CBS' Venturi changes course, will be back for golf coverage


April 18, 1996|By Milton Kent

In what is becoming par for the course these days, someone else rethought his decision to retire from the athletic arena yesterday, but, for a change, it wasn't an aging player trying to recapture days of glory.

Instead, it was CBS' lead golf analyst, Ken Venturi, who had planned to leave the 18th tower after this season -- his 28th with the network -- but was talked into staying for at least two more years by network officials.

"I'll tell you what, I think it was one of those non-reluctant decisions. He loves doing this, and I think he sort of reluctantly thought it was time to hang it up and much less reluctantly said he would be glad to return," said CBS Sports senior vice president for production Rick Gentile to the Associated Press.

In a prepared statement, Venturi said, "I have always been proud of my association with CBS Sports, with whom I have enjoyed some of the best years of my life. I am thrilled that CBS has asked me to return. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of the network's golf coverage."

Venturi, who will be 65 next month, won the 1964 U.S. Open and was also named PGA Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year that season.

Following the pucks

In the name of keeping the folks at Fox appeased in terms of playoff coverage, the NHL has ticked off fans in a few spots.

In the old days, say before last season, the league alternated Eastern and Western conference postseason games, but with Fox paying $155 million for five years of coverage and placing a premium on getting attractive American teams, like Chicago, Detroit and the New York Rangers on the air for Sunday telecasts, the schedule has been juggled significantly.

With the exception of Game 2 tomorrow night on ESPN, Washington Capitals fans, for instance, will have to scramble a little to see their team's quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Monday's third game will air on Washington's Channel 50 and ESPN2 in this area.

Wednesday's fourth game will be even more problematic, since HTS is committed to carrying the Orioles-Kansas City Royals game that night, ESPN will be carrying a baseball doubleheader and Channel 50, a Warner Bros. network affiliate, will have to take the network's prime-time offerings for that night.

HTS officials have made provisions for the Capitals-Penguins contest to air on a second channel, but the chances of you seeing the 7: 30 p.m. game live depends on whether your cable provider is willing to give up programming on either a public access or pay-per-view channel for that night.

You could, of course, wait for the re-air of the game at 12: 30 a.m.

Yeah, right.

Kudos for Cunningham

A hearty round of congratulations is in order for Channel 45's Bruce Cunningham, who received the second annual National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association award for a feature story he did on former Baltimore Colts great Lenny Moore and his work in counseling "at-risk" children.

Cunningham and Ron Pollack, editor of Pro Football Weekly, who won the sportswriting award, will receive a plaque and a cash award at the organization's awards banquet later this month in Salisbury, N.C.

By the way, Cunningham and Steve Davis will anchor an Orioles pre-game show, that will air before 20 games that appear on Channel 54.

The pre-game show, the first of its kind locally on an over-the-air ,, channel since Channel 2 lost the Orioles' rights two seasons ago, debuts Saturday night at 8, before the Orioles-Texas

Rangers game.

Pub Date: 4/18/96

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