There I was on Thursday morning checking one of the web sites I go to in order to check the sports news "headlines". Once again, that's not entirely what I saw. As it seems I point out here every week, it's time that Sports Directors and editors make sure that "news" really is news.
One supposed headline story was about where Manny Ramirez could wind up. Sorry, but that is speculation, and NOT news. At the moment (as of this writing) Manny is being Manny with the Dodgers. This should not be a news story until or unless he goes elsewhere. I found myself offended that this is a sports "news" headline.
Another supposed "headline" was about the Orange Bowl signing a new sponsor. A headline??? Please, give me a break. Someone should have been called to the boss' office to explain this. No matter what, college football fans will continue to call it the "Orange Bowl". We don't care who the sponsor is. Nor is it "sports news" that it changed. This has zero impact on which teams will participate, on the players themselves, the betting line, ticket prices, and all the rest. Business news? Maybe, since it is a large corporate advertising and marketing commitment. Sports news? Absolutely not, especially for a supposed "headline".
WASHINGTON D.C.: We could say that Rob Dibble is still throwing curveballs even though he hasn't pitched in years. Dibble did not work the final 2 games of the Nationals' series against the Chicago Cubs on MASN after reporting asking for some time off. (On one hand, if you can get out of watching that matchup, I suppose I can understand.) Ray Knight stepped in to work along with Bob Carpenter for the games.
The missed games did come on the heels of Dibble being critical of Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg for going on the DL and not pitching through the injuries that have saddled the rookie phenom over the past month. During a recent telecast, Dibble more than once was critical of two female fans seated behind home plate (and on camera a lot from the center field view) for what he considered not following the game closely, for which he later apologized.
While we don't know for sure this was really some sort of suspension, my concern is that Dibble made his comments about Strasburg on his Sirius XM Radio show, and NOT within a MASN Nationals telecast. But either way, he was expressing an opinion.
CHICAGO: Long time sportscaster George Ofman has been hired by WBBM NewsRadio 780 as a sports anchor and reporter starting next Monday (8/30). He leaves rival WGN Radio where he had been handling some of the pre and post-game programming for that station's Blackhawks and Cubs broadcasts along with updates. Ofman has been on the Chicago sports scene for more than 30 years, going back to SportsPhone Chicago in the late 70's. He is most known for his work on WSCR The Score 670 from its beginning in January 1992 until 2009.
Mark Grote, who had been handling sports updates on WBBM, moves over to WSCR The Score (sister station) to handle morning show sports updates and is also expected to get his own weekend sports talk show.
Further across the dial, former WGN Radio afternoon drive talk host continues to "fill in" on WMVP 1000 with a sports talk show on Sundays. His "experiment" show has aired during the previous 3 Sundays, and reportedly will lead to more assignments on the station.
WMVP 1000 will sponsor a "Fantasy Football Championship Convention" this coming Saturday (8/28) at a suburban casino. The day-long event will include a live broadcast of the station's 2-hour fantasy football show, an appearance by "Da Coach" Mike Ditka, and formation of several fantasy leagues which will draft the same day. This could definitely catch on at WMVP and around the country if successful. A great audience participation idea that also doesn't eat up valuable air time.
PHILADELPHIA: Former Eagle Ike Reese will also be handling more sports anchor duties for Channel 3 (CBS), while continuing his role on the Sunday Kickoff program for the coming regular season.
Reese continues on CBS' WIP SportsRadio 610 with Howard Eskin during the 3 to 7 PM weekday slot.
WIP's Anthony Gargano, who co-hosts middays with Glen Macnow, will soon begin a network show for Fox Sports Radio, which is expected to orginate from Philadelphia.
ATLANTA: Another sports station, but this one will be in Spanish. WWWE 1100 will begin airing ESPN Deportes on Monday (8/30). (If you are wondering, the WWWE call letters used to be on 1100 AM in Cleveland, aired both the Indians and Cavaliers broadcasts, and had Pete Franklin talking sports at night.)
DENVER: John Elway will switch his weekly NFL analysis and again join Vic Lombardi and Gary Miller on The Ticket 87.7. He will appear every Friday morning at 8:00 during the football season in what is believed to be a 2-year deal.
