Hall of fame broadcaster still hospitalized
Inner Tube: Fox plans news blitz on Super Bowl Sunday
Pelicans' Baseball Will Be Heard on Three Stations
FSN Midwest changing its name to FSN Kansas City for
Suffolk's WLIR-FM station is switching to sports talk
Another Slip-Up on the Air, Another Apology
Jerry O'Neill and Shot Doctor are Splitsville; Jerry
moving to 1080?
Waynesburg University student networks with TV networks
FSN's York excited to return home
of fame broadcaster still hospitalized
Former Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope remains in a
local hospital with little change in his condition or
prognosis since he was admitted in late November.
Cope, who turns 79 Jan. 23, has battled various health
ailments the past year including recurring cases of
pneumonia. He has been in the hospital's intensive care
Cope retired as the Steelers color analyst on their
radio network before the 2005 season after 35 consecutive
years on the job. A former sports writer for the Post-Gazette
and nationally known book and magazine author, Cope
entered broadcasting in 1968 with WTAE Radio. He became
the host of a widely popular nightly sports radio talk
show, beginning in '73 and lasting into '95. He also
worked as a sports commentator for WTAE television.
And, of course, he developed and popularized the Terrible
The Steelers honored Cope at a ceremony at a home game
in 2005 when they presented him with his own team jersey.
Cope won numerous awards during his years in journalism,
his most coveted two most recently. He became the first
pro football announcer selected for the National Radio
Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Bob Hope, Edward
R. Murrow, Orson Welles and Vin Scully. And he was presented
the Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award at Pro Football
Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.
Inner Tube: Fox plans news blitz on Super Bowl
Fox News' Shepard Smith is being added to Fox Broadcasting's
Super Bowl pre-game lineup.
Fox will air a three-hour news block the morning of
the Super Bowl, which comes two days before the Super
Tuesday primaries, where 22 states vote on presidential
The news coverage starts with a one-hour "Fox News
Sunday" with Chris Wallace, followed by a two-hour
block anchored by Smith from Glendale, Ariz., site of
the game. Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer will join Smith
in the second hour.
Dots all ...
Fox's Green Bay affiliate, WLUK-TV, has canceled its
regular 5:30 p.m. showing of a "Seinfeld"
rerun Saturday because it doesn't want to do anything
to make life relaxing for quarterback Eli Manning, whose
Giants play Green Bay's Packers Sunday for the NFC championship.
Manning says "Seinfeld" is his favorite TV
show, and WLUK figures 5:30 Saturday is just about when
Manning will be relaxing in his hotel room. ... Sen.
John Edwards appears on CBS' "Late Show With David
Letterman" Tuesday at 11:35 p.m. ... Ringo Starr
will appear on CBS' "Late Late Show With Craig
Ferguson" next Thursday, at 12:37 a.m. ... WNYW/Ch.
5's Mike Woods and WWOR/Ch. 9's Mike Gilliam receive
Excellence in Media Broadcast Awards today at the Annual
Salute to Professional People of Color from the Professionals
Network Organization. ... WNBC/Ch. 4 anchor David Ushery
tonight will receive the International Facilities Management
Association of Greater New York's Visionary of the Year
Award at its 25th annual awards dinner. Nickelodeon's
"The Backyardigans Tale of the Mighty Knights"
special drew 2.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
Baseball Will Be Heard on Three Stations
01/14/08 - Carolina League (CarL) Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Discuss this story on the Carolina League message board...
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are extremely
pleased to announce a two-year extension to their partnership
with Cumulus Broadcasting LLC and "ESPN Radio the
Team." All Pelicans regular and post-season games
will continue to be heard on "ESPN Radio the Team's"
three-station network of 93.7-FM, 93.9-FM and 1050-AM
in 2008-09. Each Pelicans game will also be streamed
world-wide on-line at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.
The Pelicans have also introduced their new broadcast
team for the 2008 season. Jon Laaser joins the team
as the "Voice of the Pelicans," and will serve
as the lead play-by-play announcer for all Pelicans
games. He will be joined in the booth by Bret Lasky
for all home games, select road games and post-season
"We are very excited about continuing our relationship
with Cumulus Broadcasting LLC and "ESPN Radio the
Team" for the next two seasons of Pelicans baseball,"
said Pelicans' General Manager North Johnson. "It
is a rare opportunity in minor league baseball to have
the ability to broadcast on three stations, especially
stations of the quality our fans will enjoy. "We
couldn't be happier that our great fan base will have
the chance to enjoy Pelicans baseball virtually anywhere
on the Grand Strand."
