In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports the auction for the four magazines that were the "beating heart of the old Time Inc. empire," including SI, is "moving toward final bids by the suitors to Meredith Corp. by July 2." The sell-off is "taking a tad longer than Meredith hoped, but the company is still expecting a hefty return despite the titles' recent ad slumps." A source said that there are now 2-3 finalists "eyeing each title" (N.Y. POST, 6/13).
MIAMI'S VICE: SPORTING NEWS' Michael McCarthy noted ESPN is "closing in on a new deal" with Dan Le Batard. Sources said that the host of "Highly Questionable" and "The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz" is "finalizing a long-term contract extension," but the deal is "not signed yet." Le Batard's current deal is "set to expire early this summer." Keeping him would be a "feather in the cap" for ESPN's new management team under President Jimmy Pitaro. Le Batard reportedly has "discussed moving his ESPN radio show to SiriusXM" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 6/12).
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The NATIONAL POST's Dan Barnes notes veteran TSN broadcaster Rod Smith "might be offended" about having to cede some Thursday night CFL hosting territory to the net's "younger, hipper Kate Beirness." Smith said, "They want to see if they can get a younger audience because the demographic of the CFL is largely guys my age. I'm in my 50's." The installation of the 34-year-old Beirness as host for all 11 Thursday games "represents just one step toward younger and hipper." TSN also "announced a Thursday night concert series," one for each of the nine CFL venues, "aimed at younger fans" (NATIONAL POST, 6/13).