SBD/Issue 84/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Golf Channel Makes Several Changes

Golf Channel Reportedly Still In Contract
Talks With Studio Host Vince Cellini
GOLFWEEK's Adam Schupak cites sources as indicating that Golf Channel has "dropped some longtime members of its broadcast team and shifted other to contract status." Studio host and reporter Iain Page and reporter Adam Barr "are out," as their contracts "expired and were not renewed." Studio host Vince Cellini's contract also expired, but sources said that "negotiations have been ongoing." Meanwhile, Jerry Foltz' contract was "renewed for two more years," and Jim Gray "returns as a reporter for nine" PGA Tour events. Schupak also notes Billy Andrade "will work 15 tournaments -- 10 PGA Tour and five Champions Tour -- this season" (GOLFWEEK, 1/15 issue).

PENALTY BOX: Sports media writer William Houston cited sources as indicating that Leafs TV producer Mark Askin, "who profanely criticized" the CBC's "HNIC," will be "suspended." Askin was scheduled to work Tuesday's Hurricanes-Maple Leafs game, but Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment "will sit him out for two games in the future." Askin "had been sharply critical of Hockey Night on his Twitter account for several weeks," and his "harshest commentary was directed at Don Cherry whom he described on various tweets as arrogant, a buffoon and 'chicken shit'" (TRUTHANDRUMORS.net, 1/12).

NEW ROLES: In DC, Leonard Shapiro profiled ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, who has "become a frequent and valuable presence on all manner of NFL-related programming as an information specialist" thanks to his "plethora of well-connected sources all around the league." Schefter said he had "four-and-a-half great years and one miserable week" at the NFL Network, his former employer. The "bad week came last spring when negotiations on a new contract broke down and he was taken off the air." But Shapiro noted it "did not take ESPN very long to get him back to the ranks of the employed." Schefter: "ESPN is nonstop, and I'm nonstop, and we're both kind of crazy. It's a good match" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/13).

NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE PAST: TNT's Charles Barkley appeared on TBS' "Lopez Tonight" last night, and host George Lopez's first question concerned what Barkley did on New Year's Eve. Barkley was arrested last New Year's Eve for suspicion of drunken driving, and he said, "I think that TNT didn't want to take any chances, so they made me work." Lopez: "They scheduled NBA games on New Year's?" Barkley: "We didn't want to take any chances." Lopez asked, "You going to work through spring break too?" (“Lopez Tonight,” TBS, 1/13).

LOOKING FOR A CAREER MOVE: Patriots LB Junior Seau announced his permanent retirement from the NFL yesterday, and appeared as a guest analyst on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" last night. Seau said he "would love to do TV" now that his football career is over. Seau: "You guys make it a lot easier." Collinsworth interrupted and said, "Well, this isn't TV really. We're not sure what this is” ("Inside the NFL," Showtime, 1/13)....In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich reported IF Management has signed former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi "as a client and will try to land him a broadcasting job." Zelkovich wrote one "might assume Ricciardi won't bother sending an application to Rogers Sportsnet," which is owned by Blue Jays Owner Rogers Communications, "though you never know" (THESTAR.com, 1/13). 

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