As part of the on-going partnership with "ESPN
Radio the Team," Laaser will also host a weekly
one-hour radio show devoted to the Pelicans both on
and off the field. The show will feature team guests,
including players, coaches and Pelicans' Manager Rocket
Laaser joins the Pelicans for his first season behind
the microphone after spending the 2007 season as a radio
broadcaster for the Pelicans' sister-franchise, the
Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates - AA), of the Eastern
League. Prior to joining Greensons Baseball LP, Laaser
served as the Director of Broadcasting for the Yakima
Bears (Arizona Diamondbacks - A) in 2006. In 2005, he
could be heard as a radio/television announcer for the
St. Paul Saints (Independent), and began his career
in baseball as the lead broadcaster for the St. Cloud
Riverbats (Summer-Collegiate) in 2003-04.
"Calling baseball in an area equally as vibrant
in both sports and entertainment is certainly one of
the greatest opportunities you can have as a broadcaster,"
said Laaser. "Working with "ESPN Radio the
Team" will be instrumental in our effort to provide
a Major League sound to fans of minor league baseball
on the Grand Strand."
Lasky will also spend his first season in the Pelicans'
broadcast booth in 2008. He joins the team after a two-year
stint with the Fayetteville Swamp Dogs (Summer-Collegiate)
of the Coastal Plain League. A well-rounded broadcaster,
Lasky called three sports at the University of Maryland
while working towards his journalism degree, which he
received in 2007. Lasky can also be heard as the "Voice
of the Broncos", broadcasting both men's and women's
basketball for Fayetteville State University.
The first broadcast of Pelicans baseball on "ESPN
Radio the Team" will be on Friday, April 4th, as
the Pelicans open their Carolina League season on the
road against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. First pitch
is set for 7:05 pm, with the Pelicans Pre-game Show
preceding first pitch at 6:50 PM.
The Pelicans will open the home portion of their 10th
Anniversary Season on Friday, April 11th, at 7:05 PM.
Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, Flex Books and Group Outings
are all currently available for the 2008 season. For
more information on the Pelicans 2008 season, call the
Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or check out the team on-line
Midwest changing its name to FSN Kansas City for local
If nothing else, the new logo for Fox Sports Net Midwest
should make Kansas City viewers feel as if the channel
is closer to home.
FSN Midwest, the new television rights holder to Royals
games, is expected to announce today that the channel’s
logo will be changed to Fox Sports Net Kansas City in
“It represents what we feel will be a larger commitment
to Kansas City,” said FSN Kansas City general
manager Jack Donovan. “We’re going to have
a greater Kansas City presence because of the upcoming
142 Royals games (including exhibition) we’ll
be televising and certainly we hope that presence increases
in the years to come with more local programming.”
The first FSN Kansas City program to be launched will
be a special from this weekend’s Royals FanFest
that will air at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday.
FSN Kansas City’s other programming will remain
largely the same: K-State athletics, Big 12 football,
Pacific-10 football and basketball, Blues hockey, etc.
Down the road, FSN Kansas City could be a natural fit
as a television home for any future resident at Sprint
Center, such as an NBA or NHL team.
“Certainly that would be logical because it has
happened in other cities with Fox Sports Net,”
Donovan said. “Our goal is to be more local so
we’ll always be on the lookout for more local
programming. Hopefully this is just the beginning.”
Just a reminder that Saturday’s big Kansas-Missouri
game will be shown tape-delayed on Metro Sports at 9
p.m. Considering that the live broadcast (7 p.m.) will
be shown exclusively on ESPNU — which many viewers
in the Kansas City area won’t get — this
could be a ratings bonanza for Metro Sports.
This will be especially true for Comcast customers:
ESPNU isn’t available on Comcast, but Metro Sports
is. Metro Sports also is available on Time Warner.
“We’re just trying to do what we can to
help,” Metro Sports general manager John Denison
said. “We were able to get this tape delay because
we have a good relationship with ESPN and we have shown
tape delays of Big 12 events in the past.”
DA officially in
Damon Amendolara, who was let go by KCSP last month,
made it official this week: He signed a deal with WQAM
in Miami to be its night-time host.
