Sports Media Notebook: Jay Bilas, the ESPN Ombudsman, & Fake Rudy Martzke

Let's open up the notebook for the weekend. You're owed one since last weekend.

Jay Bilas explains to USA Today's Michael Hiestand why he doesn't follow anyone on Twitter.

ESPN's Kristi Dosh explores whether the Los Angeles Dodgers are hiding revenue in their new TV deal with Time Warner Cable, which has yet to presented for MLB's approval.

Staying with ESPN, Brett McMurphy, who's been on top of the Catholic 7/Big East story, reports that the Mountain West is on the verge of signing a TV rights deal with his employer.

Tim Burke at Deadspin has an early candidate for Chyron Fail of the Year. I can't stop laughing.

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The Tampa Bay Times' Eric Deggans writing in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center asks, "Where's the new ESPN Ombudsman?" The last column written by an ESPN Ombudsman was back in November.

Shamess plug: I did a podcast with Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal regarding the upcoming Fox Sports 1. Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report joined us and I had interviews with David Hill from News Corp., Regis Philbin who's hosting a show on FS1 and NFL on Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira.

Showtime Sports may be an afterthought to many of us, but Greg Braxton of the Los Angeles Times writes that the pay service is upping its game by programming sports in primetime. Showtime won't go beyond boxing and MMA, but having programs like 60 Minutes Sports, Jim Rome on Showtime and Inside the NFL has brought it at least on a par with HBO.

With Bill Simmons criticizing ESPN2's First Take followed by Colin Cowherd, is this the start of an internal revolt against debate at ESPN? Let's hope so.

Good post by Sarah Spain at espnW on whether women can break the glass ceiling of being studio hosts and sideline reporters.

In last week's notebook, there was a story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Dan Caesar about the falling ratings for sports radio in the Gateway City. This week, Dan writes that one sports radio station will flip and leave the format to its competitors.

There's a story that's going to surface about this, but let AA be the first site to note that there's a parody Twitter account of former USA Today sports media columnist Rudy Martzke. It just began this week. If you're not familiar with him, let me introduce you to Rudy. Shortly after USA Today began publication in 1982, Martzke began his "Sports on TV" column and covered all of the networks and broadcasters. He retired in 2005 and really hasn't been seen since. Those of us who follow the sports media and write about it owe a bit of gratitude to Martzke and Jack Craig of the Boston Globe, two men who made covering the networks into a viable beat. The fake Martzke has captured the essence of the real one even using his old standards like the  "Dreaded Glitch Award," "Hustle Award," and "Best and Worst Lines". Whomever this is, it's a very good parody. I can't figure out who it is. I did find this post I wrote about Martzke's retirement and I admit I've softened towards him since.

And that is where we're going to close the notebook for today. Enjoy your sports weekend.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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