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CBS Adds Dottie Pepper To Golf Coverage

Jason Barrett

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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

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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