TBS' Ernie Johnson Talks Selection Show As Twitter Voices Its Opinion
Turner's Ernie Johnson today acknowledged the criticism that TBS' broadcast of Selection Sunday received, but he said the net "wanted to put our stamp" on the program. Appearing on ESPN Radio's "Golic & Wingo" this morning, Johnson said, "There were decisions to have a studio audience, to having a bigger studio, to announce all the teams early on and get all the information out and front-loaded so that we could get everybody in the know." He noted the show two years ago drew heat for taking "well over an hour to get all the field out, so the decision was to front-load it, get all the information out." Johnson noted it took less than 40 minutes last night to announce all the teams in the tournament and unveil the entire bracket." Johnson: "I know that if you tinker with something like the selection show, there are going to be folks who say, ‘Hey, don't touch it, don't change it,’ and that kind of thing. We certainly expected it, but I thought we had a great time. We got all the information out, we had great interviews with coaches in there" (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 3/12).
IF IT AIN'T BROKE...: ESPN's Mike Greenberg tweeted, "There was absolutely nothing wrong with doing this the way they've always done it. This is a great example of fixing something that was not broken." The Toledo Blade's Kyle Rowland: "It's absolutely mind boggling how CBS/Turner Sports have ruined the Selection Show, literally one of the easiest things in television to not ruin. Fire everybody." The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw: "Alphabetical intros. Studio audience. The absolute definition of Trying Too Hard." The L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke: "Dramatic announcements of Automatic Qualifiers?...um, we already know them."
FORMAT ISSUES: The Indianapolis Star's Gregg Doyel called the show "moronic" and wrote, "Worst 'decision' since LeBron James. CBS took its March Madness talents to a deserted island and left them there." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sean Gentille: "The ncaa selection show is like if you went to a movie and someone read a wikipedia summary of the plot out loud during the opening credits." ESPN Louisville's Drew Deener: "So TBS tells the number one college basketball market it’s ok to stop watching the selection show at 6:10. Great idea. Idiots." The Athletic's Ken Pomeroy: "If there's a selection show that should have a studio audience it's the NIT selection show."
AUDIO GLITCH: The Washington Post's Tim Bontemps noted the sound issues that plagued the first few minutes of the show were "not a great start for the new-look broadcast." The Ringer's Michael Baumann: "I'm absolutely amazed at how long TBS kept going with the audio and video out of sync." South Carolina-based WOLO-ABC's Mike Gillespie: "No way I can watch this if the audio is off the entire time." KentuckySportsRadio.com's Matt Jones: "Is the sound on the Selection show not synced with their lips moving for anyone but me?"
SURVEY SAYS: USA Today's Lindsay Jones: "Never thought we’d find something that everyone on Twitter would agree upon, but here we are. This selection show blows." Pittsburgh-based KDKA-FM's Colin Dunlap: "I think I speak for all of America watching this selection show when I say: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?" numberFire's JJ Zachariason: "America is uniting. All it took was a horrible Selection Sunday show format." Hornets F Frank Kaminsky: "I didn’t wanna tweet but this selection show is too awful to stay quiet." Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel: "The CBI runs a better selection show than this." The Ringer's Rodger Sherman: "Was the selection show ever good, or do we just have to complain about how bad this specific selection show is every single year."