NESN and WBZ TV Announce Partnership

NESN and WBZ-TV today announced a partnership in which NESN will provide pre-game reports from each game for the WBZ newscasts, and WBZ will provide the official weather updates on NESN. In addition, WBZ-TV sports anchor Dan Roche will be a regular guest on NESN’s pre-game shows.

Keep reading this post

Wringing Out Some Friday Megalinks

Let’s do your media megalinks since last week you did not get any.

Hard to believe that college baseball, college lacrosse and NASCAR seasons are starting up, but they are and they’re included in the Weekend Viewing Picks along with the regular Golf, NBA, NHL, Skiing, Soccer, Tennis and Entertainment recommendations.

To your links now.


Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Jeremy Lin will make his nationwide broadcast network debut this weekend.

Tim Baysinger from Broadcasting & Cable notes that Floyd Mayweather’s next pay per view fight has been set by HBO for the spring.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that Jeremy Lin continues to drive the MSG Network ratings engine.

Mike Shields of Adweek looks at CBS/Turner Sports’ plans to charge to view the NCAA Tournament online.

Ted Johnson of Variety talks with Ken Solomon of Tennis Channel on his ongoing battle to get a better footing with Comcast.

Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says the Jeremy Lin media coverage is over the top.

Sports Media Watch notes the increased viewership for the NHL on NBC Sports Network.

SMW says Pardon the Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have lent their voices to a Disney😄 cartoon series.

Andy Hall at ESPN Front Row PR blog celebrates the 5th anniversary of NASCAR’s return to the network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell speaks with Jeremy Lin’s agent.

Andrew Bucholtz writing his first article for Awful Announcing looks at the reaction to Jeremy Lin in Canada.

Mat Yoder at AA says the ratings for last weekend’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am show fans are still interested in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Joe Favorito explores the steady growth of college lacrosse.

Mark J. Miller of Brandchannel says NASCAR fans don’t like it when drivers juggle sponsor logos throughout the Sprint Cup season.

The Big Lead has ESPN’s Erin Andrews out and about during New York’s Fashion Week.

Chris Chase at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner notes that ESPN has been coaching Jon Gruden to use his words judiciously.

Harrison Mooney of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy says Jeremy Lin’s drawing power might indirectly benefit the New York Rangers, Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils which have been missing from Time Warner Cable systems in addition to the Knicks.

David B. Wilkerson at MarketWatch wonders if the MSG/Time Warner Cable feud will eventually push sports into a premium tier.

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn gets some advice for new NESN Red Sox field reporter Jenny Dell from MSG’s Tina Cervasio.

BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen in his Media Roundup at SB Nation Boston pays tribute to Bob Ryan.

Surviving Grady has a podcast with Jen Royle.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the new charge for viewing the NCAA Tournament online.

Richard writes about the increased ratings for Knicks games since Jeremy Lin arrived on the scene.

Phil Mushnick at the New York Post is in rare form today even for him.

Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for CBS college basketball analyst Bill Raftery.

The Post’s David Seifman reports that the New York City Council is pressuring MSG Network and Time Warner Cable to work out a deal.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that ESPN bumped tonight’s Hornets-Knicks game not realizing it would be another opportunity to showcase Jeremy Lin.

Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl NY has reaction from various NYC sports anchors to the death of former Mets catcher Gary Carter.

Mike Silva at the Sports Media Watchdog feels hockey coverage in New York is woefully inadequate.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a local sports TV reporter received a New York Emmy nomination.

Pete lists his top studio analysts.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has the latest in Baltimore-Washington DC sports media news in Press Box.

Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has a clip of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon as cartoon characters.

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner says talks with sports business writer Evan Weiner about the NFL’s antiquated blackout rules.


Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald has some thoughts on Shaquille O’Neal’s rookie season at TNT and ESPN’s decision to remove Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Astros plan to bring in former players to their radio booth to celebrate the team’s 50th season.

Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman notes the first network appearance of Jeremy Lin is this Sunday.


The Detroit Free Press notes that all of the Tigers games will be on TV this season.

Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Dick Enberg told a captive audience at Marquette University about the art of the pause and when to use it in broadcasting.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

To the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin where Paul Christian writes that Fox Sports North will be all over the Minnesota Twins this season.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals have mostly put the kybosh on late afternoon games at Busch Stadium this season.

Dan says a local sports radio host is recovering after undergoing heart bypass surgery.


Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the new Fox Sports San Diego is set to launch next month.

Jay writes the San Diego Padres stand to double their rights fees from Fox as compared to Cox a year ago.

John Maffei at the North County Times says the official announcement between Fox Sports San Diego carrying the Padres is due any time now.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle says NBC and the NHL have become very good partners.

Jim feels ESPN should not have jettisoned Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times notes that ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham is up for a Best Documentary Oscar.

Bill Shakin of the Times says Frank McCourt’s legal problems are holding up Fox’s announcement with the Padres.

Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News recaps a lecture from three noted network broadcasters discussing TV coverage of the Olympics.

And that’s going to conclude the megalinks for today.

NESN’s Spring Training Coverage Announced

Here is NESN’s press release for upcoming spring training coverage.


67 Hours of Live Programming Begins with
Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers on February 19 at 6:00 PM

February 8, 2012 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will deliver forty-six (46) consecutive days of Boston Red Sox Spring Training coverage that will include sixty-seven (67) hours of live programming leading up to opening day on April 5th.  NESN’s live coverage from JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Lee County will feature:

  • 13 days of Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture
  • 5 days of WEEI’s The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show
  • 12 Spring Training games in high definition

In addition, NESN Daily will feature nightly reports and exclusive interviews from Florida and will include up-to-the-minute news from new Red Sox beat reporter Didier Morais and exclusive video in a special Spring Training section at

“NESN is committed to bringing our fans the most comprehensive coverage of Red Sox baseball in 2012 starting with day one of Spring Training,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “JetBlue Park is a beautiful facility, and we can’t wait to give Red Sox fans a look at Fenway South.”

13 Days of Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture

NESN’s live Spring Training coverage begins the day pitchers and catchers report on Sunday, February 19 at 6 pm with Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture. The evening shows will be shot from inside JetBlue Park near the new ballpark’s Green Monster. NESN studio host Tom Caron will be joined by NESN’s Peter Gammons, Red Sox field reporter Jenny Dell, and Red Sox players, coaches, and executives to deliver 13 consecutive days of live programming from Fenway South.

5 Days of WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Morning Show

NESN’s live coverage from Fort Myers will also include five days of WEEI’s The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show beginning Thursday, February 23rd. John Dennis and Gerry Callahan will be in the brand new JetBlue Park to deliver exclusive interviews with players and coaches.

12 Spring Training Games, All in HD

NESN’s high definition (HD) coverage of twelve (12) Grapefruit League games will begin Saturday, March 3 at 7 pm when the Red Sox play Boston College in the first-ever televised game from JetBlue Park. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will team up for their 12th season together in the NESN broadcast booth to deliver all the action.

NESN’s Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers Schedule




Sunday, February 19 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Monday, February 20 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 21 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 22 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, February 23 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Friday, February 24 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 25 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

10:00 AM – NOON

Sunday, February 26 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

10:00 AM – NOON

Monday, February 27 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 28 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Wednesday, February 29 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 1 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Friday, March 2 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show in Fort Myers




Thursday, February 23 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Friday, February 24 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Monday, February 27 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Tuesday, February 28 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Wednesday, February 29 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

NESN’s 2012 Red Sox Spring Training Game Schedule




Saturday, March 3 Boston College

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 4 Minnesota

1:30 PM

Monday, March 5 at Minnesota (Fort Myers)

7:00 PM

Friday, March 9 Pittsburgh

7:00 PM

Saturday, March 10 Tampa Bay

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 11 at Baltimore (Sarasota)

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 18 at Tampa Bay (Port Charlotte)

1:00 PM

Tuesday, March 20 Toronto

7:00 PM

Thursday, March 22 New York Yankees

7:00 PM

Saturday, March 24 Philadelphia

1:30 PM

Sunday, March 25 at Toronto (Dunedin)

1:00 PM

Sunday, April 1 Minnesota

1:30 PM

Doing Some Friday Megalinks

With a rainy day in Southern New England, it’s time to provide you with some media links. Lots of them on a Friday.

