Div. II championship assignment no demotion in Bonner's analysis

Media Watch

March 22, 1996|By Milton Kent

If you're a network college basketball analyst, this is the time of year you want to be working, with the NCAA tournament moving toward its inexorable conclusion.

Dan Bonner won't be heading for one of the four Division I regional sites, but rather to the Division II championship tomorrow in Louisville, Ky. (Channel 13, 12: 30 p.m.), and though that might not seem like career advancement to most, Bonner says it suits him just fine.

"My philosophy has always been that there are two kinds of TV producers in the world," said Bonner. "The one kind, when you're finished, says, 'Boy, you did a great job.' The other kind says, 'Boy, you did a great job. Can you work Tuesday?' I've been fortunate to work with the second kind, who like my work and ask me back."

Bonner, who played at Virginia in the early 1970s and coached the women's team there for a year, is one of the more active analysts, working, by his count, 60 games this year among CBS, ESPN and Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot.

That's 20 more than the gifted Bonner planned to do, and though he clearly enjoys the work which included a couple of turns at play-by-play on ESPN2 women's broadcasts it's an incredible burden for a man who has a full-time job running the Social Security Administration branch office in Staunton, Va., not to mention maintaining a home life with his wife and three young boys.

"I always know that I'm ready for the college basketball season to be over when I wake up in the middle of the night, and I not only can't remember where I am, but I can't remember where the bathroom is," said Bonner.

Radio waves of change

CBS Radio yesterday bounced the longtime NFL announcing team of Jack Buck and Hank Stram from their lead perch, replacing them with Howard David and Matt Millen.

In a one-page release, Frank Murphy, vice president of programming for CBS Radio, said that though Buck and Stram, who had been paired on Monday night broadcasts for 16 seasons, were "the model for what a radio play-by-play broadcast should be," the network had begun to "focus on a different direction."

David, who has called CBS Radio games for seven years, and Millen, who has been a Fox analyst for two seasons, will call all 17 Monday night games, playoff contests and the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

Closer to home, the excellent "Sports Rap" heard each Friday on WEAA (88.9 FM) makes a move from its 7 p.m. slot to 8 p.m., starting tonight after a two-week absence from the airwaves. Co-host Robyn Marks, who has an interview with Orlando guard Anfernee Hardaway, says the program will have "the same flavor, but more of it." Here's hoping this move is only a prelude to the expansion this show has long deserved.

Whittling down the field

After tonight's last regional semifinals (Channels 13, 9, 7: 30 p.m.), there will be only eight teams left in the NCAA tournament, and that number will be halved by Sunday, with the Midwest and East champions decided tomorrow (3: 30 p.m.) and the West and Southeast titlists crowned Sunday (2: 30 p.m.). WBAL (1090 AM), which will carry two of tonight's regional semifinals, will join the regional finals tomorrow and Sunday after Orioles broadcasts.

On the women's side, ESPN and ESPN2 will carry all eight regional semifinals tomorrow in a marathon session that begins with the first East semifinal at 11: 30 a.m. on ESPN2, and concludes with the second West semifinal on ESPN at 12: 30 a.m.

Scatter-shooting

ABC (Channel 2) presents a double shot of the World Figure Skating Championships from Edmonton, Alberta, tomorrow, with tape of the women's short program during "Wide World of Sports" at 4: 30 p.m. and live coverage of the women's long program and the ice dancing finals , while Fox's card has Antonio Cermeno and Yober Ortega locking horns in a 12-round WBA junior featherweight championship bout.

Pub Date: 3/22/96

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