Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC Female Audience Strong For World Cup ESPN Denies Wanting To Dial Down Olbermann IndyCar Gets Best Cable Audience In Years Xfinity Series Audience Lower On Fox Sports U.S.-Germany Sets Fox Soccer Record Media Notes Discovery Looking To Sublicense Olympic Rights Sources: FS1 Cutting Back News Operation ESPN Changes Format For MLB ASG Reveal
SBD/February 25, 2011/Media
People & Personalities
Published February 25, 2011
LEARNING ON THE GO: New MLB Rangers TV announcer John Rhadigan said that he “will approach the Rangers’ job like he has other sports assignments for Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV, which he joined in 1990, and then FSN, as a ‘modern-day storyteller.’” Rhadigan will be “learning on the job” as he has “broadcast only a limited number of events.” He said that he has “done about 15 practice games by using video from past Rangers games and plans to work three webcasts” with analyst Tom Grieve. He will “make his debut on the Rangers TV network” during the March 12 Rangers-White Sox game and then on FS Southwest for the March 13 Giants-Rangers game (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 2/25).
FIVE STAGES OF GRIEVING: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes announcer Gus Johnson in October parted ways with MSG Network as the Knicks play-by-play announcer but he is “working now more than ever.” Johnson is an announcer for the Big Ten Network, calls NFL and college basketball games for CBS and is the voice of EA Sports' "Madden NFL 11" video game. Johnson: “All that hasn’t made this (leaving the Knicks) any easier. It was a painful process for me. It was like losing your wife or your girlfriend. All of a sudden you wake up one day and you are no longer attached, you don’t have any contract.” He added, “I miss the Garden, I miss the people I worked with. I miss being around the New York Knicks” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/25).
RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON? On Long Island, Neil Best notes Stephen A. Smith returned to ESPN earlier this month “in what seemed a surprisingly modest role.” But Smith said that he is “happy to be back and happy with the role.” Smith: “You know me. This is just the beginning. I don’t plan on stopping. I’m just getting started.” Best notes Smith left ESPN in ’09 after he was “unable to reach an agreement on a new contract and interested in stretching himself with, among other things, political commentary on cable news channels.” Smith said that he “feared that if he remained at ESPN for another five or 10 years, he would be typecast.” Smith is in “no rush to expand his current state.” He also has a deal with Showtime that is “believed to limit what he can do for now” (NEWSDAY, 2/25).
CHERISHING THE MOMENT: In California, John Maffei writes if CBS viewers “ever wondered why Verne Lundquist is a high-quality announcer, it was driven home at the end of last Sunday’s Ohio State-Purdue game.” With Purdue’s home crowd “going crazy,” it “rallied for a last-second win.” Lundquist said, “Boilermakers win it,” then “went silent for a minute, letting the cheering fans tell the story” (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 2/25).