CBS Sports Radio Selects Hosts Of Morning Show

Posted on November 27, 2012

By Dave Hughes, DCRTV.com

CBS Sports Radio has named Dana Jacobson, Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney as hosts of its morning show, when the network launches on Jan. 2.

Baltimore sports talker WJZ-AM, 1300, a CBS-owned station, will carry the new sports network full time, dropping ESPN Radio.

Jacobson comes from ESPN, where she co-anchored "First Take" on ESPN2.

Barber is a former New York Giants running back, who worked at NBC's "Today Show" and "Football Night in America."

Tierney has been the afternoon co-host at San Francisco sports talker KGMZ and previously spent nine years at ESPN Radio.

***

CBS missed the opening kickoff during the Nov. 25 Ravens game.

"In 30 years of writing about television and media I have never seen that happen," The Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik wrote. "And I hope I never do again. And things went downhill from there. After some empty welcome to San Diego Qualcomm Stadium talk from play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle and analyst Dan Fouts, the CBS Sports camera was focused in close-up on Ravens coach John Harbaugh as the ball was kicked. In the facial close-up, you can see Harbaugh's eyes tracking the flight the ball -- the thing the cameras were supposed to be showing us. But viewers were never shown the approach or the kick.

"And then, to make matters worse, instead of catching up with the ball in the air, CBS instead went to a shot of a two-color blank screen. Finally, the hapless director and his confused camera crew managed to track down the ball in the Ravens' end zone as the play ended. You go, CBS."

***

What makes the University of Maryland's move from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten look like such a winner is the school's access to the Big Ten Network, which can be seen in 80 million homes nationwide.

According to Zurawik, the Big Ten Network is guaranteeing each of its member schools a payout of $24 million per year based on its TV and other media contracts, while the ACC, which does not have its own TV network, is paying out about $17 million to each school based on its TV contracts.

"TV didn't matter in 1953," media economist Douglas Gomery, a professor emeritus of journalism at College Park, told The Sun. "In 2013, it's everything.

"Maryland's move isn't only about making more media money. It's also joining a group of better and more prestigious schools overall -- the Big Ten is a much better set of universities. But the media money is a big part of it, and at the heart of that is the Big Ten having its own TV network."

The Big Ten Network is available throughout the Baltimore area, including Comcast channels 714 and 715 as part of its sports tier.

"From a purely business standpoint, I don't see any downside for the University of Maryland at all," John Ourand, a media reporter for Sports Business Daily, told The Sun. "They're going to bring in more money under the Big Ten than they would with the ACC. And the Big Ten has even more upside because their national TV rights deals are going to come up for renewal about a decade before the ACC. So, they're already making more money with the Big Ten, and that's only going to increase."

***

The National Hockey League lockout is bad news for Joe Beninati, who calls the Washington Capitals' TV games.

Unlike team radio voice John Walton, Beninati is not a team employee, so when the games stop, so does his employment.

According to the Washington Post, Beninati has picked up some broadcast opportunities in the interim. He called an American University men's basketball game for Comcast SportsNet, has done several Colonial Athletic Association football games on the same network and has worked the occasional college football game for ESPN properties.

***

A documentary about a Redskins great, "John Riggins: A Football Life," premiered on the NFL Network on Nov. 21.

"In my 35 seasons here, this has been by far the most enjoyable show I've ever worked on," NFL Films producer Dave Douglas told the Washington Post. "It's not even close. Not even close. It's not just John's material and stories. Once you talk to him, and meet him, and have a couple beers with him, you realize how wonderful and real he is."

The documentary will run at various times during the coming weeks on the NFL Network.

Posted Nov. 27, 2012

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