Et Cetera of Sports Media#12

Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders

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It’s time for another fine edition of the Et Cetera of Sports Media, we have updates & the latest news going on in the world of Sports Media for now, the fall & even next winter.


Tony Romo to CBS, replaces Phil Simms as Top NFL Analyst by Bleacher Report

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From CBS Sports Press Release:

Tony Romo to Team with Jim Nantz and Tracy Wolfson for

NFL ON CBS and Thursday Night Football Coverage Beginning with 2017-18 Season

Tony Romo will become CBS Sports’ lead NFL game analyst beginning with the 2017-2018 NFL season. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports.

Romo, who played for 14 years with the Dallas Cowboys, will join Jim Nantz and Tracy Wolfson on the lead announce team for the Network’s coverage of THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday afternoons and Thursday Night Football.

“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” said McManus. “He will bring the same passion, enthusiasm and knowledge that he displayed on the field to the broadcast booth. He brings a fresh and insightful perspective to our viewers having just stepped off the field. We know Tony will quickly develop into a terrific analyst, and alongside Jim Nantz, will become a must-listen for fans each week.”

“When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports,” said Romo. “Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true. I have always known that once my playing career was over I wanted to become a broadcaster. I am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with Jim as I learn the craft and convey to fans my passion for this great game.”

“As we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Phil Simms who served as our lead NFL analyst for nearly 20 years,” said McManus. “Phil has been a very important part of our coverage since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998. His strong opinions, coupled with his tremendous knowledge and passion for the National Football League, has created a unique broadcasting style making him one of the best analysts to ever call the game. We are discussing with Phil his future role with CBS Sports. We cannot thank him enough for the way he has represented himself and CBS Sports during his tenure as CBS’s lead NFL analyst.”

The full list of NFL ON CBS announce teams for the 2017-2018 season will be released later this summer.

Mike Tirico to take over for Bob Costas as the Olympics Primetime Host

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From NBC Sports Press Release:


Costas Served As NBC Primetime Host for U.S. TV Record 11 Olympics

Tirico to Make Debut as NBC’s Primetime Olympic Host for PyeongChang 2018

Opening Ceremony for PyeongChang 2018 is One Year from Today

Conference Call TODAY at 2 PM ET with Costas, Tirico & Jim Bell

STAMFORD, Conn. – February 9, 2017 – Bob Costas, the primetime host of every NBC Olympics since 1992, has passed the torch to Mike Tirico – who will make his debut as NBC’s primetime Olympic host beginning with PyeongChang 2018.

The announcement was made today – exactly one year before the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9, 2018 – by Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting and Sports, and Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production and Programming.

“For a quarter-century, Bob expertly piloted NBC’s primetime coverage of the Olympics,” Lazarus said. “It is with a tremendous amount of pride that I can simultaneously express our appreciation for Bob’s stellar, record-setting run, while also feeling very lucky that we have someone as talented as Mike to take over as our new primetime host.”

“It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC’s Olympic coverage all these years,” said Costas, who has the longest tenure of NBC’s sports announcers (37 years). “I’m especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts. I always felt that, in a certain sense, I was carrying the ball for them. It’s been a wonderful run, but I just felt now was the right time to step away and I’m grateful that NBC left that decision to me.”

“The level and longevity of Bob’s tenure have left an indelible mark on American television and the Olympic Games,” said Tirico, who made his Olympics debut last summer as an NBC daytime host and host of the Closing Ceremony in Rio. “I am honored to call him a friend, humbled by this opportunity, and thankful to the many people who have helped make this possible.”

“Bob Costas and the Olympics has been one of greatest pairings in sports broadcasting history, and there isn’t anyone better suited to inherit his mantle than Mike Tirico,” Bell said. “Mike’s natural gifts as a broadcaster and passion for storytelling are just two reasons he is the perfect choice to host the biggest, most distinguished sports event in the world.”

