CSN'S Kelli Johnson Heading To Houston
By Dave Hughes, DCRTV.com
Kelli Johnson is leaving Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic for CSN's Houston startup. Through the years, she's been covering the Redskins, Nationals and the Orioles for the Bethesda-based sports network. Comcast SportsNet Houston is a partnership between the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros and the NBC Sports Group, and it is the new television home of the Astros and Rockets. It launches on Oct. 1.
For her new role, Johnson will serve as an anchor on "SportsNet Central," the network's signature news show, and will also contribute to Astros and Rockets coverage.
"Kelli's hiring is another example of our commitment to being the region's leading source for comprehensive sports coverage," Comcast SportsNet Houston news director Doug Brown said. "Kelli is an experienced, versatile sports reporter who will provide the type of in-depth reporting that fans have been demanding."
Johnson joined Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in 2004 and had been an anchor on some of its news programs, in addition to her beat reporting duties.
Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ, which angered many fans in May when it cut away from a dramatic 17th-inning win by the Baltimore Orioles to go to "60 Minutes," found itself in the same kind of programming crunch Monday, Sept. 10.
Media columnist David Zurawik wrote in The Baltimore Sun that the CBS-owned station cut away from the men's finals of the U.S. Open tennis championship at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 to go to its Baltimore Ravens pregame show. ESPN carried the game on "Monday Night Football."
The Sun reported that the station started running a crawl at about 6:10 p.m. telling viewers they could follow the men's finals by going to the station's Web site, wjz.com.
"Unfortunately, the rescheduling of tennis today due to weather delays over the weekend resulted in an unavoidable conflict with the scheduled live coverage of the Ravens-Bengals game," K.C. Robertson, a spokesman for WJZ, told The Sun.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will carry 85 Wizards games this season, including 82 regular-season games and three preseason games.
The "Wizards Central" and "Wizards Postgame Live" shows return. Leading coverage will be Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz and veteran analyst Phil Chenier, who are entering their 16th season together.
Chris Miller, CSN's Wizards TV beat reporter, returns as the courtside reporter for home games, and Ron Thompson will provide game analysis.
The national TV audience for the Grand Prix of Baltimore declined by about a fifth from last year's inaugural event, according to The Sun. Last year about 1.35 million total viewers watched telecasts of Labor Day weekend racing in Baltimore on NBC's Versus cable channel and the ABC network. This year, the number of viewers was about 1.07 million on the NBC Sports Network channel and ABC, representing a 21-percent drop.
John McGuinness, senior vice president and general sales manager at the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, said the Baltimore Orioles earned their highest rating in the regional sports network's history with their Sept. 6 victory against the New York Yankees. The game scored a 9.6 rating, representing 139,000 viewers.
The audience peaked during the final quarter hour, at 10:15 p.m., with a 14.49 rating, or 233,000 viewers. MASN has been carrying the Orioles since 2006.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will carry 70 Washington Capitals games this season via CSN and CSN Plus, with the return of its "Capitals Central" and "Capitals Postgame Live" shows.
NBC Sports Network and NBC will air 12 more Caps regular-season games. Providing game coverage on CSN will be Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin and Al Koken, who will start their 16th consecutive season together.
Posted Sept. 26, 2012