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Media Roundup: Comcast SportsNet, NESN Beef Up Boston Bruins Coverage

With the Boston Globe ripping apart the Boston Red Sox and their clubhouse and managerial woes, and then both Bruce Allen and Dave Shook analyzing the piece, it's been covered from all angles. Now, Bruce focuses his attention on the Bruins.

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The big media news this week was of course the Boston Globe's expose on what went wrong with the Red Sox, a namelessly sourced, irresponsible at times look at the collapse of the 2011 Red Sox. Analysis of that piece has been pretty well covered already, both by myself on my own blog, and by Dave Shook here on SB Nation Boston.

There isn't a whole lot more to say right now on this topic, as we await the dropping of the other shoe when Theo Epstein is officially introduced with the Cubs, and the next smear campaign begins in the pages of the Globe.

Until then, with the Bruins starting off the regular season in the last week, lets look at some hockey programming notes for the local area.

Comcast SportsNet debuted a new hockey show Tuesday night at 11:00 p.m. - Sticks and Stones.  Hosted by Michael Felger, the program features CSNNE analysts looking at the Bruins and entire NHL.

Semi-regular features on the show will include:

  • "Dropping the Gloves" – the return of the popular rapid-fire segment with Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton
  • Plus/Minus – Felger’s take on the hottest online chatter surrounding the Bruins
  • "Offsides with Joe Haggerty" – Felger vs. Haggs debate
  • Odd-Man Rush – Felger goes toe-to-toe with the top NHL experts, including experts from the USA (NBC and VERSUS) and Canada (TSN, CBC)

The show will air every Tuesday night, as the Bruins usually play that night, and is aimed at sort being an expanded postgame alternative for Bruins and hockey fans.

Over on NESN, the network has hired NHL Network hockey analyst Billy Jaffe and former Boston Bruin and UNH star Mark Mowers to serve as studio analysts for the network’s Boston Bruins pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage. Jaffe and Mowers will join NESN veterans Barry Pederson and Gord Kluzak alongside new studio host Dale Arnold.

The network release says of Jaffe and Mowers:

Jaffe will split time between NESN and the NHL Network, where he works as a regular studio analyst. Last year he worked as a NHL analyst and reporter on Versus and the NHL Network. From 2006-2010 he served as a television analyst with MSG Network covering the New York Islanders. Previously he worked for 6 years as a radio analyst covering the Atlanta Thrashers. A veteran of 13 years broadcasting hockey, Jaffe will also be a regular guest on The Instigators, which will debut on Thursday, October 27 at 10:30 PM. He will make his first appearance on NESN Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 PM before the Bruins-Black Hawks game.

 Mowers joins NESN after a 13 year professional hockey career that included one year with the Boston Bruins (2006-07) as well as time with the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks. A First Team All-American at the University of New Hampshire, Mowers spent the last three seasons with Fribourg-Gotteron in the Swiss National League A. Bruins fans will first see Mowers on NESN Tuesday, October 18 before the Bruins take on the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.

In addition, NESN's Big Bad Bruins premieres Saturday night, October 15th at 7:30 p.m. and will now be produced as a live show. NESN's other show, The Instigators debuts on October 27th at 10:30 p.m. and is also moving to a live format.

In all, NESN will carry 70 Bruins regular season games in 2011-2012 (the others being national broadcasts) with 30-minute pregame and postgame programming for each. The network will also produce pregame and postgame shows for select national broadcasts during the season.

Mike Thomas has been rewarded for the incredible rise of 98.5 The SportsHub by being promoted to Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO Boston. The announcement was made Thursday by Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President & Market Manager for CBS RADIO Boston.

Thomas, who has served as Program Director for CBS RADIO Boston’s WZLX-FM 100.7 Classic Rock since 2006 and 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) since 2009, will continue to oversee all programming and strategic planning for the two stations.  As Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO Boston, Thomas will also assume an expanded role at all five CBS RADIO Boston stations including WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030, MIX 104.1 (WBMX-FM), and WODS-FM 103.3.