Fox adds new face to top football team for Thursday night
Fox’s new “Thursday Night Football” broadcast will have a shade of Pink to it.
The network is promoting sideline reporter Kristina Pink, sources told The Post, to join Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as it attempts to make Thursday Night an even bigger event.
Erin Andrews, who has worked with Buck and Aikman on Fox’s No. 1 team, is expected to join Pink on the sidelines, but the final details of both Pink’s and Andrews’ deals are still being ironed out. Pink is likely only going to work with the top crew on Thursdays.
Pink worked on Fox Sports’ third team last year with Kenny Albert and Ronde Barber. She has been a courtside reporter on LA Clippers broadcasts for Fox Sports’ regional channel, Prime Ticket.
Fox paid $3.3 billion for 11 games per season over the next five years. The network heavily pursued Peyton Manning as its lead analyst before turning to its current No. 1 crew of Buck and Aikman.
Buck and Aikman will work all the Thursday games, while slightly cutting down on their Sunday schedule.
More news from the sidelines: Allie LaForce is leaving CBS to go to Turner. While LaForce has yet to sign a deal with Turner, sources said when she does she will be on its top teams for its NBA and NCAA coverage. That means she will work future TNT Eastern or Western Conference Finals. Since CBS and Turner share the NCAA Tournament, it is unclear what round she will advance to on the college tourney. The Sporting News first linked LaForce to Turner. CBS has named Jamie Erdahl as LaForce’s sideline replacement on its SEC games.
Upon Further Review: ABC/ESPN’s lead play-by-player Mike Breen is very solid, but he missed a couple of chances these playoffs to be spectacular. During Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum had his dunk for the ages over LeBron James, Breen failed to initially mention James in his call. That was the whole call, and you would want Breen to put his signature on what was an all-timer.
At the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Breen was better when J.R. Smith ran out the clock with the game tied, but he should have been a little more incredulous when, after time ran out, he said, “You get the feeling that J.R. Smith thought they had the lead.” Breen does a good job of not making a broadcast about himself — which many times is a good thing — but when the game rises, he should trust his instincts more and make his imprint felt.
Clicker Consulting: This is where we give advice that we are sure the recipients always appreciate. The whole Yankees-ESPN/MLB mess was really a Players Association issue. ESPN and MLB were within their contractual rights to schedule the Yankees for Sunday Night, July 8 in Toronto, even with a doubleheader the next day in Baltimore.
Now, the fact that it was totally unfair to the Yankees and didn’t make sense was more MLB’s issue to deal with than ESPN’s. But the real culprit is the Players Association, whose job in the Collective Bargaining Agreement is to protect the players, not yell and scream in the aftermath of injustices.
The PA should get the rules right to avoid these situations in the future. Or everyone could take less money from ESPN and get more of a say in how “Sunday Night Baseball” works. In the end, moving the game was the right thing, but it shouldn’t have been so hard.
NBC’s Bruce Beck has the most unrelenting work ethic of any local sports anchor in the business. Beck is everywhere, which has allowed him to maintain his perch as the most statured among the local sports anchors. Beck somehow finds time to run a camp for aspiring young sportscasters, ranging in age from 13-21, toward the end of each July. … TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal has a new video game, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn. It’s a follow-up to Shaq Fu, which was released in 1994. Shaq does his own voice-over work in the action game. … Rick Cerrone, the former head of Yankees media relations, is now the Editor in Chief of Baseball Digest. Cerrone is in charge of reimagining the 76-year-old brand in the digital age. … Buffalo named Wednesday Chris Berman Day in its city. Berman has always had an affinity for the Bills, of whom he famously would say, “Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”
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