Category Archives: Sports

It’s Official: Scott Stanford and Tamsen Fadal to Co-Anchor WPIX News at Night

Scott_StanfordWPIX has its evening anchor team in place. It’s a name that Tuned In told you exclusively last week was “95 percent” certain to get the gig. Scott Stanford will co-anchor the weeknight 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Tamsen Fadal beginning September 16.

Related: Scott Stanford is Almost a Certainty to Join Tamsen Fadal

Stanford has four New York Emmy Awards, but for sports anchoring. His personality has been on display as the weekend sports anchor at WNBC. Prior to his Channel 4 experience, viewers watched Stanford’s antics on WNYW and sister station WWOR. Stanford first gained a following as afternoon sports anchor on WCBS 880.

But his news experience is extremely thin. This year, Stanford began filling in as anchor on WNBC’s CoziTV (formerly New York Nonstop). No matter — news director Mark Effron is ready with his biggest hire since joining the station in April.

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Layoffs at MSG Varsity; Channel Will Be Exclusively Online

MSG_Varsity_logoMSG Varsity is on the road between oblivion and obsolete.

Tuned In has learned that the Cablevision-owned channel had a “major purge” last week. An insider says that only five salaried employees are left standing, while all HD trucks have been sold.

Another insider was able to confirm the layoffs with an additional wrinkle. MSG Varsity is expected to be online only this year, the insider says, meaning the sports channel will no longer be shown on Channel 14.

Although a Cablevision spokesperson acknowledged layoffs, the Bethpage, NY cable company, in keeping with policy, refused to give any specifics.

“MSG Varsity has made some organizational changes that have resulted in some layoffs. As we prepare for the 2013 – 2014 school year, we are committed to covering local high school sports throughout the tri-state area and look forward to announcing our television and digital plans later this summer,”  the Cablevision statement reads.

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WNBC’s Scott Stanford Eyes Larger Role at WPIX

Scott_StanfordScott Stanford is the latest name leaked to have been brought in by WPIX for a
tryout. Multiple sources tell Tuned In that it’s not clear if Stanford, the WNBC number two sports anchor behind Bruce Beck, was applying for a sports position, news anchor, or both.

Before you shoot down the news anchoring concept for Stanford, realize that he does have recent experience, albeit minimal, in that venue. This year, the energetic sportscaster has dialed it down as occasional anchor on WNBC’s Cozi TV (formerly New York Nonstop) digital channel.

Whether that will convince WPIX, led by news director Mark Effron, remains to be seen.

Effron did not make himself available for comment to Tuned In. A station spokesperson would not address any audition by Stanford, only stating, “PIX11 has had meetings with several people regarding a variety of positions at the station.”

We attempted to reach Stanford without success.

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Remembering ‘Kind Soul’ Dave Jennings, Giants Punter, Jets/Giants Broadcaster

jenningsBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Longtime Giants punter and later football broadcaster, Dave Jennings, passed away today after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Jennings died at his home in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. He was 61. Those who knew him best, describe Jennings as a terrific person.

Jennings was associated with two NFL teams on the field, and in the booth.

From 1974 to 1984, he was the Giants punter. By the end of the decade with Big Blue, Jennings posted franchise records with most punts and most yards. He was selected to four Pro Bowls.

In 2011, Jennings was treated as an All-Time Giants great, in being added to the Ring of Honor.

He also spent three seasons booting the pigskin for the Jets.

But Jennings enjoyed his longest radio stint with analyst for the Jets. He was the constant in the booth for the 13 seasons, while sharing the mic working with four different play-by-play voices. One of those radio partners was Ian Eagle, working his first NFL action in 1997.

“He very easily could have been a college professor [with] his temperament, his intellect, [and] dry sense of humor,” Eagle tells Tuned In. “One thing I certainly learned from him was the preparation aspect. He was so thorough.”

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SNY Anchor Kirk Gimenez Caught Sending Inappopriate Twitter Message

KirkSNY anchor Kirk Gimenez is the latest person to take Twitter to the extreme. Gimenez’s seemingly embarrassment last night involved a would-be direct message that was sent to the Twitter masses. While we don’t know who Gimenez was planning to send the note to, it’s clear that he was enamored with her chest. The message is shown on the left via deadspin. Not only did Gimenez follow the standard operating procedure of deleting the awkward tweet, he went a step further by deleting the entire @KirkSNY account.

But we have Total Sports Blog to thank for grabbing the screen shot of Gimenez’s flirty tweet.

The comparisons were almost immediate to former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who tweeted pictures of his, um, “surname,” accidentally to all followers.  He resigned in disgrace in June 2011. Weiner has since started to test the waters for a mayoral bid.

A SNY spokesperson tells Tuned In that “the incident is being dealt with internally.” At this point, Gimenez has not been suspended.

In a “tail between the legs” moment, Gimenez claimed to be on a dare from someone at work.

Tuned In attempted to reach Gimenez.

