People & Personalities: Michael Strahan Expresses Desire To Continue With Fox
In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted Fox NFL football analyst Michael Strahan, who reportedly will become co-host on ABC’s “Live! with Kelly," still “expressed a strong desire to continue with Fox.” A source said, “The Fox guys told Michael the only way it would work is if he shows no signs of slipping on the pregame. He’s got to be the same guy.” Strahan has “shown the potential to be the next great football personality on television,” but that “wasn’t big enough for him.” He now has “other avenues on his mind,” as he is “on his way to significantly expanding his brand.” Fox’ “NFL Sunday” is now “officially his -- very -- secondary gig.” A source said, “I don’t know if he still will be able to contribute anything meaningful to Fox, I don’t think he will. He’s not going to have the same preparation time.” Raissman wrote Fox allowing Strahan to “work for a competing network -- even in a non-football venture -- seems curious” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/26). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes it is “hard to imagine he can keep up the dizzying and tiresome pace of the two shows” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/27).
SUNDAY FUNNIES: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes Fox today will formally announce that comedian Frank Caliendo “will be leaving its top-rated NFL pregame show.” Taking Caliendo's place is Rob Riggle. Fox producer Chris Pizzi said, "Nothing against Frank; we love Frank. But it's been nine years. We wanted something fresh. Rob is on the edge of becoming a huge star.” Pizzi said that Fox was “interested in Riggle before he hosted ESPN's ESPY Award show this summer.” Riggle said, "I truly don't know why they picked me." He said impersonations "aren't in my wheelhouse.” Riggle: “So what is my wheelhouse? We'll discover that along the way" (USA TODAY, 8/27).
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: NFL Network has added Chris Rose as a host for Sunday night’s “NFL GameDay Highlights” and “NFL GameDay Final.” He also will host the postgame edition of "NFL Total Access" following the net’s “Thursday Night Football” telecast. Rose will work alongside Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin for "NFL GameDay Final," which airs at 11:30pm ET. Rose, who will stay in an on-air capacity on MLB Network, is leaving Fox after 12 years (NFL Network).
NO ACTION EXPECTED: ESPN CHICAGO’s Scott Powers cited a source as saying that “no action was expected to be taken” against Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s White Sox TV announcer Ken Harrelson for his latest remarks. Harrelson on Saturday “went off” on MLB umpire Lance Barrett after he “ejected White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and manager Robin Ventura for arguing balls and strikes.” Their ejections “were triggered when pitcher Jose Quintana's first delivery to Seattle Mariners hitter Justin Smoak in the third inning was called a ball.” On the TV replay, it “appeared to be a strike.” Harrelson was “reprimanded by commissioner Bud Selig earlier in the season when he voiced his displeasure on air with home-plate umpire Mark Wegner on May 30” (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 8/26).