SBD/Issue 248/NFL Season Preview

NFL Media Notes: CBS' Casserly Talks About Switching To TV Role

Casserly Entering Fifth
Year On "NFL Today"

Former NFL GM Charley Casserly serves as the "insider" for CBS' "The NFL Today," and he said of the difference between the two roles, "When you're with a team, you have to know your division and the people you play every year. So you spend time focusing on that. When you do this job, you focus on all 32 teams and general policies, rules, etc. You look at this as a much broader scope." He added there are "people I talk to in this job I rarely talked to when I was a GM of a team." Casserly: " You could talk to anybody, but you wouldn't necessarily talk to anybody all the time. ... Here, you've got to talk to everybody all the time." When asked how competitive he is with NFL reporters like Fox' Jay Glazer and ESPN' Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, Casserly said, "I have great respect for all of them. They're very good at what they do. I have what I would consider my niche in the business. I'm a former general manager. I can talk about things in different veins, as a GM would do it." He added, "I come from a different perspective on things in a lot of ways. ... I honestly don't know what they say on Sundays" (Albany TIMES UNION, 9/10).

BOOM TIME FOR BERMAN: ESPN’s Chris Berman in April signed a multiyear contract extension to stay at the net, but he said of the contract renewal process, “I was really surprised this year when ESPN let my contract run out.” Berman: “This was the first time in a while I had to consider what I might do next. I would have had a place to go: Steve Bornstein is now running the NFL Network. We were talking, and I trusted him.” Berman, who joined ESPN several weeks after it went on the air in '79, said, “I’m fortunate ESPN decided I’m still good enough to carry the flag (BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, 9/13 issue).

BEHIND THE TALK: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth profiles Pro Football Talk Founder Mike Florio, who proved that a "sports bloggerista of interest can burst through the compostable clutter and bang his own drum on a mainstream media beachhead, even if the murky goal appears only to register as many clicks as possible on a website with lots of network advertising." Florio finds himself "banging it even harder these days ... with NBC's blessing and bankroll." He formed a business partnership with the net last summer that led to "reformatting the NBCSports.com site into an across-the-board PFT template." The "next leap of virtual faith is a seamless incorporation of Florio's hourly fact-and-rumor-finding mission as a TV info man." NBC's Dan Patrick said of Florio, "He gets the false label of 'blogger' because he's more than that, and he's made it look pretty easy. It's not like he's an overnight sensation. He's 10 years in the making. But he's learned if you're observant enough, you fit a mold of what people need, you sound authoritative, you work hard and you'll get these kind of opportunities" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/10).

NORTHERN LIGHT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes within two years of the launch of the NFL RedZone channel, this "adrenaline shot to the eyeballs has become the most popular feature" on DirecTV's Sunday Ticket service in the U.S. RedZone is "available on Week 1 of the NFL season" in Canada "for a price." Carriers such as Bell and Rogers are offering 50% off the $49.95 price "for existing Sunday Ticket customers for both HD and standard def," while "others who wish to forgo the game broadcasts can purchase the channel at full price" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/10).

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