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Volume 26 No. 174
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People & Personalities: Bob Costas Denies Marquee Sports Net Role

Bob Costas said there was "no possibility" of him joining the Cubs' Marquee Sports Network when it debuts next season. Costas said, "There really hasn't even been any communication between the two sides. ... Quite frankly, I'm not looking for that sort of day-to-day baseball job." He added, "I don't see my next primary broadcast job, if there is to be one, doing baseball, especially on a local level" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 10/17).

Darke (l) and Twellman don't conversate much outside of the booth, but are happy together during games
Photo: espn images
Darke (l) and Twellman don't conversate much outside of the booth, but are happy together during games
Photo: espn images
Darke (l) and Twellman don't conversate much outside of the booth, but are happy together during games
Photo: espn images

DYNAMIC DUO: ESPN soccer analyst Ian Darke said of his chemistry with on-air partner Taylor Twellman, "I don't ring Taylor up too much between assignments. But we meet up when we are around these games and we get on with the job and we have done it now for quite a long time. It is quite nice, really, because you never know when you are speaking on-air how it is going down at all. ... I am very gratified that people seem to like it." Twellman said, "I will not hear from Ian for four months and we show up for U.S.-Canada in Toronto and it is as if he has been here the entire time. Yet, I also give credit to ESPN because I think it makes the broadcast better, that we are different. Because you get different perspectives" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/17).

IN A REAL PICKLE: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote Matt Vasgersian is a "solid announcer who was handicapped on 'Sunday Night Baseball' by ESPN's stubborn insistance" that the weekly MLB broadcast "play like a roundtable talk show with too many panelists rather than, you know, a baseball game." Whoever is in the "SNB" booth next season -- whether it is Vasgersian, Jon Sciambi, Karl Ravech or Dave Flemming -- will "struggle ensuring everybody is heard in a three-person booth -- or four if you count reporter Buster Olney, whose mic time has increased" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/17).

TALENTED FORMER TEAMMATES: In Cleveland, Joey Morona reported former NBAer Channing Frye will "join NBA TV's rotating group of analysts on 'NBA GameTime' this season." The nightly program has a "stacked roster of 16 former players," so it is "not clear how often Frye will appear." But because the show "airs so often," Frye should have "plenty of opportunities to make an impact" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/17). THE BIG LEAD's Ryan Glasspiegel wrote former NBAer Richard Jefferson is a "good bet" as an upcoming media personality, and fans are "going to be seeing a lot of him this upcoming basketball season." ESPN will have Jefferson "'prominently featured' in their NBA pregame studio coverage" this season. A source said that Jefferson also will be a color commentator on a "'handful' of games." Jefferson also does Nets games for YES Network (THEBIGLEAD.com, 10/16).

TAKING ON A NEW ROLE: The TRIBUNE's Rosenthal noted NBC Sports Chicago named ESPN Radio's Jason Goff its new Bulls pre- and postgame host, succeeding Mark Schanowski, who last summer said that he "plans to reduce his workload after 13 years with the channel." Goff is "set to make his debut" Oct. 23 for the team's home opener against the Hornets. He also will appear on various NBC Sports Chicago programs and "cross-platform portals" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/17).