Costas served as NBC’s primetime host for a U.S.-television record 11 Olympics – every Olympics on NBC since 1992, including the 2012 London Games, which is the most-watched television event in U.S. history, reaching 217 million viewers. Costas also served as NBC’s late night host at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In addition to his critically-acclaimed Olympic work, Costas has won 27 Emmy Awards – more than any sports broadcaster in history. He is the only broadcaster to have won Emmy Awards in sports, news and entertainment (for his late-night program Later with Bob Costas). Costas’ versatility has been recognized with Emmy Awards or nominations for play-by-play, hosting, interviewing, writing, feature reporting and commentary. His career is simply one of the most significant in the history of sports broadcasting. Costas’ now 37-year association with NBC will continue as he will have noteworthy roles in NBC Sports and NBC News programs.

Tirico, who joined NBC Sports Group in July 2016, has had a whirlwind first seven months with the company. In addition to his role in Rio, he has served as host of Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports, as well as The Open and The Ryder Cup, and Breeders’ Cup horse racing. Tirico also handled play-by-play for Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and Notre Dame Football.


AJ Pierzynski joins FOX Sports Full Time

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Fox Sports Press Release:

All-Star Catcher to Provide FOX MLB Game Analysis, Insight for MLB WHIPAROUND

LOS ANGELES, CA – Two-time MLB All-Star catcher A.J. Pierzynski joins the FOX Sports broadcast team full-time for the 2017 FOX MLB season, it was announced today by FOX Sports President, Production and Executive Producer, John Entz.

“We love having A.J. on the FOX Sports team,” Entz said. “He’s confident in his opinions and insight and he doesn’t hold back or shy away from topics he feels strongly about. Fans want an honest approach to what’s happening on the field, in the locker room and away from the game, and A.J. gives you just that, and has a lot of fun doing it.”

Pierzynski works his first game of the 2017 FOX MLB season Wednesday, April 5 (7:00 PM ET), teaming with Kenny Albert (play-by-play) and Ken Rosenthal (reporter) for a matchup between the N.Y. Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Hired by FOX Sports initially to be an analyst for the 2011 MLB postseason, Pierzynski joined the FOX Sports team again in 2012, 2013 and 2015. In 2017, Pierzynski will provide game analysis, as well as make regular appearances on FS1’s MLB WHIPAROUND.

“With Opening Day right around the corner, this is always a great time of year,” Pierzynski said. “I’m really looking forward to what should be a very exciting MLB season and to being a part of the FOX Sports team again.”

A career .280 hitter with more than 2,000 hits, Pierzynski began his major league career with the Minnesota Twins in 1998, also playing for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves. A two-time MLB All-Star (2002, 2006), the left-handed hitter won a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005 and garnered the Silver Slugger Award in 2012.

Pierzynski joins a 2017 FOX MLB team that has signed several former players over the last several weeks, including Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, Pete Rose and Frank Thomas.


Alex Rodriguez Continues on with FOX Sports

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Fox Sports Press Release:

Three-Time MVP Adds Game Analyst, Feature Reporter to Studio Analyst Duties in 2017

NEW YORK, NY – Fresh off working as a guest studio analyst during FOX Sports’ coverage of Major League Baseball’s historic postseason run in 2016, World Series Champion and three-time American League Most Valuable Player, Alex Rodriguez, joins FOX Sports, as a full-time analyst. The announcement of Rodriguez’s multi-year deal with the network was made today by John Entz, President of Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.

In addition to reprising his role as FOX MLB studio analyst, Rodriguez expands his broadcasting responsibilities to serve as a game analyst for select FOX MLB SATURDAY telecasts as well as feature reporter for FOX’s MLB pregame coverage and FS1 studio show MLB WHIPAROUND.

“Bringing Alex back was a priority of ours and we are fortunate to have him as a key contributor to our baseball coverage,” said Entz. “His potential is off the charts and he’s been an incredibly quick learner in the world of television. He even understands the complexities of sales units. We are especially grateful to coordinating producer Bardia Shah-Rais, pregame producer Jonathan Kaplan, producer Royce Dickerson and all the FOX Sports staff who not only welcomed Alex but continue to strive to deliver the best pre and post game baseball shows on television.”

