SBD/June 2, 2014/Media

People & Personalities: Former Texas Coach Mack Brown To Sign Deal With ESPN

It is likely that Brown will operate in a studio role for ESPN
In Austin, Kirk Bohls cited sources including Univ. of Texas men's AD Steve Patterson as saying that former football coach Mack Brown "will sign a deal with ESPN to work in a still-undefined specific role as a national college football analyst, although it’s more likely that he will operate in a studio role." The job could be announced "as early as this week, although neither Brown nor ESPN returned interview requests" (, 6/1).

A DAY AT THE RACES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jim Chairusmi notes former MLBer Paul Lo Duca has "hit the trifecta in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness States, correctly picking the top three finishers in each race." Lo Duca in his post-baseball life has "become an analyst for the horse-racing network TVG, poring over the racing form and publicly offering his selections for big races." Lo Duca said, "I take it very seriously. ... While some people play fantasy football, I play the horses" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/2).

LINE CHANGES: In Columbus, Aaron Portzline noted the Blue Jackets and FS Ohio announced "changes to the broadcast lineup beginning next season, including Jody Shelley's promotion to analyst with play-by-play man Jeff Rimer." Bill Davidge, who was "a radio analyst for 10 seasons before joining Rimer on TV three seasons ago, will serve as Fox Sports Ohio’s studio analyst with host Brian Gieschenschlag for pregame, intermission and postgame reports." Dan Kamal, who "worked beside Gieschenschlag the past two seasons, will not return." Dave Maetzold will "remain in his position as sideline reporter" (, 6/1).

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes Bob Cole "will be returning to Hockey Night In Canada next year, the first under the Rogers umbrella." The "seemingly ageless Cole is 80 now and, yes, gets a name wrong now and then." But these Stanley Cup Playoffs have "featured some of his best calls in recent memory." Much like his "buddy and respected colleague" Vin Scully, Cole "continues to spit in the face of Father Time" (TORONTO SUN, 6/2). Meanwhile, the N.Y. Daily News; Bob Raissman reports NBC's Doc Emrick "will miss" Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup Final Game 1 "due to a death in his family." Kenny Albert "will replace" him (, 6/2).

SOUTHERN COMFORT:'s Richard Deitsch noted ESPN has "finalized the on-air cast of SEC Nation." Host Joe Tessitore and previously announced analyst Tim Tebow will be joined by former LSU player Marcus Spears and ESPN Radio's Paul Finebaum. The net also announced "the first five schools the pregame show will broadcast from this season: South Carolina, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida and Alabama" (, 6/1).

NOTES: In Boston, Chad Finn reported Albert Breer, whose "absence from the NFL Network airwaves during the final weeks of the postseason was conspicuous, had his contract option picked up by the network" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/30)....In Dallas, Barry Horn reported Cowboys beat reporter Steven Dennis "after 16 years of top-notch work" at KTVT-CBS has "been told he is out." Dennis' contract "isn't being renewed" and he "won't be back on the air." Dennis on Friday said, "I'm looking for work" (, 5/30).
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