The Media Learning Curve: Sept. 17-24

Without the usual smokes and mirrors of the “smokes” and “chokes” segment in today’s media column (linked here), we’ve timeshifted it all to this part of the more interesting Internet part of the house:


== There’s no use of the word “pig” and “lipstick” in the press release to describe the changes made by ESPN on its “Around the Horn” show starting Monday, but let’s just say that by moving it to a new studio and showing it in high def, we don’t expect the intelligence level to rise dramatically.

This is the artist’s redition of how the set will look — as executive producer Erik Rydholm says, it’ll be “like Tony Reali is in a spaceship or an Apple store.”

Likewise, “Pardon the Interruption” will go hi-def starting Monday, and both shows will be moved to a new studio in the ABC News Bureau in Washington D.C.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon will do Monday’s show, but for the rest of the week, the wishy-washy voice of “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons will serve as the guest host (as he’s been this week).

Again, from the artists’ rendering, Kornheiser and Wilbon are somewhere near the middle of the set below, if you look closely:


== Fox Sports West has Bill Macdonald (play-by-play), John Jackson (analyst) and Lindsay Soto (sideline) on its coverage of USC-Washington State (Saturday, noon). Soto and Jeremy Hogue will also do the pre- and post-game shows.

== ABC has Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analyst) and Heather Cox (sideline) for its UCLA-Texas game (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7). The net returns with Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit for the Oregon State-Boise State telecast (5 p.m., Channel 7), while ESPN “GameDay” is in Boise, Idaho (starts on ESPNU at 6 a.m., then on ESPN at 7 a.m.). It will mark the first time the show has originated from a Western Athletic Conference site.

== ESPN sends out JP Dellacamera, John Harkes and Allen Hopkins to cover the Galaxy-New York Red Bull contest (tonight, 8 p.m., ESPN2), then bring in Alexi Lalas for halftime. The coverage from Home Depot Center will include the expense of a blimp and a super slo-mo with the usual compliment of cameras.

== Because the next 19th annual ESPY Award ceremony is just around the corner — Wednesday, July 13, 2011, if you haven’t bookmarked it yet — the network wanted all to know that “Saturday Night Live” guy Seth Meyers will return to host it from the Nokia Theatre in LA Live, ending any threat that it could go to Roy Firestone.


== They say it has something to do with Hispanic Heritage Month (which goes from September 15 to October 15 by some weird calendar), this televising Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game in both English and Spanish, and on both NBC and Telemundo. The Telemundo L.A. station (as well as those in Chicago, New York, Dallas and Miami) will have Jessi Losada, Rene Giraldo and Edgar Lopez on the call.

And Inez Whatshername has been told of this?

== MLB of note this weekend: MLB Network has tonight’s N.Y. Yankees-Boston game (4 p.m.). Fox goes to Cincinnati-San Diego (Chris Rose and Mark Grace) for Saturday’s game of the week (1 p.m., Channel 11), with MLB Network airing San Francisco-Colorado (5 p.m.). Sunday, TBS has San Francisco-Colorado (noon) while ESPN has Yankees-Red Sox (5 p.m.).

== Eric Karros with a new goatee? See for yourself on KCAL Channel 9’s “Think Blue” pregame (6 p.m., leading into the Dodgers-Dbacks telecast). Comment appropriately.

== ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada has a sit-down with the Dodgers’ Jay Gibbons set to air on Sunday’s “Outside The Lines” (ESPN, 7 a.m.). The clip above provides some context. Gibbons acknowledges he received HGH, testosterone and HCG, the female anti-fertility drug used essentially as a masking agent, and used the drugs sporadically for 18 months until 2005.

== After its “24/7” documentaries have worked in the boxing world, and once expanding into NASCAR, HBO will do one for the NHL’s Winter Classic, a four-episode series that leads up to the Penguins-Capitals game on New Year’s Day. The series starts Dec. 15. It ends on Jan. 5, with coverage of the game from Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.

