Is the Southland ready for Jim Healy on television?
Healy and Channel 2 are close to an agreement that would allow the irreverent sportscaster to remain at radio station KMPC and, at the same time, work for the television station.
Channel 2 General Manager Tom Van Amburg's idea is for Healy to do something similar to what he now does on radio, only in a much shorter time period. Healy would appear on one or two of the weekday early news shows.
Said Van Amburg: "I've been a great admirer of his work for years. I want to create an environment where his fans can enjoy his work, and that's beyond just sports reporting or sports commentating."
Said Healy: "We're still in the talking stage. Right now, we're discussing different concepts. I'm not sure exactly what I would do, but you can be sure of one thing. I wouldn't just read scores and show game highlights.
"Also, I have to determine if I have the time to do justice to both jobs.
"If I do take the Channel 2 job, it will be because of Tom Van Amburg. He's an outstanding general manager. He made Channel 7 No. 1 in news when he was there, and he's going to do the same thing for Channel 2.
"Over the years, I've had other offers to return to television, but none before now that I considered seriously."
Healy was a sportscaster for Channel 7 for six years during the 1960s.
Add Channel 2: The station's weekend sports anchor, Tony Hernandez, is no longer working weekends, at least for the time being.
Hernandez, whose contract doesn't expire until this summer, has been banned from appearing on the air by Don Dunkel, acting news director.
A station source said that Hernandez is tired of working weekends and that he recently asked to take some compensatory time on weekend days. When his request was turned down, he took the time off anyway, the source said.
Since then, Rich Marotta and Gil Stratton have filled in for Hernandez on weekends.
Hernandez and Channel 7 parted company a couple of years ago, and one of the main problems then was that Hernandez didn't want to work weekends.
Someone should tell Hernandez that a lot of sports events occur on weekends.
Who goofed Dept.: Have you heard the Ram trivia radio segments done by Al Downing for a copying machine outfit? KMPC runs them regularly.
During Healy's show the other night, there was one in which Downing asks which Ram was the only one to throw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.
The answer, as Downing reveals at the end of the piece, is running back Lawrence McCutcheon.
It's a good trivia question.
The problem was that KMPC played the same segment twice within 15 minutes.
It was a little anticlimactic the second time.
New low for Dawson: Channel 7's Ted Dawson, showing highlights of the Soviet national hockey team's victory over the NHL All-Stars last Friday, said of the Soviets' rally: "Here come the Commies!"
Ironman Chick: What's the greatest streak ever in the NBA? Is it the Boston Celtics' winning eight straight titles? The 1971-72 Lakers' winning 33 straight games? Randy Smith's playing 906 straight games?
How about Chick Hearn's streak? On Saturday, Feb. 28, when the Lakers play a televised game at Utah, Hearn will work his 2,000th straight game.
Hearn hasn't missed a Laker game since November of 1965, when he was snowed in at Fayetteville, Ark., after working a football game there.
How many people do you know who haven't called in sick at least once in the last 21 years?
Hearn will be featured in a special, "2,000 and Counting," to be televised by Channel 9 Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m.
Add Hearn: He sure hasn't lost his spunk. He was in top form during last Sunday's game with the Celtics. Anyone who didn't turn off the TV audio and listen to Hearn missed out.
After partner Keith Erickson had interviewed Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan at halftime, Hearn asked Erickson where Ryan was sitting.
"Down there in the front row," Erickson said.
Hearn, who has never been too fond of his press-box seat high up in the nosebleed section of the Forum, said: "The only time I got to sit in the front row at the Forum was when I came to the circus."
Hearn got in another dig at his boss, Jerry Buss, when, stealing an ancient joke, he said: "Dr. Buss told me not to tell anyone my salary. I said, 'Don't worry, I'm as embarrassed about it as you are.' "
Which brings to mind the line he had about a cruise that Buss presented to Hearn and his wife Marge as a gift several years ago. When asked where he was going on his cruise, Hearn quipped: "As far as Marge can row."
Stormy Knight: Bob Knight tore into ESPN for the 8:30 starting time of last Monday night's Indiana-Wisconsin game, which didn't end until well after 11 because it went into triple overtime. Indiana games usually start at 8.
The Indiana coach said the late start was unfair to the players on both teams.
Did Knight forget that Indiana and the Big Ten had agreed to the late start in the first place? Schools have been known to refuse to change dates or times to accommodate television.