Sports TV News
CBS Adds Dottie Pepper To Golf Coverage
CBS Sports filled a big void on its golf broadcasting team Wednesday by hiring Dottie Pepper, giving the network that covers the most PGA Tour events its first female voice.
She replaces David Feherty, who left CBS to join NBC Sports.
That doesn’t make her the next Feherty.
”There’s no replacing Feherty,” Pepper said from her home in upstate New York. ”Here’s what I told the guys when I went to CBS to meet with them. I am not funny. But I will work really hard. So there you go.”
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said Pepper was the network’s first choice.
Pepper first received acclaim as the most prominent female golf analyst at NBC Sports from 2004 until 2012, when she stepped away to reduce her travel schedule. Pepper joined the board of directors at the PGA of America. That term expires next month.
She had been working for ESPN, which at the time had opening rounds of the Masters, U.S. Open and all of the British Open. The U.S. Open went to Fox Sports, and the British Open went to NBC. NBC and ESPN announced Monday that deal would start a year earlier than initially planned in 2016.
And that essentially made Pepper available.
”Once it became evident that we weren’t going to do our deal with Feherty, Dottie was the first and only analyst we considered for the job,” McManus said. ”Everyone we asked about Dottie, including the folks at ESPN, just raved about her work ethic.”
Pepper fills another void at CBS, which had been the lone network to not have a female analyst. NBC had Pepper for nearly a decade, and ABC Sports (and ESPN) featured Judy Rankin when it still was involved in PGA Tour coverage.
”We didn’t hire Dottie because she’s a woman,” McManus said. ”We had been considering for a long time adding a woman to our crew, and this turned out to be perfect.”
Pepper will make her debut with CBS for its weekend coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Jan. 30. She knows all the golf courses that CBS covers on the West Coast swing from her days at NBC – Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach held U.S. Opens, and NBC had Riviera during an Olympic year.
Pepper has been at the Masters the last few years with ESPN, and the other major she will work is the PGA Championship.
”A microphone doesn’t know whether you’re male or female,” Pepper said. ”It knows whether you can call a good shot or a bad shot and relay what a player is thinking because you’ve been there. I’ve thrown up on myself and I’ve gotten the job done, so I know what it feels like to be in that position.”
Pepper was a 17-time winner on the LPGA Tour, won two majors and was never more fiery than at the Solheim Cup.
She will remain at ESPN in its limited golf coverage. McManus said Pepper still had time remaining on her ESPN contract, and that John Wildhack (executive vice president of production and programming) and Mike McQuade (vice president of golf production) were ”terrific in letting her sign an agreement with CBS.”
Pepper said she has 35 on-air days with ESPN, which includes work at Augusta National, ”SportsCenter,” the Asia Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur. She will be at the Latin America Amateur two weeks before starting with CBS at Torrey Pines.
So much for that reduced travel schedule.
Pepper said she likely would be at 20 tournaments. McManus said her role would be as an on-course reporter with occasional time in the booth.
”When I went to ESPN, I had the perfect workload,” Pepper said. ”But the whole landscape of TV has changed. More than that, after being away from a ton of live golf, I realized the boardroom is not my space. I love to talk about live golf. It’s the coolest thing to get back to that.”
Credit to Fox Sports who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.