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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

          It "looks" like Conde Nast Sports For Women "is now
     headed for a major relaunch at mid-year," according to Keith
     Kelly of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  After conducting recent focus
     groups, the title hired Mary Murray as its new Exec Editor
     in charge of "stepping up fitness and nutrition coverage." 
     Conde Nast Editor Dir James Truman "insisted the company has
     not hit the panic button."  But Kelly notes "one sign of
     potential circulation weakness" is that after "slicing back"
     to six issues a year and "buying" Women's Sports + Fitness,
     Sports For Women "has no plans to boost" circulation beyond
     350,000.  Kelly: "That shows possible weak newsstand or
     subscriber support for the magazine."  But Publisher Suzanne
     Grimes said, "I don't think it reflects circulation weakness
     at all.  We bought [Women's Sports + Fitness] primarily for
     the name."  The magazine also plans to hire another Senior
     Editor to "focus entirely on fitness" and will come up with
     a new logo that could debut in June (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/27).
          

          TEAM NOTES: ESPN's SkyCam will make its debut tonight
     during the Panthers-Red Wings game (Pittsburgh POST-GAZETTE,
     2/26)....MLB Devil Rays games on SportsChannel FL will not
     be shown in Orlando because cable carrier Time Warner "says
     there's not enough interest in baseball."  Orlando's WNTO,
     however, will carry 41 Devil Rays' telecasts this season
     (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/27)....Fox Sports Chicago is signed for
     11 MLS Fire games, beginning with the opener March 21 at
     Miami (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/27)....Fox Sports New England will
     carry 20 regular season games and up to four playoff game of
     the MLS Revolution (FSNE).
          NOTES: In L.A., Larry Stewart reports that most west
     coast ABC affils will not air Saturday's Duke-UNC game,
     2:00pm EST, because "the ABC children's programming division
     is reluctant to give up any of its Saturday morning time
     block to the sports division."  It will be shown in L.A.
     however, as ABC made a "one-time-only exception" with KABC
     (L.A. TIMES, 2/27)....WinStreak's sports contests division,
     SHARC, has launched The '98 Fantasy Golf Challenge, co-
     sponsored by Cobra Golf and MasterCard.  SHARC will
     administer the golf contest on its Web site (IGN).

          NBC "is wasting little time grabbing the Olympic TV
     torch from CBS," according to Michael Hirsley of the CHICAGO
     TRIBUNE.  Beginning in March, CNBC will air "The Olympic
     Show," a half hour devoted to Olympic sports and athletes,
     every Saturday through the 2002 Games in Salt Lake.  Hosted
     by Dan Hicks, the mix of features and one-on-one interviews
     "embodies NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol's vow that heavy
     promotion and storytelling will remain the Peacock's
     priority for Olympic coverage" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/27).

          The following lists ratings from last weekend's non-     Olympic network events.  All times are EST.  ABC College     basketball: CLEM-UVA, LOU-MEM and AZ-OR.  The numbers are     from the networks (THE DAILY):
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
NCAA Basketball: regional
2/21
ABC
1:30-4:00pm
1.2/4
PGA Tour: Tucson Open
2/21
ABC
4:00-6:00pm
2.2/6
NCAA Basketball: BC-Georgetown
2/21
NBC
2:30-4:30pm
0.8/2
WNBA Special
2/21
NBC
4:30-5:00pm
1.1/3
High-Performance Golf
2/21
NBC
5:00-6:00pm
1.0/3
NCAA Basketball: UCLA-Duke
2/22
ABC
1:30-4:00pm
1.7/4
PGA Tour: Tucson Open
2/22
ABC
4:00-6:00pm
3.3/8
NCAA Basketball: Indiana-Michigan
2/22
CBS
1:00-3:00pm
1.8/5
"NBA on NBC": Rockets-Knicks
2/22
NBC
1:00-3:30pm
3.1/8
"NBA on NBC": Lakers-Magic
2/22
NBC
3:30-6:00pm
4.8/12