outlets, but someone should take a flier on him" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 6/30).

CABLE CARS: USA Network was the top cable station for primetime during the second quarter, averaging a 2.4 rating and 2.37 million viewers. The NBA Playoffs "helped" TNT finish second with a 2.0 average rating and 1.98 million viewers. Disney Channel, Fox News and a tie between ESPN and Nick at Nite rounded out the top five slots (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/1).

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