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Fox Sports

Rupert Murdoch on Fox News, Fox Sports 1

Rupert_Murdoch_2011_Shankbone_3Rupert Murdoch sits down for an extensive Q+A with Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers, weighing in on the recent news that his son Lachlan Murdoch will re-join News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, his divorce from Wendi Deng and the possible Republican Presidential candidates of 2016. He also talked about Fox News and the recently-launched Fox Sports 1:

Does it bother you at all, Rupert, that there is a view that Fox News has contributed in a big way to the political discontent in the U.S., degraded the political process, and maybe, in spotlighting the Tea Party, even hurt the Republican Party? I think it has absolutely saved it. It has certainly given voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN. By the way, we don’t promote the Tea Party. That’s bullshit. We recognize their existence.

Your new Fox Sports 1 network is a very big bet. Well, it’s a pretty big bet. We certainly expect to lose a couple hundred million dollars for a year or two, and then we expect it to turn, and we’ll gradually make it into a major alternative to ESPN. We’re not going to put ESPN out of business.

Why does ESPN need an alternative? I think the public deserves choice.

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Regis Philbin Bringing Back ‘Host Chat’ For Fox Sports 1 Series ‘Crowd Goes W!ld’

Regis and the cast of “Crowd Goes W!ld”

Former “Live!” co-host Regis Philbin is bringing back the “host chat” segment that led off his former daytime program “Live!” The segment will be the focal point of “Crowd Goes W!ld,” a new sports talk show launching on Fox Sports 1 Monday, August 19.

As with “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” and “Live! with Regis and Kelly,” Philbin will open up the program with, well, whatever is on his mind.

“Regis will be talking about what he did last night, Regis will be talking about what is going on in the world of sports, what is in the news cycle, and that will create, immediately, furor and debate and no doubt opinions,” the EP of the program Michael Davies says. “It is almost like ‘host chat’ built out.”

It will be built out, because alongside Philbin will be a panel of co-hosts, including Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay, comedian Michael Kosta, former Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce and Sky Sports host Georgie Thompson. YouTube star Katie Nolan will serve as the show’s social media correspondent, in charge of fan interaction through social media.

Still, at the heart of the new show is Regis:

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Networks Remembering Tragedy On July 4

CNN and Fox Sports will have special programming today to reflect on tragedy, even as the country celebrates the July 4 holiday.

At 3:30 PM today, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin will host “Remembering The Fallen,” a half-hour special about the 19 firefighters that were killed in Arizona on Sunday. It will feature interviews with their families, and new reporting from the scene of the fire. CNN also put together an interactive piece on the fallen firefighters.

Fox Sports, meanwhile, is planning special features remembering the victims of the tragic tornado that ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City in May. The features, called “The American Way,” will air during the Major League Baseball pre-game shows across the country today, and will continue through the weekend on Fox’s Saturday MLB game of the week, and on SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel and FUEL. You can see a preview here.

Jay Mohr On How Sports Journalism Compares To Comedy

Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr is profiled in this week’s “So What Do You Do?” Feature. Mohr is a comedian and actor who recently transitioned to the world of sports media.

How does doing a daily three-hour radio show compare to doing stand-up, SNL, TV and movies, and what has surprised you most so far?

What surprised me most is how huge a company Fox Sports Radio is and the [interview] access that comes with that, when you can interview a member of the Knicks, a member of the Lakers, a member of the Utah Jazz, Don Mattingly, manager of the Dodgers, and so on. I come in to work every morning and the guests we have lined up are consistently top caliber.
As far as how it compares to other mediums, I’ve always really loved structure. I wake up at the same time every day, come home relatively at the same time each day, and it’s perfect for me. It’s sort of like a shotgun structure: you go like crazy when you first wake up; you just sort of go nuts for five hours, then go home and refuel. And there’s no waiting around, which is the absolute worst and only bad part about acting. You spend 95 percent of your time in a trailer, eating candy and doing push-ups, wondering when they’re going to use you.

You can read the entire interview here.

News Corp. Betting Big On ‘Fox Sports 1′

There is no denying that ESPN is the 800 pound gorilla of sports TV networks. Executives at Fox Sports know this.

“ESPN, quite frankly, is a machine,” says Billy Wanger, the head of programming for Fox Sports. “We are coming in trying to take on the establishment; it is no different than what happened with Fox News, or Fox Broadcasting back in the 80s. We are going to have to scratch and claw our way all the way to the top.”

