I am riding solo on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly as Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites had a previous engagement and could not join us.
I am joined on this abbreviated version of the show by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for the Boston Globe. Chad and I kick-off the show talking championship week in college basketball and how this will be the last Big East Tournament under the current structure of the league. We tie that in to how the Big East became an important property for a new all-sports network called ESPN.
We then talk about CBS and Turner’s unveiling of its announcer pairings for the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the minor changes made to its line-up.
We move to the official hiring today of Ray Lewis as a NFL analyst for ESPN. We both agree that Lewis has the charisma to do well in his new role, but wonder how, or if, ESPN will use his exuberance on the air.
I get Chad’s opinion on the announcement of the launch of Fox Sports 1 last week…and we wrap the show talking Boston Sports Media, specifically the changes being made to the on-air roster over at sports talker WEEI.
Another in the latest of “worst kept secrets” became a reality today as ESPN formally announced the hiring of former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis as an NFL analyst.
Lewis will appear on Monday Night Countdown, Sunday Night Countdown and SportsCenter, while also contributing to the network’s Super Bowl coverage. Lewis will be at the site of the network’s Monday Night Football telecast along with Stuart Scott, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer.
Lewis, who is expected to begin work August 1st, will have the opportunity to host NFL specials and will also make appearances of ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning.
“Ray is a tremendous addition to our NFL roster and he will have an immediate impact on our coverage,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production. “One of the most accomplished players in NFL history, fans will be drawn to his knowledge, experience and, of course, the passion he always exudes for the game.”
Lewis added: “ESPN is such a big part of how fans watch and experience sports, especially the NFL, so I’m excited to join their team. I’m ready to bring the same level of passion to this next phase of my life as I brought to the field during my years as a player. I can’t wait to work with my new teammates, many of whom I’ve already known for years.”