SBD/June 14, 2013/Media

People & Personalities: Tennis Channel Chair & CEO Apologizes For E-Mail Rant

Solomon apologized for using "excessively colorful and inappropriate words"
In N.Y., Richard Sandomir noted Tennis Channel Chair & CEO Ken Solomon has apologized for an "angry, meandering e-mail that was punctuated with the language of sexual assault" following an appeals court last month ruling Comcast had not discriminated against the channel. Solomon, who was in Paris for the French Open when he wrote the e-mail, likened the judges’ decision to “being raped by a brutal captor, finally winning in a long and painful public court trial.” Solomon in a statement said, “I regret several ill-chosen, excessively colorful and inappropriate words in a private e-mail to colleagues a few weeks ago reflecting my disappointment with a legal decision.” Tennis Channel consultant Vince Wladika said, “It was a brain meltdown that occurred late at night in Paris. Maybe a little too much red wine. This is nothing that ever reflects what Ken Solomon stands for, and I’m sure he is beyond embarrassed about it” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/13).

TURNING A NEW LEAF: In Toronto, Lance Hornby noted Maple Leafs radio color analyst Jim Ralph “tweeted his release on Wednesday.” In the tweet he wrote, “For the record, my firing was due to changes in my department. Nothing personal. I was just the only one in the department.” Ralph, who had served in his role for 16 years, later tweeted, “I don’t harbour an ounce of bitterness. I’m not the first to go through it. Others have had it worse.” Hornby noted the direction Maple Leafs' radio broadcasts will take “has been murky since the merger" of Bell Media and Rogers to buy MLSE (TORONTO SUN, 6/13).

SCARY SITUATION: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reported FS Midwest MLB Cardinals analyst Rick Horton is scheduled to return to the booth Friday after missing a few games earlier in the week "because of a scary situation in which his wife’s life was in jeopardy." Play-by-play broadcaster Dan McLaughlin on Tuesday “called the game alone" on FS Midwest, while Al Hrabosky “moved over to the TV side” and covered the games on Wednesday and Thursday. Mike Claiborne was “brought in to fill in on radio” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/13).

ON THE HOOK: The Dolphins announced their preseason TV team, with Jesse Agler to handle play-by-play duties alongside Bob Griese and Nat Moore. Meanwhile, the English-language radio team for the regular season will include Griese, Jimmy Cefalo and Joe Rose. Keith Sims will serve as the home game sideline reporter with Kim Bokamper to handle away game sideline reporter duties (Dolphins).

REUNITED COSMOS-NAUTS: In Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannenwald reported MLS Union broadcaster JP Dellacamera will be the TV play-by-play announcer for the NASL N.Y. Cosmos. He will be joined by former Cosmos G and current MSG analyst Shep Messing. The two “used to work together on MetroStars and Red Bulls broadcasts in New York.” Dellacamera will “only call Cosmos games when they don't interfere with his Union broadcast schedule” (PHILLY.com, 6/10).

CALL OF THE COUGARS: In Houston, David Barron reported Kevin Eschenfelder (football) and Matt Thomas (men’s basketball) were named Tuesday as the Univ. of Houston’s new radio play-by-play announcers. Eschenfelder and Thomas "fill the vacancies created when UH did not renew the contract of longtime announcer Tom Franklin.” Eschenfelder worked for FSN “for 22 years before joining CSN Houston” as host of its weekday “SportsTalk Live” program. Thomas called UH games “on radio from 1996 through 1998 and last year co-hosted the UH football pregame show on KBME” (CHRON.com, 6/11).
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