Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Broadcast Booth - March 23rd Update

It's so far so good with the multiple network coverage of the NCAA Tournament, now down to just CBS and TBS.

Gus Johnson and analysts Len Elmore and Reggie Miller will handle the Southeast Region on Thursday (3/24) with BYU/ Florida and Wisconsin / Butler at 8:57 p.m., both on TBS.

CBS on Thursday will air the West Region with Vern Lundquist and Bill Raftery calling San Diego State / Connecticut followed by Duke / Arizona.

On Friday, CBS has Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg doing the East with North Carolina vs. Marquette and Ohio State vs. Kentucky. While on TBS, Marv Albert and Steve Kerr get the Southwest Region in San Antonio, with Kansas vs. Richmond and VA Commonwealth vs. Florida State.

As MLB Network gets ready to open the regular season with another promise to show all 30 teams at least once with "30 Games In 30 Days", the Network has just been nominated for 8 Sports Emmy Awards.

ESPN is going to borrow from "College Game Day" and originate "Baseball Tonight" every Sunday from the site of its Sunday Night Baseball telecast. The first one will be from outside of Dodger Stadium on April 3rd. Hopefully the fans surrounding will not be anywhere near the nuisance they become on College GameDay.

NEW YORK: WCBS 880 now has Brad Heller handling the morning sports updates on an interim basis since the departure of Jared Max. Max left WCBS to move down the dial to WEPN ESPN 1050.

INDIANAPOLIS: Best wishes for a continued recovery by Bob "Slick" Leonard from his recent heart attack suffered on a Pacers road trip. The former Pacers coach and long time radio analyst is being replaced on the air by former Pacer Austin Croshere. Now at age 78, Leonard has more than 55 years in pro basketball.

ATLANTA: It was after The Broadcast Booth came out last week that the story broke of The Fan 680 reportedly firing sports update reporter Chadd Scott due to comments made on a social networking site. A comment that he had already deleted at the request of management, and was not made on the air. It merely referenced one of the station's big advertisers.

I thought that reporters and hosts on sports talk stations are encouraged to interact with fans on social media sites and online in general. Instead, The Fan 680 sends a "message" to their listeners that their employees can only express approved opinions.

And to think this guy loses his job less than 2 weeks after ESPN's Bobby Knight says the s-word on ESPN and left it for another reporter to apologize on the air. Knight is still employed by ESPN.

PITTSBURGH: The Steelers broadcasts will stay on WBGG 970 and WDVE 102.5 for next season (whenever that may be), for what will be the 14th season as the team's flagship station. No changes in the booth.

St. LOUIS: Former Rams standout tackle Orlando Pace will be making some appearances on KSLG 1380 and KFNS 590, which is good news for fans who enjoy his knowledge of the game and his new found broadcast ability. He'll remain on those stations, since Pace is now an approximately 15% owner of Grand Slam Sports (which owns the stations).

We all knew this was coming from WXOS 101.1. After earlier bringing in local legend Howard Balzer to help with the station web site, Balzer and his "Pro Football Sunday" show is back from 10 AM to Noon. Balzer is also already doing a series of NFL Draft previews airing at various times on the station. Can't help but think that within days after we know when the next NFL season will start will come an announcement that someone else will then handle the web site duties so that Balzer can do more on the air.

BALTIMORE: Members of the local media will come together for the purpose of talking Orioles baseball with fans on Friday April 8th. The Fan 105.7's Scott Garceau, WBAL 1090's Brett Hollander and Keith Mills, Rob Long of Fox Sports 1370, and MASN's Roch Kubatko and Jen Royle will each be among the panelists at a luncheon that day. It will take place at the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore.

TULSA: Oklahoma University now has a new play-by-play voice for both football and basketball starting later this year. That is the first time that sentence can be used in 51 years, since the just retired Bob Barry called Sooners games for 50 years. Yet, Toby Rowland of Oklahoma City's KWTV Channel 9 and KREF 1400, is not new to OU fans.

Rowland has called baseball, women's basketball, and other sports for OU over the years. Here's hoping he stands on his own merits and not in the shadow of Barry over the next couple of seasons.

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