Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On The Air During An Accident

A live sports interview turns into a news story? That's what happened Wednesday (5/7) morning on Washington D.C.'s 106.7 The Fan when Nationals Manager Matt Williams was live on the air with "The Junkies" on their morning show. With a home afternoon game coming up against the Dodgers, Williams was doing his regular Wednesday morning interview live from a car while being driven to the ballpark when he announced that a car just rear-ended the one he was riding in.

Incredibly, Williams stayed on the air and described the scene as police were chasing the driver of the car that was trying to escape the scene. After Williams described what had happened, the conversation actually returned to the Nationals and the usual related topics.

That was amazing for Matt Williams to do, given that no one would have questioned him ending the conversation, at least for the moment, to deal with having been in an auto accident. Good job by "The Junkies" to continue, keep the show on the air, and handle it very well. That's what we call "breaking a story"!

It was quite the day for Williams, since the start of the afternoon game was delayed about 90 minutes due to rain, followed by both teams scoring two runs in the first inning.

The run of thrilling first round playoff series in both the NBA and NHL is paying off in the ratings as well as with fan excitement levels. TNT's extensive NBA playoff coverage is especially benefiting, showing double digit percentage increases over last year's first round coverage as well as for overall network viewership during that time. ESPN doesn't want to be reminded, but nine of the top 10 NBA first round telecasts in terms of viewership were TNT telecasts. More than 5 million viewers tuned in to at least a part of the TNT coverage of the historic Saturday (5/3) of three Game 7's.

Earlier this week, TNT's NBA studio show won Sports Emmy Awards for its production. While technically excellent, I'm afraid the studio segments themselves could use improvement in terms of content. The goofing around between the endless list of analysts has been out of control all season.
All of the talking over each other, inside jokes, and laugh fests take away from actual game analysis.

Of course, congratulations are in order for Mike Emrick on winning the play-by-play Sports Emmy for his excellent work on the NHL for NBC and NBCSN all season.

Then there was Fox Sports winning the Emmy for "Outstanding Live Sports Special" for its 2013 World Series coverage. Since when is the World Series a "Sports Special"? Didn't the Emmy people know that the World Series would be played in October? Weren't the dates and start times announced weeks ahead of time? Hasn't Fox been televising the World Series for years?

Elsewhere on the TV side, how about Seattle's KIRO-TV? While the Oklahoma City Thunder, formerly the Seattle Supersonics, play into the second round of the NBA Playoffs and are a threat to contend for the championship, KIRO-TV continues to show highlights of the Thunder's games on its local news and sportscasts. What makes this unique is that KIRO identifies the team as "Former Sonics" with its on-screen graphics instead of "Oklahoma City", "OKC", or "Thunder".

BOSTON: Not that very many people noticed, but WUFC 1510 quietly bailed from Yahoo Sports Radio and went is transitioning to a talk radio format between now and June 1st.

JACKSONVILLE: The moving of the Jaguars games over to WGNE and WJXL also means a new play-by-play voice. The new stations are placing their own Frank Frangie as the team's new voice, starting with the pre-season opener on August 8th. Frangie will no longer call college football games on Saturdays due to his new role, but is expected to continue with his weekday show. Former Jaguars Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli will return as analysts. Brian Sexton, who had been the only play-by-play voice in team history and has called every game until now, will now cover the games for, and remain with WOKV 690.

ORLANDO: WRSO 810 Sports is relaxing its "all sports" format as of this week due to bringing Bubba The Love Sponge in for its morning show.

DAVENPORT IA: KJOC 1170 is returning to sports after nearly eleven years. However, the Quad Cities station will air ESPN Radio, with "no current plans" to air any local sports talk, except when it airs play-by-play of Chicago Cubs baseball and Iowa State University football and basketball.

MILTON FL: WTKE 1490 has gone to all sports, but also with no local programs to start. Randy Williams will be the local sports reporter and cover area college and high school games. The station does hope to add two-hour morning and afternoon local shows at some point, but will air Fox Sports Radio only for now.

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