“The DA Show rides again,” Amendolara said.
“My first show will be next Tuesday.
“And good news for all the loyal listeners in
KC who have contacted me over the past month: We’ll
be streaming live on the Web at WQAM.com. I’ll
keep my Web site ( www.theDAshow.com) constantly updated
Suffolk's WLIR-FM station is switching to sports
Further leaving its alternative rock format in the dust,
WLIR-FM 107.1 on Monday will begin broadcasting sport
talk full time.
The call letters long famous on Long Island for new
wave music will now carry all of ESPN 1050's programming.
That means live Rangers hockey and Knicks basketball
in stereo for fans in Suffolk County.
"We are thrilled with this partnership," said
John Caracciolo, president of The Morey Organization,
which owns WLIR. "I'm excited that we are able
to bring this all-sports talk radio station to even
more Long Island listeners."
Licensed to Hampton Bays, WLIR reaches most of Suffolk
County and a portion of coastal Connecticut.
In recent weeks, the station had simulcast the broadcast
of its sister station, Party 105.3.
Another Slip-Up on the Air, Another Apology
It was late in Connecticut’s 81-65 win over St.
John’s on Jan. 8 when the ESPN analyst Bucky Waters
grew euphoric over the nine steals by Jerome Dyson,
the Huskies’ sophomore guard.
“I bet there weren’t any hubcaps left in
the parking lot,” he said, adding later that Dyson
“just stole everything — fillings, hubcaps,
After the game, while extolling Dyson’s defensive
work, Waters went too far with his analogies.
“It was a holdup, it was a mugging, and I don’t
know if he’s going out after this and hit a couple
of convenience stores or not, but he had some night
here,” he told viewers watching the game on SportsNet
New York and MyTV 9 in Connecticut.
Before signing off, he and his partner, John Rooke,
chuckled. “I don’t have an alibi,”
Waters said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “Dyson
put on an incredible display. I was excited for him
and in my effort to praise him, I made a poor, over-the-top
choice of words. I have no excuse. I regret them and
I called UConn to see what I could do to apologize to
those who felt any offense to what I said.” Kyle
Muncy, an assistant UConn athletic director, said: “It
was a bad joke, but Bucky’s a good person. Once
Bucky was made aware that he had upset some folks, he
was more than apologetic.”
Waters, who coached West Virginia from 1965-69 and Duke
from 1969-73, said he could not fathom what influenced
his comments about convenience stores.
“Over the years, when a guy would get two or three
steals, I’d say, ‘You’d better watch
your rings, fillings and hubcaps,’ but the convenience
store part had no place,” he said. He added: “It
was stupid. I had no cue cards. Nothing in my mind about
it. Just dumb.”
Waters was reprimanded by ESPN and sat out one game,
but he returned for Wednesday night’s Virginia
Tech-Virginia broadcast on ESPNU.
ESPN does not usually publicly address personnel issues
like its handling of Waters. Although issuing a news
release would have given the incident a profile it hadn’t
yet acquired, doing so would have proactively informed
viewers, like the one who alerted me to Waters’s
remarks, that ESPN did not tolerate them.
Josh Krulewitz, an ESPN spokesman, said it was “fair”
to ask why the network did not release how it dealt
with Waters, but that the subject “is something
we do talk about internally.”
Richard Lapchick, the director of the Institute for
Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of
Central Florida, said: “It was appropriate that
ESPN took the sanction immediately, which is positive
and really quite unusual with these things. But they
had to know that sooner or later, it would become public
knowledge and that they’re better served by letting
their public know they disapproved and took action.”
Waters made his remarks only four days after Kelly Tilghman,
who anchors PGA Tour coverage for the Golf Channel,
joked that young players seeking to challenge Tiger
Woods should “lynch him in a back alley.”
However lighthearted her intention and friendly she
is with Woods, she used an incendiary word that inflamed
rather than tempered her partner Nick Faldo’s
comment that the players should gang up on Woods.
While Tilghman’s use of “lynch” conjured
horrific violence (mostly, but not entirely, against
blacks), Waters’s words inadvertently conflated
racial stereotypes with memories of the 2005 arrests
of the UConn players A. J. Price, a guard who is still
with the team, and Marcus Williams, who is now with
the Nets, for stealing laptops from campus residences.
