SBD/September 9, 2011/Media

People & Personalities: Pam Shriver Making Her Name As ESPN's Tennis Analyst

Shriver has brought levity to ESPN's tennis broadcasts over the past three years
WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY’s John Koblin wrote for the last three years, ESPN's Pam Shriver “has been the mischievous, batty and, by far and away, the most delightful component to the two weeks of hundreds of hours of televised tennis.” Shriver said of the U.S. Open, “This tournament means the world to the athletes and it’s one of the four majors, but it’s still a sport. We just survived a hurricane. Sometimes there needs to be a lightness to what this is. It’s entertainment and two people trying to win a tennis match.” Koblin noted there are “plenty of tennis and beat reporters who roll their eyes when” Shriver’s name comes up, but this is “precisely why Shriver has become the best thing about ESPN’s coverage.” She has become the net’s “courtside jester and is quickly becoming this generation’s answer to Bud Collins.” Koblin: “Not only does she seem to be the only member of the tennis crew who isn’t compromised in some way -- she has no other job apart from the 60 or so days a year that she broadcasts tennis for ESPN -- she also blurts out whatever she wants whenever she wants” (WWD.com, 9/7).

FANTASY GURU: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes NFL Network "Total Access" co-host Lindsay Soto is “a fantasy football geek” who “cringed when she said she's an owner in six fantasy leagues.” By “knowing all there is to know about the NFL, she's much more entrenched in her role and can talk off the top of her head easier about stats, injuries, roster moves and past performances.” Soto: "You find yourself up on players who aren't so much the bigger names, but you need to know about. It's become a fun way to do your normal research. Honestly, by doing it my depth of knowledge is a byproduct” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/9).

FIRST IMPRESSION: In Miami, Barry Jackson wrote if former CNN reporter Rick Sanchez’s debut as FIU’s radio analyst “was designed to be a parody of Rick Sanchez and awful announcing, it would have been dead-on -- so unspeakably bad and unintentionally amusing that it sounded, at times, like a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit.” Sanchez “seemed determined to sabotage play-by-play man Tony Calatayud’s call of last week’s opener by interrupting him repeatedly or shouting childbirth-type sounds over him.” Sanchez’s call “was a carnival of clichés,” and his commentary was “master-of-the-obvious stuff” (MIAMIHERALD.com, 9/8).

NOTES: The Coyotes named Matt McConnell the club’s play-by-play announcer. McConnell for the past two seasons has been the Thrashers' TV voice (Coyotes)….In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Steve Cangialosi -- Doc Emrick’s backup on MSG’s Devils telecasts -- "will soon be named the Devils’ full-timer" (N.Y. POST, 9/9)….Rogers Sportsnet announced Scott Morrison will appear as an insider for the network’s “Hockeycentral” on the company’s AM radio stations, as a feature writer for Sportsnet magazine and as a contributor to sportsnet.ca (Rogers Sportsnet)….ESPN has hired Jamison Hensley as an AFC North blogger for its NFL Blog Network. Hensley most recently was the Ravens beat reporter for the Baltimore Sun (ESPN).
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