Photo: totalsportsblog.com

WFAN Keeps Radio Rights to New York Giants’ Broadcasts

By JERRY BARMASH

WFANNewLogoFinalWFAN has reached a multi-year agreement to retain the exclusive radio rights of the New York Giants. As the Giants’ flagship carrier, WFAN will also continue to broadcast pre-season and postseason action.

At this point, WFAN 660 AM is simulcast on 101.9 FM. As we reported earlier this month, WFAN is expected to forgo its 660 programming for CBS Sports Radio. If that is the case, the Giants would be heard only on the FM in 2014.

AM, and a especially a clear channel 50,000 watt signal, blankets much of the eastern part of the country at night causing play-by-play coverage to be hurt when WFAN goes to FM exclusively. However, that shouldnt mean a backlash for the Giants and the NFL, since the majority of the league’s broadcasts are during the day.

WFAN has been the flagship station of the Giants since 1997.  Bob Papa, predating the WFAN package, has been the radio play-by-play voice since 1995.  He is joined by two-time Super Bowl Champion and former Giants linebacker Carl Banks in the booth and former Giants tight end and Super Bowl champion Howard Cross, who provides the latest news and commentary, with reports from the field.

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Knicks, MSG Network See Improved Playoff Numbers

MSG-Network1By JERRY BARMASH

As the Knicks tied the Pacers in the Eastern Conference semis, MSG Network released ratings for the first round series with Boston.

MSG Network, which carried Games 2, 3, 5, and 6, registered a 3.68 average household rating. That translates to a 40 percent jump compared to last year’s conference quarterfinal round between the Knicks and Heat.

MSG also saw a ratings increase in two key demographics, adults 25 to 54 and men 25 to 54. Through four game telecasts, MSG Network averaged a 2.40 A25-54 rating, up 105 percent compared to last season’s average and a 3.53 M25-54 rating, up 99 percent compared to last season’s average.

MSG does not carry playoff telecasts after the first round. However, the network provides extensive post-game coverage. Game 3 shifts to Indiana Saturday night on ABC.

WNBC and WPIX Look to Get Viewers Healthier at Separate Expos

WNBC_4By JERRY BARMASH

Two stations are sponsoring health expos later this year.

WNBC/Channel 4 is first up.  The station joins forces with the New York Giants for the inaugural Health and Fitness expo. It is free to the public, June 22 and June 23 at Metlife Stadium.

The family-geared expo will walk the field where the Giants and Jets call home.

Pavilions will include a community health screening area that will provide comprehensive health assessments designed to educate guests about a variety of health risks. Wellness pavilions will spotlight the most effective measures for disease prevention. Among the activities, attendees can take free screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, and hearing. There will also be tests for prostate cancer, blood pressure, and BMI (body mass index).

WNBC sports anchor Bruce Beck will be on hand throughout that June weekend, along with other Channel 4 anchors and reporters, plus some of the top Giants players will meet fans and sign autographs.

“Our expo is designed to serve the community at large and its many health-related issues,” said Michael Jack, WNBC president and GM. “The expo will be a fun, family day that is absolutely free to the public and guaranteed to have something for everyone.”

If that doesn’t make you healthy enough, WPIX can further scratch that itch.

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Playoff-Bound NHL Teams Coming Off Improved Season on MSG Network

MSG-Network1By JERRY BARMASH

It’s onto the NHL’s post-season. But not before we explore the regular season ratings on MSG.

It was a lockout-shortened season and rabid fans were anxious for the puck to finally be dropped.

Rangers, who begin the march to Lord Stanley cup tomorrow night against Washington, saw a 67 percent increase in the household numbers from last season. Delving deeper, the 2013 average household rating was the second-highest regular season Rangers’ audience tally on MSG.

The Islanders, who open their playoffs tonight against the Penguins, had huge numbers on MSG Plus.

The telecasts household rating was up a staggering 133 percent compared to the 2011-12 regular season average, making 2013 the highest-rated Islanders season ever on MSG Plus.

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WFAN Big Overall Rating Drop; Insider: CBS Sports Radio Could Take Over WFAN in 2014

wfan_newBy JERRY BARMASH

In exploring the monthly radio ratings earlier this week, something became evident: WFAN, complete with its AM/FM simulcast, is not what it once was.

The station, which began its second quarter-century last summer, is in the midst of a serious ratings plunge. WFAN has lost 1.4 ratings points since January among the overall 12+ survey.  The highwater mark was a 3.7 in the first Arbitron ratings book for 2013. Then the bottom fell out. February numbers sent the ‘FAN reeling to a 2.5. It was a minimal drop for March at 2.4.

Related: WLTW Wins March PPM; WCBS-FM Remains Second

Tuned In reached out to Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s operations manager, who could add “spin doctor” to his title.

“All you’re seeing is a 12+ number, not men 25-54, which is our target demographic,” he replied in an email.

Tuned In had access to the 6+ numbers. Although pushed, Chernoff refused to provide any specifics for his station’s “target demo.”

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