== The New York-based Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame has announced as its 2010 inductions for this December: Leonard Chapman (CEO of Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, which specializes in camera cranes), Davey Finch (CBS’s lead handheld-camera operator for 30 years), John Madden (former NFL colorman from 1979-’08), Geoff Mason (a former ABC executive producer on the NFL and Olympic games from ’68 to ’88), John Roche (a technical manager for some of the largest live television events), Chet Simmons (former president of NBC Sports and the first CEO of ESPN), George Steinbrenner (the former New York Yankees owner, for his business in regional MLB coverage and launching the YES Network), and Pat Summerall (former CBS play-by-play man who did 16 Super Bowls).


== A Twitter exchange recorded earlier this week between Tim Cowlishaw, the Dallas Morning News and ESPN “Around the Horn” panelist, and Mike Florio, the editor and new contributor to NBC’s NFL Sunday night coverage:

From Cowlishaw: “Has Costas run out of people to talk to? Dumping Wade for Garrett after a Houston loss? News flash to Florio: Garrett’s not exactly hot.”
8:52 AM Sep 20th via web

From Florio: “Hey, Tim, isn’t there something about Darrelle Revis you should be fabricating today?”
10:02 AM Sep 20th via web in reply to TimCowlishaw

From Cowlishaw: “@ProFootballTalk took a law degree to come up with that? Sad.”
11:05 AM Sep 20th via Twitter for BlackBerry in reply to ProFootballTalk

Pardon that interruption.



== Congratulations to Lance Orozco, the news director for NPR station KCLU (88.3 FM in Ventura County and 1340-AM and 102.3-FM in Santa Barbara County ) for winning a 2010 National Edward R. Murrow Award in recognition of “Best Audio Sports Reporting” in the small market radio division for his story on “The Oldest Dodger.”

Orozco, a Sherman Oaks resident, profiled 100-year-old Tony Malinosky, the oldest living former major-leaguer, living in Oxnard (his Baseball Reference bio linked here).

Orozco joined KCLU on the Cal Lutheran University campus in 2001, working in the broadcast journalism field for nearly 30 years.

The Murrow ceremony will be Oct. 11 in New York.

== Hear “The Oldest Dodger” story (linked here). Read an Associated Press story last year on Malinosky (linked here).

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Coming Friday: Professor Enberg’s confession — what he gets out of watching baseball


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
San Diego Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada throws to first after forcing out the Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll to complete a double play on Andre Either during the first inning of Tuesday’s game at Dodger Stadium.

Consider the double play.

Dick Enberg says he does every night from his new home in the San Diego Padres’ TV booth.


“I’m still fascinated and memorized by it,” the 75-year-old Enberg, who cut back on his network NFL and college basketball assignments to sign a multi-year deal with the Padres to do their games.

“It’s something so few can appreciate. In less than four seconds, the ball comes off a bat, is fielded cleanly by one player, who has to throw it cleanly to another player, who has to catch it perfectly, avoid a sliding runner trying to knock him into centerfield, then make another perfect throw to first base …

“Two outs in four seconds …

“It’s the rhythm and dance that goes with a great double play that’s extraordinary. You might see one every game. You should, actually. But to watch it go from athleticism to something almost classic dance and art. And it is an art form. Coming back to the park every night, those are the little things you start to appreciate.”

Enberg, the former Angels’ play-by-play man in the 1970s, has been re-energized by this season with the Padres — so much so he admits he’s considering becoming a baseball-only broadcaster if he can clear out the rest of his network obligations.

We have more with Enberg in Friday’s media column.

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The Staples Center’s new stimulus package: The Kiss-Cam just got saucier


In theory, you stay home to watch a Lakers, Clippers or Kings game on TV because the picture is better (aside from ticket prices, traffic and laziness). The truth is, in most cases, your flatscreen at home is better than your own eye sight at the arena.

Staples Center has defined an answer to that.

This afternoon, it unveils a new Panasonic 4HD eight-sided, 720p high-def scoreboard that will be used for the first time during the Kings-Coyotes NHL exhibition game on Thursday.

Staples people say it’s “believed to be the largest indoor center-hung” high-def scoreboard and video screen system “in the world.” It works off the 16:9 letterbox format, 22-feet by 14-feet LED display. With that are 13′-9” x 14′-3″ video boards that keep the score, stats and game clock.

