Sports media notes version 02.23.17: FS1 KOs Onrait, O’Toole; more on Daytona, UCLA-AZ, etc.

Reporters fill the work spaces as Dale Earnhardt Jr.speaks to the media at NASCAR Daytona 500 media day at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

What’s worth posting before the weekend arrives in full force:

== FS1 has finally decided to cancel what was left of “Fox Sports Live” and will also pass on renewing the contracts of hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole — something not surprising but then again, considering all the promotion put into it when it debuted in the fall of 2013 for the launch of FS1, it seems somewhat noteworthy.
According to the story posted Thursday on the Sports Business Daily, the network will also not renew “Garbage Time” with Katie Nolan, but she is expected to stick around in some capacity. She, of course, was already part of one FS1 over-hyped show that didn’t work — “Crowd Goes Wild” with Regis Philbin, which overstayed its year-long run.

A statement emailed to the Sports Business Daily from FS1 and FS2 executive vice president of content Charlie Dixon said: “We’ve been committed to creating programming that resonates with sports fans. As part of that commitment, we are constantly assessing all of FS1’s studio offerings, and despite changes to the format of ‘Fox Sports Live’ and the popularity of Jay and Dan as individuals, we’ve made the difficult decision to move forward with other projects.”

For more reference, a story from Canada’s National Post in June 2013 when Onrait and O’Toole left TSN and made their border crossing official: “Jay and I were back and forth between: ‘Yeah, we’re going, no we aren’t; yeah we are,’ ” O’Toole said. Added Onrait: “In the end, it was like, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ We didn’t want to be 75-year-old men saying, ‘Why didn’t we just go to L.A. for a couple of years in our 30s? We could have always come back. What the hell were we thinking?’ ”
Later Thursday, Ben Koo of AwfulAnnouncing.com followed up on the Nolan angle of this with a quote obtained by FS1 that indicated the network looks forward to “further developing her role” as she stays on.

MOTOR SPORTS

== Highlights of the Fox Sports coverage of the Daytona 500 and all programming related to it include:
= The 11 a.m. start time Sunday on Fox (KTTV-Channel 11) with Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon on the call for the second year together. Joy and Waltrip have called every Fox Daytona 500 — 14 of them, over a 17-year period.
Waltrip’s brother, Michael, will be making his final Daytona race as a driver.
Larry McReynolds is the pit crew/technical analyst with pit reporters Shannon Spake, Matt Yocum, Chris Neville and Jamie Little.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. points to a friend after qualifying for the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway last Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

= The Can-Am Duel at Daytona airing Thursday from 4-7 p.m. on FS1 to determine the grid aside from the front row. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has one of those two spots, will be a guest analyst for this coverage in the booth.
= Earn-
hardt Jr. also appeared to make some news while appearing on “The Dan Patrick Show” earlier in the week.
= “Refuse To Lose: Jeff Gordon and the 1997 Daytona 500” documentary airs at 7 p.m. Thursday
= The Xfinity Series event Saturday runs at 12:30 p.m. on FS1
= Fox will use 20 manned cameras, three in-track cameras, two high frame 4K cameras, two Xmo cameras at the end of pit road and the start-finish line, four super slow motion cameras, 10 robotic cameras, eight in-car cameras, two in-car gyro-cams and 150 mikes places along the track.
== Also curious to see how often the Monster Energy Girls get camera time on Fox.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

== The Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket PrepZone stream has Fred Salas and Tracy Murray calling both CIF-Southern Section Open Division semifinal boy’s basketball games Friday night from the Galen Center at USC — Bishop Montgomery vs. Sierra Canyon at 7 p.m., followed by Chino Hills vs. Mater Dei at 8:30 p.m.
The games are also available on the Fox Sports Go app for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Chromecast, Fire tables and phones, Roku players and TV, Xbox One and some Windows devices, as well as online at FoxSportsGo.com.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

== The ESPN Saturday night A-team of Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor have No. 5 UCLA’s game at No. 4 Arizona in the 5:15 p.m. window. The ESPN College GameDay crew is also at Tuscon, Ariz., for the 8-to-9 a.m. show hosted by Rece Davis, with Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams. It is the first “GameDay” appearance for both schools since they faced off in Tucson in 2015.
Thursday, Dave Pasch and Bill Walton have UCLA-Arizona State at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Pac-12 Network has both of USC’s games on the Arizona road trip. Ted Robinson, Steve Lavin and Lewis Johnson call the Thursday 7 p.m. game at Arizona, while J.B. Long and Mike Montgomery have Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. game at Arizona State. Continue reading

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Mike Walden: 1931-2017

Mike Walden, the first to become a football and basketball voice at USC and UCLA, then parlaying his broadcasting persona into a comedy straight man, died Sunday at age 89 of complications from a stroke, USC confirmed Friday.
Walden, a Springfield, Ill., native who lived in Tarzana, was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 as well as the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
He was the SCSB president from 1975-77 and 1992-93.
He started in Southern California calling USC sports from 1966 to 1972 and then went to UCLA for a run of 18 more years (1973-90), both on radio and TV.
More info about a celebration of his life at this link.

