What the plan is for Sunday’s media column:
We’ve hit the three-year milestone/hurdle in the launch of the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A.
Happy Freakin’ Birthday.
To some, the channel is just a rumor.
Others are channeling their energy on better things.
This isn’t some magic trick that has been played on Southern Californians, some who have resisted changing their current provider and refuse accessing it by other legal means necessary.
(DirecTV will still send you monthly marketing updates begging you to come back. It’s OK. Be strong.)
The passive-aggressive aggravation about distribution and the latest round of insult that has to with the decision to cut in half the total number of spring training telecasts in March is the latest trappings.
All the hand wringing aside, how and when will a solution come about? We talk to some who have ideas about how to go about bringing everyone together and what viewers can do in the meantime if they haven’t already considered the obvious.
What’s worth posting now:
== Our recent updates on the recovery from quadruple heart bypass surgery for the Kings’ Bob Miller, and the rehab process in store for KNX’s Randy Kerdoon after his Super Bowl Sunday heart attack — aside from the fact they live four blocks apart from each other in West Hills.
“Hmmm. Maybe it’s something in the water around here,” said Kerdoon.
And it is apparently news that Miller may not come back this season, as KCAL Channel 9 notes. Just consider the source.
== College basketball on the TV radar this weekend:
= No disappointment by the fact Dave Pasch and Bill Walton have the call on ESPN2’s coverage of UCLA at Cal, Thursday at 6 p.m. Pasch and Walton also called Arizona-Colorado for ESPN on Wednesday and got some attention for references to dinosaurs. Saturday, Walton will also do Arizona at Utah (11 a.m., ESPN) but the play-by-play man is listed as “TBD.” Having a tough time finding someone who wants to work with Walton?
Also note: Walton’s latest autobiography, “Back From The Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing it Down” (Simon & Shuster, 336 pages) is due out March 22. Walton told us about this book three years ago in this column.
= The Pac-12 Network’s Rich Cellini and Mike Montgomery are assigned USC at Stanford, Thursday at 8 p.m.
= FS1’s Joe Davis (the new Dodgers’ guy) and Steve Lavin call both UCLA at Stanford (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) and USC at Cal (Sunday, 5 p.m.). And looking ahead to next week, Lavin joins Kevin Burkhardt on USC playing host to Oregon State at the Galen Center on Wednesday (FS1, 8 p.m.)
= TWC SportsNet has Steve Quis, Casey Jacobsen and Kelli Tennant on the broadcast of Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount (Saturday, 1 p.m.)
== CBS and Turner Sports announced Thursday morning that its Sunday, March 13 NCAA Tournament bracket announcement show will be expanded for the first time to two hours, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., on CBS (as opposed to the 3-to-4 p.m. window). Since TBS will be doing the Final Four and title game this season, the expansion allows for more of the Turner crew to be incorporated in the bracket show. Meaning, Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel will co-host from New York, and analysts Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb share the set with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. CBS has been doing the selection show since 1982, when it was simply a half-hour agenda before expanding to an hour for 2002.
== Coming up on the 50th anniversary of Texas Western’s NCAA basketball championship, CBS Sports Network has a one-hour doc, “Championship of Change” that will air Sunday at 9 a.m. It will include a panel discussion moderated by journalist Jack Ford, members of that ’66 team, historians and other guests, including an interview with Kentucky star Pat Riley. A clip, at this link.
Texas Western, now known as Texas El Paso (UTEP), hastened the full integration of college basketball when coach Don Haskins started five black players for the team that beat Kentucky and Adolph Rupp for the title.
Ten years ago, Josh Lucas starred as Haskins in a movie version of this story, “Glory Road.” Haskins died in 2008.
== What else the Pac-12 Network has to offer this weekend:
= Kevin Barnett and Dain Blanton have UCLA at USC men’s volleyball (Saturday, 8 p.m.)
= Jim Watson and Amanda Borden have UCLA women’s gymnastics vs. Arizona State at Pauley Pavilion (Saturday 1 p.m., Pac-12 L.A.).
= Rich Burk, Amy Van Dyken and Cynthia Potter have the Pac-12 women’s swimming and diving championships, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.