You can check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming suggestions.

Now to the links.


USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Al Michaels about calling his 8th Super Bowl and 2nd for NBC.

Mike Ozanian from Forbes says NFL TV rightsholders will be able to reap financial benefits while non-rightsholders end up holding the bag.

Sam Mamudi of says you can follow along the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter results in real time thanks to a new Facebook app.

Michael O’Connell from the Hollywood Reporter has a sneak peek at some of the Super Bowls ads.

Kelly McBride of the ESPN Poynter Review Project looks at why ESPN made so much of Tim Tebow.

Alex Klein at Romanesko looks into why the Yale Daily News sat on a story for several months and how it took the New York Times to report on former quarterback Patrick Witt’s alleged sexual assault on campus. You may remember that Witt was a candidate to become a Rhodes Scholar but then skipped his interview. Now we know why.

Todd Spangler at Multichannel News says ESPN will let viewers see additional highlights and material from the Winter X Games via the Shazam mobile app.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that NBC Sports Network goes into the NHL All-Star Weekend with increased ratings for the games.

Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily also has a story on the increased NHL ratings for NBC Sports Network.

Gabriel Beltrone from Adweek says Coke will have a Super Bowl microsite where its famous polar bears will react to the game and ads in real time.

David Gianatasio of Adweek writes one local Super Bowl spot will urge you to pee during its commercial.

E.J. Schultz at Advertising Age has Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl plans.

Matt Hardigree at Jalopnik says he’s solved the mystery behind the advertiser behind the Ferris Bueller-themed Super Bowl spot.

Adam Jacobi, the college football writer at, who put the link to Onward State’s erroneous tweet about Joe Paterno’s death last Saturday has been fired. Jacobi says he understands the decision and has apologized to the Paterno family for his mistake.

Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says NBC will take a lighter approach for Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Harry A. Jessell at TV NewsCheck notes that while the national TV ratings for the NFL are good, go inside the local numbers and they’re even better.

ESPN PR man Bill Hofheimer gives you an inside look at the network’s Super Bowl studios in Indianapolis.

Sports Media Watch says college basketball ratings are up on both ESPN and ESPN2.

SMW has some news and notes on some various people in the sports media.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing goes into some of the on-screen typos on TV this week.

Jeff Pearlman gets vindication from Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.

Steven Crist from the Daily Racing Form feels returning the Breeders Cup to NBC can only help horse racing.

All Access says a Hartford, CT FM station has flipped to all-sports.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says NESN has selected Jenny Dell the replacement for Heidi Watney on its Red Sox broadcasts.

Chad says of all of the local TV outlets, Comcast SportsNet will have the largest contingent covering the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Johnny Diaz from the Globe says DirecTV subscribers will see the Super Bowl after all.

Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with NBC’s Rodney Harrison about Super Bowl XLII and how some present Patriots still remaining from the game want revenge.

Stuart Elliot at the New York Times says some Super Bowl advertisers are returning buyers.

Richard Sandomir of the Times has Joe Namath’s reaction to the HBO/NFL Films documentary on his career that premieres tomorrow.

Richard adds that Namath is right now estranged from his former team, the New York Jets.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says the Namath documentary for the most part is good.

Justin Terranova of the Post speaks with NBC NHL charlatan Pierre McGuire.

Mike Silva at Sports Media Watchdog wonders why Kim Jones left YES.

Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says a local sports talk show will broadcast live from the Super Bowl next week.

Pete talks with the host of that talk show who also wears other hats in the Albany market.

Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says NYC residents will be able to hear the local and national radio calls of the Super Bowl next Sunday.

The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News notes the firing of a writer for falsely reporting Joe Paterno’s death.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes at Press Row has media notes from the Baltimore-DC area.


The Tallahassee (FL) Democrat writes that a local sports talk show host who left his former station this week will be back on the air at another station later this year.

