Aug 03 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Shots unveils a potential regular Monday feature today with a look back at some of the items and happenings you may have missed over the weekend. But first, some developing news from ESPN 890 AM, as the station is set to announce its new hosts for the weekday Noon-2 p.m. show, scheduled to debut on August 11 (as discussed in Friday’s Shots).
Shots is told by industry sources that current 890 reporter, Mike Salk and frequent station guest-host (and WCVB TV anchor) Bob Halloran will handle the new local shift, which will take up what has been the last hour of Colin Cowherd (12-1 p.m.) and the first hour of the Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelt Show (1-2 p.m.).
A spokesman for 890 was not able to confirm the pairing for the station which is in the process of tinkering with its line-up to help offset the loss of Mike Felger.
The 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. slot is still unsettled and awaiting finalization from Jessamy Tang’s Gang and the station’s preference is to announce both dayparts at one time.
. . . We’re uncertain on what type of contract – if any – Salk and Halloran (who also contributes to the Metro and is an author) will be under with the station, but one person familiar with the direction 890 was moving has told Shots that other potential hosts were being offered just 13-week deals to start. Most radio deals are at least yearlong commitments for both parties.
For Salk, especially, the chance for his own show is another notch in the belt of a rising star in the market. [Disclaimer: Shots did a Saturday show with Salk for six months in the Spring and Summer of 2007 for the defunct Boston Sports Review magazine.] Multi-platform-friendly Salk has expanded his role to duty with the national network in Bristol and has found fans in ESPN Radio’s hierarchy – especially since his throat surgery to correct a rasp in his voice.
. . . Salk and Halloran will be – for those who receive 890′s weak signal – taking on “Dale and Holley” at WEEI 850 AM, during the second half of their established show (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). It took Felger nearly all of his three years at 890 to make a dent in the market, so Salk and Halloran (who have never worked together for any length of on-air time) will have a huge mountain to climb.
But there’s at least one thing Felger was convinced of when he left 890 and that was that there is a portion of the listening audience looking for local alternative to WEEI. Salk and Halloran give 890 the chance to prove that against D&H, a potentially more “battle-able” show than the afternoon drive on ‘EEI.
Now, a look at some other weekend happenings:
• The Globe sent its most controversial columnist to LA and all it got was this crummy A1 column for Saturday’s paper. The mostly weak Shaughnessy effort was made even worse by the after-the-jump inclusion of the Gordon Edes scoop that Manny supposedly got cold feet after the deal went down.
Oddly placed in latter third of Shaughnessy’s column was this explanation: “(The Globe learned last night that Ramírez lobbied to stay in Boston Thursday afternoon after the deal was done.)”
It didn’t include a note to see the Edes story later in the paper and the information completely flew in the face of the picture Shaughnessy painted of Manny complying to team rules in LA (haircut).
I know the excuse from the Globies will be timing and deadline, but that just doesn’t fly in this day and age. I’m sorry.
• Rumblings afoot that percolating WEEI.com is ready to announce another important hire in the coming days. The site is also in the process of lining up a regular list of high profile contributors.
• Here’s what a GREAT agent can do for you: Ex-NESN anchor Hazel Mae, who mostly under-impressed on-air throughout her Boston ride, is apparently convincing the national people that she is ready for prime time. Mae’s agent, Susan Lipton, who is quoted in this well-planted Michael McCarthy puff piece, works closely with none other than Dick Vitale.
• Both John Tomase of the Herald and Mike Reiss of the Globe made it to Canton, Ohio for the Andre Tippett induction ceremonies and both used their blogs well over the weekend for an event that probably drew a fair share of weekend traffic. Tomase still has comments off at his Herald offering, by the way.
. . . It was odd to hear Tippett thank Ron Borges during his speech, but apparently Borges sang Tippett’s praises for many years. Nice touch by Tip to include Pats’ PR man, Stacey James, as well.
. . . Adam Schefter of NFL.com, debuted smartly as a fill-in sideline reporter on NBC’s Football package on Sunday night and led off the game by announcing that Brett Favre would be given the chance to compete for the starting job in Green Bay. It was clearly a wild weekend for Schefter as he chased the Favre soap opera.
• No one – not even newbie Jason Bay – had a better weekend than the Marquette Golden Warrior himself, Charlie Pierce. Pierce killed with his Slate column on Manny and then did it again with his clever Boston Globe Magazine What If. . . piece on President Michael Dukakis (which had its fair share of sports references).
• The Week Ahead
Get ready for Olympic Overload this week and be sure to keep an eye on the wasted resources that supposedly cash-strapped newspapers will be spending on coverage of an event that now has much more Internet relevance than it ever had in print.
But that won’t stop the New York Times company – and baby sister, The Boston Globe – from throwing gobs and gobs of cash at an event the Old Gray Lady values with an unhealthy – and unnecessary – obsession. Let’s be sure to count how many Globies make the trip. We’re guessing – at the very least – it’s Basketball Bob Ryan, John “Olympics” Powers, Shira Springer, two photographers and at least two editors.
If it were us, we’d send Ryan and Powers and use AP copy and photos. Then we’d spend the money saved on the web-side and have a dedicated staff of four in Beijing for unique and local-focused Web coverage.
. . . Some tremendous stuff on the way NBC will measure its Olympics audience. The numbers – if shared – will further illuminate just how far behind newspaper-backed websites are in the evolution of consumer consumption of sports media.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.