People & Personalities: Rick Reilly Reportedly Re-Signing With ESPN
SI's Richard Deitsch on his Twitter feed reported that ESPN's Rick Reilly "will re-sign" with the net and that a formal announcement is expected soon (TWITTER.com, 3/20). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Matt Yoder wrote if Reilly is returning to ESPN, "I'd imagine it is at a greatly reduced rate." At this point, it could be "a situation where Reilly has nowhere else to go." His recent work has been "widely panned and the criticism has been harsh for Reilly's ESPN career." Yoder: "I'd put him in the same category as Bob Knight. Big name hires that for whatever reason didn't work out as ESPN envisioned" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 3/21).
SCALING BACK: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes MLB Cardinals radio announcer Mike Shannon is "about to enter his 43rd season" in the booth, so "not surprisingly, he is cutting back a bit in his broadcast schedule this season." He had been "taking off about 15 games in recent seasons, but that number is set to roughly double this year." Cardinals Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Dan Farrell said that "most -- if not all -- absences will be for road games and primarily on three-city trips beginning with one in mid-April." FS Midwest broadcasters Rick Horton and Al Hrabosky are "to be the primary fill-ins when Shannon is absent" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/22).
ON THE MEND: The POST-DISPATCH's Caesar notes at KXFN-AM in St. Louis on Thursday, things "quickly turned from the comparatively trivial jock-jabbering to a scary health situation" as afternoon drive-time program co-host Jeff Gordon "passed out while on the air shortly after the show signed" on at 3:00pm CT. Gordon and partner Brian McKenna were broadcasting when Gordon "became ill and fainted." McKenna said, "It was scary. On the air I had to let our producer know what was going on, so I said 'Hey John we've got to go to break, Gordo just passed out.' So he threw it to break." Gordon early Thursday night said that he "was feeling better" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/22).