Friday AM updates: Weekly media column version 12.20.13

polls_Naughty_and_Nice_1_1519_120724_answer_1_xlargeWhat made it into this next-to-last media column for 2013:

727_1359396603More on the transformation of Fox Sports Radio’s national lineup versus how it affects the future of KLAC-AM (570) (even that hug ,made us all a bit uneasy, didn’t it?), the limited Time Warner Cable coverage of this weekend’s CIF state football championships, how
Patine-Bottle1Kings TV analyst Jim Fox has become chief bottle washer with his new wine label that not-coincidentally has the coolest label around (read more at, and more on the Lakers-Heat Christmas Day game that could deteriorate quickly.

What could have made it in as notes, but will have to be content with being here instead:

Friday AM updates:
== Don Barrett writes at “With the upcoming changes in the sports line-up at KLAC and Fox Sports Radio, Pat O’Brien is the winner. He has a guaranteed contract. ‘I have professional freedom and can move on or move on to the next journey,’ emailed Pat. His podcast, ThePatOBrien Show now has a full time employee:  him.”
Really? That’s how POB is going to try to frame this? It’s a case of a major league team so focused on getting someone off its roster that its  willing to pay his contract for him to play for another team, and hope he’ll get plenty of at-bats against them.

== Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN’s “College GameDay” averaged 1.83 million viewers this past season, but that was down 10 percent when it was a two-hour continuous show (coupled with the early first hour on ESPNU). Not that “Fox College Saturday” on FS1 factored in. In its first year, it averaged 73,000 viewers.

Original updates:
== Prime Ticket’s “Trackside Live” has coverage of the final day of Hollywood Park (Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.), picking up the TVG feed. Also check out TVG’s “Racing Coast to Coast” from noon to 2 p.m.

== Sports Illustrated did not have a tough pick for its sports media person of the year: ESPN’s Jay Bilas. We’re bias for Bilas as well, especially after he came out last March with his interesting book, “Toughness.” And then talked to us about it prior to an early-morning arrival at Pauley Pavilion for a “College GameDay” show.

226538pre_8df8342b76731e8== ESPN has announced what it’s calling a “BCS Megacast” for the Jan. 6 college football national title game between Florida State and Auburn at the Rose Bowl.
Essentially, while the game airs on ESPN at 5:30 p.m., there will also be:
= On ESPN2, a show that “will allow fans to eavesdrop on the casual and organic conversations of ESPN college football analysts and special guests such as coaches, players and celebrities discussing the game” will take place.
= On ESPNEWS: More ESPN experts “as well as guest coaches and players providing in-depth X and O analysis of the game as it happens from a film room equipped with multiple camera angles and touchscreens.”
= On ESPN Classic: A “Sounds of the BCS” with only the natural sounds of the game supplemented with graphics of what’s going on. (Sign us up for that now).
== At ESPN Goal Line: A split screen with live game action and immediate replays of every play, using the ESPN Radio broadcast call.
= On ESPN3 online: Separate radio calls from Auburn and Florida State. Plus a “campus connection” feature that has watching parties from both campuses. 

== Why ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap’s book about Jesse Owens has the green light for a movie.

== NBC’s announcement that it will use its NBC Sports Network channel to show live figure skating during the 2014 Winter Games — events that will then re-air in taped prime time — is explained by the Associated Press. NBCSN will show 230 total hours of coverage of many different sports, which NBC said is a record for a cable channel.

== What’s wrong with a major network “tilting” toward female viewership in light of a light sports schedule? The New York Times’ Bill Carter explores that dynamic. That said, ABC will use a former and current ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor — Josh Elliott and Hannah Storm — to host the Tournament of Roses Parade coverage on Jan. 1 from 8-to-10 a.m.

== Do those who vote for the Heisman Trophy have to keep it quiet until after the selection is announced? Just another reason why writers who get involved in these kinds of decisions end up making more news than they should be.

== CBS Sports Network will do a simulcast not of Jim Rome’s 9 a.m.-to-noon show that plays somewhere outside of L.A. but of the “Boomer & Carton” show that airs on WFAN-AM out of New York live from 6-10 a.m. in the East/3-7 a.m. Pacific. The show is hosted by Boomer Esiason, from CBS’s NFL Sunday pregame show, and Craig Carton.

== What do you make of the new blue dye on the lanes that the Pro Bowlers Association is trying to do on the ESPN telecasts lately? Norman Chad throws some oil on the squeaky column in trying to figure it out while the Sports Video Group does some more explaining. The next TV event is Sunday’s World Series Scorpion Championship from Las Vegas at 12:30 p.m.

== ESPN’s coverage of the eighth annual Maggie Dixon Classic – named for the late Army women’s basketball coach out of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks who died in April 2006 of a heart arrhythmia, runs at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday with No. 1 Connecticut facing No. 21 California at 11 a.m. on ESPN, following Texas A&M vs. St. John’s at 8 a.m. on ESPNU. Pam Ward and Caryolyn Peck call both games.

== Nice to see Reggie Miller has agreed to join the Dan Patrick syndicated radio show on Monday’s moving forward after his regular appearances suddenly disappeared for no apparent reason. The TNT game analyst explained during his return this past Monday that he was “going through a transition from the TNT studio to doing games with Kevin Harlan and wanted to focus on that. But just like ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ I can’t quit on you, Dan. I had to come back.”

== ESPN has reunited with the Arena Football League  to start carrying at least 10 regular season and post-season games starting in 2014, plus the ArenaBowl. It will also have access to at least 75 games to air on ESPN3. ESPN carried the first ArenaBowl live in 1987, but hasn’t done the title game since 2002. The added incentive: The new L.A. KISS franchise comes into the fold, and the AFL runner-up last season, the Philadelphia Soul, is owned in part by ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski.

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  • Duarte_Road

    Dear Tom: Thanks so much for brining attention to the CIF state high school football championships “situation.” The lack of coverage provided by TWC and the CIF is embarrassing beyond belief. Major props go out to Fox Sports West and how they provide tremendous coverage throughout the season and early playoff action BEFORE TWC takes over for the championship games. Way to go CIF — you remind me more of the NCAA every year that passes by.