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Volume 24 No. 196
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People & Personalities: Chris Simms Lauded For Work On NBC's Notre Dame Football

On Long Island, Neil Best writes under the header, "Chris Simms Not Holding Back As NBC's Notre Dame Football Analyst." Simms was "surprised to be invited to join the Notre Dame coverage, given that most of his focus is on the NFL." He said, "At first I was like: ‘What? They want me to do Notre Dame? Don’t they know all I do is talk about the NFL?’" Meanwhile, Simms said that his NBC work "does not rule out a larger role" at WFAN-AM. He has been a "frequent fill-in and over the summer had a test run as the station seeks a new afternoon show to replace the departing Mike Francesa." WFAN is "expected to announce new afternoon hosts -- as well as a new morning co-host for Boomer Esiason -- in the next several weeks" (NEWSDAY, 10/20).

GRADING SCALE: In Albany, Pete Dougherty compared FS1 and TBS' MLB postseason broadcasts. FS1's John Smoltz is "this generation's Tim McCarver." He is "insightful, authoritative and well-prepared." TBS' Ron Darling's broadcasting tenure is "much like his playing career." He is a "solid No. 2 but not the staff ace." He "offers a lot and has a confident delivery, but sometimes he stays on a point too long." FS1's Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal are "used judiciously" and "offer substantive information when called upon." TBS' Sam Ryan is an "excellent interviewer but has a tough task trying to top the Fox duo." Meanwhile, FS1 has its scorebox in the "lower right, TBS at top left." FS1's is "not only cleaner (TBS uses team logos rather than names), it also is larger" (Albany TIMES UNION, 10/20).

WEIGHING HER OPTIONS
: In DC, Dan Steinberg notes Lindsay Czarniak's ESPN contract expired over the summer, and while she had an offer to return, she and the net "could not settle upon a time slot and a role that both sides found appealing." Czarniak "wants to get back into broadcasting" and "thinks her future is in sports." But she is also "interested in reporting on broader topics." She "doesn’t even rule out a return to ESPN one day, speaking fondly of her time there" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/20).

END OF THE LINE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports longtime Univ. of Missouri radio basketball analyst Gary Link has been "fired after 21 seasons." Mizzou did "not give a reason for the removal." Link's replacement is "expected to be hired" before the start of the regular season on Nov. 10 when Mizzou faces Iowa State. Chris Gervino, the sideline reporter on football broadcasts who also has done basketball, will "be the analyst" for Sunday's Kansas-Missouri men's basketball exhibition at Sprint Center alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Kelly (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/20).