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Career Future Uncertain For Chris Webber, Marv Albert

So what would TNT do next if they were to lose either or both Albert and Webber?

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TNT isn’t sure two of its top basketball voices will be back with the network next season. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports both analyst Chris Webber and legendary play-by-play man Marv Albert may be nearing the end of their run at Turner Sports.

Marv Albert will be 80 years old next year. He is contemplating retirement, but Marchand reports that no decision has been made yet. He is currently in the last year on his most recent contract. His final broadcast of the season is slated to be the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT.

Turner officials have apparently been on the fence regarding Chris Webber’s future for a while. Although he is partnered with Albert on TNT’s top broadcast, the audience isn’t exactly in love with him.

Webber also apparently rubbed his bosses the wrong way during the NCAA Tournament. He informed Turner brass very late that he did not want to be part of the college basketball broadcasts.

So what would TNT do next if they were to lose either or both Albert and Webber?

As far as play-by-play goes, the network is in good shape. Both Kevin Harlan and Ian Eagle would be worthy top dogs for any network that carries the NBA.

The analyst role may be a little harder to predict. Andrew Marchand notes that Reggie Miller and Jim Jackson would be candidates for a promotion. He also notes that Grant Hill won rave reviews for his performance alongside Eagle during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. His contract with Turner is up at the end of the year. That could mean he is inline for a big raise if the network does view him as a potential replacement for Chris Webber.

Finally, Marchand notes there are a couple of attractive free agents on the market. Richard Jefferson’s contract at ESPN is up at the end of the year. The network also let Paul Pierce go after he posted racy videos to Instagram.

Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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