SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted ESPN tennis analyst Chris Evert joined the net three years ago "after a decade-long gap between broadcasting assignments, and her work has steadily improved each year she has been on ESPN’s airwaves." She is "never going to be an analyst on the Mary Carillo level -- and she certainly has her critics on social media -- but she’s become knowledgeable about the players on tour and an enjoyable and often-thoughtful voice." Evert said that her ESPN contract "is up next year and she would like to continue broadcasting." Evert: "I’m not looking to have [a] 10-year contract, but I would love to go another two or three years" (SI.com, 9/2).
NEAL'S DEAL: In Miami, Michelle Kaufman reports Florida Int'l Univ. "has decided to credential" the Miami Herald's David Neal "for the remainder of the season." Neal’s access to FIU coaches and athletes "had been reduced for months," and he was "not allowed to attend football practice or conduct interviews." The school in a statement last week explained its decision to deny Neal's credential, citing "concerns ... about the reporter’s interactions with our student athletes, coaches and staff." Kaufman notes the Herald "examined Neal’s coverage and found it to be fair and professional" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/3).
VIEWING HAB-ITS: Sportsnet yesterday announced a three-year deal with the Canadiens, becoming the official English-language regional TV rightsholder. The new agreement begins this season and includes 42 regional games. When combined with the national package of 40 Canadiens games, the NHL on Sportsnet will deliver to fans all 82 regular-season games across nine channels (Sportsnet).
BOOTH LOVE: In Chicago, Ed Sherman noted Northwestern on Saturday "named the Ryan Field radio booth" after alum and WGN Sports Dir Dave Eanet, who is "in his 25th year calling football and basketball games for the school." Meanwhile, the radio station will honor Cubs play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes "in what will be the station's last year with the team." He "will be enshrined in WGN's Walk of Fame on Sept. 24." Hughes "has called Cubs games for 19 years on the station." The Cubs "will begin a long-term deal with WBBM-AM 780 next year" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 9/2).
CLEVELAND CITY OF LIGHT: The Northeast Ohio Media Group yesterday named its new team of NBA beat reporters. Former Comcast Sportsnet Northwest Trail Blazers reporter Chris Haynes takes over the Cavaliers' beat, and former Columbus Dispatch government reporter Joe Vardon will cover F LeBron James exclusively. Vardon will "pay attention to James' basketball exploits," as well as his individual business and charitable work. Meanwhile, Chris Fedor joined the media group last fall and is the third member of its NBA team (CLEVELAND.com, 9/2).