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Volume 25 No. 196
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"MLB Central" Takes Lighthearted Approach To Morning Sports TV

The broadcast team on MLB Network's "MLB Central" has done "particularly well this baseball season to bring a different vibe to morning sports TV," and the net's "lineup in particular," according to Mike Oz of YAHOO SPORTS. Show hosts Lauren Shehadi, Robert Flores and Mark DeRosa are "not screaming at fans" or "talking down to them." Instead, they are "trying to be friends with them" and hopefully "having fun with them." This is the trio’s first year doing "MLB Central" together, and they "seem to have a rapport together that fans are responding to," as show ratings are up 12% over last year. This season, they have also "taken the show on the road, doing their first live broadcast from Yankee Stadium." The show gives "deeper breakdowns of players and moments, but also fun interviews, games with MLB players and things like trying to hit a paper airplane with a baseball bat." In the age of Twitter and Instagram, the "straight-ahead highlight show is starting to get extinct," so the "challenge for a morning TV show is different." Flores said, "If we can give them our take or our spin on them -- maybe make them laugh or point out something they haven’t noticed -- that’s when we’re effective" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/1).