Weekly media column version 02.03.12

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Staff photo by John McCoy

What’s in today’s weekly media column (linked here): An update on the career of Paul Sunderland, who 10 years ago stepped in to replace Chick Hearn on the Lakers, had the job to himself after Hearn’s passing in the summer of 2002, and had it taken away three years later. Along with that: The final installment of the 20th edition of the best and worst of the Southern California sports media guys, this time focusing on play-by-play talents. No. 1: Vin Scully, who says his new hero is Betty White. The bottom four …. take a good guess.

What’s not in today’s column:

== Word is that since Time Warner’s new regional channels won’t be fully up and running until the fall, in time for the start of the Lakers’ 2012-13 season, the 18 Galaxy games that TWC will produce starting in March can be seen on Orange County’s KDOC-Channel 56. This, after a rights fee with Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket has ended. This summer, KDOC will also carry the WNBA’s Sparks, another franchise that TWC has taken from FSW/Prime.
Way to bury both sports in the L.A. market.

== A couple days after airing the first episode of “Luck,” HBO says it has already renewed the deal for a second, 10-episode season, starting in January, 2013. Production starts at the end of this month. The premiere last Sunday drew 3.3 million viewers so far as it continues to repeat. Warning if you haven’t seen it: Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke turns up in it, as … what is he, some kind of TV reporter?

== Highlights (or, lowlights) for NBC’s six hours of Super Bowl preview material starting at 9 a.m. on Channel 4:
Bob Costas interviews Tom Brady; Dan Patrick interviews Eli Manning; Tony Dungy sits with Tom Coughlin and Victor Cruz; Rodney Harrison interviews his former coach, Bill Belichick; Al Michaels visits with Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Costas interviews Harrison along with former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, the two men linked on Tyree’s famous “helmet catch” in Super Bowl XLII; Costas interviews commissioner Roger Goodell; Costas interviews Madonna; Matt Lauer interviews President Barack Obama from the White House; and Nick Cannon hosts a “red carpet” entrance for Adam Sandler, Danny Devito, and stars of all other kinds of NBC prime-time programming.

== Harrison, on whether he can objective as a TV analyst on this game: “Yes, I can cover it objectively. I’ve been objective. I’ve criticized Belichick, and the defensive backs from the Patriots as well as I’ve been complimentary at times to that team. That’s my nature. If I feel something, I’ll let you know it. But I’m not going to shy away from what I feel. If it means criticizing my former team, I’ve never been shy about doing that.”

== Fox/Channel 11 airs Chelsea against Manchester United on Sunday at 7:30 p.m., using Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and, yes, Piers Morgan on the call — all sitting in a studio in L.A. calling it live.

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== An explanation as to why Jon Weisman’s “Dodger Thoughts” enters the free-agent market again (linked here). Our thought? If we were starting our own L.A.-generated sports-content service, he’d be at the top of our list.

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