Richard Deitsch of The Athletic spoke with Fox Sports’ Eric Shanks and CBS’s Sean McManus as part of his “Media Circus” column this week. The two network heads talked about how Jim Nantz came to appear on Fox’s telecast of the US Open on Saturday.
Plans started coming together after Joe Buck, the lead broadcaster on Fox’s US Open coverage, publicly invited Nantz to come join the broadcast. According to Deitsch, that is when Shanks picked up the phone to call McManus and explain how he saw the cameo unfolding.
“I thought Jim has such a close association with the sport of golf and Pebble Beach that it would be a good showcase for him and for CBS too,” McManus told Deitsch. “There was no reason not to do it.”
Jim Nantz appeared early on the Saturday broadcast, much to the delight of golf fans everywhere. McManus stopped short of saying that CBS would be quick to welcome Buck on future golf broadcasts, but did explain that CBS would be open to a future Buck cameo if similar, undeniably perfect circumstances presented themselves.
“Remember this was kind of unique set of circumstances with the U.S. Open being played in the hometown of Jim Nantz, and I think he was on the telecast as much as a resident of Pebble Beach as he was the voice of golf on CBS. So if we were in St. Louis let’s say, and it made sense to have Joe Buck on, we would definitely consider it.”
Former ESPN South America Host Michelle Troconis Found Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder
She was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution.
Michelle Troconis, a former host and producer for ESPN South America was convicted of helping her late boyfriend Fotis Dulos kill his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos in 2019, nearly five years after the Connecticut mother of five went missing. She was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution.
According to the New York Times, Troconis, 49, faces a maximum of 50 years in prison. The jury found Troconis conspired with Fotis Dulos to murder his estranged wife, lied to provide an alibi for him and helped him dispose of the bloody evidence.
A statement released by the family of Jennifer Dulos said, “There can be no victory when five children are growing up without their mother. This verdict represents the meticulous collection, analysis and presentation to illuminate an unconscionable series of crimes. That immense body of evidence also serves to highlight the gaps that remain in this case – most important, that Jennifer Farber Dulos still has not been found. We have lost a mother, daughter, sister, cousin and cherished friend. Jennifer’s loved ones cannot bury her next to her father.”
Troconis, who once had her own TV production company in Argentina, also hosted a snow-sports show for ESPN South America.
The Sports Media Industry Remembers ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen
“Upon learning of Mortensen’s passing, members of the sports media industry flocked to social media to remember the ESPN legend.”
ESPN has lost a legend. Longtime NFL insider Chris Mortensen passed away Sunday morning at the age of 72. Mortensen spent more than three decades working for the worldwide leader in sports. The news of his passing was first made public by ESPN PR.
Affectionally referred to by his colleagues as ‘Mort’, Chris Mortensen contributed to ESPN’s NFL programs, SportsCenter and was the network’s top news breaker for years. He earned the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dick McCann Award in 2016, receiving his honor at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony in August of that same year. It was also the same year when Mortensen broke the news of Peyton Manning retiring from the NFL.
Unfortunately, 2016 was also the year when it was revealed that Mortensen was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.
“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, and was at the top of his field for decades. He will truly be missed by colleagues and fans, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones.”
In 2023, Mortensen stepped away from his role at ESPN to focus on his health, family and faith. Prior to joining ESPN he wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the Falcons, Braves and the NFL He was also a columnist for The Sporting News and a consultant with CBS Sports’ ‘NFL Today’.
Chris Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki, and son, Alex. Upon learning of his passing, members of the sports media industry flocked to social media to remember the ESPN legend.
Struggles Continue for ‘Undisputed’ On FS1
According to Sports Media Watch, the Feb. 27 edition of the program had 50,000 viewers, the lowest in the show’s history.
It’s been raining and pouring for Undisputed over the last few months — and February saw an all-time low for the long-running Skip Bayless vehicle. According to Sports Media Watch, the Feb. 27 edition of the program had 50,000 viewers, the lowest in the show’s history.
Among the shows that defeated Undisputed head-to-head were a re-air of Get Up on ESPN2 and first-round Dubai Open tennis on The Tennis Channel, according to Sports Media Watch.
Undisputed has been in dire straits for months. According to figures provided by USTVDB, the show passed 200,000 viewers just twice since August — the Monday, Sep. 4 edition that featured new co-hosts Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, and Richard Sherman and took place after the University of Colorado’s win over TCU, and the Monday, Jan. 15 edition following another Dallas Cowboys playoff loss, this time a blowout at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. Its viewers were likely there to revel in Bayless’ misery as a vocal Cowboys fan. For perspective, First Take enjoyed its most-watched episode ever on Jan. 15 with an average of 1.5 million viewers.
The show routinely averaged near or over 200,000 viewers but saw a sudden decline once co-host Shannon Sharpe left the show following last year’s NBA Finals. Sharpe then joined First Take, which saw its most-watched year ever in 2023, averaging almost 500,000 viewers per episode, and hasn’t slowed down at all.
Jeff Kotuby is a nationally-published journalist with bylines on many popular broadcasting and pop culture sites, including The Streamable, eBaum’s World, Twin Galaxies, and more. Jeff grew up in the shadows of New York City and cultivated his love for sports media with the classic broadcasting voices of the area, like Mike & The Mad Dog, Mike “Doc” Emerick, and Michael Kay. You can reach Jeff on Twitter @JeffKotu3y.