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Volume 26 No. 135
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People & Personalities: Jim Cramer To Launch NFL Fantasy Sub Service

In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has "inked a new three-year production deal that will include a new NFL fantasy football subscription service," following small-cap company Maven's completed $16.8M acquisition of financial news service The Street. As part of the deal, Cramer will "run his own production company called Cramer Digital." The new NFL service -- which will "include a pre-weekend preview show on Thursdays and a post-weekend show on Tuesdays -- will also be marketed via Maven" (N.Y. POST, 8/9).

DROPPING OUT: On Long Island, Neil Best notes WFAN's Boomer Esiason is "leaving the cast of Showtime's 'Inside the NFL.'" Esiason on Thursday tweeted, "Showtime and I have mutually agreed that I will step away from my role on Inside The NFL this coming season so I can devote the time necessary for a new show venture that I will announce next week." Best notes Esiason last year "gave up his longrunning job as an analyst for Westwood One radio of its 'Monday Night Football' coverage" (NEWSDAY, 8/9).

Ankiel will return to the FS Midwest's Cardinals studio next week after an attempt to comeback as a player
Photo: getty images
Ankiel will return to the FS Midwest's Cardinals studio next week after an attempt to comeback as a player
Photo: getty images
Ankiel will return to the FS Midwest's Cardinals studio next week after an attempt to comeback as a player
Photo: getty images

BACK IN THE SADDLE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes former MLBer Rick Ankiel is "ready to make a big pitch as a baseball broadcaster" after attempting a comeback as a player. Ankiel is "set to return" to FS Midwest's Cardinals studio programming next week, and would "eventually like a bigger role." He is currently "back in the mix of FSM's Cardinals pre- and postgame analysts." That is a role he "filled for three seasons before embarking on his comeback." Ankiel has "never done a full game as an analyst" outside of Spring Training, but "hopes to do so next season" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/9).

TRIUMPHANT RETURN: Bob Costas called Saturday's Red Sox-Yankees doubleheader on YES Network, and in N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote Costas' return was "overwhelmingly enjoyed as a throwback." Costas spoke for seven hours "without relying on trite expressions, dubious stats, obsequious hype or seminars on splitters and changeups." However, he also "made it clear" during the broadcast that MLB is "in trouble" by discussing some of the issues facing the league (N.Y. POST, 8/9).