And that's it for Davis, sports fans


May 27, 1994|By RAY FRAGER

The Paul Davis Era at Channel 11 is about to end.

Davis is being replaced as weekend sports anchor and will leave WBAL within a month. Channel 11 news director David Roberts announced to the staff this week that Mark Viviano, 30, sports anchor at WDTN in Dayton, Ohio, will fill the weekend slot beginning in early July. Viviano, a St. Louis native, worked for Roberts when he was news director in Dayton.

"Mark is extremely organized and places a great deal of emphasis on sports journalism," Roberts said. He wouldn't comment on Davis' departure.

Left unsaid was that Channel 11 probably didn't renew Davis' contract because he often seemed over his head, making frequent stumbles on the air.

Foxy network

When Fox shook up the TV world again this week by wresting 12 VHF affiliates from other networks --eight from CBS -- pro football was mentioned prominently. Seven of those eight stations carried the NFL home team under the old CBS deal, but were losing it because of Fox's acquisition of the NFC package.

The question is whether it makes sense for a station to ditch a week's worth of highly rated network programming for a strong Sunday afternoon. The answer may be yes.

"It does give that station a certain aura," said Marcellus Alexander,Channel 13 general manager.

His station has picked up an aura this year, becoming home of the Orioles. And, he said, an affiliate can get something more tangible than an aura by carrying the local team.

"Different stations package their inventories differently," he said. hypothetically, Channel 13 could sell advertisers a package of commercial time on Orioles games, "Monday Night Football" and college football.

"In Dallas [one of the CBS affiliates making the switch to Fox], where the Cowboys are a religion, you would see packages of Cowboys and local news," he said.

The King is back

Richard Petty returns to NASCAR this weekend as an analyst for TBS. He'll work with Ken Squier on tomorrow's Champion Spark Plug 300 (1 p.m.) and Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (4:45 p.m.). . . Chuck Daly will team with Verne Lundquist on TBS' Thursday night NBA game of the week next season.

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