Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

          LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Fox will air "Daredevils Live:
     Shattering the Records," tonight from 8:00-10:00pm ET.  The
     show will consist of 70 stunts, including Kaptain Robbie
     Knievel attempting the longest distance jump on a
     motorcycle, over 30 limousines (Fox Sports).
          PERSONALITIES: In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports that CBS's
     Tim Ryan "will leave the network" following the NCAA
     basketball tournament to join ESPN, and that his first ESPN
     assignment will be play-by-play for boxing.  Raissman also
     reviews FSN's "The Last Word," and notes co-host Jim Rome's
     comment that Tara Lipinski "wears as much makeup as 'a
     prostitute.'"  Raissman: "Hey, maybe this is the kind of
     slime Fox Sports Net suits were hoping for when they signed
     Rome.  If that's the case, maybe they should consider how
     they would feel if Rome directed a similar statement at one
     of their children" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/24)....The CBC said
     that it "has no intention of firing" Don Cherry, despite his
     comments about skier Jean-Luc Brassard and separatists. 
     Cherry called Brassard a "French guy, some skier nobody
     knows about" and called Quebec sovereigntists "a bunch of
     whiners" during his segments from Nagano (CP, 2/24).
          NOTES: The Daytona 500 on CBS received an 8.6 rating/23
     share on Sunday, February 15 (THE DAILY)....The Sunshine
     Network announced that it will broadcast 15 MLS Fusion games
     this season, including nine home games (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-
     SENTINEL, 2/24)....Boston's WBCN, the Patriots flagship,
     will announce the team's first draft pick before the
     selection is announced at the NFL draft.  A WBCN exec: 
     "We'll be told by the Patriots before it's given to the
     draft.  Before ESPN, everyone" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/20).

          Bob Page was "yanked" as anchor of MSG Network's
     "SportsDesk," effective immediately, according to Phil
     Mushnick of the N.Y. POST.  MSG, which recently informed
     Page that his contract would not be renewed, had "originally
     planned" to keep him on-air through April, but Mushnick
     reports that Page "has publicly and privately bad-mouthed
     MSG's decision to let him go," leading to his early removal
     from the network.  Mushnick: "Speculation has mounted that
     the Garden will offer Page's position to Marv Albert" (N.Y.
     POST, 2/24).  MSG Exec Producer Mike McCarthy, on the Albert
     speculation: "That is speculation.  We've had no discussions
     with him.  I wouldn't rule anything out" (NEWSDAY, 2/24).  

          NBC's NBA coverage is averaging a 5.9 rating/14 share
     after 11 weeks of coverage of games played through Sunday,
     February 15.  That rating is up 5% from the '96-97 season,
     which averaged a 5.6 through the first 11 weeks.  On Sunday,
     the Rockets-Knicks early game earned a 4.2/11 overnight,
     while the Lakers-Magic earned a 5.4/12 (THE DAILY).
          NO LOVE LOST: Sunday's Lakers-Magic game marked
     Shaquille O'Neal's first game in Orlando since signing with
     the Lakers.  During the player introductions, O'Neal was
     seen and heard saying, "Shut the f--- up" to the crowd --
     more than once -- as they booed his introduction (THE
     DAILY).  USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand wrote that NBC rookie
     analyst Isiah Thomas "had his best game so far" during the
     Lakers-Magic game (USA TODAY, 2/23).  An editorial in the
     ORLANDO SENTINEL said the game was "more about beating L.A. 
     It was even about more than settling an old score with
     Shaquille O'Neal.  It was about community pride and spirit. 
     It was about believing in Magic" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/24).

          Time Inc. CEO Don Logan was named Publishing Exec of
     the Year for '97 by AD AGE in its "Best Magazines" awards
     section: "Mr. Logan's management style is one that marries
     tough demands to strong support once a new direction or
     project is approved and underway" (AD AGE, 2/23 issue).
          MORE DETAILS ON THE SOURCE: The Source's Publisher
     David Mays said circulation for its upcoming sports spinoff,
     The Source Sports, will be "about 300,000-plus."  Mays:
     "These issues will all be different sports, not just a
     preview of one kind of sport" (AD AGE, 2/23 issue). 
          CLOTHED IN CONTROVERSY? In Las Vegas, Dean Juipe
     commented on SI's swimsuit issue: "How does [SI] continue to
     get away with it?  How can the world's largest and best-read
     weekly sports magazine continue to treat women as mindless
     pawns?"  Juipe added that women "could have -- and still
     could -- put an end to this yearly charade, if only they
     chose to exert their power" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 2/20).  In L.A.,
     Bill Plaschke writes that SI "has changed the annual
     edition's focus.  Good luck figuring out what that focus
     is."  Plaschke also writes that the section with athletes
     and their wives "could have been called ... 'Setting The
     Women's Movement Back 25 Years'" (L.A. TIMES, 2/24).