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Posts Tagged ‘David Levy’

Greg D’Alba Exits CNN

greg dalbaLongtime CNN sales chief Greg D’Alba is leaving the company just weeks before the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers.

Donna Speciale, currently president of Turner Entertainment & Animation Ad Sales, will now take on the CNN sales duties in her new role as President of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales.

D’Alba joined Turner Broadcasting in 1986 as an account executive and rose through the ranks before being named president of CNN and Turner Digital Ad Sales in 2012. His departure was first reported by the New York Post.

Turner Broadcasting president David Levy calls Speciale, who joined Turner Broadcasting in 2012, a “respected and strategic sales executive, with strong relationships within the ad sales and media landscape.”

Read Levy’s full memo after the jump. Read more

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Olbermann On TBS Gig: ‘Open to pursuing other things? Of course. Planning on it? No’

The news that Keith Olbermann had signed a deal with Turner Sports to host the Major League Baseball studio show on TBS during the playoffs this Fall caught many by surprise. Olbermann, who most recently hosted “Countdown” on Current TV, hasn’t been a full-time sports anchor in well over a decade.

“The last time I sat at a telephone news conference to announce that I was leaving politics to go to a baseball pregame show and sports in general in 1999, it was the first time I ever said I have absolutely no idea where my career is going,” Olbermann told reporters on a conference call today, responding to a question about whether he would do another politics show. “I have been so bad at predicting my own career future, as everybody else has, that it would be useless. This is what I’m doing and I can’t wait to get started.”

That said, the former MSNBC host did seem open to the possibility of doing other things… it is just that no other options seem imminent.

“[Am I] open to pursuing other things? Of course. Planning on it? No. Do I need to? Fortunately not. Whatever else might be out there…couldn’t be as compelling as this.”

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Keith Olbermann Returning To TV… On TBS

Former MSNBC and Current TV host Keith Olbermann is returning to air. Olbermann has been named as the studio host for Turner Sports’ coverage of the Major League Baseball playoffs this Fall.

“It’s well known that Keith is a fan of the game and when you combine that with his studio experience, keen insight and passion for baseball and its history, he’ll add a new dimension to our MLB Postseason studio shows,” Turner Sports president David Levy said in a statement. “We’re excited to have him join Dennis [Eckersley] in studio, and look forward to Keith sharing his in-depth knowledge of the game, MLB teams and players with our viewers for three great weeks in October.”

Turner Sports says it has also signed analyst Ron Darling to a new, long-term deal, and that Cal Ripken Jr. will transition from the studio to the broadcast booth this postseason.

The news was first reported by the well-sourced James Andrew Miller on Twitter, with the equally well-sourced Marisa Guthrie adding the details in an item for The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal puts Olbermann in the same corporate family as Jeff Zucker, who ran NBC Universal when he became a star there. Zucker now runs CNN. As is par for the course in the TV world, Turner Sports talent routinely appear on CNN to promote big games. It is a guarantee that talent will be appearing on CNN to promote TBS’ MLB Playoff coverage. Whether that talent is Olbermann remains to be seen.

More from Guthrie:
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SportsNewser: March Madness To Cable, Underwood, Fox Sports Hires From Canada

FS1′s Dan O’Toole and Jay Onrait

It is a big day in the world of sports media, with three big news items about three different sports divisions.

First, Turner Sports and CBS Sports have announced that the March Madness NCAA Final Four and NCAA Championship Game will move to cable, with Final Four games on TBS starting next year, and the Championship Game in 2016. CBS and TBS will switch off the Final Four and Championship Games through the remainder of the long-term deal through 2024.

“Since the inception of our partnership, I don’t think we could have envisioned such a seamless collaboration between our two companies both in front of and behind the cameras,” said David Levy, president of Sales, Distribution and Sports for Turner, in a statement.

NBC Sports is making a major change to “Sunday Night Football,” bringing in Carrie Underwood to perform “Waiting For Sunday Night,” the official theme song of the program.

Finally, Fox Sports took the sports world by storm this week by naming Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole as the primary highlight team for “Fox Sports Live,” the daily sports news show to launch on Fox Sports 1 later this year.

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Rachel Nichols Leaves ESPN For CNN, Turner Sports

CNN and Turner Sports are adding ESPN correspondent Rachel Nichols to their ranks. Nichols will anchor a weekend sports program for CNN, and will cover sports as a correspondent for CNN and Turner Sports. Her first assignment will be the Super Bowl next week in New Orleans.

