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Channel 11 Strikes Out When It Shuts Out Dodger Fans

TV-Radio / Larry Stewart

September 30, 1988|Larry Stewart

Channel 11 really stuck it to Dodger fans this week. First, the station didn't televise Monday night's National League West Division title-clincher in San Diego, then it ignored Wednesday night's game, when Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's record of pitching 58 consecutive scoreless innings.

Incredible.

Channel 11 asks viewers to watch games all season, then, when special ones come along, the station ignores them.

Instead, Channel 11 gave viewers two horror movies, "Friday the 13th" Monday night and "The Funhouse" Wednesday night. The real horror, however, was the decision not to televise the two big Dodger games.

Forget any miscall by an Olympic announcer. This is what you call a real broadcasting blunder.

Efforts to reach Channel 11 program director Don Tillman were unsuccessful.

At least, Vin Scully was there Wednesday night to do the game on radio, and how fitting that Drysdale was also there as a Dodger announcer.

But it would have been so much more enjoyable had Channel 11 provided some pictures.

Tuesday night, with title in hand, Manager Tom Lasorda spent some time in the broadcast booth, leaving coach Bill Russell in charge on the field. Someday, if Lasorda ever decides to give up managing, he would make an excellent commentator. He is insightful, and he throws in a little humor, too.

Los Angeles football fans get short shrift again this weekend. The Rams and the Raiders both play at home Sunday, and neither the Rams' game against the Phoenix Cardinals nor the Raiders' game against the Cincinnati Bengals sold out in time to lift the TV blackout.

And as usual when either the Rams or Raiders are home, only two games can be televised in the L.A. market.

It will be the New York Giants at Washington on Channel 2 at 10 a.m. and Denver at San Diego on Channel 4 at 1 p.m.

The Dodgers' playoff games against the New York Mets will be televised by ABC, and Game 2 is now a night game. That's a plus for daytime workers.

Game 1 at Dodger Stadium Tuesday will begin at 5 p.m., with Game 2 Wednesday starting at 7 p.m., instead of noon. ABC requested the time change so that it could carry the vice presidential debate that day at 5:30 p.m. Game 3 in New York will be Friday at 5 p.m., PDT.

The announcers on the Dodger-Met series will be ABC's A team, Al Michaels, Tim McCarver and Jim Palmer. Also, on the pregame shows, there will be taped segments of Mike Schmidt analyzing the pitchers.

The announcers on the American League playoffs, which begin Wednesday with Game 1 at 10:20 a.m., PDT, will be Gary Bender, Joe Morgan--the former player, not the Boston manager--and Reggie Jackson. Paul Molitor will offer analysis on the pitchers on the pregame shows.

Because Bender will be on baseball next weekend, ABC is bringing back Chris Schenkel to work a college football game.

For the past 6 months, former KABC "Sportstalk" host Bud Furillo has been doing a sports talk show with Peter Vent for radio station KFOX-FM in Redondo Beach. Now Vent says, after a stormy relationship with Furillo, he is leaving the show and, beginning Oct. 9, will do a weekly Sunday morning sports talk show, from 7 to 10, for KMNY in downtown Los Angeles.

Vent, a young announcer who used to do a sports talk show for Orange County station KEZY, took his show to KFOX and asked Furillo to join him. "Bud was thrilled," Vent said. "He said I saved him, that he was about to take a job selling cars or tending bar."

But Vent said the relationship between him and Furillo went sour. "He muscled his way in and took over my show. I'm heartbroken," Vent said.

Furillo refused comment.

Jim Hill thought he had a deal to work for the ABC network when he switched from CBS-owned Channel 2 to ABC-owned Channel 7 last year. But he was rarely used during last February's Winter Olympics, was taken off the college football scoreboard show and now is no longer working for the network in any capacity.

ABC says Hill was offered a job as a college football sideline reporter. Wisely, he turned it down. Sideline reporters have the most embarrassing jobs in sports broadcasting.

Becky Dixon accepted the position Hill turned down.

Mike Chamberlin, the competent sportscaster who was fired by Channel 13 to make room for Vic (the Brick) Jacobs, is working for the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, KTVK.

Jacobs was brought in with the idea of improving Channel 13's ratings for its newscast, but the ratings have remained about the same.

A no-show: High hurdler Greg Foster, who did not make the U.S. Olympic team after breaking an arm, was supposed to work for NBC in a limited role on track and field at the Olympics. But he left Seoul last Saturday, the day before the 110-meter high hurdles were run. USA Today reported that Foster left because he was homesick.

Efforts to reach Foster at his home in Chino Hills have been unsuccessful.

He has arrived: Quarterback Jim McMahon of the Chicago Bears has accused former Bear and current Raider receiver Willie Gault of "going Hollywood." And apparently he has.

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