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West Virginia Radio Corp. won’t bid on a contract for multimedia rights to some West Virginia University athletic events, but it still wants the previous winner — North Carolina-based IMG College — disqualified.

WVU officials declined comment today.

WVU is rebidding the 12-year contract because a review by the state attorney general’s office found “significant errors and sloppiness” in how a previous deal was crafted.

Five companies, including IMG and West Virginia Radio Corp., participated in a pre-bid conference call last month. The Dominion Post says the others were Nelligan Sports Marketing, Learfield Communications and FOX Run Group.
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DolphinsThe Dolphins announced their preseason television and preseason and regular season radio broadcast teams for the 2013 season. Jesse Agler will now handle play-by-play duties with Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese and Dolphin Honor Roll member Nat Moore for the preseason television broadcasts. Griese also will take part in the regular season radio broadcasts with Dolphins alumni Jimmy Cefalo, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper and Keith Sims.

“We are excited to offer our fans a broadcast team with such extensive on the field and in the booth experience,” said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. “The addition of Jesse Agler to our preseason television broadcast continues our strategy to integrate all of our media properties. His commitment and work ethic coupled with his play by play experience made him a logical choice for this assignment.”
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Congratulations are in order for KTBC’s Dennis de la Pena and John Hygh, who’ve been promoted to sports director and weekend sports anchor, respectively.

De la Pena, who had been Fox 7’s weekend sports anchor, takes over for Dave Cody, who retired earlier this month after 28 years at the station.

Read more at the Austin Statesman where this story was originally published.

empire broadcastingEmpire Broadcasting Corp. has changed the format on its WPTR, 1240 AM in Schenectady, NY from oldies to sports.

Neerav Patel, chief operating officer of Empire, said the station adopted the CBS Sports Radio format June 5. The network, which debuted nationally in January, features a morning show starring former New York Giant Tiki Barber, and a midday show with Jim Rome, who formerly was on the local airwaves on WOFX, 980 AM.

“We thought there was a need in the market for bringing Jim Rome back,” Patel said. “Plus CBS is hot when it comes to football and March Madness. We thought this was a better fit for us.”

The station will continue to air NASCAR races, as it did before the format change.

WPTR will be the Albany region’s third sports station. The others are WOFX, or “Fox Sports 980,” and WTMM, 104.5 FM “The Team.” As an oldies station, WPTR received most of its competition from WTRY, 98.3 FM, which consistantly ranks among the top 10 stations in the market.

Empire acquired WPTR just under a year ago, as part of a $1.2 million deal between Voorheesville-based Empire and Anastos Media Group Inc. of Armonk Village, Westchester County. The deal also included WJKE, 101.3 FM in Stillwater; WABY, 1160 AM in Mechanicville; and WUAM, 900 AM in Watervliet.

Read more at the Albany Business Review where this story was originally published.

PadresMel Proctor hasn’t called a Major League Baseball game since 2005.

Friday, he gets another chance as part of the Padres’ second Retro Night of the season, this one celebrating the 1998 World Series team.

Proctor was the TV voice of the Padres from 1997-2001.

In ’98, he teamed with Rick Sutcliffe and Mark Grant on Channel 4 San Diego. Sutcliffe, who is extremely entertaining, was the primary analyst. Grant filled in on about 65 contests.

The radio side will also go retro for Friday’s Diamondbacks-Padres game as Bob Chandler returns to the booth to call the contest Ted Leitner and Jerry Coleman. Chandler, who worked three decades for the Padres, returned to the airwaves this season, working with Craig Elsten on the weekend pre and postgame shows on The Mighty 1090. If you’ve never heard Chandler call a game, do yourself a favor and tune in.

Read more at the San Diego Union Tribune where this story was originally published.

wiedemanThere also was a day after for John Wiedeman. The Blackhawks radio play-by-play man went into recovery mode Thursday.

“I’m trying to lay low and dial back,” Wiedeman said. “My voice is my lifeline. I have to protect it.”

Wiedeman’s vocal cords have gotten an extraordinary workout in recent days. Wednesday on WGN-AM 720, he and analyst Troy Murray called more than 51/2 periods in the Hawks’ 4-3 victory over the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. That came on the heels of the Hawks’ clincher over the Kings in double overtime Saturday in the Western Conference finals.

All told, Wiedeman had a two-game span in which he described action for more than 10 periods of hockey. It’s an unprecedented stretch for a Hawks announcer, especially given the magnitude of these games.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune where this story was originally published.

bloomberg-sportsBloomberg Sports unveiled its new “BSports Power Football 50” product yesterday — that’s a reference to European soccer, Yanks — but that’s not the end of it.