Each received probation and team suspensions.“The
problem in this culture is we have stereotypic associations,”
said Susan T. Fiske, a professor of psychology at Princeton
University and co-editor of “Confronting Racism”
(Sage Publications, 1998). “Some people have more
than others, but it is also true that they slip out
in unguarded moments, like play-by-play.”
She added that based on data from 28 “selective”
private and public universities, “there is no
average black college student; the student could be
an heir to the Ebony fortune or someone whose family
was on welfare and was homeless growing up.”
Lapchick offered this analysis of Tilghman’s and
Waters’s remarks: “Her use of lynch is partly
a function of a society that has lost its sense of history,
particularly among young white people, but the imagery
in Bucky’s words are prevalent stereotypes.”
Muncy said he believed Waters did not have harmful intent
and was not making a connection to Price. He said he
was not sure if Dyson knew about the “convenience
Muncy said Waters would be “welcomed” Sunday
in Storrs for UConn’s game against Marquette.
O'Neill and Shot Doctor are Splitsville; Jerry moving
The Abbott and Costello of Orlando sports talk radio
-- Jerry O'Neill and the Shot Doctor -- are finished.
According to Open Mike's sources at Clear Channel, O'Neill
has quit and apparently is headed to ESPN 1080 where
he will become the sidekick of afternoon drive-time
host Brady Ackerman.
O'Neill's decision comes on the heels of Clear Channel's
decision to dump sports radio on 740-AM and change the
station to a Latin music format. O'Neill and Shot Doctor
had been doing their "Finish Line" show during
afternoon drive at 740, but O'Neill apparently didn't
want to move over to Clear Channel's 540-AM and do a
less lucrative nighttime show with Shot Doctor. As a
result, Shot Doctor and producer Mike Tuck will continue
doing the "Finish Line" at night on 540.
It'll be interesting to see if the Finish Line will
last without O'Neill. Not only because O'Neill and Shot
Doctor had a special chemistry, but because O'Neill
was responsible for bringing in much of the advertising
revenue that kept the show afloat. Quite frankly, there
isn't much of an audience or demand for nighttime AM
Although some sports programming (the Finish Line and
Dan Sileo's morning show) has moved to its news-talk
station at 540, Clear Channel clearly thinks sports
is an afterthought in this market. Sileo is simulcast
to Tampa where his show is much more popular than it
is here. As a result, he spends significantly more time
discussing Tampa sports than he does Orlando sports.
Two questions for Open Mike readers:
1. What do you guys think about the direction of sports
radio in Orlando?
2. Will you continue to listen to the Finish Line and
will it survive without Jerry?
University student networks with TV networks
As die-hard Steelers ticket-holders were anticipating
the wild-card playoff game Jan. 5 against Jacksonville,
Alan Jaskiewicz arrived at Heinz Field, checking in
with NBC to receive his parking pass.
Mr. Jaskiewicz, 19, of New Kensington, is one techno
teen who is already making important job connections
while working toward his college degree.
He is a freshman at Waynesburg University. Under the
direction of Bill Molzon, assistant professor of communications
and director of TV operations, Waynesburg students are
getting valuable networking opportunities.
to Mr. Molzon, "Communications students, through
the department's student freelance operation, consistently
work telecasts for CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports and
"The students have also worked for the Madison
Square Garden Network and Versus, a cable sports channel
owned by Comcast."
A communications major with an emphasis on electronic
media, Mr. Jaskiewicz chose Waynesburg because, "It
is hard to get a job, and this program gives you connections
Mr. Jaskiewicz participates in a program called the
"Every time I can work on a project, I may as well
jump on it and take advantage of the opportunity,"
By working on smaller utility jobs, he meets people
who can open doors.
He also worked two other Steelers home games this season,
against Baltimore on Nov. 5 and against Miami on Nov.
26, assisting ESPN each time.
"I stayed for the strike and helped pack up the
production equipment," Mr. Jaskiewicz said.
"There were 25 purple boxes for the Skycam monitors
and tripods. There were cameras and all kinds of stuff.
"It was really rainy for the game with Miami."
At the Jan. 5 playoff game, Mr. Jaskiewicz cabled for
an NBC Cart Cam, an electric cart with a boom.
"It raises a camera guy up in the air at the sideline,"
he said. "I made sure the cart can get where it
"I met production people from NBC -- producers,
stage managers and camera guys. It was crowded, so we
didn't see much, but I could see the atmosphere and
I did see some of the players."
