What’s worth posting up now:
== Bill Roth’s longing to return to the East Coast, and Josh Lewin’s desire to merge into a new family in Southern California, has resulted in UCLA changing play-by-play men on its radio football and basketball games for the 2016-17 season.
The move had been in the works for the last several weeks before UCLA announced it Thursday morning.
“When you have the chance to add a Hall-of-Fame broadcaster as accomplished as Bill to your program, you obviously have to give that serious consideration,” said UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero in the school’s statement. “Bill expressed tremendous interest in this position and his confidence in his ability to switch coasts ultimately gave us confidence in this choice. With his pedigree, it was impossible to say no. Unfortunately, Bill was unable to make this transition and has decided to return back home to the East Coast. We thank him for his hard work and professionalism over the past year and wish him all the best.
“Fortunately, as we all know, UCLA attracts exceptional talent. Josh made us aware of his interest in the position a couple years ago, but the timing simply wasn’t right with his other broadcast commitments. Currently with more flexibility in his other duties, it quickly became apparent, given the extensive search we conducted not all that long ago, that Josh is now an ideal fit. …
“Josh is the future of our UCLA broadcasts, and our future is bright.”
It was only a month after the Bruins’ 2015 college basketball season ended, and Chris Roberts’ retirement was official following a 23-year run at the school, when UCLA worked with media rights holder IMG and decided to hire Roth, who had spent the previous 27 years calling sports for Virginia Tech.
Lewin, who has been the San Diego Chargers’ radio voice since 2005 and callings Mets games since 2012, was on UCLA’s short list of candidates as well.
So what happened? It’s no coincidence that “Josh Lewin, voice of the Bruins” has a ring to it.
We have more on it at this link …
== Notable Vin Scully-related media-generated things over the last week:
== As MLB commissioner Rob Manfred visited Dyersville, Iowa, to announce the upcoming locations for a nationwide Baseball Hall of Fame Tour of artifacts and displays (starting there, actually, July 3-10, and getting as close to Southern California as a trip to Las Vegas on Oct. 7-23), it was noted that they were able to get Scully to recite the speech Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) gave to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) from the movie “Field Of Dreams.”
It’s not only a goosebump moment, but it can be a little emotional if you’re not prepared for it. Which will resonate most going forward? It doesn’t matter. We’re just fortunate now to have both.
KSPN’s Kelvin Washington and Travis Rodgers discuss it during their May 27 show, as does KSPN’s John Ireland and Jeff Katz discuss it during a “Fast Track” segment on the “Mason and Ireland” show.
== This T-shirt, for 12.99, on champsandglory.com. As opposed to others that can be found on eBay.com.
= The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal, a former L.A. Daily News entertainment columnist, wrote a piece that included: “The Scully story is about how preparation, hard work, humility, unadorned precision — and knowing when it’s best not to speak at all — can make you better. … Appreciate him now. Scholars will be studying him forever.”
And there’s this telling paragraph:
“True story: Thirty years or so ago, when Scully was merely in his fourth decade as Dodgers announcer and I was a Los Angeles sports writer, I found myself rapt as Scully talked about Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez going on a diet after Los Angeles traded him to New York.
“It wasn’t until Scully was halfway through, when he cited my newspaper, that I realized the story he was telling was something I myself had written a few days earlier. He just told it so much better, and he didn’t miss a pitch as he did.”
== Jim Tunney, the retired NFL referee who does columns for the Monterey Herald, had some thoughts about Scully, recalling once when Tunney was working as the superintendent of the Bellflower Unified School District, Scully contacted him in the mid-’70s to ask for help interpreting NFL rules, as Scully was about to embark on a play-by-play role with CBS. Tunney ended up as the referee in the 1982 NFC title game between San Francisco and Dallas at Candlestick Park — which featured “The Catch” — and was Scully’s last game for the network
“Will you pattern your accomplishments with the humility of Vin Scully’s?” Tunney asked in concluding the piece.
== Fox Sports has cobbled together 18 videos that touch on several Scully stories told during this season. SI.com has done the same thing.
== And if you’re not able to collect all six Scully posters that Time Warner Cable is giving away in the Dodger Stadium left-field pavilion during homestands this year, there’s a chance to win them.
== Verne Lundquist’s final season of calling college football at CBS will start with UCLA’s game at Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 12:30 p.m., the network announced this week. Lundquist, back with Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce, will be replaced by Brad Nessler in 2017 on the package but continue on with CBS golf and college basketball.