Billy Cox of the Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune says ESPN’s Dick Vitale will be the subject of a profile produced by ….. ESPN!

Josh Bowe of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Fox Sports Southwest will stream Lone Star Conference football games and a highlight show over the internet.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with a retiring local sports anchor who looks back at the 2011 Texans rather fondly.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reviews the HBO/NFL Films documentary on Joe Namath.

Mel says ESPNU will be all over National Signing Day.


John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with former Bengal Artrell Hawkins who is now co-hosting Fox Sports Radio’s national morning show.

Jeff Moss of the Detroit Sports Rag looks into the new program director and on-air host of a local sports radio station.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Wisconsin sports teams did well in the national TV ratings last year.

Dan McGrath of the Chicago News Cooperative notes the 20 year anniversary of sports talk radio in the Windy City.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says new Minnesota Twins radio voice Cory Provus has big shoes to fill.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with Bob Costas about returning to host his familiar town hall format next week.


Thomas Harding of says Root Sports Rocky Mountain’s Alana Rizzo is leaving the network’s Colorado Rockies broadcast team and heading for MLB Network.

John Maffei at the North County Times says HBO’s documentary on Joe Namath is on par with previous efforts.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star also reviews the documentary.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with Kings radio analyst Daryl Evans and also lists his best/worst LA broadcast analysts.

Tom has more on Evans in his blog.


Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says it’s time to play the NHL All-Star Game outdoors.

And that will do it.

A Friday Evening Megalink Thing

Let’s give you some linkage on this Friday. Been a busy day. You deserve some links

The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment TV watching. And now to your links.


USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether networks should hire ex-coaches knowing full well they could make news and leave for another job.

ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute takes the Alleged Worldwide Leader to task for its failure to press the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story and holding a tape for eight years.

Alex Weprin of TVNewser writes that ESPN has hired Bloomberg News sports business reporter Michele Steele.

Over to Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk who has Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid angry at NFL Network for its portrayal of wide receiver DeSean Jackson after last night’s game with Seattle.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News discusses the viewership increase for Thursday Night Football.

Mike writes about the quintet of games that will open the NBA season on Christmas Day.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has an advance clip of a CNN Sunday interview with ESPN Vice President of News Vince Doria speaking about the handling of the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story.

Dan has a very strong promo for the return of the NBA.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that on the Dan Patrick Show, TNT’s Charles Barkley had some fighting words for notorious sports self-promoter Skip Bayless.

Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile truck operators are happy to have the NBA back in action.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says while the NBA Lockout has been settled, there’s still a battle that will continue for several years.

Sports Media Watch looks at the NFL ratings for Week 12 for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing looks at the machinations behind a longer Thursday Night Football schedule.

East and Mid-Atlantic

At the Boston Globe, Chad Finn looks at how Twitter broke the Bobby Valentine-to-the Red Sox story and he handicaps the race to replace Heidi Watney as NESN Red Sox reporter.

Howard Beck at the New York Times notes that current NBA players are returning slowly but surely to NBA TV which has been stuck showing games from the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson reports that the NFL is looking for big bucks from NBC to renew the rights to Sunday Night Football.

The Post’s Phil Mushnick wants the networks to stop showing touchdown celebrations.

Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler.

Newsday’s Neil Best bids adieu to WFAN’s Tracy Burgess who left the Boomer and Carton show today.

Neil looks at ESPN being a stepping stone for coaches who are looking for their next job.

Neil has a quickie review of the ESPN Films documentary on former quarterback Todd Marinovich.

And Neil notes that local football players aren’t making news on social networks, but the old fashioned way… on radio.

Bob’s Blitz has pictures of Tracy Burgess’ last day at WFAN.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox is trying to get the word out that it’s back in the college football business.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says Fall River’s Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ Unguarded documentary, will be in the local area to talk about his battle with addiction.

Dave Hughes from has the latest Baltimore/Washington DC sports media news in this week’s Press Box.

In the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg tells us what happened to local sports radio host John Riggins who’s been missing as of late.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson and Charles Davis about calling back-to-back conference championship games on successive nights.


