In Akron, George Thomas wrote the "primary reason" CBS altered its NFL pregame show lineup was ratings. CBS' "The NFL Today" trails "Fox NFL Sunday" by 1.5 million viewers on average, which is "huge for daytime Sundays." Fox averaged 4.8 million viewers this past season, while CBS averaged 3.3 million. CBS is "is trying to reformulate chemistry." Some claim that the analyst change "was long overdue," and "they could be right, but if chemistry is an issue the powers that be are dead wrong." If issues "existed between a cast that includes James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason, they never showed on screen" (OHIO.com, 2/19).
IF YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE: On Long Island, Neil Best noted Mets radio announcer Howie Rose on Monday "sought to downplay the momentousness" of the team's switch from having its games on WFAN-AM and FM to WOR-AM. Rose is "believed to have signed a longer-term deal" than fellow announcer Josh Lewin, but the "bottom line is that despite the seismic shift" in N.Y. baseball radio this season, both Rose and Lewin and Yankees radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will be back (NEWSDAY, 2/18).
KEEP THE PAYCHECKS COMING: In Houston, David Barron reported the conversation on Tuesday in the CSN Houston bankruptcy case "turned to the nuts and bolts of keeping the network on the air -- as in paying employees and other matters -- while the bankruptcy case is on appeal." The RSN's employees "will continue to be paid while the network is in bankruptcy, and attorneys will return to court" tomorrow to "iron out more details." Friday also is the date of the "first conference on the Astros’ appeal" before U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Hughes (CHRON.com, 2/18).
PINNING 'EM DOWN: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht reports ESPN will have its "most extensive coverage ever" of the NCAA Wrestling Championships next month at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Fans for the first time "will be able to watch all of the matches." ESPN "will provide coverage of all eight mats" on ESPN3, and network coverage on ESPNU and ESPN will "increase from 11-plus hours to 19 hours." The increased coverage also "will boost ESPN personnel for the championships." Including mat reporters, about 15 announcers "will be used to go with about 50 staffers" (OKLAHOMAN, 2/20).