“I’m excited to continue working with the FOX Sports family,” said Rodriguez. “It’ll be great to get back on set with the guys for the regular season and postseason, especially the All-Star Game in my hometown of Miami.”

Rodriguez made his broadcasting debut during the 2015 World Series as a guest studio analyst for FOX Sports, immediately earning praise as a first-time broadcaster. During the network’s coverage of the 2016 MLB postseason, Rodriguez, along with analysts Pete Rose and Frank Thomas participated in a compelling and candid conversation in which they revealed some secrets to hitting in the big leagues.

A 14-time All-Star, Rodriguez owns a lifetime .295 batting average and has collected 3,115 hits (20th all-time), 696 homeruns (4th all-time), 2,086 RBI’s (3rd all-time), and 25 grand slams (1st all-time) in 2,784 games played. He has made 12 different trips to the postseason and appeared in 76 playoff games, highlighted by 2009, when the New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies to claim the franchise’s record 27th World Series title. Rodriguez played his final game as a New York Yankee in 2016, before taking a job with the team as a special advisor and instructor.


Nick Swisher Joins FOX Sports

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Fox Sports Press Release:

2009 World Series Champion and MLB All-Star Serves as Studio Analyst

NEW YORK, NY – World Series Champion and Major League Baseball All-Star, Nick Swisher, joins FOX Sports as a studio analyst for the 2017 season. The announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production and Executive Producer, FOX Sports.

Recently retired, Swisher, a fan-favorite with an infectious personality throughout his 12-year playing career, makes his 2017 debut on FS1’s MLB Whiparound this April and appears regularly as a studio analyst during FOX Sports’ pregame coverage on Saturdays during the regular season. Swisher made his first ever appearance as a studio analyst during FOX’s World Series coverage in 2014.

“Swish was impressive as an analyst for us during the 2014 World Series and we knew we wanted to engage with him once he made the decision to retire,” said Entz. “His positivity and clear love for the game comes through on screen and we love that about him. We also just found out that he likes to go shark diving which is always a plus.”

“I’m super excited for this new chapter and can’t wait to get out to the FS1 studios in a few short weeks,” said Nick Swisher. Swisher announced his retirement today via a post to the Players Tribune and on his twitter account @NickSwisher.

Drafted 16th overall in 2002, Swisher’s successful Major League career spanned across five different franchises: Oakland Athletics (2004-2007), Chicago White Sox (2008), New York Yankees (2009-2012), Cleveland Indians (2013-2015) and Atlanta Braves (2015). Swisher was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2010 as a member of the New York Yankees, where he played an integral part in earning the team’s record 27th World Series title in 2009. Swisher finishes his career with a .249 batting average, 803 RBIs and 245 homeruns.


Michelle Beadle takes over full NBA Countdown Duties, including Sage Steele ABC Countdown Duties- From Ken Fang from Awful Announcing

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In a rare in-season move, ESPN has named SportsNation’s Michelle Beadle as the full-time host of NBA Countdown on both ABC and the Mothership. Not only will Beadle host the rest of the regular season, she’ll be the host of ESPN’s NBA Playoff coverage all the way through the Finals in June. She takes over for Sage Steele’s portion of programs immediately.

Beadle will host the remaining NBA Countdown shows, including this Saturday’s primetime game on ABC. She will continue to be a co-host on SportsNation during the week.

Beadle will take over the NBA Countdown on ABC shows that Sage Steele hosted. Steele, who will part of ESPN’s coverage of The Masters this week, will transition to a full-time host of “SportsCenter on the Road” segments. In Steele’s new role, she’ll travel across the country to various sporting events to front ESPN’s SportsCenter coverage.