David Barron in the Houston Chronicle talks with NFL on Fox sideline analyst Tony Siragusa who will be part of the crew calling the Atlanta-Texans game on Sunday.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge who will call the annual Bedlam game.

Mel says Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster are pulling double duty this weekend.


John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Time Warner Cable will be busy with local high school football this weekend.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the Detroit Lions have received more national media attention whether it’s deserved or not.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Charles Davis talking about Wisconsin running Montee Ball’s Heisman Trophy chances.

Bob says NASCAR races will be airing on a different Milwaukee radio station next year.

In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has his weekly winners and losers.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says it’s going to be a busy weekend for Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster on Fox.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis University may be a rising college basketball program, but it hasn’t translated to more national exposure.


John Maffei of the North County Times says local Cox subscribers will be able to see Time Warner Cable’s coverage of the state high school football championships this weekend.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the Pac-12 Championship won’t be the showcase that Fox had in mind.

Jim says the SEC Championship will have BCS National Championship Game implications like it always does.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Fox is doing its best to sell a less than stellar Pac-12 Championship Game matchup.

Tom has what didn’t make his column in his blog.

Tom says the new Los Angeles Dodgers radio flagship will hire former manager Kevin Kennedy as a postgame host.


Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail gleefully points out that Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada is drawing lower ratings than in the past.

And that’s going to do it for our linkage tonight.

Rumored Replacements For Heidi Watney at NESN

If NESN had any sense of PR, they’d be playing up the hunt for Heidi Watney’s replacement like one of their Red Sox-related reality shows.

I get constant questions about it, and looking at Chad Finn’s Twitter stream, he’s getting asked about it all the time as well. He also devoted some of his Friday media column to the subject, with info on the first three candidates below.

Here are three candidates that have been rumored (though it appears now that Sullivan is no longer in the running):

Hawksworth, the sister of Dodgers pitcher Blake Hawksworth (which will get her some inside MLB info right there) has a history in Boston, having spent three years at FOX 25. Chad Finn thinks she is the favorite for the job.  Of the candidates here, she’d be my pick as well.

I’m actually not sure Royle is even an official candidate. (Apparently she is, Finn says she interviewed today.) If we’re talking actual baseball reporting experience and history, she’s clearly the best for the job. However, that’s likely not all that NESN is looking for in this hire. She’s been doing weekend shows on WEEI, raising her profile in the local market. She’s from here, grew up following the local teams and she wants to come home.

Ken Fang reported this morning that Sullivan is no longer a candidate.

On November 19th, The Big Lead said that Sullivan was the top candidate to replace Watney. Her website gives her job history, which includes work with CBS Sports Network, Versus, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Big Ten Network and ESPN.

Fang believes that Courtney Fallon should be a candidate, though I haven’t heard her mentioned anywhere:


Watney Officially Out At NESN, Sox Still Searching…

While Sean McAdam and Chad Finn reported yesterday that Heidi Watney would not be returning to NESN, the network officially confirmed the news this morning by issuing a statement from NESN President and CEO Sean McGrail:

“Heidi Watney will not be returning to NESN next year. She is pursuing other opportunities that would bring her closer to her family on the west coast. We respect Heidi’s decision and would like to thank her for everything that she has brought to NESN over the past 4 years and wish her the very best.”

Watney was a popular topic this morning, as several outlets wrote about her departure.

Heidi Watney heads back to California – The Boston Herald tells of a humiliating encounter with a rude Bill Murray a few years back.

NESN reporter latest to leave Fenway – Mike Fine has Watney as the latest in a long line of exits from Fenway Park this offseason.

Heidi Watney trading Red Sox beat to cover Los Angeles Lakers – Vernon Hill reports for the Springfield Republican.

Heidi Watney Leaving NESN to Head West & Cover the Lakers – Ryan Durling has Watney urging followers just the other day not to jump to conclusions.

Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney is leaving NESN – Brian Rabuffetti on cites rumors of Watney’s personal life.

