Behind the Mic: Men In Blazers Takes Pitch for NBC; NFL on Fox to Feature McNabb, Quinn, and Morrison

 

Men in Blazers, featuring popular soccer personalities Michael Davies and Roger Bennett, are leaving ESPN to join NBC Sports Group. Men in Blazers is a live and on-demand multi-platform soccer program that will air on NBCSN and will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app weekly on Mondays beginning in the first month of the Premier League season. The show will follow NBC Sports Group’s weekend Premier League coverage. In addition, Bennett will serve as a special contributor on television, providing on-site features from the U.K. and making monthly studio appearances alongside Premier League Live host Rebecca Lowe. He will also contribute long-form features to NBCSports.com. Most recently, Men in Blazers was featured on ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while their weekly podcast on Grantland.com continues to grow in popularity…

…Fox has unveiled its 2014 broadcast teams, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman returning as its lead team along Erin Andrews’ first season with the A team. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt returns with analyst John Lynch and sideline reporter Pam Oliver (previously with Buck and Aikman). Also back are play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, analyst Daryl Johnston, and on-field analyst Tony Siragusa. Returnign play-by-play caller Chris Myers has new partner this year in veteran Ronde Barber, in his second year as an NFL on FOX analyst, and sideline reporter Jennifer Hale. Play-by-play vet Thom Brennaman, also elcomes a new partner in FOX Sports newcomer and former New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl as analyst with Laura Okmin as sideline reporter.  Rounding out NFL on FOX broadcast teams in 2014 is veteran play-by-play man Dick Stockton with a rotation of new analysts featuring former NFL standout quarterback and FOX Sports 1 analyst Donovan McNabb, former NFL and Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, and former NFL linebacker and FOX Sports 1 analyst Kirk Morrison, in addition to sideline reporter Kristina Pink. Also contributing to NFL on FOX broadcasts throughout the season are play-by-play announcers Sam Rosen, Justin Kutcher, Gus Johnson, and Mike Goldberg; analysts Charles Davis and Brendon Ayanbadejo, and sideline reporter Peter Schrager. Mike Pereira, former NFL Vice President of Officiating, resumes his role as FOX Sports’ rules analyst.

…Carter Blackburn is returning to CBS Sports as the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports Network. Blackburn will be the Network’s lead voice on its weekly college football and college basketball games, and other prominent events. Blackburn also will call college football for CBS Sports, including SEC games on the weeks the Network features two SEC ON CBS match-ups.  In addition, Blackburn will announce college basketball games, as well as other select events for CBS Sports. Blackburn previously worked for CBS Sports Network (then CBS College Sports Network) from 2003-09. Previously, Blackburn worked for ESPN calling college football, college basketball, college lacrosse and other events.  Blackburn worked for ISP Sports and Fox Sports South in Winston-Salem, N.C., from 2001-03.

In addition, CBS Sports’ lead college football announce team of Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce will call the Ohio State vs. Navy game on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Aug. 30 (12:00 NOON, ET) from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore…

…ESPN and SiriusXM have reached an agreement for ESPN to produce The Stephen A. Smith Show exclusively for SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, channel 85.  The two-hour daily program will debut on satellite radio Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. ET.  The show will be produced and broadcast from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol. The Stephen A. Smith Show will lead in each day to Mad Dog Unleashed, hosted by the channel’s headline personality, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo. Smith, will continue to make guest appearances on ESPN New York 98.7FM and other ESPN Radio affiliates. He will remain a featured commentator on ESPN2’s First Take and make appearances on SportsCenter and other ESPN television shows.  He had hosted a local radio show on ESPN New York since 2011…

…Nicole Briscoe has agreed to a new contract with ESPN and will become a SportsCenter anchor as well as taking on additional new assignments after her current role as host of ESPN NASCAR Countdown concludes. Briscoe, who joined ESPN in 2008 and has served in various positions on ESPN’s NASCAR coverage, will assume her new duties in January. In addition to SportsCenter, she also will be part of a variety of other ESPN studio shows. Briscoe has hosted NASCAR Countdown since 2011 and was a host and reporter for ESPN’s former NASCAR Now program and has reported on NASCAR for SportsCenter and other ESPN news platforms. ESPN is in its final season of televising live NASCAR racing. She joined ESPN as Nicole Manske, prior to her 2009 marriage to IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe. She worked for two years as co-host of a motorsports news program on the former SPEED Channel and previously was a sports reporter in Indianapolis…

…Veteran sportscasters Steve Armitage and Mark Lee are the latest high-profile casualties of budget cuts at the CBC. Armitage, 70, lent his booming voice to CBC sports events for some 49 years — handling play-by-play on 29 seasons of Hockey Night in Canada, 27 Grey Cups and 15 Olympic Games. The majority of CBC sportscasters are hired on contract. Of four prominent sportscasters the network had on staff, Scott Russell is keeping his job. Armitage and Lee were let go, while Brenda Irving is moving to another department. (Toronto Star)…

…ESPN Digital & Print Media announced that award-winning journalist Amy DuBois Barnett will join ESPN as Executive Editor of Jason Whitlock’s upcoming site that will provide coverage, commentary and insight about sports and culture directed towards an African-American audience. In this role, Barnett will manage editorial operations for the site. She will report to Whitlock, founder and Editor-in-Chief. Most recently, Barnett was Editor-in-Chief of Ebony, the oldest and largest African-American magazine in the country. At Ebony, Barnett executed the publication’s first top-to-bottom redesign in its 68-year history and also re-launched Ebony.com, both to critical acclaim…

…Famed sports agent Leigh Steinberg will be getting his own radio show with Yahoo! Sports Radio beginning August 18. The Leigh Steinberg Show will air Mondays from 8pm-10pm (eastern) and feature interviews with athletes, coaches and sports insiders, many of whom Steinberg has represented. Steinberg will also make regular appearances across the network…

…Pac-12 Networks announced its fall Olympic talent lineup of expert broadcasters. In addition to the slate of returning on-air talent, two newcomers join the Pac-12 Networks’ team – Josh Lewin, calling play-by-play action for women’s volleyball, and Christopher Sullivan as a soccer analyst. Most recently, Lewin spent three seasons as the play-by-play announcer with the New York Mets. He was the voice of Texas Rangers baseball on TV for eight seasons, in addition to stints on both TV and radio for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. Lewin can also be heard as the radio voice for the San Diego Chargers and hosts his own midday sports talk radio show on 105.3 FM in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Sullivan, a Bay Area native and former MLS midfielder/forward, returns to the Networks in a larger role for his first full season with men’s soccer broadcasts. He started his broadcast career as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports Bay Area covering the San Jose Earthquakes, and has made many appearances providing color on MLS game telecasts…

…SiriusXM announced that 1987 Masters Champion Larry Mize will host a new monthly show on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio (XM channel 93, Sirius channel 208).   The Larry Mize Show will debut September 3 (2:00-3:00 pm ET) and air monthly throughout the year.  On the program, Mize will take calls from listeners around the country and discuss the headline news from the world of golf…