Kevin Wildes, ESPN VP of original content couldn’t be happier with Beadle on NBA Coutndown:

“I’ve had the wonderful experience of working directly with Michelle for several years and as predicted, she’s made a tremendous mark on NBA Countdown since joining the show in October. It’s very rare to find a commentator who can so masterfully combine intelligence, candor, and humor and she does it all while keeping her finger on the pulse of the NBA. Like a great point guard, she makes everyone around her better and we’re looking forward to this next chapter in Michelle’s career as she leads us forward on NBA Countdown.”

As for Beadle, she couldn’t be more thrilled to be hosting NBA Countdown full-time:

“The only thing better than working for Connor Schell and Kevin Wildes is being able to spend each day with all of the incredibly talented people at NBA Countdown and SportsNation. It’s the best job in sports. Did I mention that Kawhi Leonard is the M.V.P. of the league?”

Back in September, Beadle was named as a host of Countdown to split duties with Steele. Beadle was initially hosting on Wednesdays and Fridays, while Steele hosted the ABC portion on Countdown on weekends. Now, Beadle will work all NBA Countdown shows on both networks for the foreseeable future.


Amazon lands deal to stream NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ games from USA Today

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The NFL has a new streaming host for part of its Thursday Night Football package.

Amazon said in a statement late Tuesday it had won the streaming rights, taking a mantle previously held by Twitter.

The $50 million, one-year deal will allow Amazon to stream the 10 games broadcast by NBC and CBS next season, according to the The Wall Street Journal and The Sports Business Journal.

The games will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers, per The Sports Business Journal. Amazon beat out Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for the rights, according to the report.

Twitter paid $10 million last season to provide live streaming services for the same number of games, a bid to gain more users.

The NFL is expected to announce its full schedule for the 2017 season, including Thursday night games, later in April before the draft.

Contributing: Elizabeth Weise in San Francisco. 


Tony Gonzalez leaves CBS’s NFL Today by Richard Deitsch of

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Add CBS to the list of NFL television rightsholders that will have a different cast on their main NFL studio shows this fall. has learned Tony Gonzalez is leaving The NFL Today after three years with the network. CBS hired Gonzalez—a soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer who played 17 seasons at tight end with Kansas City and Atlanta—in February 2014 as an analyst. The move then was part of a larger rebrand of the show, with the network opting not to bring back Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe. Gonzalez said he made the decision, and cited family and travel as his main reasons.

“We have very much enjoyed having Tony as a member of the CBS team for the past three years and we thank him for his hard work as he developed into a strong analyst,” said a CBS Sports spokesperson. “We respect Tony’s decision as he prioritizes family and we wish him nothing but the best.”

As for a replacement for Gonzalez, CBS should think seriously about moving former Raiders CEO Amy Trask onto its top show on a full-time basis. Trask has been a regular on the CBS Sports Network Sunday morning NFL pregame show, That Other Pregame Show.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that both Fox and CBS are interested in Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo should he retire. If Romo opted for television, it would be highly unlikely he’d be interested in a studio role at CBS over the prospect of calling games.

Earlier this month, ESPN announced that Sam Ponder would serve as the new host of Sunday NFL Countdown, one of the many personnel changes for that show over the past 12 months.


ESPN Names New NFL Studio Hosts

From ESPN MediaZone:

  • Suzy Kolber to Host Monday Night Countdown and Monday Night FootballHalftime/Postgame
  • Samantha Ponder to Host Sunday NFL Countdown
  • Trey Wingo to Host All Three Days of NFL Draft Telecast

With Chris Berman moving into a new role in 2017, a trio of talented ESPN commentators –Suzy Kolber, Samantha Ponder and Trey Wingo – will assume his previous host responsibilities on ESPN’s NFL studio shows.

“We have three exceptional hosts in Suzy, Sam and Trey, who will usher in this new era of NFL studio coverage on ESPN,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN Senior Vice President, Studio and Event Production. “They each have a unique style and approach, yet they all share a passion for the game of football that is evident to viewers. We look forward to this group being the face of our NFL studio coverage for many years ahead on ESPN.”

