SBD/May 3, 2013/Media

People & Personalities: CSN Chicago Parts Ways With Reporter Susannah Collins

In Chicago, Robert Channick reports Comcast SportsNet Chicago Blackhawks reporter Susannah Collins is "no longer with the network ... after two days of internet attention over a flubbed sentence on live television led to revelations about previous, more controversial sports show appearances." Collins on Tuesday prior to the Wild-Blackhawks playoff game inadvertently said the team had a "tremendous amount of sex during the regular season." The mistake "went viral" and put a "spotlight on Collins." It "quickly refocused attention on a series of raunchy YouTube videos uploaded between 2009 and 2010." Collins as co-host of the show "Sports Nutz" pushed the "boundaries of sports journalism -- and good taste -- with sexually explicit reports and potentially offensive racial stereotypes" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/3).

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: In Phoenix, Bob McManaman writes one month "probably isn’t long enough to make any clear-cut assessment" of the D'Backs' new Steve Berthiaume-Bob Brenly TV broadcast team, but fan reaction has "mostly been positive." Ratings on FS Arizona have "been good, too," as D'Backs games are averaging a 3.9 local rating in the Phoenix market. Berthiaume and Brenly "freely admit they are still feeling their way around the TV booth, never having worked together -- or having met -- until after they were hired in October" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/3). An Arizona Republic poll asked fans how Berthiaume and Brenly were "doing compared to former announcers Daron Sutton and Mark Grace." Forty-two percent voted "a lot better," 17.8% voted "a little bit better" and 14.1% voted "a little worse" (AZCENTRAL.com, 5/2).

NEWS VALUE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Rams play-by-play voice Steve Savard recently switched from sports coverage to news at KMOV-CBS, and it is "unusual for news anchors to have such a high-profile moonlighting job." Most anchors "avoid any potential conflict of interest situations in hard news reporting." Savard said that his Rams role "came up in talks" with KMOV Exec News Dir Sean McLaughlin and KMOV President & GM Mark Pimentel when they were "discussing the news anchor position." Savard said, "They encouraged me to continue doing the Rams play-by-play" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/3).

ON THE MEND: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand reports ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps "had surgery April 18 for bladder cancer and is facing months of follow-up treatments near his home near South Bend, Ind." Phelps "talks about this challenge almost as if he were drawing up plays in a timeout." Phelps: "They got it all. I have no more tumors in my body, so that was a relief. Now it's, when does the game start and here's the game plan. Let's go after it!" (USA TODAY, 5/3).  

HEADING BACK: THE BIG LEAD'S Jason McIntyre cited sources as saying that ESPN's Charissa Thompson, after two years at the net, "has left" for Fox Sports, where she worked earlier in her career. It is "unclear" what her new role will be (THEBIGLEAD.com, 5/2).
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