Mr. Molzon makes it a priority to help his students
prepare for the job market.
"Alan and other students get to work network telecasts
because of our remote production operation," he
said. "We are very fortunate to have a very nice
remote production truck. Having the truck teaches our
students basic and advanced remote production skills."
The program engages students in different types of TV
production work -- from four-camera remotes to multi-camera
studio productions, as well as single-camera production
The remotes range from Waynesburg University football
and basketball games to the town's Christmas parade
and an annual reunion concert.
Mr. Molzon said: "Students have a passion for working
productions -- that's demonstrated by the many hours
they work a remote show. It's good preparation for the
Single-camera productions range from community service-oriented
documentaries to shooting, writing and editing stories
for the student TV newscast that's shown on the town's
cable system. It also includes shooting news and sports
footage for KDKA-TV, WPXI-TV and WTAE-TV.
Mr. Molzon tries to open networking doors for his students.
"Writing magazine articles about sports telecasts
has contributed to our program's growth as well,"
he said. "Doing research for the articles puts
me in contact with the manufacturers and users of state-of-the
art TV production equipment and facilities.
"I was lucky to get the assignment to write articles
about ESPN's two biggest projects -- the inaugural season
of ESPN "Monday Night Football" and last year's
return of NASCAR to ESPN. Those articles got me full
access to ESPN's truck production compounds for those
Mr. Jaskiewicz attended Valley Middle School when it
received a grant for video equipment, and he began to
participate in weekly announcements.
At Valley High School, he was a member of the Valley
Viking Video Club. Unlike the middle school, where the
equipment was analog, the high school had digital equipment
and he was hooked. There were mini DV cameras, digital
tape and multi-cam productions.
Every year, that club went to a media conference that
Waynesburg University presents for high school students.
It was there that Mr. Jaskiewicz saw the remote side
of sports newscasting.
He saw the studio viewpoint, and the techno wizard was
When it came time to choose a college, he said Waynesburg
was an easy selection.
FSN's York excited to return home
Let's see. The last time FSN Detroit anchor Mickey York
had to move, he went from Detroit to Seattle.
Irony was, York was still covering all things Detroit
for FSN -- from their network compound in the Pacific
Something along the lines of, live from Seattle, it's
Nearly five years later, he has to move again.
And in a smart development, York gets to move back to
Detroit to cover all things Detroit.
FSN is killing its studio show, effective Feb. 1.
"It's going to be a huge change for sure, but I'm
looking forward to it," said York, a Metro Detroit
native. "We're all excited about being able to
come home. This came along in the nick of time for me.
I was starting to get a little anxious, restless about
"I was starting to feel the need to be more connected
to home and community. Now I will get the chance to
The FSN show has gone through an evolution since its
inception in 2000. It's gone from the "Regional
Sports Report" to the "Detroit Sports Report"
to the "DSR."
York teamed with Angie Mentink in Seattle for the "DSR."
The format was changed, yet again, last year, turning
into a postgame show with a more Detroit single-sport
focus (such as "Red Wings Live," "Tigers
The "Live" format will continue, with York
handling the duties on site.
York, who said he's excited to get out of the studio
and back on site, also says his family, wife Cassandra,
daughter McKayla (7) and son William (6), are looking
forward to being closer to grandparents and friends.
"I think it's going to work out for all of us,
in many different ways," York said. "I'm looking
forward to eliminating that inherent disconnect that
was there by being 2,500 miles away. It was a great
thing to go out there. We've had a great time. But there's
nothing like home, and we're happy to come back."
FSN Detroit finished 2007 as the highest-rated cable
outlet in Metro Detroit, ahead of ESPN, USA, TNT, etc.
NBC is trying a different approach to its broadcasts
of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 26-27.
The network will have a pregame style show, hoping to
draw in viewers with analysis. Hopefully, Bob Costas
can look more motivated about skating than he did anchoring
the outdoor NHL game in Buffalo.
Hyundai might pull two commercials from the Super Bowl
because of U.S. economic concerns, according to the
Wall Street Journal.
Ran into former WDFN talker Brandon Tierney in New York,
where we witnessed the Pistons-Knicks debacle. Tierney
is hosting his own show and Knicks postgame on 1050