Say it ain’t so! Heidi Watney leaves Red Sox for Lakers gig – The Yahoo! Sports baseball blog notes that Watney worked hard to improve her game over her four seasons here.

The Red Sox may have lost out on their top managerial candidate, as Dale Sveum has emerged as the favorite to be hired by Theo Epstein to manage the Cubs in 2012.

Cubs want Dale Sveum; Sox search goes on – Scott Lauber has the Cubs offering Sveum the job. Sean McAdam says that it’s likely that Sveum will take the job. In the Globe, Peter Abraham says that this may force the Red Sox to re-open their search for a new manager.

Sox hoping slow, steady wins race – Michael Silverman notes that in the three weeks since Ben Cherington took over, the Red Sox have yet to make a single significant decision.

Sox want the goods from Cubs – Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox are still insisting on “significant” compensation from the Cubs for Epstein.

Sox could bring on Minaya to baseball ops staff – Maureen Mullen reports that the Sox might be considering the former Mets GM for a front office role here.

Down in Foxborough yesterday, Rob Ninkovich was one of the centers of attention, following his two pick night (one of which, Steve Burton noted after the game, was an interception!) in New York on Sunday.

Handy man – Julian Benbow as a look at Ninkovich once again proving himself on a national stage. Mark Farinella wonders if Ninkovich, in addition to taking his number #50, might fill Mike Vrabel’s old role as a goal-line tight end at some point. Rich Garven has the linebacker rising up with the rest of the no-name defense. Jeff Howe looks at how far Ninkovich has come from being an overwhelmed Saints rookie in 2006. Paul Kenyon has Ninkovich becoming an overnight sensation – in six years.

Andre Carter, Brian Waters make Bill look good – Following the theme of my PD column yesterday, Karen Guregian notes that not every move this year has been a Haynesworth-sized disaster.

Tyler Palko, not Matt Cassel, next up on Pats’ slate – Ian Rapoport has Cassel’s homecoming getting canceled because of injury.

Cannon practices for first time as member of Pats’ active roster – Glen Farley’s notebook has the fifth round pick going through his first practice. The Herald notebook has more on Cannon. The Patriots Journal has Bill Belichick talking about Tyler Palko. The Globe notebook from Julian Benbow and Monique Walker has more on Chiefs QB.

With no end in sight to the NBA lockout, we’ve got a pair of Celtics writers doing features on the Bruins this morning:

Peter’s Principles: How the Bruins’ architect built the Cup champions – Paul Flannery has a feature on the Bruins GM.

Chara: The journey, sacrifices, and Stanley Cup – Jessica Camerato has a feature on the Bruins captain.

Bruins putting it all together in win streak – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins hitting their stride.

Cranking Out The Friday Megalinks

Let’s do some Friday linkage for you.

MLB Postseason starts up really in earnest with four games on Saturday. College Football in full swing and the NFL completes its first month of games on Sunday. Your Weekend Viewing Picks have everything you need to know in sports and primetime programming.

To the linkage.


Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage will be known for having the Brothers Waltrip next year.

Mike Reynolds of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Turner Sports will be all over the League Division Series for the first four days of the MLB Postseason.

Adweek has a graphic showing how much time we spend on watching football.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that TBS and Fox should see good ratings for the MLB Postseason based on an exciting final night of the season on Wednesday.

Nelli Andreeva of Deadline reports that ESPN is developing an ABC sitcom based on Boston sports fans. That’s going to go over well.

Bill Hofheimer in ESPN’s Front Row blog talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about calling a “home game” this Monday.

Jim Romanesko of the Poynter Institute looks at the despicable reaction of Buffalo Bills fans to a column written by a female sportswriter at the Albany Times Union.

Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Mike Francesa attempting to add on the air.

Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group looks at ESPN placing microphones on various players and coaches during the WNBA Finals.

Brandon chronicles a wild Wednesday night at MLB Network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the advantages or lack of thereof having a bigger payroll in MLB.

The Sports Biz Miss Kristi Dosh tells us that despite not making the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox still get a share of the postseason pie.

