Weekly media notes version 07.16.15 — Last big name to leave ESPN, turn out the spotlight

What we have planned for Sunday’s weekly media column:

When Cal State Northridge celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first conference baseball title, Dick Enberg, right, rejoined Stan Charnofsky (holding ball) for the March ceremony (Photo by

Last March, when Cal State Northridge celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first conference baseball title, Dick Enberg, right, rejoined Stan Charnofsky (holding ball) for ceremony (Photo by David Cohen/CSUN)

When Dick Enberg makes his Baseball Hall of Fame acceptance speech at Cooperstown next Saturday, thanking those who helped teach him about the game over the years that led to his Ford C. Frick Award for outstanding broadcasting, Stan Charnofsky may not be physically able to attend, but he’ll be there in more than spirit.
For three years, Enberg assisted the San Fernando Valley State head baseball coach in the early 1960s, and in his 2004 autobiography he wrote: “I learned more baseball from him in my first season than I had in my previous 26 years.”
We dig a little deeper at how the former Angels and current Padres play-by-play man learned baseball during his life in Southern California in general and in the San Fernando Valley more specifically during our Sunday’s column, with interesting observations from the 84-year Charnofsky, who maintains an office on the Cal State Northridge campus in the College of Education psychology and counseling department.

What is worth putting out there now:

== Now that ESPN has put out its annual “Body Issue,” is it appropriate to follow up with its “Disembody Issue?”
Official news today that Colin Cowherd is the latest not to have his contract renewed means that ESPN, in this year alone, has shown the door to Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons, as well as removing Jason Whitlock as the high profile head of a website that hasn’t even launched yet.
The dismantling has been framed by ESPN as cost-effective decision making. They overpaid for the talent in the first place. The talent didn’t produce the income projected.
It’s kinda like ESPN’s own “Game of Thrones” storyline.
Plus, at ESPN, no one man is bigger than the company. Except if you’re John Skipper.
A statement released by ESPN and quoting company skipper Skipper this morning said simply: “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade. He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society. Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”
Sub in the names Olbermann and Simmons in previous statements, and that’s become the state of ESPN for 2015.

(Photo: ESPN)

(Photo: ESPN)

Those at the Big Lead who had this story first surmise that Cowherd’s next stop could easily be at Fox Sports, again giving FS1 another boost of energy. That would accommodate Cowherd’s latest  desire to move to L.A., where Simmons currently resides and Olbermann used to.
We’re still waiting for Cowherd to start his own “Love Line” call-in show.
No word when Cowherd’s final show on ESPN Radio (via KSPN-AM 710) will be, although author James Andrew Miller tweeted out today that Cowherd is expected to fill out the rest of his contract — that’s four more months.
Olbermann has tweeted out that his final episode of “Olbermann” on ESPN2 is slated for Friday, July 24.
Those at AwfulAnnouncing.com attempt to rate Olbermann’s Top 10 opening monologues. We’ll wait until we’ve seen the last of them come next week.

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Play It Forward July 13-19: A look at golf’s past (St. Andrews) through new eyes (Jordan Spieth)

8287c1_cc11b93870d64bc7a88c874bd3f5de32THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
Details/TV: At St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, Thursday-Sunday, ESPN:
In Dan Jenkins’ new book, “Unplayable Lies (The Only Golf Book You’ll Ever Need),” a chapter about the “Greatest Moments” in golf’s history includes this entry: “Nature creates the Old Course at St. Andrews, which, in turn, creates the cashmere sweater and travel agents.” Of the 46 British Opens that Jenkins covered, eight were at this spot where historians agree is the magical place it all began. As for the best Open that Jenkins ever covered, it says it was 45 years ago – Jack Nicklaus’ 1970 victory in a playoff over Doug Sanders, after Sanders blew a 2/12-foot putt on the 72nd green  that would have given him the title. And the funniest thing Jenkins ever heard about St. Andrews came from Sam Sneed, who won the 1946 Open and said: “It looks like there used to be a golf course here.” For this return trip to the birth of golf, “we take stock where the game stands,” says Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobio. “That’s one barometer that we can always use.” Adds Andy North, the ESPN analyst: “I think it’s hands down the coolest venue for the Open Championship.  It may not be the most difficult course, the most memorable. But it’s the coolest.”
53b8a8965ff21.preview-620What isn’t so cool is the defending champ decided to play in a friendly soccer game with friends on July 4th and ruptured a ligament in his left ankle. So pity poor Rory McIlroy. All it means that even more of a spotlight goes upon Jordan Spieth, who has won the first two majors of the season, decided to play last weekend in a PGA event in Illinois instead of in Scotland as a warmup — and he won the darn thing, in two playoff holds — yet he can be the first Texan to win The Open since Ben Hogan.
“I don’t think it puts more pressure on Jordan that Rory is not there,” said ESPN analyst Curtis Strange, whose best finish in the British Open was tied for 13th in 1988 at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England. “I think Jordan is such a focused, poised young man, and I think he’s going to have his hands full just trying to take care of himself. There’s a couple things that he is aware of that are real, real obstacles. One is jet lag. That’s a real thing. The speed of the greens, to get used to those is a real thing. It’s an enormous, enormous accomplishment he’s trying to achieve here, and I quite frankly have never been in that position. None of us really have. So just kind of do your thing. Paul Azinger, another ESPN analyst who tied for second at the 1987 British Open at Murfield in Scotland, said his favorite thing about Spieth “he’s not an entitlement guy. He works for everything he’s got, and he just seems grateful for it. He’s a breath of fresh air and kind of a throwback with a businesslike approach. I love the guy.”
ESPN has the first two rounds from 1 a.m. to noon on Thursday and Friday, then the third from 4-to-11:30 a.m. Saturday and the final round from 3-to-10:30 a.m. Sunday (both rounds airing tape delayed on Channel 7 from noon-to-3 p.m.).