Nichols was a workhouse at ESPN, contributing to “SportsCenter,” “NBA Countdown,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and ESPN’s newsmagazine “E:60.” The new CNN program, which will debut “later this year” also opens up synergistic possibilities for Turner, which has invested heavily in sports programming under David Levy. The company has in the last few years secured NCAA basketball playoff games, and signed new long-term deals with the NBA and MLB.

The move also underscores new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker‘s desire to diversify news on the network, moving beyond politics and the same handful of stories that get repeated on all the cable channels.

“We’re just thrilled that a sports journalist of Rachel’s stature and expertise will now be a regular part of the CNN lineup,” said Zucker in a statement. “Her arrival, beginning next week, is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN.”

More information, including comments from Nichols and Levy, after the jump.
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Barstool Editor Banned From WEEI After Posting Naked Pictures of Brady's 2-year-old Son

Barstool Sports editor David Portnoy was a regular guest on The Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI — until yesterday, when Portnoy posted pictures of Tom Brady’s naked two-year-old son beneath the wisecracking headline, “Check out the howitzer on Brady’s kid.” Brady’s son was frolicking on the beach along with Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen.Portnoy didn’t take the pictures, but his decision to post them and make cracks about a two-year-old’s endowment was enough to earn the ire of WEEI producer Jason Wolfe, who wrote on Twitter, “For those who have been tweeting at me…No we will not have Portnoy on again. What he did was completely irresponsible. It’s not about whether he was allowed to do it or not. It’s about common decency. And he showed none.”

Portnoy in a video defended himself against the onslaught of negative press, mainly saying that it’s not pornographic since the kid is so young. If you want to see the video, go to Barstool Sports. We’re not linking to it or the pictures. I disagree that his actions weren’t over the line. As soon as you start making reference to a child’s sex organs (with photos), you’ve gone to creepytown. The post attempts to make light of how Peyton Manning’s kids would be so lucky to be so well-endowed, but the humor is grossly outweighed by the inappropriateness of the source material.

All-Star Game Earns Lowest Overnight Rating Ever

The 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game earned a 7.9 overnight rating Tuesday night on Fox, the lowest overnight rating ever for the game.

According to SportsBusiness Daily, the 7.9 overnight rating is down 13.2 percent (9.1 overnight) from 2010 and down 24 percent (10.4 overnight) from the 2009 game.

Locally, St. Louis let the local metered markets with a 17.8 rating, followed by Philadelphia with a 14.7 rating.



Mike Francesa Ending Mike'd Up After Seven Years

Radio talk show host Mike Francesa is ending his WNBC-TV Sunday night sports show, Mike’d Up, according to

Ratings were strong during its seven years on the air, but Francesa wanted to spend more time with his family on the weekends.

Since the end of the NFL season, Francesa has hosted only three shows.

WNBC-TV sports anchor Bruce Beck has replaced him in his absence. No word on what WNBC-TV will do with the timeslot.


Media Meshes at Mirror Awards Ceremony

Photo Courtesy: Newhouse School

Yesterday the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University held its fifth annual Mirror Awards ceremony, honoring the best in media reporting. You can read about the winners from FishbowlNY, here.

MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski hosted the event, which also presented special awards to Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

Scarborough opened up the event with a friendly jab at his former executive producer, Chris Licht, who was in the audience.

“Our connection to the Newhouse school is through our executive producer Chris Licht. We have found working with him through the years that not only do you teach your students how to get out there in the media world and do it better than anyone else, but we have to say the trait that you instill that really means more than any other is loyalty. Sticking together through the years no matter what. How is CBS Chris?”

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was to present the award to Roberts. The Comcast CEO was unable to attend as he was in Switzerland securing the rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympics for NBC. Bewkes took the opportunity to poke fun at his business partner… and now competitor:

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Champions League Final Earns 1.8 Overnight Rating

The 2011 Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United earned a 1.8 overnight rating on Fox Soccer Channel.

Those numbers were up 64 percent over 2010′s numbers according to a Fox Sports representative.

The preliminary household ratings show that Washington DC, Seattle, New York, Providence, Los Angeles and Austin generated the best local numbers.

The 2009 Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United (on a Wednesday afternoon) earned a 1.0 rating on ESPN.