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Collins' run on NBC to end

July 03, 2007|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

After so many years as a Wimbledon fixture for NBC, Bud Collins will appear for the last time on Sunday.

An NBC spokesman, denying media reports that Collins had been fired, said it was more a case of his position no longer existing. The network later said his contract not being renewed.

The spokesman pointed out that Collins' NBC role had diminished in recent years but said the network will have an on-air tribute to the veteran tennis commentator during Sunday's Wimbledon coverage.

"I've had 35 wonderful years with NBC, and I hope to remain in tennis," Collins, 78, said on Monday from the All England Club. "I'm not retiring. Too young to retire."

As for the planned tribute, he said, "I'll be there and I'll say

Collins, who reportedly was informed of the change on June 22 by NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer, will continue to report for the Boston Globe, where he has worked for 44 years.

In recent years, most post-match interviews at Wimbledon shown on NBC have been handled by the BBC's Sue Barker. In the future, NBC's Jimmy Roberts figures to handle some of the post-match interviews. Ted Robinson, John McEnroe or Mary Carillo might also be involved at times, an NBC spokesman said.

Collins, who is known for his colorful commentary and colorful wardrobe, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994, and won journalism's prestigious Red Smith Award in 1999.

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