PORTLAND: KPAM 860 will again air the weekly Oregon State football show on Thursdays at 7 PM starting this week (8/26). Play-by-play voice Mike Parker will host the show with coach Mike Riley live from a local restaurant.
KANSAS CITY: SportsRadio WHB continues its in-depth coverage of the Chiefs during training camp. In addition to several live broadcasts from training camp, the station scored a lengthy interview with Chiefs' GM Scott Pioli about both the team and the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium.
DALLAS: The Ticket 1310 will begin airing a high school scoreboard show each Friday night at 11 PM. The 1-hour show will be co-hosted by David Newbury along with Brandon George (of the Morning News). The station's high school coverage will also be supplemented by HSGameTime.com. This is a more realistic use of a sports station web site than blowing off news merely to take more calls from fans.
HOUSTON: Fox Sports Houston goes into expanded football mode over the next couple of weeks. The network will air a weekly show featuring the Texans as well as carry coach Gary Kubiak's Monday news conferences. Next Thursday (9/2) begins Owls Insider, the weekly show about Rice University football.
The "High School Sports Live" weekly TV show will no longer air on KTBU-TV after 10 years of what many consider to be a successful run. No word yet on a replacement outlet, whether on a cable network or over-the-air.
SALT LAKE CITY: Sorry to learn of the passing of Chris Tunis at the age of 54 following a battle with cancer. Tunis handled sports talk on KSL 1160 and called play-by-play for Brigham Young among his other accomplishments. He will be missed.
SEATTLE: ESPN 710 will air a 2-hour memorabilia auction for charity on Tuesday Sept. 14 from 11 AM to 1 PM. The event will be in support of the Fred Hutchinson Center's Pete Gross House. Gross was the original play-by-play voice of the Seahawks who died from cancer in 1992.
CHARLOTTE: WZGV-AM 730 has switched from oldies to all sports as of this week (8/23), carrying Fox Sports Radio. The Sports Director will be former Panthers voice Bill Rosinski, who will continue to do college football games for ESPN. Rosinski may soon add a local show in the morning. "Sports Yapp" with Bryce Johnson will move from sister station WAVO 1150 into the 3-5 PM spot within the next few weeks. The station will carry some NFL game broadcasts along with Appalachian State University football and basketball broadcasts.
Meanwhile, now "rival" WFNZ has added former Panthers receiver Muhsin Muhammad as a host for it's "Primetime" show on Thursdays, with other duties at the station expected to follow.
RALEIGH: WDNC 620 The Buzz will carry a Friday night High School Game of the Week broadcast including a 30-minute pre-game show. Drew Smith and Jerod Brooks will have the call. Sister station The Fan 99.9 will air "High School OT" with host Chris Morris on Saturday mornings to recap the area's Friday action.
LOUISVILLE: WKJK TalkRadio 1080 has added a 10 AM to Noon sports show hosted by Matt Jones and Zach McCrite as of this week. McCrite was most recently a host on WQKC-FM which was shut down earlier this month. Jones will continue to host University of Kentucky post-game shows on sister station WHAS-AM.
ARKANSAS: Former running back Michael Smith has been hired by The Hog Sports Radio as a reporter and host. Smith handled sideline reporting during the University of Arkansas spring game telecast. While it figures to be a great oppportunity for Smith, the opening occurred because of the female reporter fired last week supposedly because of wearing the cap of a rival school to a press conference.
BATON ROUGE: Eagle 98.1 and LSUSports.net/live will carry the coach Les Miles Show each Wednesday night through November. It will again be hosted by play-by-play voice (for football, basketball, and baseball) Jim Hawthorne, who will be calling the games for his 29th season.
WARRENSBURG MO: Southwest Missouri coach Jim Svoboda will again have his show on KOKO 1450 and 98.5 FM each Wednesday at 7 PM throughout the season, along with WarrensburgRadio.com.
BIG TEN NETWORK: Eric Collins and Tom Hart have been added to the network's roster of play-by-play voices for football telecasts this season. Former NFL standout Dan Dierdorf has been added as an analyst.
The Network has also announced an estimated 61 conference basketball telecasts for the upcoming season and a total of 108 hoops telecasts when including non-conference home games.