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Volume 26 No. 206
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People & Personalities: ESPN Revises Chris Mortensen's Role

Mortensen will not travel to "MNF" games anymore, instead splitting time between Bristol and Arkansas
Photo: ESPN IMAGES
Mortensen will not travel to "MNF" games anymore, instead splitting time between Bristol and Arkansas
Photo: ESPN IMAGES
Mortensen will not travel to "MNF" games anymore, instead splitting time between Bristol and Arkansas
Photo: ESPN IMAGES

In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted ESPN's Chris Mortensen will have a "revised role this season," as the longtime NFL reporter will become "more of a senior editor contributing to breaking news and content on a variety of network platforms." This change "best suits his lifestyle and health requirements," after being diagnosed with cancer in '16. Mortsensen "won't travel any longer to Monday night game sites," and instead will fly from Bristol to his "home in northwest Arkansas after his on-air hits are done that day." He also will "collaborate with reporters such as Adam Schefter as needed" (L.A. TIMES, 9/2).

COMING HOME: In Columbus, Brian Hedger notes former NHLer Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre will be the "new studio host" on FS Ohio Blue Jackets broadcasts, "replacing the retiring Bill Davidge." Grand-Pierre has "dabbled in Blue Jackets broadcasting the past three seasons during the playoffs, contributing to the team's radio broadcasts and in-house pregame productions shown on the scoreboard video screens" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/4).

JUMPED THE GUNIn Providence, Ken Schreiber noted ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit during Notre Dame-Louisville on Monday referred to a Notre Dame player as a "freshman superstar." Herbstreit is "first-rate, an intelligent guy who is articulate and knowledgeable." Schreiber: "How he could call any freshman a superstar after playing approximately 20 plays is beyond comprehension. It's all about hype and Herbstreit fell right into it" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 9/4).

STEPPING THINGS UP: In N.Y., Andrew Marchand cites sources as saying that ESPN's Dianna Russini has "signed a new deal" that will have her "adding XFL duties." As part of her new deal, Russini also will be "part of the second late-night coverage of ESPN's 'Monday Night Football' doubleheader" and will "continue to do all her reporting, hosting, etc. on the NFL" (N.Y. POST, 9/4).

NOTES: Former NFLer Donovan McNabb is joining WPEN-FM as an analyst. He will "offer his thoughts" on the Eagles every Monday during the station's morning show hosted by Marc Farzetta and former NFLer William Thomas (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/4)....Eagles reporter Molly Sullivan is joining NFL Network as a "sideline reporter" for Conference USA games. She will be working with NFL Network's Rhett Lewis and Max Starks. Sullivan's role with the Eagles also "expanded" and she will be "reporting on the team every day from practice" (TWITTER.com, 9/3)....WJFK-FM's Chad Dukes has "signed a new 2 year deal" with the station to continue hosting his "Chad Dukes Vs. The World" show (TWITTER.com, 9/3)....Boston Herald Red Sox beat reporter Michael Silverman will join the Boston Globe this month as a "sports business reporter" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/2).