Shanks was talking about Fox Sports 1, the upcoming national cable sports channel that News Corp. is launching in August. News Corp. COO Chase Carey called it “the worst kept secret in TV,” but it is no longer a secret. At a lavish upfront for media buyers in midtown yesterday afternoon and evening, executives at News Corp. formally unveiled the channel.

The beating heart of sports TV is live games, and FS1 will be coming out of the gate with the strongest lineup outside of Bristol, CT. Major League Baseball games–including playoff games–will be available on the channel, as will NASCAR races, UFC fights, college football and basketball and UEFA and World Cup soccer.

“We believe that right now the market for sports is–I don’t want to say vast–but it is,” News Corp. senior VP and Fox Sports founding president David Hill says. “There is a huge percentage of the population for whom sports is vitally important, for whom sports is the best entertainment there is.”

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Feinstein Quits Navy Radio Over CBS Documentary

John Feinstein, who is best known for A Season on the Brink, the year he spent embedded with former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, has quit the Navy Radio Network after 14 years as a color commentator after the school agreed to do a documentary with CBS about the Army-Navy game — a project that Feinstein, whose book The Civil War chronicled the annual football game between the two service academies, reportedly pitched to CBS in the past, but to no avail.

I have no doubt CBS will do just fine with this. They’ll have the access and they’ll spend the money. They won’t have my anecdotal memory or know some of the stories about past players that I know and I’m SURE they won’t try to claim any of the stories I’ve written or told in the past as their own.

I’m not angry with the people at Army or Navy. This was a business decision. Could they have pushed CBS a little harder to involve me, pointing out that it would benefit the project? Yes. Would that have done any good? I doubt it.

The reason I’m stepping down then isn’t because I’m throwing a hissy fit at being left out. But, as I said in my note to the Navy people, Army-Navy and doing Navy football has never been a job to me, it has been a passion. Doing this documentary would have been a labor of both love and passion and, yes, I believe I would have done it better than anyone else.

So, to be at the games this fall and see CBS there with their cameras following players around; knowing they’re in the locker room with their cameras; encountering people from CBS all the time, is something I simply can’t face. It’s a little bit like dating a girl for 10 years, getting dumped and then being invited to her wedding. I just don’t want to watch it.

Can’t really blame him. Then again, the idea for a documentary about the Army-Navy game doesn’t seem like something that Feinstein alone could have brainstormed. Not involving him, though, seems odd. Hopefully CBS will address the reasons for doing the documentary without him.

 

Reporter Dan Rafael To Call Boxing Matches For Epix

ESPN.com boxing reporter Dan Rafael has reached an agreement with Epix to work as a broadcast analyst.

Rafael will call his first fight on June 25 when Felix Sturm takes on Matthew Macklin from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.

“I look forward to working on Epix with our expert commentator and great heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis and blow-by-blow man Bruce Beck,” Rafael tweeted.

ESPN's Rose Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving

ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose pleaded guilty to drunk driving today, admitting to the judge that he drank six martinis on the night of March 11 before he veered off a snowy road in Michigan and rolled his Cadillac Escalade. When police arrived, Rose insisted he hadn’t been drinking, but roadside and hospital tests proved Rose’s blood-alcohol was above the legal limit. He came clean to the judge on Tuesday.

“I’m embarrassed to say I had six drinks that evening,” Rose said softly.

When the judge asked how large the drinks were, Rose replied: “I’m embarrassed to say probably too big.”

He faces up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine and court costs when he’s sentenced July 27.

(Source: ESPN)

(Photo: The Smoking Gun)

Mavs' Marion Shooting Pilot for Reality TV Show

Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion will be taping the pilot to a reality television series in June called “The Ladies in My Life,” TMZ reports. The show will focus on his mom, sister, publicist and, ya know, other women in his life.

 

 

ESPN NHL Analyst Arrested For Domestic Violence

ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby was arrested Friday night and charged with domestic violence in Amherst, New York.

WIVB has the details of the arrest:

“Amherst Police responded to a location at 6:15 p.m. and found serious damage to property. The location is being kept private to protect two female victims, who police say were not injured.

The former right winger was arrested and charged with second degree criminal contempt, harassment, second degree criminal trespass, and second degree criminal mischief. Police say after leaving the location, he made angry phone calls, and Barnaby has also been charged with aggravated harassment via a cell phone. Read more

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