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Finebaum-Paul“The Voice Of The SEC,” Paul Finebaum visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters last week for the “Car Wash” treatment as an introduction to his new roles with the network.

Long regarded as an authority on all things Southeastern Conference-related, the popular sports talk show host joins ESPN beginning this August with a daily radio program. In August 2014, when the SEC Network launches, a television simulcast of Finebaum’s radio show will air afternoons.

Finebaum is no stranger to ESPN’s airwaves. Besides making numerous appearances as an expert on SEC matters on various ESPN platforms, Finebaum was interviewed in the ESPN Films documentary, Roll Tide, War Eagle, about the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. He also appeared in the SEC Storied documentary, Croom, about Sylvester Croom, the SEC’s first African-American head football coach.

Read more at ESPN Front Row where this story was originally published.

OlbermannOf course, the post-season is still months away, so there is plenty of time for Olbermann to become disenchanted and quit. The official word:

Furthering Turner Broadcasting’s longstanding commitment to leading coverage of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Postseason, David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, today announced key players in TBS’ 2013 coverage. Keith Olbermann has been named host of TBS’ Major League Baseball postseason studio show, joining analyst and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. Additionally, Ron Darling, who joined TBS as an MLB analyst in 2008, has reached a long-term extension with Turner Sports.

Cal Ripken, Jr., a two-time MLB Most Valuable Player and Hall of Famer, will transition from the studio to the broadcast booth full time this postseason. Ripken, who primarily has served as a TBS studio analyst for the last six years, will join Ernie Johnson (play-by-play) and Darling as a three-man commentator team throughout the 2013 MLB Postseason, including the network’s coverage of the Division Series and exclusive telecast of the National League Championship Series.
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Carson-Newman fans have garnered enough votes to push Eagle play-by-play voice Adam Cavalier (Montgomery, W.Va.) into the semifinals of Stretch Internet’s Call of the Year contest.

Cavalier’s call of Ish Sanders’ (Cleveland, Tenn.) game-winning three pointer in a regular season win over Lenoir-Rhyne was one of 10 calls to move on to the next round.

“It’s certainly humbling,” Cavalier said. “Anytime you’re recognized for your work it’s a good feeling. I’m blessed and grateful that the Carson-Newman family answered the bell to get out the vote.”

Next week, the staff at Stretch Internet – the streaming company Carson-Newman and many other entities partners with to webstream live sporting events – will select five semifinalists. The winner will be announced at Stretch Internet’s VIP reception at the CoSIDA convention June 13.

Carson-Newman’s entry received the fourth most votes.

Call of the Year finalists
* Cal State Northridge – Men’s Soccer Game Winning Goal
* Wittenberg – Wittenberg football Sportscenter Top 10 Endzone Flip
* Florida Tech – Croatian Sensation Reverse Dunk
* Carson-Newman – Sanders’ Stunner
* Carleton College – Sawatzke beats Bethel
* Washington University – Bernie Beats Spalding
* La Salle – Explorers move on to Sweet 16 with SW Philly Floater
* Ohio University – Bobcats Beat the Clock and Kent State
* Post Sports Radio – Ben Gold 47-yard Field Goal
* Oberlin College – Robin Witjes 89-yard touchdown catch

Read more at Carson Newman where this story was originally published.

Berson-DavidDavid Berson has been promoted to president of CBS Sports. The announcement came Tuesday from CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. The role of president has been unfilled since McManus was promoted to chairman in 2011.

A veteran of ESPN, Berson, 40, joined CBS Sports in 2011 to head CBS College Sports Network and lead that channel’s rebranding to CBS Sports Network. He’ll continue to report to McManus while assuming day-to-day oversight of CBS Sports and continuing to lead CBS Sports Network.

“David’s contributions and expertise in all areas of our business, including programming, production and business affairs, have managed to exceed our high expectations since he joined CBS Sports,” said McManus in a statement announcing the promotion. “This is a natural evolution for David to assume additional responsibilities at CBS Sports, working alongside me on the day-to-day management of both CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”

CBS Sports network is among a handful of cable spinoffs of broadcast sports assets including NBC Sports Network, which was rebranded from Versus in 2011, and the forthcoming Fox Sports 1, which launches Aug. 17. But at CBS and NBC marquee events including all NFL games, remain on the broadcast networks. NBC Sports Network has achieved some ratings success with the NHL, which was on the network prior to the rebrand. CBS does not share Nielsen ratings for CBS Sports Network.

Read more at Hollywood Reporter where this story was originally published.

NFL-NetSteve Bornstein, the President and CEO of the NFL Network, is stepping down, two sources tell Big Lead Sports. Bornstein, the former Chairman of ESPN and President of ABC, built the NFL Network into a $5 billion business, and it is unclear what his next move will be. One source said Bornstein could surface in MLB to help the LA Dodgers. Given his successful history starting TV channels, it makes plenty of sense.

Here’s what the Sports Business Journal said about Bornstein in 2009:

“The executive who convinced ESPN to pay $1.1 billion per year for “Monday Night Football” was at it again in 2009. In the middle of the worst economic recession in a generation, Steve Bornstein convinced CBS, Fox and NBC to agree to shell out more money to extend their NFL deals. Oh, and the little network he oversees finally signed Comcast to a deal to surpass the 50 million-home distribution mark and launched the hugely popular NFL RedZone channel. Bornstein remains an integral leader at the NFL; he is tight with Roger Goodell and key owners, who all trust his broad understanding of sports media and his track record of success.”

