Published October 21, 2009
|McHale Joining NBA TV's
Tuesday Night "Fan Night" Crew
NBA Digital has hired former T'Wolves VP/Basketball Operations Kevin McHale to be part of its Tuesday Night “Fan Night” studio crew on NBA TV, highlighting an extensive series of programming and content changes for both the cable network and NBA.com entering the '09-10 season. McHale will join Chris Webber and host Ernie Johnson for analysis and wraparound coverage on the “Fan Night” game telecasts, which are selected by fan voting on NBA.com. The Web site each Tuesday will also show a new live interactive show entitled “The Jump on NBA.com,” featuring Kyle Montgomery and former NBAer Dennis Scott. The show is focused on fan commentary with the pair airing and discussing various fan-submitted texts and videos on current NBA issues. Additionally, NBA Digital has hired five former newspaper columnists and reporters to buttress its editorial coverage: Scott Howard-Cooper, formerly of the Sacramento Bee and SI.com; Shaun Powell, formerly of Newsday; Steve Aschburner, formerly of the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Fran Blinebury, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; and Art Garcia, formerly of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. The initiatives add to a 96-game slate of live games scheduled this season on NBA TV and six days per week of live studio coverage. NBA Digital is entering its second league season of an eight-year deal in which Turner is handling the day-to-day management of NBA TV, the League Pass out-of-market package, and the Web and mobile sites for the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League. NBA Digital Senior VP & GM Bryan Perez: “This year, we’re going to be focusing much more on product, and this is the year where you’ll see what we’re capable of” (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal
BACK BEHIND THE MIC: In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad notes McHale will make his debut next Tuesday on Opening Night, when NBA TV will “carry a two-hour studio show, leading into TNT’s coverage” of Celtics-Cavaliers. McHale has “previous broadcasting experience, having spent two seasons working on Wolves telecasts before taking over day-to-day basketball operations” in ’95 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/21). McHale said, “It will be fun and keep me busy; I’m looking forward to it. They (Turner) are great people and have been fun to get to know.” It is unclear how long McHale will continue broadcasting (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/21).
McHale, fired in the spring as T'Wolves coach, will also make occasional appearances on TNT’s NBA studio show. McHale on the “Fan Night” show will replace Gary Payton and Johnson replaces Ahmad Rashad, who will see his role at NBA Digital shift somewhat to creating more feature and behind-the-scenes programming (Fisher).