Indians catcher Ray Fosse lies on the ground after his 12th inning collision with Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose.  Rushing up to Rose, who scored the winning run for the National League, is San Francisco Giants Dick Dietz, while Leo Durocher, Chicago Cubs' manager, applauds the 5-4 win.  ( Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS)

Indians catcher Ray Fosse lies on the ground after his 12th inning collision with Cincinnati Reds’ Pete Rose. Rushing up to Rose, who scored the winning run for the National League, is San Francisco Giants Dick Dietz, while Leo Durocher, Chicago Cubs’ manager, applauds the 5-4 win. ( Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS)

Details/TV: At Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Tuesday at 5 p.m., Channel 11:
Talk about things that happened 45 years ago this summer – Pete Rose, barreling into Ray Fosse at Three Rivers Stadium in Cincinnati to give the NL the win in the MLB All-Star Game. If Rose doesn’t steal all of the thunder for just showing up in pre-game ceremonies, it’ll be up to guys like Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Albert Pujols or, again, Mike Trout. It all depends on how the managers – Bruce Bochy from the Giants and Ned Yost from the Royals – manipulate their 34-man rosters and feel obligated to get everyone in. Greinke, who got into last year’s game and pitched one inning – he faced three batters in the fourth, struck out two of ‘em, and left after 12 pitches – has all the goods to be named the NL starter this time with an MLB-best 1.39 ERA and 35 2/3 scoreless innings streak.
Details/TV: At Cincinnati, Monday at 5 p.m., ESPN:
The odds by Bovoda.lv make the Reds’ Todd Frazier as the 7/2 favorite to win this thing, with Albert Pujols (6/1) and Joc Pederson (7/1) not far behind. First one to hit the ball into the Ohio River should be declared the winner no matter how they’ve rearranged the rules again.


Joc Pederson and Bryce Harper meet up again in Washington D.C. for a three-game series starting Friday … Boston comes into Anaheim for its annual trip, starting Friday … the Del Mar season begins Thursday … the U.S. finishes the CONCACAF Gold Cup group play Monday (vs. Panama) before the knockout round begins on the weekend … More to see at this link.

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Weekly media notes version 07.10.15 — Has Pete Rose’s gamble to let his TV image help his reinstatement cause actually worked?

IMG_3724What we anticipate covering in Sunday’s column:

Pete Rose knows he’ll be on the field at Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. EDT, along with former teammates Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, and a player he managed, Barry Larkin, to be part of a baseball-sponsored promotion that allowed fans to pick the proverbial “Mt. Rushmore” four all-time players of a franchise’s history.
Rose also knows he’ll be at a Fox Sports 1 studio set somewhere in Great American Ballpark at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, and again on Tuesday, fulfilling an obligation to do pre-game analysis for the network.
IMG_1049In the last few months, Rose has been racing his Bentley down the I-5 from his fiance’s home in Santa Clarita to get onto the FS1 set at the Pico Lot to discuss the game on shows such as “MLB WhipAround.” In the process, he is likely rehabilitating his image.
Even as ESPN “Outside The Lines” report recently implicated him again for betting on baseball while he was a player, Rose has gone about his business. In an “exclusive” interview last week with Chris Myers, Rose would only say that he’ll hold off commenting until he meets soon with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who now holds the key to Rose’s reinstatement from a “lifetime” suspension and Baseball Hall of Fame induction eligibility.
As Rose, the consummate switch hitter, talked with reporters Thursday morning in a Fox-orchestrated press call, we’ll process how this media work lately and what’s happening going forward continues to frame his future in the game.