BSports President Bill Squadron told me the company plans to extend its statistical expertise and Moneyball-The-Next-Generation technology to the National Basketball Association and professional tennis broadcasts within the next calendar year.

“For about a year and a half, baseball was our main focus and now we are aggressively branching out into other sports,” Squadron told me. The company provides statistical analysis to broadcasters in Major League Baseball markets New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
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ESPNFormer Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who was alleged by former Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis to have sexually molested him, is suing ESPN for defamation.

ESPN, which broke the story a year and a half ago, is being sued by Fine for $11 million. That demand, in print, is here. This development was first reported by ESPN’s lawyers have brought the case to federal court, being that ESPN is a Connecticut-based corporation and Fine was filing through New York State Supreme Court.

Davis and and his stepbrother Mike Lang were the two primary accusers against Fine since the start of the story, and Lang has spoken before on the record about the nature of their relationship.

The first court hearing for this case is scheduled for July 18. Whereas Fine was originally targeting reporter Mark Schwartz, now the aim is ESPN as a whole.

Attorneys for ESPN have moved to Federal Court the defamation lawsuit brought against ESPN by former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. This new legal action also removes as defendants the reporter and producer who worked on the Bobby Davis story along with The Walt Disney Company and The Hearst Corporation.

Fine was fired from Syracuse on Nov. 27, 2011. In late November of 2012, a year after the story came out, Syracuse police chief Frank Fowler called the accusations against Fine “highly credible.”

Fine has lived in Florida since his tenure at Syracuse ended, and has not spoken on the record about the allegations since they surfaced shortly before his termination from SU. Laurie Fine, his wife, has previously and separately sued ESPN, 13 months ago.

Read more at CBS Sports where this story was originally published.

Colin Cowherd gets sitcom

June 13, 2013
Courtesy of Variety

Cowherd-ColinCBS is developing a half-hour comedy based on the life of ESPN radio and TV host Colin Cowherd.

“Grounded for Life” creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff are behind the show as writers and exec producers, while Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum are also exec producers.

Cowherd will serve as a producer on the sitcom, which comes from CBS TV Studios.

Cowherd hosts ESPN’s syndicated radio show “The Herd With Colin Cowherd,” as well as ESPN2′s “SportsNation.”

Project reps familiar territory for CBS, which has frequently mined the world of sportswriters and personalities for sitcom fodder.

The most successful was “Everybody Loves Raymond,” in which fictional Ray Barone was a Long Island sportswriter. More recently, Jay Mohr’s character on “Gary Unmarried” became a sports radio commentator.

Eye also ran the short-lived 2005 sitcom “Listen Up,” which starred Jason Alexander as a sports show host based on real-life sportswriter and personality Tony Kornheiser.

Cowherd, coincidentally, took Kornheiser’s old timeslot on ESPN radio.

Martin and Schiff created and exec produced the Rob Riggle pilot “Team Spitz” for CBS last season. The Eye came close to ordering the show (which also came from the Tannenbaums), extending its options on the cast.

Martin and Schiff also recently developed the projects “TMI” and “We Need Girlfriends” at the Eye. The duo’s credits also include “Cavemen” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

Read more at Variety where this story was originally published.

Howie Schwab among ESPN layoffs

June 13, 2013
Courtesy of Deadspin

Howie-SchwabRound 2 of the ESPN bloodletting began today, and a source tells us that Howie Schwab—remember Stump the Schwab?—was among those let go.

We hear a senior researcher has also been let go and that five open positions in the production department will be eliminated. ESPNews’s Highlight Express, which scored a 0.0 in the Nielsen ratings a few months back, is getting canceled.

UPDATE, 5:38 p.m.: The Schwab just posted a note to his Facebook page. He is not happy:

After 26 years at ESPN, I am extremely disappointed to say farewell. I have been proud of my association and my work during my tenure. I was a loyal employee, displayed respect for others, worked with numerous charities, represented the company well. I always did everything asked of me and more. What did I get in return today … word that I should get lost. The only thing that mattered was my salary, which in my view was the lone reason I lost my job.

UPDATE, 6:46 p.m.: We’ve also heard that a number of in-house cameramen have been let go, up to about four or five of guys. A tipster tells us: “Main reason they were let go was bc company made their jobs obsolete by making producers shoot their own stuff with what are called ‘bureau kits.’”

Read more at Deadspin where this story was originally published.

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