People & Personalities: Fouts Off Of Chargers Preseason Broadcasts
In San Diego, Jay Posner reports Pro Football HOFer Dan Fouts "won't be calling" preseason games for the Chargers this season, though his departure is "not related in any way" to recent comments he made about the team. Fouts is out "due to issues with his personal schedule" and will be replaced by fellow HOFer LaDainian Tomlinson. A team spokesperson indicated that the initial plan was for both Fouts and Tomlinson to call games this year along with play-by-play broadcaster Spero Dedes, and the club "hopes that will happen next summer." Fouts last week told a San Diego radio station, "Don't ever refer to me as a Los Angeles Charger." Meanwhile, Posner reports NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah will replace Nick Hardwick as the team's "new radio color analyst" for the regular season and playoffs, while Mario Solis will replace Jorge Villanueva on the "Spanish language play-by-play duties" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/11).
DON'T LEAVE, PAWWWWWL: USA TODAY's Dan Wolken writes the biggest story heading into next week's SEC Media Days is whether Paul Finebaum is "on the verge of leaving the SEC Network and taking both his influential show and devoted audience of listeners somewhere else." His contract with ESPN expires at the end of July, and reports indicate negotiations "have been contentious." Despite that, a source said that the story was "overblown" and that "speculation of his departure was unsubstantiated." The "prevailing sense" is that Finebaum and ESPN will "find a way to get a deal done because, if nothing else, it makes little sense to end a relationship that has been good for both sides" (USA TODAY, 7/11).
After 11 amazing yrs. filled w/laughs, debates & even tears, this is my last week working @espn & @espnlosangeles My gratitude runs deep for every executive, co-host, co-worker & fan on this journey. Going to miss it all, but I am so excited to create many more media memories! pic.twitter.com/RQkJKnX4CQ— Marcellus Wiley (@marcelluswiley) July 10, 2018
COMINGS & GOINGS AT ESPN: Marcellus Wiley yesterday confirmed on Twitter he is leaving ESPN after 11 years. It was reported last month that Wiley was likely heading to FS1 (THE DAILY). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Andrew Marchand cited sources as saying that former NFLer Dan Orlovsky has "agreed to be a football analyst with ESPN" for both college and the NFL. Sources also said that NFL Network's Kay Adams is "in talks about moving" to ESPN. A source said that Adams would "work on fantasy football broadcasts." She currently co-hosts "Good Morning Football" on NFL Net, and she "could be an interesting addition in Bristol with ESPN's new morning show, 'Get Up!' potentially undergoing changes at some point down the road" (NYPOST.com, 7/10).
TAYLOR, SWIFT: THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch writes ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman comes off as someone who has "done his homework whether calling a domestic league game (MLS), the U.S. national team or discussing global soccer as he has with the World Cup." Twellman "clearly cares deeply about the sport" and he has "developed a nice post-playing career at ESPN" (THEATHLETIC.com, 7/11).
BACK IN THE POCKET: In Pittsburgh, Brian Batko noted Pat Bostick is returning as radio analyst for Pitt football "after two years mostly away from the microphone." He had served as the full-time analyst from '11-15, and he is "again adding radio duties to his day job as associate director for major gifts" for the school's athletic program. Bill Osborn was the primary analyst the past two years. Bostick will re-join play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove and sideline reporter Larry Richert (POST-GAZETTE.com, 7/10).
NOTES: DC-area radio and TV host Phil Wood had quadruple bypass surgery last month and "hasn't yet decided when he'll resume his media roles, though he's expecting to return in late July or early August." Wood appears on MASN and on the Nationals Radio Network (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/10)....The K.C. Star has hired Brooke Pryor and Lynn Worthy as "full-time Chiefs beat reporters." Pryor previously covered Oklahoma football for the Oklahoman, while Worthy covered Univ. of Utah sports for the Salt Lake Tribune (KANSASCITY.com, 7/10).