Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Maybe this is the first step to an Oprah-ESPN partnership

Hannah Storm is ESPN's newest morning SportsCenter host: "Storm wouldn't be getting that slot if the [ESPN] brass wasn't attempting to give their morning shows a little Meredith Vieira juice and tone down the highlight heavy, wise-assery of primetime SC....Consider this the latest evolution of ESPN as they continue to attract every single demographic out there. So, sports-addicted mini-van mommies, you are finally being recognized."

Well: ugh. And? Hannah Storm? She couldn't attract women viewers to a network news morning show. Morning TV is so women's issues-oriented (in an embarrassing, insulting way), isn't it worth it for ESPN -- or any cable network -- to be different?

But it's certainly a good time for cable, even amid all the upfront horror stories: "One bright spot this year seems to be cable TV. Media buyers are eyeing cable programming more closely than ever because the writers' strike has caused the broadcast networks to lose viewers to cable. Buyers said several cable networks have the chance to both raise prices and gain more market share from broadcast competitors."

ADDED: What makes the Hannah Storm hire more interesting is that, at one time, ESPN actually had a female SportsCenter host capable of drawing millions of women viewers. If I remember correctly, though, Robin Roberts was relegated to early Sunday mornings.

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