I couldn’t reach anyone at the NFL Network – which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this November – for comment.

[UPDATE: Monday, June 3, 12:45 pm. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said he spoke with Bornstein this morning, and said there is "no truth to it." Which I take as code for: "You'll read about my departure in the Wall Street Journal or NYT in a couple weeks." Perhaps Bornstein is waiting for his next landing spot to be finalized? A few years ago, he was the highest paid executive in the NFL - yup, higher than Goodell - earning $12.65 million thanks to TV deals. Last year, Bornstein only cleared $5.7 million. The buzz about Bornstein's departure has been swirling since he finished his last big deal (Time Warner/NFL Network last September). Two of the many names you might hear as possible replacements for Bornstein: Mark Quenzel and Brian Rolapp.]

Read more at Big Lead Sports where this story was originally published.

Norris returning soon to 105.7

June 4, 2013
Courtesy of DCRTV

ed-norrisEd Norris should be returning to Baltimore sports talker 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM, by mid-June. So predicts Dave Labrozzi, the top programmer at CBS Radio’s Baltimore cluster.

Norris, who is paired with Steve Davis on the top-rated show, was injured in an April motorcycle accident in Harford County. He was forced to lay down his motorcycle to avoid hitting a truck, whose driver was listed by police as being at fault. Norris, who was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltmore, was deemed to have relatively minor injuries and soon released. But he has since had shoulder surgery, which is extending his convalescence.

“He’s recuperating well and is bored to tears,” adds Labrozzi.

Read more at DCRTV where this story was originally published.

Matt-Hicks2Matt Hicks arrived in the Rangers radio booth last June, a 51-year-old rookie finally getting a sliver of a shot at the big time. Almost a quarter century of minor league work, including the previous 17½ seasons in Class Double-A, had anchored him with the Corpus Christi Hooks.

There’s no shame working in the Texas League, but it’s hardly the pinnacle. Time and again, Hicks had applied without success for major league broadcast openings. His time was running out.

When Dave Barnett had to take a mid-season medical leave from the Rangers booth, Hicks, who worked for Reid Ryan, whose father is Nolan Ryan, was summoned as a temporary replacement.

“A privilege,” is how Hicks describes the opportunity.
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Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and former NBA head coach Doug Collins join Mike & Mike as co-hosts as part of ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the NBA Finals. Love will join Mike Golic and Ryan Ruocco, who will sub for Mike Greenberg, on Thursday, June 6 – the morning of Game 1 of the Finals. Doug Collins, who most recently coached the Philadelphia 76ers, will join Golic and Greenberg the morning after Game 3, Wednesday, June 12. Both guests will be part of an NBA-centric programming block from 6 a.m.-10 a.m.

“I’m excited to talk about the game I love with two guys I respect greatly,” said Collins. “It’s the best time of the year… [with] NBA Finals, Draft and free agency.”

Love, a two-time NBA All-Star with the Timberwolves, was selected fifth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft after playing one season at UCLA. He was also a member of the 2012 U.S. gold medal-winning Olympic team. Collins’ NBA head coaching career includes three seasons with the 76ers, two with the Washington Wizards, three with the Detroit Pistons and three with the Chicago Bulls, leading a young Michael Jordan from 1986-89.

Read more at NBA.com where this story was originally published.

Ronde BarberRonde Barber, who retired earlier this month after a sterling 16-year NFL career with the Tampa Bay Bucs, has already landed a TV job. He’s headed to Fox Sports.

Barber’s agent, Mark Lepselter, confirmed the Fox deal to me. “Ronde is excited to be joining the network,” he said. Lepselter wouldn’t elaborate on Barber’s role at Fox.

Fox Sports is rolling out its new TV channel, Fox Sports 1, in August, and it’s safe to assume we’ll see Barber on various programs as an NFL analyst. Will he be in the booth for football games on Fox this fall? Will they start him out on the sideline?

Last week, I reported Fox was closing in on two other former NFL players, Donovan McNabb and Trevor Pryce. It seems pretty clear Fox’s first order of business with the new network is to push the NFL and soccer. America’s No. 1 sport and the world’s No. 1 sport.

Read more at Big Lead Sports where this story was originally published.

The one-time voice of the Pembroke Lumber Kings has been stilled.

Art Gallagher, a legendary local sports broadcaster and the face of the Pembroke Handi-Bus organization, passed away Thursday evening. He was in his 78th year.

A Pembroke native, Gallagher was active in sports all his life and followed that enthusiasm by joining the staff of the Pembroke Observer as a sports reporter. He also worked at the Ottawa Journal before returning to his hometown to change media as the sports director at CHOV. Maintaining his first passion for hockey, he broadcast games during his time at CHOV and, following his retirement, simply because he loved doing it.

He began his career as the colour commentator on CHOV Radio in the 1960s with legendary broadcaster Bill Kutschke. Gallagher took over the play-by-play duties after Kutschke died. Throughout the 1970s Gallagher brought the action home to Pembroke as the Kings contended for national championships in 1973 and 1977.
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