SBD/Issue 15/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Collinsworth, Harrison Off To Good Starts

Writer Lauds Harrison's Work
As Analyst On NBC's "FNIA"
In California, John Maffei writes NBC through the first three weeks of the NFL season "appears to have scored a touchdown" in selecting Cris Collinsworth to replace retired analyst John Madden on "SNF." Collinsworth "didn't fall into the trap of trying to be Madden," as what he has "delivered is solid, insightful commentary." Maffei writes of Collinsworth, "He's glib and well prepared. He's enthusiastic without being over the top. He gives strong opinions, but isn't afraid to laugh at himself" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 10/2). Meanwhile, in San Diego, Jay Posner writes NBC "FNIA" analyst Rodney Harrison has "shown the same qualities we all knew he had, speaking what's on his mind, regardless of what anyone might think." Harrison "garnered national attention" this week after referring to Bills WR Terrell Owens as a "clown." Harrison: "I'm not ever intentionally or gratuitously going after anyone. ... There comes a point in time when athletes have to be accountable for their actions" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/2).

COACH'S CORNER: MSG Network Thursday announced that former NHL coach Mike Keenan has joined the net as a regular guest analyst for pregame, intermission and postgame reports. Keenan will make his debut for the net during Friday's Rangers-Penguins game (MSG)....NESN has signed analyst Mike Milbury to a multi-year extension. Milbury will return for a third season as studio analyst for the net's pregame, intermission and postgame Bruins coverage. Milbury also will continue to host "The Instigators," whose second season begins in December, and he will also contribute to (NESN).

GIVING INK A VOICE: In L.A., Diane Pucin notes new Ducks radio analyst and former Orange County Register Ducks beat writer Dan Wood was hired for the role "based on the knowledge of hockey he had acquired by writing on the sport ... though he had no broadcast experience." Wood admitted that he "expects criticism" from fans. He will team with play-by-play announcer Steve Carroll; former Ducks radio analyst Brent Severyn took a television role with the Stars (L.A. TIMES, 10/2).

BACK FOR ANOTHER: The UNION-TRIBUNE's Posner notes the Channel 4 San Diego Padres broadcast team of Mark Neely and Mark Grant, "which improved throughout the season, will be back in 2010." Channel 4 VP/GM Craig Nichols said of the pairing, "They've built a good rapport with each other. They found their way. And mostly what I'm hearing from the viewers are positive things" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/2).

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