Mike Walden, second from left, is joined by Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame members at an annual awards ceremony in 2012. (Photo by Jon SooHoo).

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PGA Tour Genesis Open at Riviera previews

The first group has just teed off for this weekend’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. Here are some of the storylines in review:
= First and second round tee times and pairings
= How the course superintendent prepares for a wet weekend
= How Jason Day could lose his World No. 1 ranking
= Why Bubba Watson doesn’t want it to rain on his parade
= Tiger Woods not only backs out of playing, but also of talking
= Kevin Hall may not hear the applause but he can generate some
= How Hideki Matsuyama has picked up mantel for Japanese players
= The Dottie Pepper plan for Riviera rain, via the CBS coverage

 

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Sports media notes version 02.15.17: The Dottie Pepper plan for Riviera rain

As we are entrenched in coverage all week from Riviera Country Club for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open, we still want to get caught up for the media weekend — starting with our front-burner events:

Dottie Pepper, having put in a full season as a course reporter for CBS, was prepared for whatever might happen during the network PGA Tour coverage last weekend at Pebble Beach — the rain went away, and it turned out to be a relatively beautiful Saturday and Sunday, and she avoided getting lifted up and tossed into a bunker again by Bill Murray.
Like everyone headed out to Riviera this weekend, she’s been apprised of the wet and cold weather forecasts, and again will come prepared.
She must, for survival’s sake.
In addition to the network-issued Adidas attire, she says she will have a Gore-Tex bucket hat, Sealskinz stretch-dry socks (long, not short) and won’t worry about carrying an umbrella.
Just like going to the High Sierras for a December weekend picnic during a snowstorm.
“If your top and bottom are dry, that’s how you survive,” the former LPGA star admitted  Wednesday. “I learned that from playing. The umbrella is just too much for me to handle on top of holding a microphone and a yardage book.”
That’s the Pepper always-be-prepared plan, also based on local knowledge when she covered the 2010 event while working at NBC and “it poured buckets.”
It’s also her experience that “when the weather is bad, the guy who is willing to take all that Mother Nature can throw at him and still do it one better” will have the right mindset to survive the elements, just as Jordan Spieth did last week at Pebble Beach during the first two rounds.
“Riviera is a place that seems to be best for the ballstrikers who can carry the ball a long way and control it,” she said. “And with what they are expecting, it’ll also be someone who lets that water fall off a duck’s back.”
Pepper and Peter Kostis will have the CBS course duties on Saturday (noon-to-3 p.m.) and Sunday (noon-to-3:30 p.m.), with the usual network crew of high-and-dry Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo (18th tower), Ian Baker-Finch (17th hole) and Gary McCord (16th hole).
As it happened last week when weather delayed the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, things could extended either day on either the CBS affiliate, KCBS-Channel 2, or on Golf Channel each day.
Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer, Steve Milton is the direcotr and Harold Bryant is executive producer for the CBS coverage.
Faldo, who won his last PGA Tour title at Riviera 20 years ago, has this Q&A about the course and his memories with CBSSports.com.

== Terry Gannon, David Duval and Matt Gogel are the main broadcast team with on-course reporters Jim Gallagher Jr., Aaron Olberholser and Todd Lewis for Golf Channel’s live coverage of the Genesis Open starting with runs of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, with replays from 4-to-8 p.m. each night. Add to that the extended pre- and post-round coverage on Golf Central, including the live tournament windows that Golf Channel has on Saturday and Sunday from 10-to-11:30 a.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

== Ted  Robinson, Mike Montgomery and Lewis Johnson are on the Pac-12 Network call of USC at UCLA from Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 7 p.m. Continue reading

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Bob Miller update: He’ll sit out the rest of this month and re-evaluate

Kings Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller will take a break from the team’s next eight games through the end this month as he continues to recuperate from a recent mild stroke.
Miller, 78, said he will reassess his health with the team executives to see how they can proceed through the last two months of the regular season.
Ralph Strangis, who has done five games this year as a fill in for Miller on Kings’ road trips, will be paired with Jim Fox for four home and three road games on Fox Sports West between Feb. 16-28. A game in Minnesota on Feb. 27 is an NBCSN broadcast.
“I’m just waiting for more test results from the cardiologist and have more appointments schedule, so I’ll see how things go and take it from there,” Miller said Monday.
More at this link…

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