By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
UPDATED: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday – The Berman videos are now no longer available on YouTube with the explanation given as, “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by ESPN.” This includes the Ampex 2000 offerings and the one from WinnarWinnar. This will affect all YouTube links to said videos, meaning that only stripped down and re-recorded-on-another-video-service-offerings would be available for viewing.
“The off air videos are now nearly a decade old and do not reflect his typical workplace demeanor, his relationships with co-workers, nor the contributions he has made to ESPN over many years,” said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz in an e-mail exchange with Shots. “Chris has a tremendous connection with sports fans and his body of work should not be judged by a few minutes of unguarded language uttered years ago.”
Krulewitz did admit Brownie Berman’s word-choice is not tolerated at the Worldwide Leader.
“We aren’t excusing the language used,” he said, “and will be emphasizing to our workforce the importance of using appropriate language in the workplace.”
Krulewitz also confirmed that ESPN had contacted YouTube and asked that the videos be removed.
“We routinely request content to be taken down from YouTube and did in this case. The copyright is owned by our company,” Krulewitz said.
YouTube, evidently, does not agree or does not care (or both), as the bulk of the content (posted by Ampex 2000) was still available in the 1 a.m. hour on Wednesday. (There is also a submission of Berman going bonkers from YouTube submitter “WinnarWinnar”, which preceded, by mere days, the Ampex 2000 postings.)
Berman did not have comment, according to Krulewitz and the network would not confirm whether they were looking to find Ampex’s (or WinnarWinnar’s) true identity.
. . . A couple of things to consider:
1. Krulewitz appeared to be indicating that because “unguarded” moments were captured in 2000, they are somehow less indicative of what Berman is like now. Seems like a disconnect there.
My thought was: If he was that unbearable in 2000, how incredibly difficult must he be to deal with today in the likely twilight of his ESPN career?
2. There’s a piece of me that says ESPN doesn’t mind the added exposure for one of its marquee sub-brands – same way they probably got a kick out of the Scott Van Pelt voice message and the Stephen A. Smith fallout at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Still, the video is a fairly strak look into the locker room mentality that has always been a substantial part of television sports broadcasting and sports media in general.
3. Ampex (and WinnarWinnar) have an ax to grind against Berman, there’s no doubt. But the video is still revealing and Berman comes off as an overpaid diva.
4. How many of these type of off-air outbursts are there for all levels of talent from all genres of TV? Thousands, probably. But Berman has already been a Blog Sensation for the “With Leather” revelations so his name is naturally going to draw large numbers.
5. Face it, the public loves to see its familiar faces “out of character.” Or is it “in character.”
Whichever, let’s be sure that this is not the last we’ll hear of damning footage of media celebs.
. . . For those wondering, Ampex is billed on it corporate website as having “been at the forefront of technology breakthroughs for more than five decades. Among Ampex’s many contributions are the development of the first practical videotape recorder, the introduction of helical scan recording and the invention of slow motion instant replay.”
Specifically, the Ampex 2000 was that “practical” VR, according to the site, introduced in 1964 as the first “high-band videotape recorder, the first ever to be capable of the color fidelity required for high-quality color broadcasting.”
. . . All sorts of Berman reiterations, variations and compilations.
. . . With the hard news portion of our reporting out of the way, it’s probably a good time to rank the Ampex Six-Pack:
6. The Linguist
5. Prompter Complainer
4. Allllllllllllllll Michaels
3. Wine Maven
2. Schmoozing for a table
And our favorite of the Ampex Berman collection:
1. “The Deux-Deux-Deux”*
*The WinnarWinnar was strong, but we were only judging the Ampex posted selections.
• Let’s see how much more bad news gets leaked out today to take advantage of the shadow cast by Roger in D.C.
• I’m going to tread lightly on this because of my current workload for the website and company in question. But basically, CBS Sports is re-branding CSTV in the CBSCSN. Perhaps this will explain it better, from the CBS Sports release of February 12:
CSTV TO BECOME THE CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK
Reorganization of College Sports Properties Will Bring the CBS Sports Brand to Cable Television
Network to Feature New Mix of Original Programming, Including “College Sports Tonight,” A News and Information Hour Covering World of Collegiate Athletics
CBS Sports today announced a comprehensive reorganization of its college sports operations, incorporating the cable, broadcast and online activities of College Sports Television (CSTV) into its world-famous brand.
