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Volume 26 No. 91
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People & Personalities: Kendrick Perkins Embraces New On-Air Role

THE RINGER's Bryan Curtis noted former player Kendrick Perkins has been an NBA analyst "for only three months," but since the postseason started, he has "been on TV all the time." Perkins was in "such high demand that he appeared on competing networks in the same time slot." Perkins as an analyst is "part Charles Barkley, part Stephen A. Smith, and part" Adrian Wojnarowski. Perkins, after not finding a team to play for this past season, "retired on the Woj Pod," and the interview "turned out to be so engaging that ESPN called to book him" on "Get Up." By June, Perkins was "churning out daily hits on ESPN, FS1, and local sports radio stations." Perkins "thought he was publicly auditioning to be a coach," but the universe "seemed to [be] nudging him toward a career in TV" (THERINGER.com, 7/18).

SMOOTH AS SILK: In Boston, Chad Finn notes Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in his second season in NBC Sports' broadcast booth, and while he "might not receive the same quantity of raves" as CBS' Tony Romo, his contributions as a "charismatic, insightful, and effortlessly likable analyst of his sport are of similar high quality." Earnhardt has been a "spectacular addition" to NBC Sports' NASCAR coverage. His "chemistry with lead announcer Rick Allen, analyst Steve Letarte, and former driver Jeff Burton comes across as effortless" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/19).

MOVING INTO NEW ROLES: In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura noted ESPN is "considering pairing" Wes Durham and Roddy Jones as a broadcast team on the upcoming ACC Network. Jones is a former Georgia Tech football player who began his broadcasting career in '14 as the "analyst for Tech's radio team, then advancing to field-analyst jobs at Raycom and ESPN." With "more opportunities at the ACC Network possible and some additional work with SiriusXM satellite radio, Jones is nearing a point where it will be his only vocation." Durham and Jones "will be joined" by former NFLer Eric Wood, who played at Louisville and "will contribute from the sidelines" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/18). Meanwhile, in Louisville, Cameron Robinson reports Wood has "now locked in a full-time broadcasting position" after being "introduced as a field analyst" for the ACC Net. Wood made "three different on-air appearances" last college football season to test the "broadcasting waters" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 7/19).

NOTES: ESPN's Adam Amin is "on the rise" at the net, as he has been "promoted to do Thursday night college football with Matt Hasselbeck." Amin, like Hasselbeck, is in the "final year of his contract, which makes the duo an interesting combination." Amin "may be ESPN's top pure football play-by-player and it wouldn't be surprising if other networks have interest in him" (N.Y. POST, 7/19)....A SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial stated former NFLer Ryan Leaf five years ago when he was in prison "never could have imagined having the job he has now" -- an ESPN college football analyst. Former prisoners "deserve second chances." It "should be seen as the American way" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).