= Jason Knapp, Ken Chertow and Anthony Robles call the Pac-12 wrestling championships (Saturday 5 p.m.)
= Guy Haberman and Ros Gold-Onwude have USC women’s basketball hosting Arizona State (Friday, 6 p.m.) and Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn have UCLA women’s basketball hosting Arizona (Friday, 8 p.m., Pac-12 L.A.).
= Anderson and Gold-Onwude call UCLA playing host to Arizona State (Sunday, 11 a.m.)
= Brian Hightower and Colin Hawley have UCLA rugby at Cal (Saturday, 3 p.m.)
== NBCSN will go with Chris Cuthbert on play by play and Pierre McGuire “Inside the Glass” for the Kings-Ducks game from Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday at 6 p.m. Last time the cable channel took a Kings-Ducks game, it included the Kings’ Jim Fox and the Ducks’ Brian Heyward as part of the broadcast team.
Also, the next NHL outdoor game goes to Coors Field in Denver when the Colorado Avalanche plays host to the Detroit Red Wings (Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 4). Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, McGUire, Kathryn Tappen and Jeremy Roenick are on the call.
== Launched last Friday, Colin Gunderson’s “Love of (Baseball emoji) Podcast” is the latest media project for the former Dodgers media front-office exec (who recently partnered with Tommy Lasorda on a book project). Gunderson says the simple purpose is to talk to guests to ask them how and why they fell in love with baseball,starting with his own story growing up in L.A. as a Mike Piazza fan. Interviews he has already banked include one with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon. Follow also on Twitter. Signing up for the podcast includes a current contest to win a Vin Scully signed baseball.
== As Kobe Bryant “revealed” on the current edition of HBO’s “Real Sports” airing this week, he’s expanding his media presence in his post-Laker career beyond ThePlayersTribune.com to start his own Newport Beach-based Kobe Studios company. As a part of Kobe, Inc.
== Think about it: Is there a real need for a daily update in the Erin Andrews’ hotel key-hole guy trial seeking $75 million (!) in damages? Because her career really has never been the same ever since, obviously.
Regardless, The Tennessean provides it.
(Even better — or worse — you can also buy the newspaper’s photographs from the trial. A 16×24 matte finish with a matted frame will only run you $55 more than the $24.95 print shot).
Plus, ESPN runs the daily AP reports with generally more testimony details. With their own set of photos (like, above, which are also taken by a Tennessean photographer).
== More ESPN in the courtroom news:
= ESPN is trying to get information out of Notre Dame, and is going to a three-judge panel for a decision. This is to help the network become better journalists.
= ESPN will have to defend itself against a lawsuit by the New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul, who says reporter Adam Schefter violated his privacy by posting his medical records on Twitter, the New York Post reported.
== A well-meaning contributor to Forbes.com has decided to help the next generation of sports media people break into the business with a primer on college choices that are better than others.
In an era of citizen journalism where practitioners often lack basic understanding of ethics, law and grammar, this is a fine approach. Get endorsed and credentialed by someone other than the Barbizon Modeling Institute, and you’ve got a foundation of some sort.
“There simply has never been a better time to break into the business of sports journalism,” the writer states, which, again, is debatable, but if you’re going to do it, do it right.
“As money pours into media rights, naturally the amount of television and digital coverage increases as more content is needed to sell commercial inventory against. The end result? Thousands of new jobs across the sports media spectrum, from broadcasting, analysis, content production, and everything in between.”
Again, dots are connected here, but it’s not really a real-life scenario. Talk to the hundreds of quality college-educated journalists out of work these days because of layoffs, cutbacks, shrinkage, consolidation, mergers, more layoffs and general lack of health benefits to keep someone fulltime.
Yet we digress.
The author hits on J-schools with quality reputations, such as Northwestern, Syracuse, Missouri, Arizona State and, eventually, USC. Among the Trojan broadcasting alums he touts: Arash Markazi (ESPN), Michele Tafoya (NBC Sports), Joe Sheehan (Sports Illustrated), Sean Salisbury (Yahoo Sports), Bob Lorenz (Yes Network), Petros Papadakis (FSN), Lindsay Rhodes (NFL Network).
That’s the best you can come up with? (Sheehan isn’t a broadcaster, by the way, but thanks for including print people).