Effective March 2008, CSTV will become the CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK, bringing the power of the CBS SPORTS name to yet another developing, cross-platform property. In addition, CBS Sports will begin developing proprietary programming for the cable network, and incorporate the growing online activities of CSTV into its industry-leading online operations.
The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and Tony Petitti, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer, CBS Sports, who will oversee day to day operations of the network.
As part of the reorganization, a new emphasis will be placed on developing original programming for the CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK, drawing on the top on-air and creative talents in the industry. Anchoring the lineup will be COLLEGE SPORTS TONIGHT, a news and information program examining the day’s developments in the world of collegiate sports, and providing previews of upcoming events. The program will air twice a night. COLLEGE SPORTS TONIGHT is just one of many new programs to be featured on the CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK. Additional programming will be announced shortly.
“We believe this rebranding will better position our college sports cable network in the competitive world of cable television distribution,” said McManus. “It’s hard to imagine a cable company going forward that will not welcome the CBS SPORTS branded channel to its cable systems. In this move, we further build on the value of this important new part of our company.”
“The ability to bring unity to the CBS Sports brand across all media — broadcast network, cable, online and mobile — is something we know audiences and advertisers will continue to embrace,” said Petitti. “CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK will now be easily recognized as an asset of an already proud brand and distributor of the highest quality sports programming.”
Additionally, CSTV’s existing lineup of online properties will integrate to produce incremental value to CBS’s online audience. The combination of CSTV’s assets, including Max Preps, the most recognized information site in the high school sports business, with the interactive resources of CBS will create the industry’s most coveted collection of sports-related Web sites.
“CSTV has developed a significant online presence within the collegiate sports community, and CBSSports.com has become one of the leading destinations for professional sports coverage,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBSSports.com. “These are two world class operations with complementary audiences, and, taken together, will give CBS Sports the most powerful and varied user profile in all sports media.”
“CBS SPORTS has the finest slate of college programming in broadcast television, and that commitment has played out to build one of the most dedicated online audiences for that aspect of our programming,” said Petitti. “Adding the power of CSTV — the CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK — to the online mix can only help to build that important new audience.”
The change to CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK, which will include the full integration of the CBS Sports on air style and graphics, follows the highly successful rebranding of the former CBS Sportsline.com to CBSSports.com last August. In the month following that change, CBSSports.com earned a 27% increase in users giving the site the highest growth rate among major sports sites.
CBS Corporation acquired CSTV, the leading digital media company devoted exclusively to college athletics, in January 2006, and last month announced the integration of its business and programming operations into the CBS Sports division. Its many platforms for distribution include CSTV, a national cable network, televising regular-season and championship events for 35 men’s and women’s college sports; CSTV.com and its network of nearly 215 official athletic sites; CSTV XXL and All Access, broadband services providing live and streaming audio and video of more than 10,000 events annually; as well as satellite television and radio, in-flight entertainment, wireless networks and more. All will now be part of the CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK brand.
I, for one, will miss the pendant logo of CSTV, but thankfully have hidden away a lapel pin or two. Great self-defense weapon as well with three pointy edges. (For the mean streets of Hull.)
• Shots is scheduled to appear with Jim Braude on NECN’s “NewsNight,” tonight at 8 p.m. We will be discussing the sports scandals of note: Roger Clemens and The Foxboro Spy Guys.
. . . There’s also the event of our return to Amherst on Thursday evening for a liveshot during CN8′s 7 p.m. “Out of Bounds.”
Last time we went to Umieville we dropped 30 bucks on Antonio’s pizza (it freezes nicely, folks). It may be time to revisit The Cage on this trip too. Probably a good time to formally launch my “Retro Night at the Cage” game. . . Buckley, you with me on that?
• Percy the Dog – Shots’ personal Best in Show – had no problem with the barking Beagle “Uno” taking home Westminster. And we know that back-on-the- “10.0″-desk Bob Ryan (who dreaded the poodle’s promise) and chipper Charlie Pierce, are happy.
Welcome Back, Bob. And happy belated birthday, Jessica Ryan.
• Something’s coming from Shots for Friday, but it won’t be long. You’ll still enjoy it though, we promise.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
His work – and weekly college hoops report card – for CSTV.com can be found at the Hang Time blog on Mondays and The Glass Sneaker throughout the week. You can also listen for the weekly Professor’s Podcast, also at CSTV.com in iTunes at The Daily Buzz.