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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

     During coverage of the Daytona 500 Sunday, CBS Sports
Director Bob Fishman will have 60 different camera angles
focusing on the race.  In Chicago, Steve Nidetz notes "that's
more shots than a director can use during" most other sports
events, and it is a "big reason why stock-car racing has become a
hit on television."  To start their telecast, CBS will air a
NASCAR-racing theme song, Tanya Tucker's "Let's Go Racing"
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/16).  Daytona is "expected to receive an 8-9
rating -- comparable to the Indy 500 and "about the highest non-
basketball rating until the Baseball All-Star Game in July" (Rudy
Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/16).  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes
that Daytona's "story lines have never been stronger," from Ernie
Irvan's comeback and Dale Earnhardt's attempt to finally win the
race, and that Daytona may "finally become a 10 [rating] for CBS"
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/16).  In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount
notes the appeal of NASCAR, adding "it could be argued that the
NASCAR circuit remains the quintessential American sport.  Salt-
of-the-earth American folks drive salt-of-the-earth American cars
in salt-of-the-earth American locations" (Minneapolis STAR-
TRIBUNE, 2/16).  CBS This Morning hosted Darrell Waltrip and Jeff
Gordon from Daytona this morning ("CBS This Morning," 2/16).

     NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol is featured in an
extensive profile in this morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.
Jeffrey Scott writes that "if, in the rest of the world," the
Olympic Games belong to IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, "in
the United States they're Ebersol's by the sheer power of his
medium."  Ebersol discusses some of his plans for covering the
Games, as Scott reports the network will likely profile ACOG
President Billy Payne, and is even "considering a piece" on "Gone
with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell.  Ebersol "is fully aware
that his network lost" $99 million on the '92 Barcelona Summer
Games, but he is "confident NBC's performance in Atlanta will
keep him on top of the Game."  Ebersol: "There's an expectation
from [NBC-parent, GE] that we'll make money.  In Atlanta, we'll
break even, but not by a lot" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/16).
     GETTING BETTER:  Ebersol was released yesterday from a San
Antonio hospital.  He had an angioplasty to clear a blocked
artery last Friday (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/16).

     Fox TV said yesterday it will begin rating the programs it
airs for sexual and violent content.  ABC, NBC, and CBS have
agreed "in principle" to such a system, but are seeking an
"industrywide agreement" (L.A. TIMES, 2/16)....The 120th edition
of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show had its highest rating
ever on USA Network, averaging a 4.0 rating over two nights.  It
is an increase of 21% over last year's 3.3 (USA Network)....As
reported yesterday by Phil Mushnick, the PGA of America and NBC
Sports announced an extension of their partnership for the Ryder
Cup and PGA Seniors' Championships through 2005 (PGA
News)....SportSouth, a division of Turner Broadcasting, has
reached the 5.1 million subscriber mark within its seven state
region in the Southeast.  SportSouth now reaches 80% of the
potential six million cable subscribers in the Southeast
(SportSouth).... Fox announced its NHL coverage this season has
averaged a 2.3 rating, up 15% from its 2.0 of last year (Fox
Sports). ....The "widely expected" resignation of Scott Kurnit as
President of News Corp./MCI's online venture became official
yesterday.  Greg Clark, President of News Technology Group, was
named to direct the venture while former Exec VP/ Operations Jeff
Leist will become COO (AD AGE ONLINE, 2/16).

     Cleveland's WKBR-AM all-sports radio station is touting
itself as the "No. 1 all-sports radio station in America," citing
Arbitron ratings for Fall '95.  During the time, which included
the baseball playoffs and World Series, 4.9% of the total
Cleveland audience over age 12 that listens to radio at least 15
minutes a day between 6:00am and midnight tuned into the Indians
flagship.  The rating was a full point higher than the next all-
sports station.  Second was KNBR-San Francisco 3.9; WEEI-Boston
at 3.3; WIP-Philadelphia 3.2; WFAN-New York 2.9 (THE SPORTING
NEWS, 2/19 issue).

     Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. is expected to create a 24-
hour sports news cable channel by the end of the year, according
to Bill Carter in this morning's N.Y. TIMES.  A Turner executive
said the channel would "combine elements" of both CNN and Sports
Illustrated.  Turner's board is scheduled to vote on the channel
today.  The channel, likely to be called CNN/SI, would "not cover
any sports events but would be devoted to sports news and
information."  It would "rely on the sports staff already in
place at CNN for the core of its production staff, along with
journalists brought in from the magazine."  The station would
reportedly be based out of Atlanta, and the Turner executive
declined to predict how many homes it would reach should it start
by the end of the year (N.Y. TIMES, 2/16).