People & Personalities: NBC Adding Pat O'Brien, Kelly Tilghman To Olympic Coverage
USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes NBC today will announce that Pat O'Brien will host Bravo's "coverage of Olympic tennis from Wimbledon.” He hosted NBC's late-night and cable coverage at the ‘00, ‘02 and ‘04 Games "after working two Olympics for CBS." O’Brien entered rehab in '05 and said that he has been “sober for more than three years.” O’Brien now "hosts a national Fox Sports radio show" in L.A. NBC's “Today” Producer Jim Bell will oversee the net's ‘12 Olympic coverage and worked with O'Brien on past NBC Olympic coverage. O’Brien said that his “tie with Bell" led to the latter's Bravo assignment. NBC will also announce today that Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman “will host MSNBC’s Olympic coverage, which will carry action from about 20 sports” (USATODAY.com, 5/15).
THE DOC KNOWS: On Long Island, Neil Best wrote there is “nothing unique” about the Devils-Rangers NHL Eastern Conference Finals series for NBC's Doc Emrick, who has covered every previous playoff matchup between those teams. There has been “no detectable bias” in the way Emrick, who was the Devils' announcer for 21 years, calls the games. Fans in every sport are “notorious for perceiving bias in the voices of down-the-middle national announcers, but there is relatively little of that when it comes to Emrick” (NEWSDAY, 5/14).
NOTES: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote SportsNet N.Y.'s Bob Ojeda, in his fourth season with the RSN, "is having his best year.” Ojeda is “more animated, opinionated and with a lean toward relevant story telling." Mushnick: "Why not? Off-air, he’s an engaging raconteur” (N.Y. POST, 5/13)….FS North yesterday named Anthony LaPanta play-by-play announcer for the net's Wild telecasts. LaPanta was previously the TV voice for the independent minor league baseball St. Paul Saints for 10 seasons, and served as the Twins' radio play-by-play announcer in ’99 (FS North)….WVSP-FM, the Yorktown, Va., ESPN Radio affiliate, announced Monday that Tony Mercurio's talk show will “air for the final time May 24.” The decision to end the 26-year run of the “always-opinionated, sometimes-controversial” sports radio host’s show “came at the hands of Max Media” (HAMPTONROADS.com, 5/15).