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Volume 24 No. 156
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     As expected, James Brown was named as Fox's studio host for
its NHL coverage, which begins April 2.  In Baltimore, Milton
Kent writes that Brown's star "took a tremendous rise" on Fox's
"NFL Sunday" where he was a "calm, clear presence" (Baltimore
SUN, 2/15).  Brown, on severing ties with CBS:  "That life has
been completed -- this is where the opportunities are" (Michael
Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/15). ....ABC, CBS and Fox-owned TV
stations all reported stronger than expected quarterly operating
earnings, with Fox estimating a jump at its stations of more than
50% (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 2/13 issue)....ESPN2 has expanded its
distribution to more than 7.7M households, now hitting over 18M
homes through 2,600 affiliates, according to A.C. Nielsen
(ESPN2)....Norm Van Lier, former Chicago Bulls guard, is now
hosting "The CBA Today," on SportsChannel Chicago (CBA
News)....Liberty Sports will unveil Prime Deportiva, the first
national Spanish-Language sports network, on February 23 at the
Texas Cable Show (Liberty).