Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Media Notes

Wimbledon goes exclusively to cable, ESPN, beginning next year.  It's 43 year association with NBC is over.  Of course, money is the big factor.  The people who run the tournament say they didn't like NBC running some big matches on video delay.  One day, ESPN will have every major sporting event.  I'm not thrilled with the ESPN approach to things, but I do give management credit for making the ESPN sports networks THE place to be.  By the way, I'm not a Wimbledon watcher, so the network makes no difference to me.

I had zero interest in the Casey Anthony trial.  Granted, it was a horrible story, and my heart broke for the young victim.  HLN'S Nancy Grace makes my skin crawl, and that was one of the big reasons for avoiding trial coverage.  I did see some of the post-acquittal coverage, and no one, NO ONE, got it right.  It comes down to these two things, and you've heard me say them before.  First, it's a court of law, not a court of justice.  Second, a trial is not a search for the truth.  It's a judgement of evidence.  The lack of respect for the jury system exhibited by alleged legal experts was sickening.  Was Anthony guilty?  Likely.  Did the prosecution prove it beyond a reasonable doubt?  No.  Case closed.

CNN is reshuffling its line up again.  Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer is out at 8 PM.  Anderson Cooper, someone I just don't get, is the new 8 PM guy.  Cooper's 8 PM show will be rebroadcast at 10 PM.  CNN promises updates in case of breaking news.  Still, the fact a major cable news network will have a taped "news" show at 10 PM is cause for concern.  Has CNN given up on the time period?  There is a place for Eliot Spitzer somewhere in the business, but as a commentator and expert-- not a show host.

James Spader has signed on to be a regular on "The Office."  A great actor will be wasted in a dreadfully unfunny sitcom.

I'm sorry I missed Al Michaels and Bob Costas doing a baseball game together on the MLB Network.  Michaels, Jim Palmer, and Tim McCarver made an excellent team on ABC in the 80's and 90's.

Vin Scully's long career as a major league baseball broadcaster is drawing to a close.  There's a move afoot to give him some innings during the FOX World Series coverage this fall.  Lead FOX broadcaster Joe Buck is on board with the plan, and I think it's a great idea.  Scully was never my cup of tea.  I always thought he was too wordy and unwilling to share the microphone.  Still, he's had an amazing career and deserves a little more time on the national stage.

Harry Smith is leaving CBS after 25 years.  He's heading to NBC to work on a new prime time news magazine.  I assume there will also be assignments on MSNBC.  I've always been a huge Harry Smith fan, and he's an under rated journalist.  Hiring him is a great move for NBC.

Newswatch 16 is now in HD.  That topic will get a blog of its own one of these days.