Jason Whitlock

Sports Media Weekly No. 160- Ken Schott, Schenectady Daily Gazette, David Wanger, Fox Sports & David Berson, CBS Sports

We have another jam-packed version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ken Schott, TV-Radio Columnist for the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

We begin the show looking at the upcoming launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.  We all give our opinion as to what we can expect from the new sports network as well as looking at the prospect of Fox Sports 1 reaching its goal of launching in 90 million homes with the news that Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have signed carriage agreements today with Fox.

We follow last week’s news of Fox securing the rights to USGA events by discussing the report that Fox is looking to tap Greg Norman as the network’s lead analyst when it begins coverage of USGA events in 2015.

We move on to the world of NBC Sports as we look forward to the network’s coverage of the English Premier League.  The new season begins Saturday with NBC televising all league games across a myriad of networks.

We then look at the breaking news from The Big Lead that Jason Whitlock will soon be returning to ESPN in a multi-platform role.  Another case of a former disgruntled ESPN employee coming back home.

We conclude our news segment looking at how a local New York capital region sports talk show host got swindled by an impostor posing as former Yankee and current minor league coach Shane Spencer.

Ken had the opportunity this week to speak with two sports network executives.  Ken first talks with Bill Wanger, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research at Fox Sports.  The two discuss the launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.

Ken then speaks with David Berson, President of CBS Sports.  Among the topics Ken and David touch upon is how the CBS Sports Network plans to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.

Whitlock to Host Program Celebrating Ali

Fox Sports.com columnist Jason Whitlock will be hosting a special program commemorating the life of Muhammad Ali onhis 70th birthday.

Connected with Jason Whitlock, “The Greatest on the Greatest”  will feature two of the most prominent African-Americans in sports history—MLB home run king Barry Bonds and NFL legend Jim Brown—to celebrate Black History Month and take a look back at Ali’s life and career.  Also joining Whitlock to discuss Ali are former Buccaneers defensive lineman Warren Sapp, former NBA player John Salley, UC Berkeley professor Dr. Harry Edwards and hall-of-fame sportswriter Jerry Izenberg.

The hour long program will air Fox Sports.com as well as on the following regional Fox Sports Networks:

FOX SPORTS ARIZONA:  Friday, Feb. 24 3:30 PM PT
FOX SPORTS DETROIT: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM ET
FOX SPORTS FLORIDA: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM ET
FOX SPORTS MIDWEST: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM CT
MSG PLUS: Thursday, Feb. 23 3:30 PM ET
FOX SPORTS NORTH: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM CT
FOX SPORTS WISCONSIN: Thursday, Feb. 23 3:00 PM CT
ROOT SPORTS (Northwest Region): Wednesday, Feb. 22 3:00 PM PT
FOX SPORTS OHIO: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM ET
ROOT SPORTS (Pittsburgh Region): Thursday, Feb. 23 3:00 PM ET
ROOT SPORTS (Rocky Mountain Region): Wednesday, Feb. 22 3:00 PM MT
FOX SPORTS SOUTH: Friday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM ET
FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST: Monday, Feb. 27 7:00 PM CT
FOX SPORTS HOUSTON: Monday, Feb. 27 7:00 PM CT
FOX SPORTS WEST: Saturday, Feb. 25 12:00 PM PT
COMCAST CHICAGO: Sunday, Feb. 26 11:00 PM CT

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 46- Scott Ackerson, Fox NFL Sunday

Sports Media Weekly We are back with another edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

We have a full show as Ken Fang at Fang’s Bites and I start the show by talking about the egos of some members of the sports media, specifically AOL Fanhouse/ESPN’s Jay Mariotti and Fox Sports.com’s Jason Whitlock.

Ken and I also review the announcer assignments for CBS, Fox, and Westwood One as they get set for the 2010 NFL season.  And speaking of announcers, we also look at Ken’s list last week of his best announcers of all time.

Our guest this week is Scott Ackerson, Coordinating Producer of Fox NFL Sunday.  Scott has been producing the show for 17 years and tells us about the changes in technology and how it has impacted the show over the years, the chemistry of the on-air talent, the addition of Mike Pereira to the line-up, and what other new features we can expect on the show this year.

Questioning Whitlock’s Questions on Sports Media

Those of you who have read SMJ in the past know that I love the work of Kansas City Star and Fox Sports Columnist Jason Whitlock.  His commentary is always fresh and honest.  And I respect that.

But I need to take umbrage with some of the comments in his latest column at Fox Sports.  In the piece he takes sports journalists to task for, in effect, being too close to the teams they cover and not asking the tough questions.  He also once again rails against ESPN for being too chummy with the leagues with which they hold broadcast agreements and how they “stand in the way of free, creative speech”.