People & Personalities: Barkley May Be Nearing The End Of His Broadcast Career
SI.com's Richard Deitsch reported TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley is "almost done" with his broadcasting career. Barkley said, "I love my job. I love the people I work with. And I'm going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it's going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years." He added, "I need something more, or something else to do." Deitsch noted Barkley has "uttered similar things before ... but he offered extended remarks about needing a new challenge" (SI.com, 11/5).
GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic hired former Univ. of Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams as a college basketball analyst. Williams will be a studio analyst for shows including "Geico SportsNet Central" and "SportsTalk Live." He also will contribute to CSN Mid-Atlantic's websites. He will not work the booth for any games (John Ourand, THE DAILY). In DC, Dan Steinberg noted while Williams was a "weekly guest" on WTEM-AM last season, he "tried to lay low locally, giving new Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon space to build his own program." Williams did work for Big Ten Network last year, and moving to CSN Mid-Atlantic "might make that more challenging." But Williams said that Turgeon is "off to a fine start" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/4).
HUSKY ASSIGNMENT: In Hartford, Mike Anthony reported former UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun will join radio play-by-play announcer Joe D'Ambrosio for Friday's UConn-Michigan State game in Germany, which "could be a wonderful mix of insight and pure entertainment." Calhoun will "offer thoughts on his former team and players -- all, presumably, in his 100-mph, sometimes indecipherable cadence." Wayne Norman, the school's regular radio analyst, is "staying home for the UConn football game" Saturday afternoon (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/5).
SNAKES IN A BOOTH: In Phoenix, Paola Boivin notes the D'Backs yesterday introduced their new TV broadcast team of Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly, and the D'Backs "believe they hit a home run" with the hirings. Berthiaume has "less play by play experience than many who applied for the job." However, D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said that Berthiaume's "'cachet' in the business ... along with his eagerness and love of the sport enhanced his resume." Berthiaume said of Brenly, "He's the perfect guy for me. He's known here. He's won in the market here. He's been a terrific broadcaster for a long time, and he's got network credibility" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/6).
YESSSSSS! Blogger Ed Sherman wrote of CBS play-by-play announcer Marv Albert, who continues his career at the age of 71, "Turning 70 isn’t news in this business anymore. It is just a speed bump for broadcasters and analysts these days." The sports media industry is "jammed with guys who have blitzed past the notion of retirement age." Sherman: "Brent Musburger is 73; Verne Lundquist is 72. And heck, they’re just kids compared to Vin Scully, who turns 85 this month.” Albert jokingly said, “The most important thing is that 70 is the new 68.” Albert: “I’m better now than I ever have been. You learn so much as you’re doing it. I’m watching tapes and I’ll see things that get me annoyed and where I know I can improve. ... I understand better letting the crowd play more. I've always said it was important for me who I was working with, because I like to kid around a lot. But I've also learned to use my partner better.” He added, “I love what I’m doing. As long as I can stay at the same standard, there’s no reason to stop. It feels pretty good" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 11/5).
PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: Comcast SportsNet Houston has hired Steve Bunin as an anchor and reporter. Bunin had been with ESPN since August '03. Meanwhile, CSN Mid-Atlantic hired Nicole Darin to serve as an anchor and reporter. Darin previously had been with CSN Chicago (THE DAILY)....Mavericks TV play-by-play announcer Mark Followill on Saturday "took a nasty fall on his bike" and was "taken to the emergency room with facial injuries." While it "was not believed that he had any broken bones," his return to the broadcast booth "is unknown at this time" (DALLASNEWS.com, 11/3).