Sports media column version 01.25.13

What made it into this week’s media column:

How did the Dodgers decide to venture off into their own channel, and still get paid billions to do so? And imagine all the time to fill with endless “Brady Bunch” reruns featuring Wes Parker as the guest star. Plus the backlash of a Katie Couric interview, Michelle Beadle’s new NBC Sports Net gig, and Frank Deford’s reason to shake his head at what he sees in today’s press box.

What unnecessarily got left out, due to time, space and other platitudes:

== NBC says the L.A. market generated a 1.5 rating for the Kings’ opener last Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks, the best-ever rating for a Kings game on NBC. But then again, Buffalo had a 22.3 local rating for the Sabres 5-2 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday on NBC, while the markets in Pittsburgh (19.4) and Philadelphia (7.8) did much better than L.A. for the Penguins-Flyers opener Saturday. Chicago did a 6.6 rating for the Kings-Blackhawks.

== Yet there are those in the media who still aren’t sure on whether the Sacramento or L.A. Kings are indeed talking about a move to Seattle. This time, ironically, the mistake isn’t coming from our own L.A. affiliates.

== Here’s the whole NPR commentary about how this is “Be Sympathetic to Sportswriters Week” by Frank Deford.

== Among the smoldering remains of the Manti Te’o story: Ed Sherman of the, on whether is the go-to news source (please, make it not true), Jeremy Schaap explains his side of tracking Te’o down last week in an ESPN piece;’s Richard Deitsch on breaking down the whole way Deadpin got the story, plus two Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper people break down how the story broke down; the New York Times’ piece by Richard Sandomir and James Andrew Miller about how ESPN’s internal debate about whether to release the story resulted in Deadspin swooping in. That story included this quote from an unnamed ESPN exec: “If I had my druthers, we would have run with it. We’ve had a bunch of discussions internally since then, and I don’t think it will happen this way again. I wonder sometimes if perfection is the enemy of the practical.”

== There’s also this “Editor’s Letter” from Christian Stone, the new managing editor of Sports Illustrated, on how his magazine was among those who perpetuated the Te’o hoax of the dead girlfriend without factchecking: “Hindsight is a wonderful, horrible thing. A story like this calls for an honest acknowledgement of our failure and a rigorous self-examination, but it also yields an opportunity. There is a story, a remarkable one that mutates with each news cycle, to be pursued and told.” He explains how SI then has one of those in this week’s issue, “with the gumshoed thoroughness and gray-hued, informed questioning that you demand of Sports Illustrated.”


Getty Images

== We saw the CNN press release mid-day Thursday announcing Rachel Nichols had decided to join its team after nine years at ESPN, and didn’t think much of it. Then the Associated Press decided it was newsworthy enough to run a story on it. But then Entertainment Weekly ran it — we’ll be damned if that didn’t get our attention. The step daughter-in-law of Diane Sawyer will anchor a new weekend CNN sports show later this year, and will be part of the network’s “coverage” of the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

== The men’s and women’s finals of the Australian Open have moved from ESPN2 to ESPN – the women’s title match between Victoria Azarenka and Li Na airs live on ESPN between midnight and 3 a.m. late tonight/early Saturday morning , with the replays going to ESPN2 on Saturday at 6-8 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. The men’s final live featuring two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic is on ESPN airs late Saturday night/early Sunday morning at midnight and repeats Sunday at 6 p.m. (ESPN2) and 4:30 p.m.

== ABC has picked the IndyCar race on June 8 from Texas Motor Speedway to air in prime-time as part of the 19-race televised schedule that the series will have this year. ABC has six IndyCar telecasts, starting with the Indianapolis 500 (May 26), and a double-header from Detroit (June 1-2). The season-finale from Fontana (Oct. 19) and the annual event from Long Beach (April 21) are part of the NBC Sports Network package. The Sports Business Journal reported that IndyCar viewership was down 17 percent on ABC last year, making the prime-time event a new wrinkle in the presentation. The season begins March 24 in St. Petersburg, Fla., on NBC Sports Network.

== The Desert Sun in Palm Springs has the story of Vin Scully’s recent appearance at Indian Wells to speak to about 200 people attending a lunch to support the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center.

== Shaquille O’Neal’s new truTV show called “Upload with Shaquille O’Neal” has a premiere date — Thursday, Feb. 21, 10:30 p.m. The weekly show includes O’Neal with co-hosts Gary Owen and Godfrey to do a “Tosh.0” version of Internet video collecting/commentary as well as, as the network press release says, “they will also make their own viral videos, pull pranks and create parodies of current pop culture stories.” A sample look is linked here.

== And finally: The MLB Network’s ongoing series “Costas at the Movies” continues Monday (5 p.m.) with a look back at “A League of Their Own.” Bob Costas asks director Penny Marshall about the lead character of Dottie Hinson — played by Geena Davis (right), but first offered to Demi Moore.
Said Marshall:

 “Demi Moore, I liked, but by the time we came around, she was pregnant. So Bruce (Willis) literally screwed her out of the part.”

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