The Sports Media Watch looks at how the tumultuous Final Night of the MLB season led to a ratings bonanza for ESPN.

SMW says for the MLB season, ESPN’s ratings went up slightly.

SMW says TBS’ ratings for the MLB regular season were flat compared with last year.

Joe Favorito looks at how Dick Vitale has made himself into a viable brand.

The Daly Planet delves into the changes with the Fox Sports NASCAR crew.

The Influencer Economy has a look into Blogs with Balls 4 and the future of sports media.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe (this is the last day I’ll be able to link to Chad as his columns go behind the dreaded paywall starting October 1) writes about NESN viewers unable to see analyst Dennis Eckersley on the last day of the season.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy shares some blame in the Red Sox collapse.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with TBS’ Brian Anderson who steps into the network’s lead spot for the MLB Postseason.

Justin Terranova of the New York Post has five questions for NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a new local sports talk show host isn’t spending any time discussing any local topics.

Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes about local radio stations picking up MLB League Division Series games.

To the New Jersey Newsroom where Evan Weiner says the college conference shuffle is making fans roll their collective eyes.

In the Allentown (PA) Morning Call, Keith Groller writes that MLB will have a hard act to follow in the postseason after a compelling final night of the regular season.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet will be all over the Phillies in the MLB Postseason.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of writes that sections of the Baltimore Sun’s sports website will go behind the dreaded paywall.


The Florida Times-Union reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have avoided a blackout for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

To the St. Petersburg Times where Tom Jones says Sun Sports got big ratings for the Tampa Bay Rays’ march to the playoffs this week.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that MLB Network was all over the twists and turns from the final night of the regular season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his news and notes.


John Kieswetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a local CBS affiliate will provide halftime highlights during Bengals games at Paul Brown Stadium.

John writes that Saturday’s Cincinnati-Miami game will be seen live online and on local TV on tape delay.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with Tigers TV voice Mario Impemba about the team’s chances of advancing in the MLB Postseason.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson about getting the top gig for TBS for the playoffs.

Bob has a couple of quotes from CBS’ Phil Simms about Sunday’s Denver-Green Bay game.

To Crain’s Chicago Business and Ed Sherman who writes that Nebraska’s addition to the conference can only help the Big Ten Network.

Ed has his winners and losers in sports media and business.

In the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin, Paul Christian talks with former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster who’s now patrolling the sidelines for Gus Johnson and FX’s college football game of the week.

Jennifer Mann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been arrested on DUI charges for the second time this year.

Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch writes that Fox Sports Midwest has suspended McLaughlin indefinitely.


Bill Center in the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres expect to bring back its TV booth, but no word on the team’s radio announcers or new TV contract for next season.

The Union-Tribune says Sunday’s Chargers game against the Dolphins will be blacked out.

John Maffei of the North County Times says the Padres hope to have a new TV deal (with Fox Sports Net) in place by the New Year.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes that Wednesday’s MLB season finale was Must See TV.

Jim says despite being on a losing team, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp is in the center of the MVP debate among TV analysts.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Jenn Brown’s endorsement deal with GNC.

Tom says Bill Macdonald’s full-time days with Fox Sports West are over.

Tom looks at TBS’ coverage of the MLB Postseason.

Tom wonders why the NFL pulled back the 1st half Thursday Night Football package from the table.


In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin says MLB got a shot in the arm on Wednesday.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog writes that TSN has locked up curling on TV in Canada through the end of the decade.

And that’s going to do it. I may have a few more links later tonight.

A Pre-Hurricane Friday Megalinks Edition

As we batten down the hatches for the impending hit of Hurricane Irene this weekend, I hope you remain safe and sound throughout Sunday.

For those of you looking for a diversion from Hurricane Irene coverage either on the Weather Channel or local news, I do have the sports and entertainment listings in the Weekend Viewing Picks. If you’re in the projected path or far from it, this will help you find the program you’re looking for.

Let’s get to the links.


Bob Velin of USA Today says Floyd “Money” Mayweather is ready for his HBO close-up again as he takes part in another edition of 24/7.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy says ESPN golf analyst Paul Azinger took a jab at President Obama for playing golf on his vacation while people are out of work.

