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December 11, 2007 | Bill Dwyre
Frequently, the most entertaining thing about a Clippers game is not the Clippers game. It is the Ralph and Mike Show. They are Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith, the odd couple of NBA broadcasting. Call them Chit and Chat, Rip and Zip. If you think Corey Maggette is quick, listen carefully, any game, any night, and you'll get real quickness. Ralph: "Steve Francis [of the Rockets] was getting paid all those 12 games he sat out." Mike: "The Eric Piatkowski plan."
July 3, 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.
March 17, 2007 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Stan Duke, a former Los Angeles sportscaster and one of the first blacks in local television news, whose career ended after he shot his estranged wife's lover to death in 1971, has died. He was 70. Duke died Wednesday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home in Santa Barbara, Ellen Duke, his second wife of 25 years, said Friday. Duke was a five-year veteran weekend sportscaster for KNXT-TV on Feb.
September 19, 2006 | Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer
USC, outraged over play-by-play veteran Brent Musburger's revealing during ABC's telecast of the Nebraska game what the Trojans contend was privileged information, fired off a complaint Monday to ESPN, which now oversees all sports programming on ABC. With just over 9 1/2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game and USC leading, 21-10, Musburger began describing on the air how USC quarterback John David Booty lets his receivers know he has spotted a certain kind of coverage.
September 15, 2006 | Larry Stewart
John Madden has a high-profile personal spotter working for him in the "NBC Sunday Night Football" booth -- lifelong friend John Robinson, the former USC and Los Angeles Rams coach. Madden and Robinson have been friends since they were fifth graders at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Daly City, Calif. Robinson, the Oakland Raiders' backfield coach in 1975 when Madden was the head coach, left the Raiders to become the head coach at USC in 1976. Now they are working together again.
September 7, 2006 | Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer
As Jerome Bettis walked out of the NBC studios in Burbank where Jay Leno tapes his show, four youngsters thrust football cards at the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back, begging for his autograph. The youngest, about 6 years old, was holding four Bettis cards. "Pick one," Bettis said. It was nearly a minute before the small hand gave one to the imposing 5-foot-11, 255-pound Bettis, who signed, paused, then grabbed the other three cards and signed them as well.
September 1, 2006 | LARRY STEWART
Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw could end up working as game commentators in the same booth at one of the BCS bowl games in January. Such a possibility is under consideration, according to a source familiar with the discussions. And that's just a hint at what will be a different college football season. ABC and its sister ESPN networks will televise almost 300 regular-season and postseason games. But then Fox will step in to televise three of the four BCS bowl games to be played Jan.
August 15, 2006 | Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer
After its debut, one thing is clear about ESPN's "Monday Night Football" announcing team. It's a big cast -- three game announcers and two sideline reporters -- with one star. And that star, as evidenced by ESPN's telecast Monday night of the Oakland Raiders' 16-13 exhibition victory over the Minnesota Vikings, is newcomer Tony Kornheiser. He was the focal point of the telecast, and all things considered, he not only survived but was pretty good.
August 14, 2006 | Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer
ESPN, which kicks off its regular-season coverage of "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 11 with a doubleheader, is expected to announce today that it has hired Dick Vermeil to work the second game as a commentator. The former UCLA and NFL coach will join play-by-play announcer Brad Nessler and commentator Ron Jaworski for a game at Oakland between the Raiders and San Diego Chargers. ESPN will televise that game about 7:15 p.m. Pacific time, after Minnesota at Washington, which will begin at 4 p.m.
June 9, 2006 | Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune
He has covered the London bombings and Paris riots for ABC News, reported on globalization from China and India. Now Bill Weir is poised for an even greater role on ABC's "Good Morning America" as it takes a renewed run at NBC's perennial breakfast leader "Today" in the post-Katie Couric era. Not bad for a guy hired almost 11 years ago from Green Bay, Wis., to be a third-string sportscaster for Chicago's WGN-TV Channel 9.
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