And for those poor fans sitting courtside, there’s additional 8-foot by 14-foot LED displays under the giant scoreboard to allow for easier replay viewing.

Apparently, the photo Staples Center provided doesn’t do it justice — yet, our eyes are already glazed over. If you can afford an admission ticket, that’ll be your chance to see if it all works, or if it simply causes more stimulus overload and neurological disorder.

Not to mention when the first outlet pass from Pau Gasol to Kobe Bryant grazes the bottom of it, we’ll figure it out as we go along.

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Breaking records in Vienna … more Schnitzel, scumbucket


Calling all idiots.

We’re not suggesting a quick trip to Austria to attend the Vienna Recordia 2010 this Sunday — the fifth annual event where Guiness Book of World Records are set and reset to the amusement of those attending.

But if you’ve got some Rosetta Stone homework left undone, maybe you can get extra credit helping us figure out what this circus entails.

From the rough translation we were able to obtain on the official website (linked here), “this day of superlatives promises spectacular record attempts, to participate in as well as to marvel at! From the attempt to collect the milk of a coconut with the bare hands to the trial to destroy as many baseball bats as possible with one hand – last year again several record attempts managed to gain an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.”


Another part of the sight implies someone named “Sir Hugh Beaver” will be there to record the records (linked here). Give Sir Beaver your best shot.

Last year, some remarkable accomplishments were achieved:

== Car cramming into a Smart Car: 15 cheerleaders from the Viennese American football team Vienna Vikings folded themselves inside a Smart car. This creates far more questions than answers: How did the Vikings do last season? Did Brett Favre retire from that team? Who had to sit on the back-seat hump? Did the stick shift get in the way? How smart was it really to do this? And did they remember to put on the seat belt?

== Most coconuts crushed by hand: Muhamed Kahrimanovic did 83. Previous record: Skipper, episode 43 of “Gilligan’s Island,” 1966. Kahrimanovic is also the guy who also holds the record for destroying 65 beer cans in one minute with his bare hands. So, he’s a one may recycling crew. Coconut beer has to be his next trick.

== Strongest Man: Franz Mllner turned a 600 kg Fiat eight times around in five minutes. Two years earlier at the Vienna Recordia, he pulled a 60-ton truck over 20 meters. In 2006, a 1.8 ton helicopter landed on his shoulders. Again, proving overseas health care is remarkable when compared to what we have the U.S.

== Longest Wiener Schnitzel: You ready for 9.55 meters? It took 500 people to eat it, with a free salad. Don’t go there.

== Most people solving a crossword puzzle: Some 443 participated on a puzzle for 10 minutes. We’re not even sure if they finished it. Easily, the most boring record broken that day. In fact it set a record: Most people standing in a crowd bored watching a world record broken.


== Tallest man: Turkey’s Sultan Ksen was certified to stand 246.5 cm. That translates to 8 feet, 1 inch. To put that into perspective, that’s almost two Al Rokers (or seven of the late Gary Coleman’s). Kosen’s country sorely missed him at the latest FIBA World Basketball Championships. He was asked recently what he’d like to get out of this title: “To travel and see the world and have a car that accommodates my size! My biggest dream though, is to get married and have children – I’m looking for love.” He can kill that in one smooth move: Offer to help the cheerleaders get out of the Smart car.

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A stadium on a platter


We’re trying to get our headline around a proposal to build a new stadium for the Oakland A’s that would essentially be built on a platform above Interstate 980.

The story recently in the Oakland Tribune (linked here) tries to explain how a local ubran designer and planner thinks a new ballpark can be “built over the depressed portion of I-980 between 14th and 18th streets. In essence, the bridges at 14th and 18th streets would be widened to connect, creating a solid platform where the stadium could be built.”

Grunwald says greenparks have been installed this way in cities such as Seattle and Phoenix to connect neighborhoods.

But the real hangup in all this, the story continues: “Air rights — rights to build above a highway.” The Federal Highway Administration and the California Department of Transportation need to approve it and “it could take years to get those rights.”

Eric Angstadt, planning director for Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency, said the idea of building a ballpark on top of I-980 had been looked at when the city and Major League Baseball began looking at sites but was dismissed because it did not meet certain requirements. He did not elaborate on those requirements.

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