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SPORTS WEEKEND | TV-RADIO

Frazier Is More Than Just an Anchor

March 17, 2000|LARRY STEWART

There is a perception of a sports news anchorman as someone who, when not spending time in front of a mirror, is in front of a computer, working on catch phrases.

This person generally is self-absorbed, arrogant, and, for no apparent reason, often mad at the world.

Then there is Kevin Frazier.

He spends time trying to make the world a better place.

Frazier, 35, from Maryland, is one of the main anchors for Fox Sports News, and he and wife Andrea live in Baldwin Hills, near Dorsey High.

In February of last year, he walked onto the campus, unannounced, and found Principal Nancy Rene.

"Hi, I'm Kevin Frazier and I'm here because I want to help," he told Rene, who was taken aback.

"He didn't say he was on TV or anything like that," Rene said. "It wouldn't have mattered. I wouldn't have known who he is. I'm not a sports fan."

Rene sent Frazier to career counselor Donna Richardson. She sent him to Jamie Talt, who was teaching a video class, which had only enough equipment to produce a video yearbook.

Today, thanks to Frazier, Talt's class produces an award-winning news show and will soon have its own studio, complete with cameras and editing equipment.

The remodeling of an old classroom, recently filled with broken-down computers, and the equipment are costing $40,000. It is being paid for by Frazier's employer, Fox Sports Net. Frazier had no trouble convincing Net president Jeff Shell on this project.

Just as important, Frazier gives his time. He also brought others on board: Darren Horton, who does sports news for Channel 9 and play-by-play for ESPN, Fox Sports News producer Eric Weinberger, director Tony McCuin and a few other co-workers. They help in Talt's class, which has won a national Kid Witness News award, producing "Dorsey Community News." The first show aired March 1, 1999.

Frazier also got Media One to help. The show, since its inception, has been filmed at a Media One studio in the nearby Baldwin Hills Plaza and televised on Media One public access in surrounding areas.

The show will be filmed at the school, and more often, once the new campus set is completed. The students will no longer depend on available studio time at Media One.

What Frazier's efforts have done is give a few students direction and opportunity.

"It's a start," Frazier said. "If more people got involved with their local schools, if more companies donated money, a lot of the problems that are plaguing our schools and our youth would disappear. These are good, talented kids here. They just need a chance."

Frazier's father, Nathaniel, was the basketball coach at Morgan State and the family lived in the Baltimore suburb of Columbia, a planned, ethnically diverse community developed by James Rouse, who had visions of a Utopia.

"It was a perfect little world," Frazier said. "I was unaware of all the problems out there."

He's aware now, and doing something about them. He may not have visions of Utopia, but he is aware if we each do a little, we can all do a lot.

ANOTHER FEEL-GOOD STORY

While on the subject of helpfulness, Dick Vitale continues to do his part in honor of his friend, the late Jim Valvano. Because of Vitale, the Jimmy V Foundation, formed to help with cancer research, took in about $100,000 this season in a promotion with Papa John's pizza. Vitale visited cancer hospitals in various cities during his travels this season, and every time he did, the Papa John's franchises in that city donated $1 per pizza sold that day.

Said Vitale, "It's given me a new perspective on life. Any time you think you've got problems, you should go visit one of these hospitals and talk with the patients there. Your problems will suddenly seem like nothing."

SHORT WAVES

CBS, typically, is already angering viewers with inconsistent switching during the NCAA tournament. DirecTV's package is the answer. . . . Amid all the college basketball this weekend is an attractive NBA matchup, Lakers versus the New York Knicks on NBC Sunday at 9 a.m. The halftime feature, appropriately, will be on celebrity fans. . . . The foxsports.com Web site has hired respected Times Executive Sports Editor Rick Jaffe as its executive producer. Jaffe begins his new job April 10.

Former USC radio announcers Larry Kahn and Mike Lamb will be the radio announcers for the Avengers, Los Angeles' new Arena Football League team that will play at Staples Center. KCTD (1540) will carry the team's two exhibition games and 14 regular-season games. The exhibition season begins March 27, the regular season April 15. Bill Macdonald and David Norrie will be the TV announcers on Fox Sports Net and Net 2 telecasts. Six of eight regular-season telecasts will be on Net 2. . . . For the record: Don Ohlmeyer was not the original producer of "Monday Night Football." He arrived the second year, 1971, as co-director with Chet Forte and became the producer the following year.

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