Time for us to open the sports media notebook as we're officially in the weekend. Let's go over a few stories that have surfaced across the country. As usual, they're in bullet form.

  • Joe Posnanski at NBC Sports has a very solid profile of the late Steve Sabol and his role in building the mythology of the National Football League. It's still hard to believe that Sabol is no longer with us, but NFL Films continues to chug along and produce high quality product. 

  • Newsday's Neil Best writes that no matter what you think about ESPN, it still is the leader in providing live sports. It has the money, it has the infrastructure and it has the widest exposure of all of the cable sports networks. In addition, viewers drift to ESPN knowing it has the most inventory. Now if it can do something about those debate shows.
  • Speaking of ESPN, I wonder why producers felt it was necessarsy to obsess over the Miami Heat's Harlem Shake video during the daytime SportsCenters on Friday. Awful Announcing Fearless Leader Matt Yoder has a recap of the Alleged Worldwide Leader going overboard using Seth Greenberg and Herman Edwards to "analyze" the video. It used to be that SportsCenter was required viewing for the sports fan, but now, it's a sad mix of debate, viral videos and silly segments.
  • If you're a sports television graphics geek like me, then you will probably be interested in this article by Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group on how CBS redesigned its graphics package and animations to debut in time for Super Bowl XLVII.
  • The NFL Scouting Combine set another viewership record. Granted, the 7.25 million over the four day period isn't as much as the Olympics, but it shows that NFL does have its hardcore fans who are willing to watch passing drills, the 40 yard dash and jumping.
  • The sports radio wars in Boston are heated, but it got even more so this week when WEEI's morning show co-host John Dennis went after 98.5 The Sports Hub's morning team of Toucher & Rich. WEEI is trailing in the ratings to 98.5 by a wide margin. Eric Wilbur of Boston.com says the move by Dennis smacked of desperation.
  • From Chicago, The Sherman Report's Ed Sherman says long-time Windy City sports radio host Harry Teinowitz was shown the door by ESPN Radio 1000. As usual in these moves, ratings were likely the reason for the firing.
  • Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Dispatch writes that the sports radio stations in the Gateway City are seeing lower ratings across the board.
  • The great Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has his annual list of the best and worst sports radio personalities in SoCal.
  • Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says the Nationals plan to use smart cards for ticket holders to expedite entrance into Nationals Park and also reach out to fans for concession discounts.
  • This has nothing to do with sports media, but it gives me a lot of joy. NBC is emphatically denying the Hollywood Reporter story from Kim Masters that it's planning Jay Leno's exit from his Show of Hacks and replacing him with Jimmy Fallon. Two NBC spokespeple have denied the story which probably means it's true. Leno's reputation took a big hit after the Conan O'Brien debacle a few years ago.

And that will close the notebook for today. Enjoy your sports weekend.

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.