Maryland's McEwen is picture of road warrior

RADIO-TV

February 19, 1992|By RAY FRAGER

If you went to Arundel High in the early 1970s, you might recognize that fellow who keeps popping up all over the place during CBS' morning Olympics shows. He's Mark McEwen, whose parents still live in Crownsville.

Being on the road is nothing new for McEwen, weatherman for "CBS This Morning," whose past assignments have included swimming underwater in a shark tank and batting against Orel Hershiser. But the Olympics are special, he said.

"When you travel the road a lot, you are surprised by how much you can get surprised at one particular thing," McEwen said this week. "Here, you've got countries all excited, and it's quite stirring."

McEwen, a 1976 University of Maryland graduate, had his first broadcasting job at Baltimore's WKTK-FM, now defunct. And if the last name sounds familiar, it might be because McEwen's brother, Kirk, until recently was a DJ on 98 Rock (Kirk McEwen has moved on to a Washington station).

Meanwhile, Mark McEwen just keeps zipping up his parka and sloshing from Courchevel to Tignes to La Plagne to . . .

"When you look up the words 'road warrior' in the dictionary," McEwen said, "you see my picture."

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Be more puckish: Last night, CBS reduced the Canada-Germany hockey shootout to two shots -- Eric Lindros' winning score and the German shot that came to rest practically on the goal line. The shootout, a pretty dramatic way to end a hockey game, deserved more. CBS surely could have carried every shot of the shootout.

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Enough already: I guess not much goes on at the cross country venue. Why else would CBS be repeating those pictures of the Moroccan competitor falling all over the place? And the bit with the Scandinavian Terminator has worn pretty thin, too. Hasta la vista, baby, indeed.

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But that's the way we've always done it: During a CBS feature last night, it was surprising to hear ex-Olympic skaters Linda Fratianne and Brian Orser, two performers whose gold-medal hopes were hurt by poor marks in the compulsory figures, lament the passing of the compulsories from competition. But maybe they just can't stand to see these young whippersnappers get off so easily.

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Notes in the snow: CBS hockey announcer Mike Emrick looks as if he's taken a tough check along the boards. Emrick has a fractured wrist, suffered after he slipped on the steps of the rink at Meribel on Monday. . . . CBS announcers must have set TC record for most times using the phrase "La Dolce Vita" in reference to Italian skier Alberto Tomba. . . . Now that CBS has milked every maudlin drop from the Dan Jansen story, can we move on? That interview last night, in which he was asked to play word association with "family" and his wife's name, made me long for another Tomba feature. . . . One more thing: If this is the Olympics of winter sports, when do we get to the snowball fights?

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Looking ahead: CBS plans live coverage of the women's giant slalom during this morning's show (7-9), though, if past morning programs are any guide, you shouldn't expect to see too many runs. . . . Also scheduled this morning are an interview with Jansen and a preview of women's figure skating. . . . What will you see tonight (8-11) on CBS? Expect figure skating, figure skating and more figure skating.

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Ratings game: During Monday prime time, CBS drew a 21.6 rating and 32 share, according to overnight ratings (measuring the top 25 markets). Monday's numbers are 29 percent higher than the network's average that night, one of CBS' strongest. A rating measures the percentage of all television households watching a program. A share measures the percentage among homes where television is in use.

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