Kolber, who has co-hosted Monday Night Countdown with Berman since 2015, will now host the entire Monday Night Football pregame show from the site of each week’s game. She will also add the MNF halftime and postgame host role to her responsibilities while continuing to anchor weekday editions of NFL Insiders from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.

Kolber, who joined ESPN in 1993, was a NFL sideline reporter on both Sunday Night Football (2001-05) and Monday Night Football (2006-11), and she worked the Super Bowl XL telecast on ABC in 2006. She continues to be part of ESPN’s annual Super Bowl, NFL Draft and other year-round coverage of the league.

“The true joy in this job for me is being at the games and fostering my relationships with NFL coaches, players and executives, as well as our ESPN team,” said Kolber. “Now, having the opportunity to host our entire show from site, as well as halftime and postgame, is an amazing opportunity. This is exactly where I want to be.”

Ponder, one of ESPN’s top college football reporters and a contributor to College GameDay since 2012, becomes the new host of Sunday NFL Countdown – just the third in the 32-year history of ESPN’s long-running Sunday morning NFL pregame show. Originally NFL GameDay, Bob Ley launched the program in 1985 before Berman assumed the role a year later, serving as host for an industry record three decades.

Ponder, a versatile talent with an engaging conversational style, will also contribute NFL interviews and features. She has hosted College Football Live and served as a college football and basketball sideline reporter, most recently on ABC Saturday Night Football and including the College Football Playoff National Championship. She joined ESPN in 2011 as one of the first commentators for The Longhorn Network in Austin, Texas.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of the Sunday NFL Countdown family,” said Ponder. “There is no such thing as replacing Chris Berman, but the chance to build on his incredible legacy while simultaneously taking new risks to serve NFL fans is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Wingo will now host all three days of the annual NFL Draft telecast on ESPN, beginning with the 2017 event April 27-29 in Philadelphia. He will also continue to be the face of ESPN’s daily year-round pro football coverage on NFL Live the show he has hosted since its inception in 2003, NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition, NFL Primetime, and more. Wingo, who joined ESPN in 1997, hosts coverage from key NFL events throughout the year, including Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and NFL Draft.

Said Wingo: “The draft is the only ‘real’ reality TV show there is. No one has any idea what’s going to happen which makes it so fun. When ESPN first asked about televising the draft, the NFL said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ One of the reasons that made the draft a great watch was Chris Berman. His insight and humor made it so much more than just people reading names. I’m honored to follow in his footsteps.”


Rex Ryan joins ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown

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From ESPN MediaZone:

Debuts Saturday on Florida State Spring Game – 3 p.m. ET, ESPN

Former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is joining ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Starting in September, he will make weekly appearances on the NFL pregame show, while contributing to SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and more.

Ryan, who was a guest analyst during ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown on Super Bowl Sunday in Houston in February, will make his ESPN debut this Saturday, April 8 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN), when he calls the Florida State University Spring Game in Tallahassee, Fla.

“Rex is authentic – what you see is what you get, and that will be great for our viewers onSunday NFL Countdown. We also look forward to the insight and perspective he will bring to the show as an NFL coach who has worked in the league for two decades,” said Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL studio shows.

Ryan added: ““This is going to be a new experience for me and I am really excited about it. I’ve been a coach for 30 years and I’ve been around football my entire life. I’m passionate about the game – just like the fans are, and I’ve coached in the league for a long time, so that’s the perspective I will bring to ESPN. I’m just going to show up and be myself and have fun with it.”

Ryan served as head coach of the Bills the past two seasons (2015-16) and for the Jets from 2009-14, leading the franchise to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances. Prior to being named a head coach, Ryan spent nine seasons as an NFL assistant with the Baltimore Ravens (including 2005-08 as defensive coordinator), where he won a Super Bowl (XXXV). In 2006, Ryan was honored with Assistant Coach of the Year awards from Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers Association. Ryan, whose coaching career spans nearly 30 years, is the son of legendary NFL coach Buddy Ryan.







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