The Media Learning Curve: Serving up leftovers … it’s our double fault

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Amy Sancetta/Associated Press
Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia returns to Chang Kai-Chen of Taiwan during Wednesday’s play at the U.S. Open.

The follow up to today’s media column (linked here) on how the Tennis Channel is covering New York’s U.S. Open from its L.A. studios — or covering up the fact it has no real set — with more doublefaults on our part:

== While Fox sends 64 percent of the country see Kenny Albert, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal on the Red Sox-White Sox game, the L.A. market (and 22 percent) will get Dick Stockton and Eric Karros doing San Francisco’s game at Milwaukee (Saturday, 1 p.m.)

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== The Lancaster Jethawks, the Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, have created an internet radio station that will allow nearly 200 games and thousands of hours of local sports talk coverage around the Antelope Valley. Going by the name “Community Sports Network @ JetHawks.com,” the free service will stream live 24 hours a day with local coverage, including live play-by-play of the JetHawks’ games, Antelope Valley College football and basketball, plus a high school football and basketball game of the week, all accessible through www.JetHawks.com. It launches Saturday at 6 p.m. with a pre-game show leading into the JetHawks-Inland Empire game, plus the Antelope Valley footblal opener at College of the Canyons. JetHawks GM Larry Thornhill, who was in the local broadcasting business at Clear Channel before joining the team, said: “AV sports fans are very supportive of their teams and the JetHawks are glad to provide a place for our local high school and college athletes to get the coverage they deserve.”
In addition, local high schools have been offered the opportunity to create their own talk shows to feature their student athletes and be hosted by student journalists.

== Despite a format change starting Tuesday that abandons the all-news lineup and brings a mishmash of news, general doctor talk and Clippers games, the immediate plans for KFWB-AM (980) seem to be keeping regular sports anchors Bill Seward, Bret Lewis and Ted Sobel, despite at least 20-some staff layoffs. The three are actually paid by the Metro Traffic Network.

== A partnership between CBSSports.com, MaxPrep.com andh SportsIllustrated.com will merge content among Internet and print platforms, the companies announced this week. As a result, high school online sports provider MaxPreps.com will be in SI.com’s High School section front and push content for SI’s “Faces in the Crowd” feature. SI writers, including David Feherty and Seth Davis, will also be featured on CBSSports.com.

== The first seven entries to an ESPN Films “30 for 30″ documentary series will launch Oct. 6 and airi on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. through Nov. 10. As part of ESPN’s celebration of its 30th anniversary, it has hired well-known filmmakers to create documentaries centered on the last 30 years in sports.
Peter Berg’s film called “Kings Ransom,” on the trade of Wayne Gretzky to the Kings in 1988 starts the series. On Oct. 20, a Mike Tollin film on “Who Killed the USFL?” airs. The remaining 23 films in the ESPN Films “30 for 30″ project will be aired throughout 2010.


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== The NFL Network airs “Working on a Dream: A Super Bowl Journal” where Bruce Springsteen spends an hour narrating a documentary on how he and the E Street Band pulled off last February’s Super Bowl XLII halftime show. It launches Monday at 5 p.m. with several replays.

== HBO has targeted Tuesday, Sept. 22 for episode two of “Joe Buck Live,” scheduled to include a gathering of former NFL quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, John Elway and Joe Namath.

== Tom Hammond, Pat Haden and Alex Flanagan return, with full pay, to do the home-season coverage of Notre Dame football games for NBC, starting with Saturday’s opener against Nevada (Channel 4, 12:30 p.m.)
“I anticipate this to be a much different Irish team than we have seen the past two years — better, more talented, more confident,” said Haden in a statement. “The Irish have not had the depth that they possess this year in any year I have covered them for NBC.” The NBC-Notre Dame marriage, which began in 1991, runs at least through 2015. Future NBC Irish games include Oct. 17 against USC.

== AND FINALLY:

This was then:

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== With Monday marking the 30th anniversary of ESPN’s arrival on the sports TV landscape – and it’s all good after that, right? – a very special 90-minute “SportsCenter” airs Sunday (ESPN, 8:30 p.m., following the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage) with Chris Berman, Bob Ley and John Saunders co-hosting. It reairs late Sunday (1:30 a.m. Monday) as well as five more times on Labor Day through 9 a.m. It’s the usual array of news getting pushed out of the way for segments on the anchors’ most memorable moments, bloopers, pontificating reflections about the change in the sports landscape, what was cool in 1979 and Robin Roberts (a former ESPN anchor now working at ABC’s “Good Morning America”) chatting with another ex-ESPNer Gayle Gardner. Ley joined ESPN two days after its launch; Berman arrived in October, ’79, and Saunders joined in 1986. Not because of this – mostly because of the Sprint Cup race – the Dodgers’ home game against San Diego on Sunday night (5 p.m.) airs on ESPN2 with Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips.

That is now (or, at least five years ago):

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