People & Personalities: Big Ten Network Snags ESPN's Bardo For Hoops Analysis
SI.com's Richard Deitsch reported the Big Ten Network has signed "longtime ESPN college basketball analyst" and former Univ. of Illinois G Stephen Bardo. Bardo, who had been with ESPN since '05, signed a "multi-year deal with the network and will do a mix of games and studio." He said, "I think I did a pretty good job of establishing myself there and I think I am good at what I do. So now I thought: What did I want? Did I want to be at ESPN and hope to get an upper-echelon assignment, or go to a place where I could be more appreciated? The Big Ten is part of the footprint where I played, and I think I have a brand there" (SI.com, 5/5).
MORE ADDITIONS TO KING'S SITE: SI.com's Peter King writes his new football website will launch July 22, and is "adding a couple of strong column voices" in Deitsch and ESPN NFL business reporter Andrew Brandt. Deitsch will "write a column once a week for the site, as well as do some longer pieces on the influence of TV in the game we watch." He will "still do his fine work for both SI and SI.com, but for us he'll be NFL only." Brandt, a former agent and Packers VP, will "write a column on the business of football once a week, and write longer pieces when good stories come up" (SI.com, 5/6).
TOO MUCH TIME? In Denver, Dusty Saunders notes Rockies play-by-play announcer Jeff Huson has been "getting a lot of single-analyst time with Drew Goodman in the Rockies' Root Sports broadcasting booth this season." While "accurate and knowledgeable about players and the game, Huson still has a monotone-style delivery that too often sounds like he's lecturing a college class about the rudiments of baseball." Huson should "use shorter sentences with more 'pop' when describing what is happening." He "too often spends time commenting on the obvious, which has been covered on the field by the cameras" (DENVER POST, 5/6).
JET SETTER: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote the odds of free agent QB Tim Tebow "landing a TV gig as a college football analyst are much better" than the possibility of him landing one in the NFL, if he "wants to take the plunge." There is "no bigger name on the current Fox Sports roster, no bigger new name it could bring to FS1," than Tebow. ESPN execs are "aware Tebow could be in play." But "word is they believe he will be playing football somewhere this season" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/5). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote "even as his NFL relevance shrinks to near-absolute zero, the networks will be ready to pull hair and throw money at Tebow whenever Tebow is ready for them" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/5).
NEW ON THE SCENE: In DC, Dan Steinberg reported WRC-NBC has "hired Dianna Russini as a sports anchor and reporter." Her broadcasting career "has taken her" to N.Y.'s WNBC-NBC, Long Island’s News12, Comcast SportsNet Northwest and most recently WVIT-NBC in Hartford (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/3).