Most wheeling and dealing media fun has to do with the print or online writing end of things, which is why I don’t have a huge media section of posts despite knowing TV journalism. However, this is worth noting, and plenty of others already have, although Sports Media Watch was first to hit my RSS reader with it: SI’s Richard Deitsch writing that Hannah Storm will be going to Bristol as host of a new weekday morning version of SportsCenter, which will be followed by two extended episodes to get the network up to 11 AM Pacific with some form of non-repeated SCs.
Storm has cred in both sports broadcasting and the morning show milieu, although CBS’ Early Show was shite before she got there and hasn’t gotten much better since. It’s a smart hire. What’s more interesting is that if the announcement is true, it’s admitting a couple of things: that First Take’s attempt to be the Today Show of the sports world is not catching on at all over on ESPN2, which makes sense when you consider that the format has been ill-executed from the get-go. From its Cold Pizza genesis in NYC to its current incarnation, it’s a joke of a show, more notable for the outrage peddled on a daily basis by Skip Bayless and whomever happens to be sitting across from him during the 1st and 10 debate segements.
It’s also ceding the fact that repeating a SportsCenter until 2 PM EST or so can’t fly, not if you consider yourself even a somewhat serious news enterprise. (Whether ESPN actually is a serious news enterprise in terms of sport is another issue.) Why six to eight hours of a repeated SC was ever permissible remains the question; it left the network looking flat-footed if something broke in the morning hours.
Whether this produces any sort of better coverage obviously has yet to be seen. I doubt the tone of the network’s coverage of sports will be any better; it will simply be more timely.