The media learning curve archs forward: More on Rosenthal, Coach K, Costas and Tafoya

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In addition to today’s media column on Fox baseball reporter Ken Rosenthal and the disjointed Breeders’ Cup coverage on ESPN2/ESPN and ABC this weekend (linked here), we’ve got it on good word that:

==TNT’s Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins and Cheryl Miller will call the Lakers’ season opener (exclusive to the cable channel) against Portland from Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. after the Cleveland-Boston contest (with Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, Reggie Miller and Craig Sager).
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown will call the Lakers-Clippers contest from Staples Center at 7:30 p.m., following its network coverage of Phoenix-San Antonio, and repeat it at midnight. But since ESPN does not have exclusivity, KTLA-Channel 5 will also have it (from the Clippers’ vantage point, since it is their season opener) and KCAL-Channel 9 carries it as a Lakers’ road game. FSN Prime has a detached Lakers’ live show at 6:30 p.m., leading into Ducks-Red Wings coverage.

==CBS hired Greg Anthony as its top NCAA basketball studio analyst starting in December. He replaces Clark Kellogg, who is replacing Billy Packer as the lead game analyst. Anthony, the former UNLV star, was on ESPN’s NBA studio show since 2002.


==The NFL Network will have recently fired San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan in the Culver City studios with “NFL GameDay Morning” crew Spero Dedes, Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp (7 to 9 a.m., Sunday).

==Because of a conflict with KSPN-AM (710) covering USC-Arizona football Saturday, KABC-AM (790) will air the ESPN Radio feed of World Series Game 3 starting at 5 p.m., as well as a Game 6 (if necessary), due to KSPN’s Clippers’ coverage against the Lakers in their NBA season opener, on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

==HBO replays last week’s light-heavyweight pay-per-view bout between Kelly Pavlik and Bernard Hopkins, Saturday at midnight. Hopkins won by unanimous decision. Heavily promoted during the show will be the fact that HBO launches a “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7″ show on Sunday (8:30 p.m.), leading into their Nov. 8 bout on HBO PPV.

==Bob Costas has been in talks with the new MLB Network about doing on-air stints with its game or studio coverage, according to the Sports Business Daily.
And if you want to know more about how Costas has time to do sports-book blurbs for about 50 of ‘em a year — he claims to have read them all — check out Neil Best’s story at New York Newsday (linked here).

==Michele Tafoya won’t be working courtside on ESPN or ABC NBA telecasts because of her workload affecting her staying-at-home mom status, she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She plans to keep doing her stint on ESPN Radio on Wednesdays as well as work on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

==CBS extended its deal with the annual Army-Navy game through 2018 and, starting in 2009, the game will be moved a week later and played on the second Saturday in December as the nation’s last regular-season game before the bowls start. The 109th meeting of the two this season is Dec. 6 (9 a.m.) from Philadelphia.

==Pete Van Wieren will retire after 33 years of doing Atlanta Braves play-by-play, he told the Atlanta Constitution.

==Paul Sunderland, who did the USC-Washington State post-game football show for FSN last Saturday, finds himself with this schedule this weekend:
Tonight: USC-Stanford volleyball, with Karch Kiraly and Holly McPeak, for FSN (8 p.m.)
Saturday: Voice over on the WTA Generali Tournament semifinals from Europe that airs from 5 to 9 a.m.
Sunday: Voice over on the WTA Generali Tournament finals at 5 a.m., then to UCLA for the Bruins’ volleyball match against Stanford (airs at 12:30 p.m. live).
Then to bed.

==Between coverage on NBC and the UniversalSports.com website, every competitor will be covered in Sunday’s ladies free skate during Skate America in Everett, Wash. NBC has coverage (on KNBC-Channel 4) Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic and Andrea Joyce will call it. NBC will also have the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Jan. 24-25, 2009 in Cleveland.

==Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has agreed to do a fourth season of his “Basketball and Beyond” sports-talk show for Sirius XM Radio on channel 144, on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. PDT.

==Also, tying up the story on Rosenthal covering the news about Alex Rodriguez opting out of his New York Yankees contract during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series:
Sports Illustrated initially reported the story, but “I wasn’t aware of that,” said Rosenthal, who had been told by the production truck that it was on the Associated Press. “They asked if I could call (agent) Scott Boras, I did, I confirmed it and added some details. When we went on the air, I was careful to say that Scott had confirmed this to me, but I didn’t mention the other sources who were reporting it. To this day, I’m not sure of what the proper ackowledgement should be. In this case, I think it was OK not to credit someone. (Executive producer) Ed Goren sometimes says that the Internet works so fast, he doesn’t care of where we get the information first.
“I didn’t think at the time it would create such a firestorm. I didn’t take any heat myself about it. Someone said that we didn’t give the Sports Illustrated writer credit. To me, you have to be careful about those kind of things. I hate it when I don’t get credited for a story I break. That’s important. All I did was say I confirmed it, and I was asked about that during a number of TV interviews the next day.
“I didn’t break it. I’m not taking credit for it. If I do get credit for it, I feel squeamish about it. Journalistically, it’s not proper, but that’s the power of TV.”

AND THE CLOSING ARGUMENT:

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==Sunday’s “Outside the Lines” (ESPN at 6 a.m., ESPNEWS at 9 a.m.) has a piece about Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s high school basketball days (she’s No. 22, front row), and one about Craig Robinson, the Oregon State basketball coach who is Sen. Barack Obama’s brother-in-law.
Palin, the Republican vice presidental running mate, tells reporter Sal Paolantonio that her 1982 Alaska high school girls championship is one of most memorable moments, when she played with an ankle injury but hit a critical free throw with 10 seconds left to help Wasilla win over Service High of Anchorage.
“It absolutely changed my life,” she says. “It may sound hokey — that state championship really was a very significant time in my life because we knew that our team, together we had overcome such adversity… I can relate so much of the principles of the lessons learned then to what we are going through right now.”
Yes, it does sound hokey. But that’s ol’ Sarah. A self-proclaimed hokey mom, dropping the puck in St. Louis tonight before the Kings-Blues game.

The story on Robinson shows how his coaching motivational skills pepped up a weary Obama on the campaign trail, and how in 1990, when Obama was dating his sister, Michelle, he shot baskets with him to test his character on the court.
“I could really see Barack being president,” said Robinson. “It just so happens that he’s married to my sister. It’s just hard to wrap my arms around the fact that she could be the first lady. I mean, that will be really cool.”

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