Nessler will also start calling some SEC football games on weekends when CBS has two of them, plus the 2016 Sun Bowl and some college basketball.
“Verne has set the standard for college football broadcasting,” said CBS Sports chief Sean McManus said in a statement. “Together with Gary Danielson he has played a key role in making the SEC ON CBS the highest-rated college football package in America. After an incredible 17 years, he will be handing the reigns off to Brad, who in his own right is highly acclaimed and respected as one of the premier play-by-play broadcasters in the business. I am very pleased that Verne will still have a prominent role in our college basketball and major championship golf coverage. We are fortunate to have one more football season to appreciate Verne’s one-of-a-kind storytelling as we pave the way for a seamless and smooth transition to Brad.”
Lundquist, who turns 76 in July, has logged 53 years of broadcasting and called more than 20 different sports for CBS, starting on the SEC football package in 2000. Last month he was given a Lifetime Sports Emmy award.
== ABC/ESPN also announced Thursday that it has extended the contract of Brent Woody Musburger, who turned 77 last week. Musburger, who has been with ESPN since leaving CBS in 1990, will stay on the ESPN-owned SEC Network doing football with Jesse Palmer and also stay on college basketball.
== Prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, ABC/ESPN announced that play-by-play man Mike Breen, the 55-year-old starting his 11th championship call, signed a long-term extension.
“Mike is a second-to-none talent whose passion for storytelling, depth of basketball knowledge and distinctive style is a difference-maker for ESPN,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production and programming, in a statement. “His class and professionalism has earned him the universal respect of his peers and has made him synonymous with the NBA Finals. Mike’s excellence makes his team better and enhances the overall quality of our NBA coverage. We couldn’t be happier that Mike will continue his incredible run with ESPN for many years to come.”
Breen, with Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke, are in the seventh year together, the longest of any team that has called an NBA Finals on TV.
== And what’s going on with Chris Berman’s days at ESPN. We can’t be sure.
== Still wondering, too, about the future of Heather Cox, the sideline reporter on ABC’s Saturday prime-time college football package, who has been replaced by Samantha Ponder: Cox could be heading to NBC for its new Thursday night package, which will have Mike Tirico.
== As the 2015-16 TV season ended on May 25, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” ended up as the No. 1 primetime show in ratings (13.0) and total number of viewers (22.5 million average) for the fifth season in a row based on Nielsen numbers. It was also No. 1 in the 18-49 demo for the sixth season in a row.
Fox’s “American Idol” was No. 1 for six straight years (2005-06 to 2010-11) before the “Sunday Night Football” run. “The Cosby Show” (1985-86 to 1989-90) and “All In The Family” (1971-72 to 1975-76) did it five years in a row.
“Sunday Night Football” has been an NBC show for 10 years total.
== As it was already announced that USC’s Sept. 3 season-opener against Alabama in Arlington, Tex., would air at 5 p.m. on ABC (Channel 7), the Trojans found out this week their home opener against Utah State will have an 11 a.m. kickoff for the Pac-12 Network lineup on Sept. 10.
USC points out this is the earliest kickoff time for a Trojan home game since at least the early 1950s when complete records became available. They found that a home contest against Loyola in the 1891 season once began at 9:30 a.m.. The last time USC began a game before noon at home was the 1998 season opener against Purdue (11:30 a.m.) and games in 2013 against Boston College and 2012 against Arizona State were once noon starts.
USC’s Sept. 17 Pac-12 opener at Stanford goes to 5 p.m. on Channel 7, and the Sept. 23 game at Utah will be a Friday night 6 p.m. kickoff on FS1.
== It wasn’t until late Wednesday night after Game 2 was decided that those watching the Stanley Cup Final series knew where they could set their DVRs to capture Saturday’s Game 3.
Even then, it’s not out of the question there’s still some confusion. No wonder the NHL continues to struggle for consistency in its playoff coverage.
In the recent past — at least from memories of when the Kings were involved this deep into the NHL playoffs — there was a format that NBC took Games 1 and 2, then NBCSN had Game 3 and 4 and, if there were more, they would go back to NBC.
Game 1 of the Pittsburgh-San Jose series on Monday’s Memorial Day was on NBC (Channel 4). Wednesday’s Game 2, however, was on NBCSN. Last week, NBC Sports said that if the series was tied at 1-1, Game 3 would be on NBC, with Game 4 on NBCSN. But if one team was leading 2-0, Game 3 would be sent to NBCSN, with Game 4 on NBC.