What we decided was worth laundering now:

== As Rose awaits word on possible Hall installment, Keith Olbermann is being uninstalled again at ESPN.
This time, it appears to be ESPN’s call.
We defer to SI.com’s Richard Deitsch to look further into the whys and why nots since our interest is waning.
As for Olbermann, he had this slant on the confusing Rose-All Star Game appearance Tuesday in Cincinnati:

== And if you want a jump on the topic for today’s ESPN “Outside The Lines,” here’s a hint:

== Still, if it is a money issue with Olbermann, how much did ESPN lose by having 3.2 million less viewers now than a year ago? The Wall Street Journal started adding it up, and the Big Lead started pushing the numbers.

== Meanwhile, why Olbermann’s good friend and former L.A.-based sports talker Tony Bruno, a Friday “Olbermann” regular, is quitting his WIP show and moving on as well. He says his radio career in Philadelphia is over.

bestlarplogo15yearly1== As we surmised when writing about this in last week’s media notes, Vin Scully came as the No. 1 “Best On-Air LARP of 2015″ on Don Barrett’s soon-to-fade-away LARadio.com.
In today’s posting, Barrett listed some of the responses that voters contributed about Scully:
= “With all the expectation for the Dodgers this year and not being able to watch the game on tv, Vin Scully truly brings Dodgers baseball to life!”
= “If anyone in broadcasting needs an explanation why he’s #1, you’re in the wrong profession.”
= “The only person who can make the first three innings more interesting than the last three.”
= “Still the standard for excellence, not just in play-by-play but in broadcasting and life, period.”
= “He is the voice of Los Angeles radio, an icon who gives you goose bumps with five little words: ‘It’s time for Dodger baseball.’ ”
We could go on and on ….
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ESPN drops Trump National L.A. for upcoming ESPY tournament

Last May, Donald Trump announced he was going to host the PGA of America's Grand Slam of Golf event at his Rancho Palos Verdes course.

Last May, Donald Trump announced he was going to host the PGA of America’s Grand Slam of Golf event at his Rancho Palos Verdes course.

ESPN is the latest company to distance itself from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in light of recent comments about Mexican immigrants, announcing today it will move its annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic set for a week from Tuesday away from the Trump National Los Angeles golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes.
It instead will hold the event at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach on July 14 in concert with the ESPY Awards at LA Live set for July 15.
“We decided it was appropriate to change the venue, and are grateful for the opportunity to stage the event at Pelican Hill on short notice,” ESPN said in a statement.
“This charity outing benefits The V Foundation’s Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, providing resources for important cancer research for minority populations, including Hispanics and African Americans. Our decision reflects our deep feelings for our former colleague and support for inclusion of all sports fans. Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment.”
Saturday, the L.A. News Group reported that the MLS Galaxy would move its annual fundraising event from Trump National scheduled for October.
The PGA of American has agreed to hold its Grand Slam of Golf at the course in late October, as well as the PGA Junior Championship, but thus far has not made any commitment to cancel.
Since Trump’s remarks, Univision ended its coverage of his company’s Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, while NBC dumped him as well.

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Lou Riggs (1934-2015), sportscasting guru to many in the business

louLou Riggs, a longtime Santa Monica College sportscasting instructor and mentor who helped develop the careers of Chris Marlowe, Chris McGee, James Worthy, Heather Cox, Keith Erickson, Jose Mota and John Jackson, passed away last Friday at his home in Santa Monica after complications from ALS.
He was 81.
A sportswriter and broadcaster for much of his life, Riggs fashioned his last 30-plus years specializing as a sports broadcasting teacher, specializing in mass communication and speech at SMC. He also did private consulting for those current sportscasters, and was a valued broadcast go-to consultant for Fox Sports. He also taught for the national Columbia School of Broadcasting based in New York.
In 1992, he co-authored a textbook called “Play-By-Play Sportscaster Training” with Al Epstein, the longtime Pepperdine University sportscaster.
“Lou Riggs is the best broadcasting coach in Los Angeles — the Michael Jordan of sportscasting gurus,” said Marlowe, a retired U.S. Olympic volleyball captain who works for the Denver Nuggets, having honed his career with Riggs while working at Prime Ticket, NBC, ESPN and ABC, having doing beach volleyball during the Summer Olympics every year since 2004.
“Lou was a wonderful man, a great mentor, and a lifelong friend,” added Marlowe. “He touched all of our lives in a very meaningful way. We will all miss him greatly.”

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