SBD/January 21, 2011/Media

People And Personalities: Rogers Outbids TSN For Toronto Star's Damien Cox

Rogers had no problem with Cox' desire to continue his roles with Toronto Star
The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin reports Toronto Star hockey columnist Damien Cox Thursday signed a deal to join Rogers Sportsnet, under which he will "appear as a co-host of 'Prime Time Sports' on Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590 and as an analyst on 'Hockey Central' and the network's other shows." Cox previously was expected to join TSN, but the "sticking point with TSN was apparently Cox's desire to continue writing his Star column and blog, a condition TSN was not willing to meet." Rogers "had no problem with the dual roles, and so Cox will continue at the Star." "Prime Time Sports" co-host John Shannon "has been assured by Rogers executives that he will have 'a significant role' and does not expect to leave the program or the TV network." Dowbiggin writes the move signifies the "gloves are off between TSN and Rogers," as sources said that TSN "has told Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Dave Naylor that they are not to work for any Rogers-owned sports radio properties" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/21).

CALLING THE ACTION: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin reports ESPN's Vince Welch "will get his first chance to do play-by-play of an IndyCar race Aug. 14 for the return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway." Welch, a pit reporter for ESPN's coverage of the series, will move to the booth at New Hampshire "to fill in for Marty Reid, who will be working NASCAR's race at Watkins Glen International that day." Most of ESPN's broadcast team "remains the same" this season, as Scott Goodyear "joins Reid in the booth with Rick DeBruhl and Jamie Little working the pits with Welch." Former driver Eddie Cheever "again will join Reid and Goodyear in the booth at Indy, with Jerry Punch the fourth pit reporter." Versus has yet to announce its lineup (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/21).

BACK AT RINGSIDE: MEDIA BISTRO's Marcus Vanderberg reported boxer Roy Jones Jr. is "returning full-time to HBO Sports as a permanent expert analyst" on "HBO Boxing After Dark." HBO Sports Senior VP & Exec Producer Rick Bernstein said, "We were not searching for a permanent analyst on the Boxing After Dark series, but Roy simply blew us away with his performance as a guest analyst last year and we decided it's time to bring him back" (MEDIABISTRO.com, 1/20). Jones previously served as an analyst from '96-'05, "mainly working" on "Boxing After Dark" (ESPN.com, 1/20).
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