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ESPN Shuffles Its NASCAR Announcers

Allen Bestwick is moving into the booth to replace Marty Reid as ESPN’s primary lap-by-lap announcer for the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Reid will continue to call NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts on ESPN as well as practice and qualifying telecasts.

Bestwick, who has filled a variety of positions since ESPN returned to live NASCAR event coverage in 2007, will be joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree when ESPN starts its NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31.

“We are blessed with a talented and versatile group of NASCAR commentators,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “We believe this arrangement best plays to our individual and collective strengths.”

It’s also been announced that Nicole Briscoe, who has been a host and reporter for ESPN2′s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now since joining ESPN in 2008, and a fill-in host for the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show since 2010, will become the regular NASCAR Countdown host for all NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series telecasts on ESPN. Briscoe will work with analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN Pit Studio at racetracks. Bestwick has been in the NASCAR Countdown host role since midway through the 2007 season.

Shaq To Make Turner Sports Debut Tuesday On NBA TV

Shaquille O’Neal will make his Turner Sports debut Tuesday when NBA TV announces the 2011-12 NBA schedule at 2 p.m. ET.

O’Neal was officially announced as a member of the Turner Sports family last week.

With the NBA in the middle of a lockout, there’s a great chance that none of the games announced tomorrow will ever take place.

If the season does start on time, the Dallas Mavericks will host the Chicago Bulls in the season opener on Nov. 1, according to ESPN.com.

Tim Franklin Leaving National Sports Journalism Center

Tim Franklin is leaving his role as the director of the National Sports Journalism Center at the Indiana University School of Journalism.

Franklin will join Bloomberg News as an editor-at-large in the Washington Bureau. He starts Aug. 8.

IU professor Dan Drew will serve as the interim director while the school begins a national search in August. Franklin will join the National Advisory Board in order to stay involved with the program.

“Helping to launch the National Sports Journalism Center at IU, an institution that I care deeply about, was one of the most challenging but rewarding things that I’ve ever done,” Franklin said. “It’s not at all easy for me to leave the school or the students, but I do so knowing that the center is now firmly established as one of the best – if not the best – sports journalisms program in America.”

 

Christina Miller Tapped to Lead NBA Digital

Turner Sports and the NBA have announced that Christina Miller has been promoted to GM of NBA Digital. Miller had been senior VP of strategy/marketing/promotions for Turner Sports, as well as senior VP of Cartoon Network Enterprises. She will remain in that role for Turner Sports, but will leave her position at Cartoon.

In her new role Miller will oversee operations at NBA Digital, which is a partnership between the NBA and Turner. NBA Digital includes the NBA TV network, NBA.com, NBA League Pass

“Christina’s strategic leadership, creative guidance, consumer insights and smart business sense have significantly contributed to the recent growth of Turner Sports’ linear and digital portfolios and will be pivotal in the continued growth of NBA Digital,” said Turner Sports president David Levy in a statement. “She is a respected and decisive leader and is the right person to lead the NBA Digital portfolio into the future.”

“Christina is an ideal fit to oversee the day-to-day operations of our digital assets,” said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. “Coming off a record breaking season for NBA Digital, Christina’s expertise and leadership will continue to fuel our success and provide NBA fans with an unmatched experience across all of our platforms

More information, after the jump.

Read more

Gilbert Arenas Breaks Down The NBA Lockout

With the NBA lockout underway, you could read David Aldridge or Chris Sheridan for the latest about the battle between the players and owners.

Or you could read the Twitter account of Gilbert Arenas.

Agent Zero breaks down why we might not see basketball this season:

For the people who don’t know why the’yre lockin out… I’ll explain it in real people terms. Lakers, Dallas, Miami, Knicks, Magic, Bulls, Boston, and a few others always have the best chance at the top free agents due to city and money. So the smaller cities team can’t compete. So they can never get better and they’re always losing money. So since they cant control each other spending money on players, they want us to do it for them by signing a new deal. It’s that simple.

All the older owners have made their money and selling to new buyers, and the new buyers are getting killed in these small cities. But no matter what deal gets done, free agent are gonna go to the same cities ANYWAY. That’s why the same teams stay good and the same teams stay bad. The owners with the most money will try to buy the best players. Read more

Updated: NBC Wins Rights to Next Four Olympics

NBC beat out competing bids from ESPN and Fox Sports and was awarded rights to broadcast the next four Olympics by the International Olympic Committee, the IOC announced today in Switzerland. NBC’s winning bid was $4.38 billion. NBC paid $2.2 billion to air the 2010 and 2012 Games.

Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, said “It is a great thrill to know that NBC’s unsurpassed Olympic heritage and unprecedented partnership with the IOC will continue through 2020. The Olympics are a significant part of NBC and the IOC again recognized NBCUniversal’s unmatched ability to promote, market, program and produce the Olympic Games. London, Sochi, Rio and the 2018 and 2020 Games will benefit from our ability to galvanize all the resources of the newly-formed NBC Sports Group to bring the Games to more homes and more platforms than ever.” Read more

Yahoo! Seeks Mobile Videographer for Rivals.com

Here’s a job for those who are passionate about college sports and love to travel. Yahoo! is looking for a versatile videographer to contribute to recruiting coverage on Rivals.com. This is a work-from-home gig, but you’ll be traveling a lot.

You’ll be hitting camps, combines, all-star games and high school games all over the country, shooting video of top prospects and producing and editing highlight and interview video for the site. The job isn’t for the timid — you should be a vocal team player, who can work with writers, analysts and editors to produce great packages.

To be considered, you should have at least one year of experience shooting for television broadcasts, or a resume that reflects extensive work for a college video production program. You’ll need a solid understanding of sports, strong writing skills, the ability to deliver under tight deadlines and knowledge of Final Cut Pro. Work travel takes up about 100 days out of the year, so be prepared for this. If the opportunity sounds like your dream job, apply here.

For more openings and employment news, follow The Job Post on Twitter @MBJobPost.

Rangers Re-Assign Play-By-Play Announcer Rhadigan

The Texas Rangers have removed John Rhadigan as play-by-play announcer after only 50 games on the job and replaced him with Dave Barnett. Rhadigan, who replaced Josh Lewin before this season, had no previous play-by-experience and will return to his prior role as host of the Rangers’ pre- and post-game shows.

“There’s tremendous comfort in that,” Rhadigan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I got to do three months of fantasy baseball, and it was a dream come true.”

Joey Matschulatof Baseball Time in Arlington said,

(T)he anger felt on this issue was best directed towards the Rangers for putting Rhadigan in a position to fail, and towards the media types that so vigorously defended Rhadigan even though they didn’t necessarily watch the games on television and, therefore, were not in a position to judge his work or the feedback of others.

NBA Finals Gives American Airlines Millions in Free Advertising

Beyond playing together in the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat share something else in common: a home stadium sponsored by American Airlines. The Mavericks play at American Airlines Center, while the Heat play at American Airlines Arena. As Yahoo! Sports outlines in this video piece below, American Airlines is projected to get $10.5 million worth of free advertising for every Dallas home game and a bit more for every Miami home game, thanks to media mentions of the two team venues.

Video: Beckham Corrals Young Fan Who Ran Onto Field

Usually when a fan runs onto the field and a professional athlete injects themselves into the situation, the fan finds themselves on the receiving end of a forearm shiver. But this lucky fan who ran onto the pitch during Tuesday’s friendly between Manchester United and Juventus found himself boxed in between security guards and David Beckham. Beckham got to him first and treated him rather civilly all things considered.

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