Media Roundup: About That 'NESN Daily' Program

In this week's edition of his Media Roundup, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch offers reviews, both his own and those from readers, of NESN's new sports show, NESN Daily, and details Tim Cowlishaw's lesson learned.

Here are just a few examples of recent emails sent in to Media Roundup:

Any info on the new NESN Daily show?  I think it's awful, but that's just me. I think they are trying way too hard to bring something "hip."  I feel there is way too much opionion in sports media today.  There isn't one show out there that just brings highlights.  All the sports guys want to add their two cents in, which to me is annoying.

the show ticks me off , and I just wanted a few highlights after working late. on well , that did not happen.

I once took a position that CSNNE wasn't worth my time and Michael Felger is still not worth my time. However, the new gang over there is doing a pretty good job and with NESN Daily as their competition (from my vantage point anyway), they seem to be overwhelming the new kids on the block.

How do you not comment on NESN Daily - the absolute worst bleeping show

OK, OK -- I guess it's time for me to say something about NESN's new nightly offering, NESN Daily. I wanted to give the show a little time to find its legs a bit, to see if they might make some adjustments as time went along, to go with the things that were working, and stay away with what wasn't.

To an extent, they have tried to change. Uri Berenguer has tried to tone things down a bit, tried to be a bit more clear in what he's saying, but it's still not working for me. The show's tagline is "A show for opinionated sports fans," but as indicated in the first email above, some fans seem to be getting a bit tired of all this opinion. Some would just like to have some sports news and highlights to tune into at the end of the day.

What I don't understand in all this is why NESN got rid of SportsDesk, which was more of your standard highlights show. Why couldn't they have both a news/highlights show and an opinion show? This is what Comcast SportsNet has done successfully with SportsCentral and Sports Tonight. The former is a highlights and news show with minimal opinion injected, while the second is pretty much all opinion and bombast. But at least there is the option to choose which format you prefer.

I feel bad for Jade McCarthy and Uri Berenguer, the hosts of NESN Daily, because I think they've been put into a show format that doesn't fit either of their strengths. They're both likable and competent in other areas, but teaming them together isn't working. Maybe more time with bring further changes and improvements, but I find it hard to believe. I'm not ready to declare it The Undisputed Worst Show In The History Of Television, but it's bad, no question about it. Other comments I've read, both at my website, Boston Sports Media Watch, and elsewhere, similarly pan this new show.

In summary: Bring back SportsDesk!

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On Thursday of this week, Boston.com promoted their Globe 10.0 web show with Chris Gasper and Dan Shaughnessy with the tag, "Are the Patriots better than you thought?" Beyond the fact that we're still in the preseason, and we still have absolutely no idea if this team is good or bad, the fact that the show featured Gasper, fresh off his "we should be more forgiving of the Red Sox and more critical of the Patriots" column from last week, and Shaughnessy, who seemingly can't get through a column on any topic -- Red Sox, Celtics, high school football, water polo -- without taking a shot at Bob Kraft, didn't instill great faith in me that this would be worth watching. 

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Quick Hits:

  • What was the bigger fraud topic this week on sports radio -- "Johnny Damon wouldn't come back because the fans booed him" or "The Jets are in Tom Brady and the Patriots' heads?"
  • I'm slightly concerned that Michael Felger is on the verge of jumping back on the Patriots bandwagon after two preseason games.
  • I understand that Quinn Ojinnaka did a horrible thing. What I don't get is why reporters feel that he owes THEM an explanation. He's talked with the authorities. He's (presumably) talked with the commissioner, as he has to serve a one-game suspension. Why do some reporters feel he has to explain himself to them, as well?
  • Another new NESN offering, After the Game, was announced this week. The show's press release described it as a "Lifestyle" and "Cribs" type show, offering viewers the opportunity to see their favorite athletes away from the field, and in their own homes and doing charity work. I'm cringing already.

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Links of the Week:

Strong reaction to Mariotti arrest

SI.com's Richard Deitsch looks at reaction to the arrest of AOL Fanhouse and ESPN Around the Horn personality Jay Mariotti on suspicion of felony domestic assault.

Jay Mariotti Decrying Domestic Violence

Sports By Brooks lists out times when Mariotti had spoken out against domestic violence and called for the harshest possible penalties.

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Tweet of the Week:

Sunday:

Revis and Jets announce new deal, probably Wednesday. You heard it here first. "Inside information!"Sun Aug 22 19:46:32 via web

 

Thursday:

"It’s my mistake. I was wrong, and while I once saw a significant difference between a column or story that I spend hours writing for the Dallas Morning News and a 15-word "tweet," I no longer do."

Tim Cowlishaw, of the Dallas Morning News, learning a lesson this week. 

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