Of course, if you’re simply scanning the Wikipedia page, you are limited by the public research that is involved in that exercise.
Try the alumni director of the USC Annenberg School for starters.
At least it’s a little more credible than what the ASU alum list cited in the Forbes piece: John Seibel and Matt Barrie (ESPN), Al Michaels (NBC Sports), and Madelyn Burke (FanDuel).
Yes, FanDuel is the journalism gig many seek right after we get turned down to be the next Al Michaels.
Knowing the bell is about to ring for this session to end, we submit other USC alums who have been part of the sports media business and might carry a bit more notability: Frank Gifford. Lynn Swann. Matt Vasgersian. Pat Haden. Cheryl Miller. John Naber. John Jackson. Keyshawn Johnson. Lisa Leslie. Sam Farber …
O.J. Simpson. Yes, we went there.
Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott, Tim Ryan, Tony Boselli, Anthony Munoz, Curtis Conway.
Kelli Tennant, Janet Evans, Bob Seagren, Brandon Granville, George Raveling, Brian Scalabrine, Fred Lynn, Aaron Boone, Randy Flores.
Tom Seaver …
BTW: Tafoya got her communications degree at Cal. She went to USC for an MBA. Kinda not related to sports broadcasting, but … then again, Rick Neuheisel got a law degree from USC after his UCLA career and …
But you get a little more context here. Or, stick with Markazi, etc. God speed to you. Might as well include Will Ferrall for his role in “Anchorman” while you’re at it.
And maybe go see “Spotlight” again. It’s kinda like “All The President’s Men” — we know, that’s a pretty archaic reference, but it could likely provide the same inspiration for some to get back into print journalism because of what it can do right.
== TWC’s SportsNet launched a contest this week that goes through April 3 where the winner gets two tickets to the Lakers’ game on April 13 — proported to be Kobe Bryant’s last game — as well as a photo, signed stuff, a tour of the TWC SportsNet studios and a “meet and greet” with TWC SportsNet broadcasters. You decide which part of that is most compelling.
More info on the “Encore for 24” sweepstakes is at TWCSportsNet.com/encorefor24 about how contestants will need to go to the TWC SportsNet Facebook page and can enter as many as five times by getting a “secret word” from a game broadcast (Feb. 24 has come and gone; the others are March 13, 27, 30 and April 3).
== And finally:
Circling back to ESPN celebrating the “5,000th”* appearance by Linda Cohn on SportsCenter (*-estimates may vary), and the desire to start some kind of list on the 25 all-time SportsCenter hosts, some comments on this one by AwfulAnnouncing.com:
= Tom Mees at No. 22 is just showing a complete lack of understanding about the development of “SportsCenter” prior to 2000.
= Lindsay Czarniak at No. 15 is interesting. She could be Top 10 by the time the night’s over.
= Craig Kilborn at No. 11 means he’s not Top 10? Wrong.
= Cohn pegged at No. 7? Well, sure, we can live with that.
= Rich Eisen, at No. 5? No, no, no, no, no (five times more if we wanted to). It’s about what he did at ESPN, not afterward. Even then …
= Scott Van Pelt at No. 3 again seems very, very … overrated … considering the top 2 are Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann (and should go in a co-1/2 because one isn’t there without the other).
= An “honorable mention” for Chris Berman is just pettiness. He’s top 5 easily. Unfortunately, but realistically.
= Hannah Storm as “honorable mention” is far too nice.
= A no-show for John Saunders? Again, huge miss.
= Where’s Chris Fowler? Bill Pito? Larry Burnett? Alan Massengale? Michelle Bonner? Danyelle Sargeant? The kid who won the “Dream Job” reality show contest?
After Olbermann saw the list — and confirmed that Berman and Saunders were definitely slighted — he then tweeted:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 22, 2016
Then again, if you need balance, there’s this BleacherReport.com click-fest list that came out in 2010 of the “50 worst” SportsCenter anchors since the launch in 1979. Cohn made this list. At No. 12. With the comment:”Linda Cohn’s voice makes me want to drag nails over a chalkboard to get the sound out of my ears. It’s that bad.”
And Olbermann also made the cut here. Again, at No. 1.
Without a retweet.