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Volume 24 No. 117
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People & Personalities: YES Network Makes Several Changes To Nets Broadcast Team

In N.Y., Brian Lewis reported YES Network is "shuffling its Nets broadcast team, sliding former sideline reporter Sarah Kustok over to the broadcast table and making her an analyst." They are hiring Pacers PA announcer Michael Grady to "fill the sideline spot."  Mike Fratello, the lead TV analyst last season, "will be moving to the studio" (N.Y. POST, 9/16).

MAKE FOOTBALL FUN AGAIN: In Chicago, Mike McGraw wrote "Good Morning Football" host Kyle Brandt is "well-suited for his role" on NFL Network. Brandt has football and academic credentials, having been a "three-year letter winner at Princeton." He has the "acting background, and he seems to relate well to the show's target audience, the obsessive fantasy football player." Brandt said that his goal every day is to "have fun, and to make football fun." Brandt: "There's way too much screaming, way too much debating, way too much animosity right now on sports shows. We have none of that. It is always a good time" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 9/17).

OUT OF THE PARK: On Long Island, Neil Best noted Baseball HOFers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are "in their element" at MLB Network -- and are "aware they are speaking not only to fans." Smoltz and Martinez were both "engaging interview subjects as players and figured to make good analysts." Martinez, who joined MLB Network in '15, has "been a revelation" (NEWSDAY, 9/17).

NOTES: The Blazers announced that longtime radio play-by-play announcer Brian Wheeler "signed a multi-year contract extension to remain the voice of the team's radio broadcast." Wheeler has been part of the Blazers radio broadcast for "over two decades" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/17)....Former LSU basketball coach John Brady will join the LSU Sports Radio Network this season, "working as an analyst alongside second-year play-by-play man Chris Blair" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 9/16).