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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2012
CBS Sports hit a new low in its coverage of the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers, and that's really saying something for this sorry outfit. The network literally missed the opening kickoff. In 30 years of writing about television and media I have never seen that happen. And I hope I never do again. And things went downhill  from  there. I kid you not. After some empty welcome to San Diego Qualcomm Stadium talk from play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle and analyst Dan Fouts, the CBS Sports camera was focused in close-up on Ravens coach John Harbaugh as the ball was kicked.  In the facial close-up, you can see Harbaugh's eyes tracking the flight the ball - the thing the cameras were supposed to be showing us. But viewers were never shown the approach or the kick.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
With Greg Gumbel and Trent Green as the CBS broadcast team on today's Ravens game, I was eager to see how Gumbel would fare without his old, gaffe-prone partner Dan Dierdorf. I figured Gumbel had to be better, right? Wrong. “Welcome back to an absolutely beautiful day in Baltimore, Maryland,” Gumbel said in his opening remarks as viewers saw an overhead shot of M&T Bank Stadium. “The sun is shining, the temperature is 78 degrees on this last day of September ...” Oops.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 10, 2013
On Sunday afternoon, CBS Sports delivered a telecast of the Ravens' 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that was worthy of prime time. In fact, the first half was as good a half of NFL TV coverage as I have seen all year -- and that includes my adoration of “NBC Sunday Night Football.” For those readers who are about to faint at the notion of me praising CBS Sports so lavishly, all I can say is facts are facts. And the fact is CBS delivered the goods Sunday. And don't worry, I'm not going to get totally carried and ignore all the ways analyst Dan Dierdorf still annoyed me. I'll get to him later.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 21, 2014
I'm sorry, I tried to be good and accept life as a small-market CBS sports fan, getting the fourth-string crew and no sideline reporter for Ravens games. And, you have to admit, I managed for a couple weeks to sound like a properly grateful peasant in accepting the crumbs from the table of CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. Did I not even say in one review that maybe CBS is right, it would be too expensive for the network to have sideline reporters on ALL the Sunday afternoon games - especially in markets like Baltimore?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2011
By David Zurawik The Baltimore Sun At least they brought some energy to the Ravens telecast. Give Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker that Sunday. It could have been worse - much worse. CBS Sports could have used Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf to cover Sunday's game in the rain in Cleveland against the Browns. And I would have been asleep five minutes into the first quarter. Some intensity from a CBS broadcast team in the booth was nice for a change. But let's not get carried away.
SPORTS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2012
After nine months away from Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, I forgot how maddening it was to watch the second-string unit from CBS Sports try to telecast a Ravens game. Players misidentified, random images inexplicably popping up on the screen, key injuries missed or ignored, and announcers sticking to pre-game story lines long after they should have been abandoned, based on what was actually happening on the field. These are a few of my least favorite things when watching TV football.
SPORTS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2012
As appealing as it might be to vent my own frustration and play to the rage of tens of thousands of Ravens fans by ripping the TV coverage of Baltimore's agonizing 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots, facts are facts. And the fact of the matter is that CBS Sports did an outstanding job of telecasting Sunday's AFC championship game. The producer and director used their cameras to make viewers feel as if they were not only in the stadium, but almost on the field in Foxboro at certain points Sunday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2013
It didn't take long Sunday for Dan Fouts and Ian Eagle to let us know we were watching a low-down-on-the-depth-chart broadcast team from the worst TV network doing NFL football. In the keys-to-the-game, pre-kickoff analysis, Fouts told viewers Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco didn't want to talk about “who's not here anymore” among his receivers. Instead, Fouts said, Flacco stressed how “excited” he was “about the continued progress of his new wide-out, Torrey Smith, his No. 1 wide-out.” You have to believe Fouts knows somewhere in his brain that Torrey Smith isn't really “new.” Don't you?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 22, 2013
It was a punishing TV Sunday with the Ravens losing to the Steelers and CBS Sports giving us Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts as our broadcast team for the game. Some viewers couldn't even wait until the end of the game to vent. Here's one of my favorites. It comes from Pam in Reisterstown, and it hit the in-basket before halftime Sunday. I love the way it walks right up to a full-blown rant: My husband and I are so disenchanted with trying to watch NFL on CBS I have picked up my laptop right in the middle of the Ravens/Steelers game to see if I could find anywhere to vent.  I found your 10/7 article.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2013
Any broadcasters of a live TV event who can hold their concentration for five hours deserve high praise - especially when they are dealing with unpredictable and dangerous conditions. The CBS Sports crew did that Sunday with its weather-delayed telecast of the Ravens 23-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, providing play-by-play coverage and analysis from Jim Nantz and Phil Simms that was almost as sharp and focused at the end of overtime as it was when the game started more than five hours earlier.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
[UPDATE] The premiere of CBS "Thursday Night Football" drew an average audience 20.8 million viewers making it the second highest rated show on TV behind only NBC's "Sunday Night Football. " The size of that audience for the Ravens 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is a big victory for CBS on a very large gamble that viewers were ready for another weeknight of primetime football. CBS is charging advertisers the second highest ad rate on TV, $500,000 for a 30-second spot, by promising the Thursday night games will draw 20 million viewers combined with the simulcast on the NFL Network.
