SPORTING NEWS' Vinnie Iyer reports HBO is “optimistic” about carrying on with its documentary series "Hard Knocks" while “following the progress” in the NFL’s ongoing labor negotiations. HBO Sports VP/Sports Publicity & Media Relations Ray Stallone said, “We are monitoring developments and remain hopeful of presenting a new season of ‘Hard Knocks.’ Beyond that we are not going to speculate.” The Jets appeared on the series last year, but Iyer notes three of the NFL’s “up-and-coming teams, the Falcons, Lions and Buccaneers, declined to follow in the Jets’ footsteps” this year (SPORTING NEWS TODAY, 7/19).
VOICE OF A BIRD: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports MLB Cardinals analyst Al Hrabosky “is scheduled to remain in the Fox Sports Midwest booth for the Cards’ series that starts tonight in New York as he continues to recover from a procedure that left him without his normal voice strength and resonance.” Hrabosky underwent neck surgery “during the All-Star break, and his voice was noticeably weaker while calling the Cards’ series in Cincinnati over the weekend.” FS Midwest Media Relations Manager Geoff Goldman said Hrabosky "said the doctor told him it could affect his voice for a short time, but he should be back to normal soon” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/19).
INVESTMENT POWER: In Raleigh, David Ranii reports North Carolina-based web-based software company PowerChalk “has raised its first funding from outside investors -- $1 million that it is using to boost sales and marketing and adding features to its product.” PowerChalk, founded by Chaz Henry, “allows a coach and player to upload and mark up videos of the player in action and compare them in slow motion to similar videos of a top professional.” The company “has been selling software subscriptions for about 18 months,” and to date has licensed its software to the Reds and Dodgers. It also has “been licensed to Little League Baseball” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/19).
CHANGES IN THE METROPLEX: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reporter Anthony Andro has joined FoxSportsSouthwest.com where he will write columns and cover the MLB Rangers, college football and auto racing, among other local sports. Andro had covered motorsports and the Rangers for nearly 12 years at the Star-Telegram (FS Southwest). Meanwhile, Dallas Morning News columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor reportedly has been hired by ESPNDallas.com (DMAGAZINE.com, 7/14).