SBD/Issue 85/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Kevin McHale Enjoying NBA TV Analyst Role

McHale's (c) Main Role Is In-Studio Analyst
On NBA TV's "Fan Night" Program
In Boston, Chad Finn notes former T'Wolves VP/Basketball Operations and coach Kevin McHale is in his first season with TNT and NBA TV, and his "main role is in-studio analyst ... on NBA TV's freewheeling 'Fan Night' program, in which fans vote on NBA.com for the game they want to see." McHale said of the program, "It's kind of a busy night. Everything's pulled together real fast, on the fly. You have 90 seconds to get three games' worth of highlights in." McHale added what he enjoys "the most is doing the telestrator, getting to go over some of the stuff on the floor and going over the whys and hows of something happens." McHale: "It's fun to show the audience why something is successful or why it didn't work" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15).

STILL IN THE GAME: KOTAKU.com's Owen Good reported former ESPN MLB analyst Steve Phillips, who was fired by the net in the wake of his affair with a production assistant, "remains in the commentary booth for 'MLB 2K10,'" according to previews of the game. Good wrote Phillips' presence in the game is "not surprising, nor can 2K Sports be blamed for ... keeping Phillips on." When the "scandal came to light in late October," it likely was "too late to replace him." The videogame is scheduled to be released March 2 (KOTAKU.com, 1/13). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk wrote, "Maybe it's too expensive at this point to go back and wipe his voice, but it's still kind of weird that he could be in the game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/14).

TRADING PLACES: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes ESPN college basketball announcers Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale Wednesday will call the Spurs-Jazz game the "same night that ESPN NBA announcers call a college game -- Wake Forest-North Carolina -- in ESPN's second annual on-air basketball assignment-swap night." Also, ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck and his wife, ABC's "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will "swap roles," as Elisabeth Tuesday will "appear on ESPN's 'NFL Live' while Tim drops in on 'The View'" on January 28 (USA TODAY, 1/15).

SUSPENSION LIFTED: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin reported Leafs TV producer Mark Askin was "initially suspended for two games" for his criticisms of the CBC's "HNIC" and Don Cherry on Twitter, but "by the end of last week, Askin had sent his mea culpas to 'Hockey Night,' and the suspension was lifted." Askin's comments were "controversial, but still fair -- everywhere, that is, but in Canadian broadcast circles, where dishing the dirt on competitors is considered not a done thing" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 1/14).

READY FOR A BIGGER ROLE? In L.A., Chris Erskine writes TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley is "becoming the Oprah Winfrey of sports." Erskine: "And I don't mean that just because he shows up almost everywhere. I mean it because he's amazing." During Barkley's "triumphant hosting of 'Saturday Night Live' last week," he "transitioned into comedy better than most comedians." Barkley "might be NBC's answer to what to do about all those 10 p.m. slots that suddenly opened up" with the pending return of Jay Leno to late night (L.A. TIMES, 1/15).

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