ENTERTAINMENT
David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
In reaction to fallout from the Ray Rice video posted Monday on TMZ, CBS Sports has pulled its scheduled opening song by Rihanna from tonight's premiere of "Thursday Night Football" featuring the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The telecast was supposed to open each week with Jay-Z's Grammy-winning "Run This Town" performed by Rihanna. It's the CBS answer to NBC's "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night" with Carrie Underwood. The opening was to also include narration from actor Don Cheadle highlighting the rivalry between the two teams and their towns.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2014
The biggest story of the fall TV season begins tonight in Baltimore with the debut of "Thursday Night Football" on CBS. The bold programming move - which includes the largest marketing effort in the history of the network as well as the relocation of TV's most popular sitcom, "The Big Bang Theory" - is also the biggest gamble of the year. The new night of primetime NFL competition that opens with the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers is already the second most expensive program on television with CBS asking advertisers to pay $500,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2014
When the first video of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator like a slab of meat appeared, I thought, "God bless TMZ. " With TMZ's release of video today showing him punching Janay Palmer twice and knocking her to the floor, I say, God bless TMZ again and again. You can read what I wrote in February here under the headline: "Ray Rice and how TMZ counters the great American hype machine. " TMZ did the job the mainstream sports media failed to do in showing us the ugliness of this incident.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2014
I have to admit I was not overjoyed at the thought of spending the Ravens' season opener with the fourth-string CBS broadcasting team of Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots. But I only wish now that the Ravens had done as well Sunday as Wilcots, Dedes and CBS Sports did. While the Ravens lost 23-16 to the Cincinnati Bengals thanks to too many mistakes to even keep track of, CBS Sports had a solid opener from its revamped pre-game show with Bart Scott and Tony Gonzalez to the game coverage from M&T Bank Stadium.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2014
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Orioles have signed Cuban right-hander Lazaro Leyva to an international free-agent contract, according to an industry source. The deal is pending a physical and age verification, the latter of which could take weeks. Leyva received a $725,000 signing bonus, according to CBS Sports, which first reported the deal. The 20-year-old is the third Cuban player the Orioles have signed under executive vice president Dan Duquette. They signed outfielder Henry Urrutia to a $778,500 bonus in 2012 and inked outfielder Dariel Alvarez to an $800,000 bonus last year.
FEATURES
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN SPORTS MEDIA CRITIC | May 15, 1998
Jim McKay has a theory about parenting that explains why he became so emotional four months ago when his son, Sean McManus, brokered a landmark deal in their family's business, sports television.McKay, a star of ABC Sports for more than 30 years, believes the success a child achieves says more about his parents than anything the parents achieve on their own.That's why when McManus, the president of CBS Sports, called McKay in January to tell him that CBS had beaten fairly long odds to get back into broadcasting NFL games, it meant more to the father than all the Emmy awards, the Peabody and all the other accolades that McKay, 76, has earned.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 9, 2013
There was lots of mail on the Fox telecast of the Ravens' epic win Sunday over the Vikings. In the interest of getting more reader reaction into this post, I'll keep my words to a minimum. I'll try anyway. I've noticed the "Z responds" part is sometimes longer than that to which I am responding. What can I say? Let's start with Kitty, who writes: Dear Z, I thoroughly enjoy your column in the Sun.  I must comment on the last 4 paragraphs of your column today (12/9/13).  I am a FiOS customer and was totally frustrated by the audio of Sunday's game.  As you described, I heard no sound, then English, Spanish, English, etc. for the entire 1st half.   I thought something was wrong with my TV.   You seem to have enjoyed Fox's coverage, but a graphic on the screen explaining the audio difficulties would have been greatly appreciated.  I listened to WBAL , which was difficult as they are a few minutes ahead of the video.  I would have loved to have heard from Hale, Myers, and Ryan on the broadcasting team, but I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND anything being said!
NEWS
Thomas F. Schaller | August 19, 2014
Two recent major developments may revolutionize major college sports, potentially to the benefit of long-exploited college athletes. It's about time. On August 7 the National Collegiate Athletic Association decreed that the five major conferences - the University of Maryland's former and new conferences, the ACC and the Big Ten; plus the Big 12, PAC-12 and the SEC - shall have greater autonomy to develop policies that specifically meet their needs. Experts believe the five conferences' 65 member universities could, among other changes, begin to pay annual stipends for student-athletes and cover their tuition and other scholastic costs after their eligibility has expired.
SPORTS
The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2014
Almost two years have passed since the NCAA men's lacrosse rules committee announced it would add a 30-second "timer on" countdown to combat stalling and slow play in men's lacrosse. And in the ensuing seasons, it's become clear that the timer is not a magical cure and that further changes need examination. In a column this week for Inside Lacrosse, analyst and Baltimore Sun contributor Quint Kessenich compares the evolution of lacrosse to that of basketball: The shot clock for professional basketball was invented by Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone following the 1954 season in an attempt to speed up the game and prevent teams from stalling.
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