Friday, October 08, 1999


Sam's not in Cleveland after CBS shuffles lineup

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Bengals-Browns game may be a big deal in Ohio, but nationally the game is just another matchup of 0-4 teams.

        The game has so little appeal that Sam Wyche, originally scheduled to do the color commentary for CBS, was switched to the Denver-at-Oakland game.

        “The Cincinnati-Cleveland game is only going to six percent of the country,” said Robin Brendle of the CBS. “Sam and Kevin Harlan are our No. 3 team, so we wanted to get to a game that going out to more people.”

        Denver-Oakland is going to 21 percent of the country.

        So who's doing the Bengals-Browns? Don Criqui and Steve Tasker. Criqui-Tasker, the No. 6 team, have done more Bengal games than radio color man Dave Lapham.

        MERGER TALK: Clear Channel Communications' agreement to buy AMFM Inc. Monday means that once the deal goes through, all three local all-sports stations — WBOB-AM (1160), WUBE-AM (1230) and WCKY-AM (1360 HOMER) — will be owned by the same company.

        AMFM, formerly Chancellor, owns WBOB and WUBE- AM. Clear Channel, formerly Jacor, owns HOMER.

        Since one company can on ly own eight stations in one market that means some of the stations, possibility all, will be sold.

        Also once the deal is complete, Clear Channel will control the rights to the Bengals. That means the team will likely end up back on WLW.

        The Bengals left WLW for WBOB three years ago.

        SOLLY ON QBs: Former Bengal Solomon Wilcots' feature on the head-to-head matchup of Akili Smith-Tim Couch will air on ESPN's NFL Countdown Sunday at 11 a.m.

        LATE KNIGHT: My lasting impression from the first few days of the Division Series is: Man, Ray Knight talks a lot.

        Most of you probably haven't seen much of Knight since he's doing the New York Mets-Arizona Diamondbacks series for ESPN, which has been contested while most of America sleeps.

        Knight ought to look up the word “concise.” He talks through replays into live action. He and his partner, Chris Berman, no slouch in talking department either, often talk at the same time.

        AMAZING GRACE: Chi cago Cub first baseman Mark Grace is working the Houston-Atlanta series for ESPN Radio. Grace is a natural.

        He always seems to be a little ahead of the action. Wednesday, he said: “Andruw Jones is a notorious first-ball hitter. Let's see if Jose Lima gets him with something off speed.”

        Sure enough, Jones popped out on a first-pitch change-up.

        KUDOS TO 9: Channel 9 did a nice job on its “Run for the Pennant” tribute to the Reds. I especially liked the closing montage. The final clip of Greg Vaughn tossing his hat into the stands was a nice touch.

        WOLF ON 12: Steve Wolf, the former Xavier player, will do color on Channel 12's broadcast of Miami games. The first game 12 is doing? Xavier at Miami. Wolf was a candidate to the XU games on Channel 64 but pulled his name from consideration.

        BRUNO GONE: Tony Bruno, who co-hosted the ESPN morning show with Bob Golic, resigned Thursday. No word on replacement. The show airs locally on 1360 HOMER.

        John Fay covers TV/radio for The Enquirer. He can be reached at 768-8445


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