AD WEEK’s Anthony Crupi profiles ESPN President John Skipper and notes he “in no way dismisses the threat posed by yet another 24/7 cable sports outlet” as News Corp. has “a track record of disrupting the status quo (consider the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel).” But Skipper "doesn’t seem to believe that a successful run by Fox Sports 1 will automatically take food off his plate.” He said that he “anticipates an August launch” for Fox Sports 1. But Skipper “doesn’t seem overly concerned.” Skipper: "Can we be disrupted? Sure. But it’s not easy to be disrupted if you don’t allow somebody to flank you. ... We’ve been doing this for 33 years and so you literally can’t ask for a bigger head start” (ADWEEK, 1/28 issue).
BOOTH BITES: Tennis Channel announced James Blake will serve as a guest analyst during the net’s Davis Cup coverage of the U.S.-Brazil match on Friday. This marks the first time Blake will appear on TV in an analyst role, debuting alongside booth announcer Brett Haber (Tennis Channel). Blake said that although he is “giving broadcast a try,” retirement from playing is “still a ways off" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 1/30).
WELCOME BACK: ESPN Radio 101.1 St. Louis’ “The Fast Lane” co-host Chris Duncan returned to full-time duty on Monday after dealing with surgeries, treatments and physical and occupational therapy for a brain tumor, which was diagnosed last year. He had been absent from his role since Oct. 8 (THE DAILY).
REEKING OF AWESOMENESS: In Boston, Shanahan & Goldstein report Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman “now has her own TV show -- ‘Flippin’ Awesome’ -- on the YouTube channel AwesomenessTV.” Raisman on the show “breaks down viral sports videos, and awards them medals of their own” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/30).