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Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

          MYERS GETS UP CLOSE: ESPN's Chris Myers interviewed
     O.J. Simpson in a "no-holds-barred" session on yesterday's
     "Up Close."  In N.Y., Larry Sutton writes that Myers "fired
     tough questions" at Simpson (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).  In
     L.A., Larry Stewart: "Myers, who had more to lose than gain
     by doing the interview, didn't soften the questions, nor did
     he badger Simpson.  If anything, Simpson badgered him.  Give
     credit to ESPN for letting the live interview run minutes
     over the allotted time" (L.A. TIMES, 1/16).  In N.Y., Steve
     Zipay writes that Myers "played the role of interrogator"
     (NEWSDAY, 1/16).  In Philadelphia, Bill Conlin writes that
     Myers "maintained enough editorial control to prevent O.J.
     from [a] Don King-style monologue" (DAILY NEWS, 1/16).  Also
     in Philadelphia, Raad Cawthon writes that "as the hour ended
     with a deadly serious Myers saying good-bye, an off-camera
     Simpson could be heard saying, 'I thought I was going to be
     talking about sports with you'" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
     1/16).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent: "In the biggest moment in
     his career, Chris Myers did himself, his network and his
     profession quite proud" (Baltimore SUN, 1/16).   
          TV: In N.Y., WNBC-TV President/GM Dennis Swanson has
     both Jets coach Bill Parcells and Giants coach Jim Fassel
     under contract, and even though NBC doesn't have the NFL
     anymore, Swanson "is planning to do both a Jets and Giants
     show next season" (Bob Raissman, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).
     ...WCBS-TV in N.Y. ran a station promo which showed the CBS
     eye and the voiceover: "CBS-2 your home for the Olympic
     games and this fall, home of the NFL."  The end of the spot
     featured the NFL and WCBS eye logo (THE DAILY)....CNN will
     debut a new weekly series, "CNN's Page One With Nick
     Charles" on Saturday from 11:00-11:30am ET (CNN).

          John Madden has signed a new five-year deal to return
     to Fox Sports.  The 61-year-old Madden rejoins his partner
     of 17 years, Pat Summerall, as Fox's No. 1 NFL team (Fox
     Sports).  Industry sources said that Madden's contract "was
     close" to the $8M a year he was paid to join the network
     (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 1/16).  USA TODAY's Rudy
     Martzke writes that Madden will be paid $8M a year (USA
     TODAY, 1/16).  Madden's agent, Barry Frank, said the deal
     was for "at least" $8M a year (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).      
          A 2ND BOOMER? In Cincinnati, Geoff Hobson reports that
     ABC "went after" Bengals QB Boomer Esiason on Thursday with
     a five-year contract to be an analyst for "MNF" (CINCINNATI
     ENQUIRER, 1/16)....In N.Y., Richard Johnson of the POST's
     "Page Six" reports that Kathie Lee Gifford, is "threatening
     to quit her own show" if her husband, Frank Gifford, "gets
     axed" from "MNF."  Johnson adds that Kathie Lee met with ABC
     President Bob Iger (N.Y. POST, 1/16).
          EASY, DAVE: CBS' Jim Nantz was on the "Late Show" with
     David Letterman last night.  Letterman, on speculation that
     Madden would return to CBS: "That carpetbagger, we're not
     bringing him back.  I'm telling you, before the ink was dry
     on the deal at Fox he was outta here."  Nantz: "[W]e would
     love to have him back."  Letterman: "No, no, no.  We don't
     want him back.  He's a traitor. ... Who needs him?  And Pat
     Summerall, how old is Pat Summerall? ... (imitating
     Summerall) 'You know when I used to kick, we wore cardboard
     helmets.' ... It certainly shows, Pat" ("Late Show," 1/15).
          KEEPING AN EYE OUT: CBS announced that it "has ended
     its long-standing policy of automatically making matching
     contributions to employee 401(k) retirement plans."  Tim
     Jones of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that future payments
     "will be tied to CBS meeting overall company objectives and
     profit goals."  Jones: "Although the policy switch was made
     before CBS announced its expensive return to NFL broadcasts,
     employees are grumbling that the football contract will only
     heighten corporate cost pressures" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/16).

          Fox Sports begins its fourth season of NHL coverage
     Sunday with the 48th NHL All-Star Game from Vancouver at
     4:00pm ET.  Mike Emrick and John Davidson return as Fox's
     No. 1 team, with analysts Joe Micheletti and Craig Simpson
     serving as reporters.  James Brown and Dave Maloney will do
     the studio show from Vancouver during pre-game, intermission
     and post-game coverage.  Fox's Saturday NHL regular season
     coverage begins next week (Fox Sports).  
          TECH-TALK: Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed Goren said that
     "technical advances will be noticed" during Sunday's game.
     Goren: "We're testing a helmet cam on a linesman for face-
     offs, and we plan on as many as five robotic cameras around
     the rink to bring the viewer more of the excitement you feel
     at a hockey game in person" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 1/16). 
     ESPN will debut the "MaskCam," a 16-ounce lipstick-sized
     camera affixed to Sabres G Dominik Hasek's mask, during its
     coverage of "NHL All-Star Saturday" at 9:00pm ET.  He will
     wear the camera throughout the skills competition.  ESPN's
     Brian Engblom will wear a version of MaskCam on his helmet
     and a microphone for commentary.  Gary Thorne and Barry
     Melrose will host ESPN's coverage, with Bill Clement and
     Darren Pang serving as ice-level reporters.  Steve Levy will
     host ESPN's weekend-long coverage (ESPN).  

          The following lists ratings from last weekend's network     events.  CBS' regional NCAA basketball was Mississippi-     Alabama or St. John's-Georgetown.  All times are ET.  The     numbers are gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
PGA Tour: Mercedes Championships
1/10
ABC
2:00-4:30pm
3.2/8
U.S. Figure Skating Championships
1/10
ABC
4:30-6:00pm
6.4/14
U.S. Figure Skating Championships
1/10
ABC
8:00-11:00pm
13.0/21
NCAA Basketball: Kansas-Texas
1/10
CBS
Noon-2:00pm
1.3/4
NCAA Basketball: Regional
1/10
CBS
2:00-4:00pm
1.7/5
NCAA Basketball: L'ville-Syracuse
1/10
CBS
4:00-6:00pm
1.6/4
Discover Stars on Ice Fig Skating
1/10
NBC
2:00-3:30pm
2.6/8
PGA of America Year in Review
1/10
NBC
3:30-4:30pm
1.3/4
PGA Tour Qualifying School
1/10
NBC
4:30-6:00pm
1.6/4
PGA Tour: Mercedes Championships
1/11
ABC
3:00-6:00pm
3.1/6
"Fox NFL Sunday" Pre-game
1/11
FOX
3:30-4:00pm
9.1/19
NFC Championship: GB-SF
1/11
FOX
4:00-7:00pm
26.2/47
"NFL on NBC" Pre-game
1/11
NBC
Noon-12:30pm
8.8/24
AFC Championship: DEN-PIT
1/11
NBC
12:30-4:00pm
25.0/54
Visa Celebrity Ski Classic
1/11
CBS
1:00-2:00pm
0.9/2
Canadian Pro Figure Skating Champ
1/11
CBS
2:00-6:00pm
4.1/8