People & Personalities: Mike Salk Looks Forward To Returning To Boston With WEEI
In Boston, Chad Finn notes Mike Salk is preparing for "his mid-March debut as Michael Holley's cohost and Glenn Ordway's replacement on WEEI." Salk, who worked for the "now-defunct" ESPN Radio 890 Boston from '05-09, has "stayed up on Boston sports by watching Comcast SportsNet New England and NESN on DirecTV and listening to WEEI streaming online, making it easy for him to maintain his knowledge, not to mention that New England edge." Salk said that his approach will be to "focus on doing his own thing rather than consciously trying to make listeners forget about Ordway." He said, "My style is different from Glenn's. It's going to sound so different that ... I don't think people will think of it that way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/22).
DON'T YOU WORRY: In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd noted some fans are worried that former NFLer Ray Lewis as an analyst on ESPN this fall will "come off either as too intense, too preachy or too rambling." Cowherd: "Personally, I don't see that at all." Lewis will "prepare the same way for life behind the microphone" as he did for games. He will be "well-coached by the network," and he has "all spring and summer to polish his new craft." Some Ravens fans said that they "worry there'll be too much 'God talk' from Lewis on the set." Cowherd: "That strikes me as ridiculous" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/21).
CREATING SPACE: Fox Soccer announcer Gus Johnson, asked to evaluate his network debut calling the Manchester United-Real Madrid UEFA Champions League match, said, "It's a process, and it's not a process that will take three games. It's a process where I need 50 games. I will make mistakes, and that happens with every broadcaster, both American and English. But I got a lot of positive feedback." SI.com's Richard Deitch asked if Johnson had a message for world soccer fans watching, and Johnson responded, "I would probably say, just give me a minute. I'm going to become a convert, and once I do, I am going to give you the passion and the commitment to your sport that I do for every other sport that I'm a part of" (SI, 2/25 issue).
CYBER BULLYING: TSN on Wednesday publicly responded to "racist messages targeted at SportsCentre hosts Gurdeep Ahluwalia and Nabil Karim, strongly supporting both on-air personalities." TSN President Stewart Johnston said, "Some, not all, of the comments posted on Twitter about Nabil and Gurdeep, spoke to the worst of social media. It's noteworthy and gratifying, however, that there was significant and rapid pushback on Twitter. Nabil and Gurdeep are two accomplished broadcasters and our viewers can expect to see lots more of them on TSN" (TSN.ca, 2/20).
PASS THE MIC: TSN Radio 1050 drive-time host James Cybulski "has left the network." Cybulski was the "first drive-time host" when the network was launched in April '11. TSN's Dave Naylor on Monday "took over that time slot as part of the station's remake." Sources said that Cybulski will "soon surface at Sportsnet West" (THESTAR.com, 2/20)....Former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has "signed to work with SiriusXM NFL Radio." He began "providing analysis Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis" (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/20)....Twins TV analyst Bert Blyleven, despite "being back in uniform as pitching coach for the Dutch World Baseball Classic team," said that he has "no ambition to leave the major league broadcast booth for the major league field" (TWINCITIES.com, 2/20)....The Triple-A Int'l League Pawtucket Red Sox on Wednesday announced that Jeff Levering will "take over for the departed Aaron Goldsmith behind the microphone for the 12-station PawSox Radio Network." Levering spent the "last three seasons broadcasting games for" the Double-A Texas League Springfield Cardinals (PROVIDENCEJOURNAL.com, 2/20)....Houston's KBME-AM host Dylan Gwinn next week will "move to David Gow's Yahoo! Sports Radio." Gwinn will "host Yahoo!'s weekend shows" from noon to 4:00pm CT, beginning March 2 (CHRON.com, 2/20).