Category Archives: Sports

Scott Stanford ‘Very Excited’ to Start His News Anchor Career Tonight at WPIX

Scott_StanfordRod Stewart probably wasn’t looking into a crystal ball when he wrote Tonight’s the Night four decades ago. But he could have been talking about Scott Stanford, who makes his anchor debut this evening on WPIX.

Stanford, as has been well documented, arrives on East 42nd Street after a career in sportscasting on TV and radio. Throw in his ongoing wrestling commentating and you’ve got eyes wide and ears perked.

Related: Stanford ’95 Percent Certainty’ to Get PIX Anchor Gig

“[I’m] very excited to join the PIX11 news team tomorrow! PIX11 news will be informative and entertaining as the viewers will feel like they’re hanging out with friends!” Stanford tells Tuned In.

As the countdown is on before Stanford joins Tamsen Fadal at 5 p.m. (and 10 p.m.), it would appear that the veteran broadcaster is trying to play it straight at the start.

He spent the last four years as number two sports anchor at WNBC. Stanford has mixed song lyrics as part of his on-air shtick when telling his nightly sports story.

Yankees Switch Dial Positions, Heading to WFAN in 2014

yankeesThe Yankees are staying put in the CBS Radio family, but leaving WCBS 880 for a multi-year deal with WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

In a short press release by CBS, the words New York Mets were not mentioned. The Amazins were the cornerstone of the fledgling all-sports format in 1987, grandfathered in from their 1050 WHN days.

The likely home for the Mets would appear to be ESPN 98.7 FM, which switched from 1050 to eventually secure baseball play-by-play rights. WOR has been mentioned online as another possible home for the Mets.

The Yankees, who in the last couple of years, inked one-year extensions with WCBS, may have been swayed by the 50,000 watt flamethrower that is WFAN. On a clear night, 660 is heard in Florida.

“We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS Radio,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games. Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.”

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‘No Compelling Reason to Go to PIX for News at Night’ in Reaction to Scott Stanford as Anchor

Stanford1Now that the smoke has cleared, we’ve had time to reflect on WPIX’s big move. Scott Stanford jumps from second string sports anchor on WNBC to main news man opposite Tamsen Fadal. He gave his final signoff from the Peacock Saturday night.

Tuned In got some industry feedback to WPIX’s decision to give Stanford the high-profile role. Despite Stanford’s lack of news experience, reaction is mixed.

“it’s great for him. He’s not your normal type of anchor, which is what I think is great– one of the funniest guys in the building,” A former WNBC colleague says. “He’s very likeable, easy to work with. We’ll see what his news chops are like, but they’re definitely thinking outside the box at PIX.”

Internally at Channel 11, this insider has a different take on the Fadal-Stanford on-air partnership, which begins a week from today.

“There is just no compelling reason to go to PIX for news at night,”  the WPIX insider tells Tuned In. “Neither anchor has credibility.”

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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.