SBD/April 6, 2012/Media

N.Y. Times Reporter Opposed To Covering Masters Unless Female Membership Is Allowed

Crouse said lack of female member is "blue elephant" in room at The Masters
N.Y. Times reporter Karen Crouse said that she “does not want to cover the Masters again unless a woman is admitted into Augusta National’s all-male membership,” according to Damon Hack of SI. Crouse Thursday said, “If it were left to me, which it seldom is in the power structure of writer versus editor, I’d probably not come cover this event again until there is a woman member. More and more, the lack of a woman member is just a blue elephant in the room.” Crouse also “criticized the PGA Tour for recognizing the Masters as an official event despite Augusta National’s lack of a woman member.” She said, “I find it harder and harder to get past one thing that’s missing. (PGA Tour Commissioner) Tim Finchem is not making a stand. High-ranking players with daughters are not willing to talk about it. Somebody has to make a stand. Why not me in my own little way?” (SI.com, 4/5).

LET'S GET TO THE GOLF: In N.Y., Phil Mushnck writes ESPN “went right to live golf yesterday" when its coverage began at 3:00pm ET. There was "no extended, dramatized tribute to the Masters as special, no attempt to encourage viewers to watch what they already had tuned in to watch.” There was a “fabulous mini-feature on the Champions’ Locker Room,” which showed that Arnold Palmer “shared his with Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus shares his with first Masters champ Horton Smith” (N.Y. POST, 4/6). Meanwhile, in Augusta, Billy Byler noted ESPN’s coverage of The Masters “will again include its 3-D network, and the production crew has expanded its broadcasts with more hours, technology and cameras.” Last year’s Masters, the “first aired live in 3-D, had 18 cameras” but this year the crew will “work with 28 cameras covering the entire back nine.” The 3D broadcast “will include all four rounds of the tournament with three hours of daily coverage” (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 4/5).

FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE: In a Q&A with CBS' Nick Faldo, a three-time Masters winner, the Albany TIMES UNION’s Pete Dougherty asked, “Is it difficult for you to come here to Augusta National as a broadcaster rather than as a player?” Faldo said, “I'm very happy, extremely happy to be here in the booth, and I'm happy I'm not on the golf course. I had my day. That was two moons ago. So to be able to still be part of the great tournament and be part of CBS, I'm glad I've got a role to be here to call the Masters." Dougherty asked, “When you call an event like the Masters, how much does your own experience help because you've played this course every year?” Faldo: “I can talk this golf course until I'm blue in the face, and I love doing that. I know every little hump and bump, so I know what's possible. We get shots at times where you know the player has no chance to get up and down, or it looks very difficult and you can say, 'He could do this. It looks possible.' All those sorts of things, the strategy. I know Augusta National backward. That's a big help" (Albany TIMES UNION, 4/6).

LEADING THE WAY? USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes The Masters, “even if it’s from some self-anointed royalty, at least provides a lesson for the rest of the sports world: Event organizers don’t have to roll over for TV.” While the event's rights fee from CBS “aren’t public ... it has to be leaving money on the table in allowing CBS to show far fewer commercials than typical TV sports.” Which leads, “perhaps not coincidentally, to the consistently highest-rated golf on TV.” Hiestand: “Other sports could learn something: You really could skip obedience training before your next TV deal” (USA TODAY, 4/6).
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