Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rough Week For Sports Media

This is the roughest week in sports media of any during the nine years of producing this blog. Of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to those in the south whose lives are uprooted by Irma and Harvey.

In recent years, Miami area sports talk radio has not done all that well in terms of total audience. As of press time, there is no audience for it, but now with good reason. WAXY 790 The Ticket remained off the air (at press time). WINZ 940 remained on the air because its transmitter is located on higher ground. Ownership made the (understandable) decision to move WIOD 610 news/talk programming over to 940 indefinitely, thus bouncing WINZ's sports programming. As a result, Miami goes from two sports stations to none for the moment.

In addition to that story, we have the story (which broke moments after we posted last week) about WFAN host Craig Carton having been charged with fraud and taken off his morning show with Boomer Esiason. Instead of publicly talking about this on WFAN, Esiason instead went on WBZ-FM Boston's morning show (Toucher & Rich) to voice his support of Carton and admit the heartbreak of this unfortunate development.

Also within the past week, the sports world lost legendary producer and director Don Ohlmeyer at the age of 72. Ohlmeyer became a household name among sports fans with ABC in the 1970's when his credits included the 1972 Munich Olympics and becoming Producer of Monday Night Football during the era of Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell.

Too many people have forgotten what might be his biggest contribution to televised sports. After he joined NBC in the late 70's, he was the first to provide fans with "in game" updates during NFL telecasts, as well as innovating the whiparound coverage of the NCAA Tournament. (Many younger fans don't realize that for many years local stations would air the most appropriate games for the market only.) It was also Ohlmeyer who ended the delayed telecast of the Wimbledon tournament by creating "Breakfast at Wimbledon".

Enough of the unfortunate stories for one week.

Week 2 of the NFL season brings Los Angeles viewers only one "non Los Angeles" telecast on Sunday. The market gets both local teams during the late game slot, with the Chargers on CBS and the Rams as the Fox telecast. As a result, the only early game available over the air in L.A. will be the Fox primary regional telecast of Philadelphia at Kansas City. The market does not get to see the Dallas at Denver doubleheader game matchup.

What will be more interesting will be the ratings in San Diego for the NFL late games. Fox in San Diego will carry the Dallas at Denver game, which goes up against the departed Chargers game against Miami on the CBS affiliate at the same time.

There is some great media news for football fans everywhere. Coach John Madden is feeling better going into this season, and after a year off due to health concerns, has returned to San Francisco's KCBS 740 and KFRC 106.9. His NFL analysis is, once again, airing several times a day. Even though he is only heard in the one market, it's wonderful that he is back on the media scene.

St. LOUIS: Going by the name of Frank O. Pinion, he will move from KTRS after nearly 20 years over to KFNS 590 starting on October 2nd. Pinion has a new deal which allows him a large percentage of advertisers he is bringing to the KFNS. As it goes in radio these days, it's the money and not the content. It seems that Pinion publicly admitted that he is not very knowledgeable about sports. His new contract reportedly runs though 2020, and forces Cam Janssen and T.J. Moe to move from 3 to 6 PM up to the 1 to 3 PM slot in the process. As of press time, there is a likely possibility of more changes to the weekday schedule.

It was also revealed that KFNS plans to run 16 minutes of commercials each hour during Pinion's show. Even if Pinion did know enough about sports to legitimately host an afternoon drive sports show, there wouldn't be much time for comments anyway.

NEW ORLEANS: Just as the season opener did not go well for the Saints on Monday (9/11) night, the same can be said for WDSU-TV, the station which has former Saints coach Jim Mora as a post-game analyst. During the loss, studio host Scott Walker made the off-air comment about Mora growing impatient as the evening got later. Host Fletcher Mackel told Mora about this on camera, to which Mora reacted, "He's full of s#@$". Mora did not realize that he was live the on the air when he said it.

When the others on set reacted and told him, Mora still didn't believe they were on the air. But it was there for all to see.

MADISON: WTSO The Big 1070 got a bit bigger, adding a new local midday show, "The Rundown with Jon Arias" starting at 11 AM. This show now serves as the lead in for The Drew Olson show which the station brings in from nearby WOKY Milwaukee. Arias replaces Fox's Rich Eisen program, allowing the station to focus more on Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers football.

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