Sen Gregory of Time says ESPN The Magazine’s story making Michael Vick a white man was wrong on several accounts.

Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has secured the rights to ACC sports including football and basketball.

Multichannel News says soccer-centric Gol TV will air the start of Spain’s La Liga following the resolution of a player’s strike this week.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that MSG Varsity will produce local editions of its High School SportsDesk program.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid reports that sports media site SportsNewser will be closing up shop at the end of this month. Sad to see. The site was a very good resource for Fang’s Bites. Marcus Vanderberg and Cam Martin from SportsNewser have become good friends and I hope they land on their feet soon.

Wayne Friedman at MediaPost says the New York Jets have become an innovator in their use of social media.

Joe Favorito looks at how sports marketing powerhouse IMG redefined itself into a marketer for college sports.

John Daly in his Daly Planet blog says Hurricane Irene coverage on several local ABC stations may put a crimp for fans who want to watch NASCAR on Saturday.

The Big Lead takes a look at ESPN’s plans for its annual all-day and all-night College Basketball Marathon coming in November.

Brady Green at Awful Announcing notes that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis did a stab at play-by-play in last night’s game against the DC NFL team.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe notes that fantasy sports can no longer be ignored by the mainstream media and he adds that Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle is a candidate to fill one of three potential vacancies at NESN.

At SBNation Boston, Bruce wonders which reporter is apologizing for Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.

Newsday’s Neil Best says Entourage tapped New York Giants owner Steve Tisch for an appearance on the HBO show.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is back from a brief vacation to hate everything in his path.

Justin Terranova of the Post speaks with CBS’ Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason on what they expect from New York’s NFL quarterbacks this season.

Justin has five questions for ESPN2 tennis analyst Brad Gilbert on the U.S. Open.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says due to Hurricane Irene, the Jets and Giants have moved the starting time of their NFL exhibition game to Saturday afternoon.

Pete says Marv Albert is happy to be calling NFL games on television once again.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Capital Region fans will have two opportunities to see the Jets-Giants on Saturday.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes about a former area high school athlete who’s doing overnight updates for WFAN in New York.

Richard Rys of Philadelphia Magazine blasts ESPN for airing every game ofthe Little League World Series.

Childs Walker, Jeff Zrebiec and Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun says Mike Flanagan’s friends including MASN’s Gary Thorne are still coming to grips with his death.

David Zurawik of the Sun writes that WBAL-TV is standing by its report as to why Flanagan took his own life.

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that an original Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic personality said goodbye last night.

Dan has the debut Geico spot featuring DC NFL Team linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will split its feed to air pregame shows of both the Baltimore Ravens and DC NFL Team during weeks when they’re programmed simultaneously.


The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that while Verizon FiOS signed to carry the Longhorn Network, it won’t have tonight’s launch on its system.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network is having less than an auspicious launch.

David says despite the low viewership numbers at the start, the Longhorn Network’s staff remains upbeat about its future.

Gary Dinges of the Austin American-Statesman says most Texas fans will probably miss tonight’s Longhorn Network launch barring some miracle cable and satellite pickups.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman also writes about the Longhorn Network’s launch.


John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable will air a slate of high school football games this fall.

Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star notes that ESPN is in town to air a couple of high school football games this weekend.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NBC is going all out for the NFL regular season opener between the Saints and the Packers.

Ed Sherman has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Paul Christan at the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says don’t confuse NFL Network with DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package.

Paul says the Minnesota Vikings without Brett Favre this season won’t be primetime darlings this season.


Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says don’t confuse BYUtv with the Longhorn Network.

John Maffei of the North County Times says if the NFL wants a Los Angeles franchise, it shouldn’t poach the Chargers.

T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times tells fans to stay home and watch the games on TV.

T.J. can’t believe the Dodgers are asking fans to evaluate Vin Scully’s performance as a broadcaster.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Fox Sports West will air one high school football game a week and stream a whole host of them online.


Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says buyer beware when it comes to Twitter.

That will do it for today. Be safe wherever you are this weekend.