Game 5, 6 and 7 will still be on NBC.
Hence, with the Pens up 2-0 …. NBCSN it is Saturday.
== UCLA opening game against Auburn in the Women’s College World Series goes to ESPN at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, the second of four games played on the first day. Beth Mowins, with Jessica Mendoza and Michele Smith, plus reporter Holly Rowe, are one ESPN broadcast team. Mowins is at her 22nd CWS tournament. The second team has Adam Amin with Amanda Scarborough and Laura Rutledge.
All games are either on ESPN or ESPN2 through the best-of-three finals June 6-8.
A great piece of work that compliments this event: A new book out by Erica Westley entitled “Fastpitch: The Untold Story of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game,” which doesn’t hit bookstores until June 14. Get to know who Bertha Ragan Tickey and Joan Joyce were and how their travels to Southern California made this all happen.
== ESPN also has a plan to carry every NCAA college baseball regional series — the field of 64 starts Friday. Most are streaming online at ESPN3, including Long Beach State’s 10 a.m. opener against Florida Atlantic in Miami. Anish Shroff and Alex Cora are calling it.
== As Bill Simmons’ new website, The Ringer, launched this week from offices at Sunset Gower Studios near the Hollywood Palladium, it came with this headlining 4,600-word-plus piece on “America’s most underappreciated sports broadcaster” Joe Buck. Brian Curtis, who will do the bulk of sports-media related writing for the organization. Two interesting aspects of the piece format itself: The story appears to be sponsored by a beer company, and at the top, it gives the consumer the heads up (since he can’t see the end until a very long scroll) that it is a “20 minute read.”
For that matter, the whole site is beer sponsored.
The Washington Post provides more of a preview of what’s supposed to be going on here. As does TheBigLead.com.
== Fox Sports’ all-in effort to carry the 2016 Copa America Centenario tournament starts with the United States’ match against Colombia in Santa Clara (Friday, 6:30 p.m., FS1, with John Strong, Brad Friedel and Kyndra de St. Aubin) and continuing with U.S. vs. Costa Rica in Chicago (Tuesday, 5 p.m., FS1, with JP Dellacamera, Stu Holden and Jenny Taft)
David Neal, the FIFA World Cup executive producer for Fox, has the same crew that did the FIFA Women’s World Cup last summer. Fox has all 32 matches through June 26, with FS1 taking 21 of them. Four air on Fox’s network broadcast including Chile-Bolivia and Argentina-Panama on June 10 at 4 and 6:30 p.m.)
== Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, Roy Jones Jr. and unofficial ringside scorer Harold Lederman (who goes into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York on June 12) are on HBO’s coverage of the Francisco Vargas-Orlando Salido bout from StubHub Center in Carson on Saturday — an 10:30 p.m. airtime, delayed from the 7:30 p.m. actual start time.
== An extended multi-media piece by Sports Illustrated on Caitlyn Jenner looking back 40 year ago when Bruce Jenner won the Olympic decathlon launches Monday with a video piece and evolves into a magazine cover story. Writer Tim Layden does the interviews.
== Steve Simpson, the general manager at Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket since 2002, has been reassigned to take over at Dallas-based Fox Sports Southwest, and Henry Ford, who has been GM at Fox Sports San Diego since its 2011 launch, will now oversee the two three channels combined as it holds the cable rights to the Angels, Kings, Clippers, Ducks and Padres. The company also created a role of assistant general manager to Ford for Lindsay Amstutz, who has been VP of marketing for Fox’s regional sports nets.
== Ted Robinson, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo have NBC’s coverage of the French Open women’s final (Saturday) and men’s final (Sunday), both at 6 a.m. on Channel 4.
== Chris Marlowe, Kevin Wong and Dain Blanton are on NBCSN’s coverage of the AVP beach volleyball event in Seattle, Sunday at 1 p.m. This is the fourth of eight AVP events for the NBC schedule, which will include NBC (Channel 4) Saturday and Sunday coverage from New York (June 18-19), Sunday in San Francisco (June 26), Sunday in Manhattan Beach (July 17) and Sunday in Chicago (Sept. 4, following the Aug. 5-21 Olympics in Rio).
== And finally:
AdAge.com reports that there will be new Dos Equis beer digital spots coming up soon. They include Erin Andrews, currently employed by Fox Sports, who says in the ads:
“I can drink beer with the best of them, and when I do, I choose Dos Equis.”
The most interesting career move in the world?
Depends on how it eventually backfires.