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Volume 26 No. 207
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People & Personalities: Jason Benetti Settling Into Role As White Sox Play-By-Play Announcer

In Chicago, Ed Sherman noted White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti on Saturday "introduced himself to Chicago viewers" in calling a Spring Training game against the Cubs on WGN-TV. Benetti will "handle play-by-play for the majority of Sox home games this year," while 74-year-old Hawk Harrelson, "who is cutting back on his schedule, will work mainly on the road." Benetti "wasted little time in showing off a broadcast style he says will feature pop culture references and a wry sense of humor." Sherman: "The early scouting report on Benetti: He has a terrific voice and appears to understand the cadence of calling a game." Benetti also "knows his role in setting up" analyst Steve Stone's observations. It should not "take long for them to develop a chemistry." Sherman: "It almost felt as if Benetti had been on the call for years" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/13).

SOCIETAL RESISTANCE: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote ESPN MLB analyst Jessica Mendoza is "driven not to make mistakes on the air." She said, "I can't let up. When I say something, I have to own it. When the red light goes on, I can't have any doubt." Mendoza "received good reviews as an analyst" on the net's "Sunday Night Baseball," but there was criticism that a woman "did not belong in the job." Mendoza: "Society says this is how it should be, that baseball should be called by a man. Any change gets you resistance -- 'No, I want things to be the way they are'" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/13).

TIGHT LIPS: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted while there has been "much speculation" about Peyton Manning going into TV, one network exec said that Manning "has yet to make a move signaling that he is headed in that direction." CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus: "I have no indications from Peyton or his representatives that he wants to do broadcasting." Meanwhile, outgoing ESPN "Sunday NFL Countdown" analyst Mike Ditka was "good for business because he engaged in straight talk." He did not "edit himself," and he was not "calculating, which made him far different than most mouths who analyze NFL football on television." Ditka is "engaging and unpredictable," and for this, ESPN "threw his tuchis overboard" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/13).

NOTES: Fox NFL sideline reporter Tony Siragusa was "named winner of the 13th annual Tropicana Broadcast Award." The presentation was made Friday at the Maxwell Football Club's 79th annual National Awards Gala in the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City (TRIBLIVE.com, 3/12)....CSN Mid-Atlantic will honor longtime hockey analyst Craig Laughlin during Friday’s Capitals-Predators game. Laughlin has been calling Caps games in DC for 25 years. During the game telecast, the RSN will feature a video tribute, interviews with current and former colleagues and special guests. (John Ourand, Staff Writer)