In Oakland, Joe Stiglich reported the A’s three-game Spring Training series against the Giants through tomorrow “will air on radio station KFRC 1550-AM, and not on flagship station KTRB 860.” The team indicated that a “plan for regular-season broadcasts will be unveiled later in the week.” KTRB is in receivership, and a source said that the station’s receiver “is looking to sell the station for a higher purchase price than the A’s are will to offer.” Stiglich: “I was told that the A’s weren’t willing to budge because they knew they had a fallback plan in KFRC, which is equipped to start airing games on very short notice” (IBABUZZ.com, 3/28).
DEFENDING THEIR COVER SELECTION: Tiger Woods is on the cover of Golf Digest's April issue, and Brand Editor Bob Carney noted the decision "drew notice and criticism from a number of readers ... especially after officially ending our playing-editor relationship with Woods." But Carney wrote Woods is "finally a man who has confessed his mistakes -- publicly -- and vowed to turn things around -- in particular to be a conscientious father." Carney: "We respect that intention. What we've learned about Tiger, we think, ought to make us less apt to judge him on a perfectionistic scale, and more likely to see a human being, not an icon, who is one of the best ever to play our sport. He is certainly a contender for the first major of the year, the Masters. For those reasons we feel he deserves to be on the cover" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 3/27).
OFF TO A FAST START: ABC averaged a 1.4 overnight rating for its telecast of Sunday's IndyCar season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The 1.4 rating was the highest for an IndyCar race on the net, excluding the Indianapolis 500, since July '07 (IndyCar). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes the rating is a "promising season start, given ABC's IndyCar races last year averaged a 0.8 rating" (USA TODAY, 3/29). In Birmingham, Doug Demmons notes the rating "is small compared to NASCAR or the NCAA Tournament, but huge compared to most IndyCar races" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 3/29).
SAYING GOODBYE: In Phoenix, Bob Young reports Suns announcer Gary Bender "announced his retirement from broadcasting Monday, effective at the conclusion of the season." Bender, who will serve as a consultant to the Univ. of Kansas Alumni Association, "has called Suns TV games for nearly two decades." He "has been the TV or radio voice of five pro football, basketball or baseball teams" in addition to serving "as a network broadcaster for CBS and ABC" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/29). YAHOO SPORTS' Kelly Dwyer wrote it is "good to remember Bender as the voice of dozens of memorable NCAA Tournament games from the 1980s and early 1990s." Bender also "worked as the needed voice of reason on some often-combative NBA playoff games alongside Rick Barry and Bill Russell" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/28).