Behind the Mic: ESPN Adds George Karl, Avery Johnson as NBA Analysts; TWC SportsNet Brings in Lakers Vets Byron Scott, Luke Walton

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, Sports Video Group

ESPN has added veteran NBA coaches George Karl and Avery Johnson as analysts for the 2013-14 season.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Karl will provide analysis for a variety of studio shows, including SportsCenter, NBA Coast 2 Coast, NBA Tonight and other news and information programming. Karl previously served as an ESPN NBA studio analyst during the 2003-2004 NBA season. Karl was named the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year and is sixth on the all-time win list for NBA coaches, amassing 1,131 career victories over 25 seasons.

Johnson will provide insights and analysis for ESPN NBA studio shows, including NBA Coast 2 Coast and NBA Tonight, while also making regular appearances on SportsCenter and additional ESPN news and information programming.  A Former NBA Coach of the Year and NBA Champion, Johnson most recently coached the Brooklyn Nets. Johnson previously served as an ESPN NBA analyst from 2008-2010…

…Time Warner Cable SportsNet has added former Lakers players Byron Scott and Luke Walton have to its on-air team. Scott and Walton join fellow former Lakers James Worthy and Robert Horry on TWC Sportsnet. Scott and Walton will cover the Lakers, contributing to the network’s award-winning studio programming including franchise shows “#LakeShow,” “Access SportsNet,” the “Access SportsNet: Lakers” pre-and post-game shows and more. In addition to his 14 seasons as a player and many years as an NBA coach, Scott also has served as an analyst for ABC and ESPN’s NBA coverage. Walton, who last played with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012-13, is is the most recently-active NBA player to be employed by a TV network…

…MLB Network has added 18-year MLB veteran Raul Ibanez, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Toronto Blue Jays infielder Mark DeRosa and longtime Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson as Postseason guest studio analysts on MLB Network during the month of October. MLB Network’s 165 hours of programming covering the 2013 Postseason includes MLB Network’s two exclusive LDS game telecasts on October 4 (with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan on the call) and October 7 (with Matt Vasgersian, Kaat and Ryan). MLB Tonight will air before and after every Postseason game with reporters including Kristina Akra, Alanna Rizzo, Ken Rosenthal, Sam Ryan and Heidi Watney on-site at each ballpark…

…NBA Digital has added The Starters, a collective of fan-focused voices with a unique and unconventional take on the game, to its multimedia portfolio.  The Starters, formerly The Basketball Jones, will produce original content across all screens including a daily TV show, podcast and blog, and a constant presence across a variety of social media platforms. The program features co-hosts J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas, with contributors Trey Kerby and Leigh Ellis and producers Matt Osten and Jason Doyle…

…Sirius XM Radio has added NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton to its roster of hosts on SiriusXM NFL Radio, channel 88. Lofton will host The SiriusXM Blitz alongside co-host Bruce Murray every Friday live from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET, and will also be heard on various other SiriusXM NFL Radio shows throughout the year.