By: John Molori
September 25, 2006

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THIS WEEK:

- Rolling a 7
- Sarandis on the scene
- Blitz Bits

Amorosino eyes new challenges at 7NBC CW56 purchase, Teddy talks, Blitz Bits

7NBC continues its search for a permanent replacement for reporter/anchor Wendi Nix, who left the station this past June for ESPN. According to a 7NBC source, Nix's interim replacement, Duke Castiglione, is on a six-month contract with the station.

The source said that it is unclear how aggressively Castiglione has pursued a full-time position. Castiglione reportedly makes in the neighborhood of $2500 per game for his ESPN baseball work. Media Blitz exchanged emails with Castiglione, but Castiglione has not responded to an offer to comment on the situation.

7NBC has received over 300 tapes for the six-figure salary position that Wendi Nix vacated. The 7NBC source said that the station would prefer to hire a woman and is trying to find the right one from the hundreds of tapes received.

The source says, "Our preference would be to have a woman, but if enough time goes by and we do not find the right one, we'll hire a guy." 7NBC reportedly brought one female candidate in from out of town, but station executives have yet to make a choice.

7NBC sports director Joe Amorosino refused to comment on the particulars of the search, but says, "I am absolutely involved in the hiring process. (Executive sports producer) John Zannis and I have been involved every step of the way."

Amorosino feels confident that the 7NBC sports team is currently in good hands. "We feel really strong right now," he states. "David Briggs has built some great contacts here and Duke is a local guy who knows the landscape. I would like to see some stability in the future and see a full-time hire to replace Wendi."

Briggs is in the last year of his contract and many insiders say that he will not be re-signed by 7NBC. Amorosino would not comment on any personnel decisions.

Sunbeam Television's recent purchase of CW56 (formerly WB56) signals a new era not only at channel 56, but at 7NBC, also owned by Sunbeam chief Ed Ansin. The sale, reported in Media Blitz on September 1, became a reality on September 14.

Ansin's purchase of 56 means that Amorosino and company will soon be creating two nightly sports reports, one at 10:00 p.m. on CW56 and another for the 11:00 p.m. news on 7NBC. It should take a month or two for the FCC to approve the sale.

If all goes as expected, viewers will see "7 News at 10" on CW56 shortly thereafter. The CW56 newscast will be produced at 7NBC's studios in Boston. A source at 7NBC says that the station plans to add 30 staff members to support the new 10:00 p.m. production.

Ansin is looking for a more contemporary style newscast to mesh with the youthful demographic (ages 18-35) of channel 56's new CW Network.

Says Amorosino, "We will be doing "7 News at 10" on CW56, then our regular 11:00 p.m. news on 7NBC. It is definitely going to add some work to our day. If we can get a 7.0 rating on our 11:00 p.m. 7NBC newscast and then get a 3.0 on channel 56, that will bring our overall rating to a 10.0, which would be great."

Amorosino did double newscast duty while at WPRI in Providence. He is aware of the challenges. "10:00 is when all the games end," he states. "It is the busiest hour before the 11:00 news. Ed (Ansin) uses this model in Miami successfully."

The flip side of 7NBC's imminent 10:00 p.m. newscast on CW56 is that " The Ten O'Clock News" currently on CW56 appears to be on borrowed time. The powers that be at CW56 called a staff meeting on September 15 to inform employees of the sale.

A source at CW56 told Media Blitz that management said they are looking at a two to four month timetable for the results of the sale to come to fruition. The station will continue to do its nightly newscast probably into December before the 7NBC-produced newscast begins.

According to the source, employees will be given a one-month heads up as to when the change will take effect. Media Blitz has exchanged phone messages, but has been unable to connect with CW56 general manager Vincent Manzi for comment.

Ted's travels

It's been one year since Ted Sarandis abruptly left his job as Sportsradio WEEI's evening host, but the sports radio veteran has been anything but idle.

He is currently a candidate for the Massachusetts Governor's Council and recently reunited with his colleagues from the Joint Civilian Orientation in Washington, DC to commemorate the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon

"25,000 people marched in the Freedom Walk on September 10th from the National Mall to the Pentagon," says Sarandis. "There were people from all walks of life including families of the 9/11 Pentagon victims.

"The next morning, we attended a conference as part of the services at the Pentagon. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke."

Earlier this year, Sarandis visited Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar with a group of fifty business and media people chosen by the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference.

"It was incredible," says Sarandis, an avid military buff. "We landed on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, rode in a convoy and fired a 50-caliber assault rifle and an M-16. It was amazing to roll around in the desert with the soldiers."

Sarandis's most recent trip brought back memories of that fateful September day in 2001. He states, "The Pentagon attack gets overshadowed by the great loss at the World Trade Center.

"Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Edmund Giambastiani told us that the war on terror is going better than what we read about. He said we are struggling in the information war, that the enemy is better at sending info through the media."

Closer to home, Sarandis continues to campaign as an unenrolled candidate for the District 6 Governor's Council race that will be decided on November 7. "Things are starting to heat up," says Sarandis, who has created a we bsite at Tednation.us. "I will be doing a massive billboard campaign and plan to start doing the talk show circuit.

"I am proposing an eight year term limit for judges, an anti-nepotism law and a hard and fast law stating that legislators running for office cannot accept political contributions from judicial nominees.

"I also want to look in to the tax reporting practices of officials and want to ban Governor's Council candidates from taking contributions from attorneys." Members of the Governor's Council have a two-year term. Sarandis calls the current council a "mediocre core group."

Since leaving WEEI's evening slot, Sarandis has done guest shots on CN8 and WBZ Radio and will once again be the radio voice of Boston College men's basketball in 2006-07. WEEI is the flagship station for the BC hoops network produced by Fenway Sports Group and ISP Sports.

Sarandis is also working on a college sports television project with College Sports TV (CSTV) that he hopes will premiere this season.

Blitz Bits

WBCN Patriots producer Howie Sylvester checked in to say that the radio call of select Patriots games will be available live at WBCN.com. The NFL prohibits its radio partners from streaming games on a regular basis, but CBS Radio and the NFL have an agreement that allows each of the teams that are aired on CBS stations to make 4 games per season available online. Games vs. Indy on November 5 and Miami on December 10 will also be available at WBCN.com "¦ AM 890 ESPN Boston's versatile Kevin Winter emailed to say that he is hosting "NFL Countdown" with Russ Francis, Sundays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. On Mondays, following Mike Felger's show, Winter hosts "Monday Night Countdown" from 7-8:30 p.m. with Tim Fox from the Charlie Horse in West Bridgewater "¦ Contrary to some reports, AM 1510 radio has not been sold. "The Sporting News" magazine and online entity was purchased by Conde Nast, but the local radio affiliates in Boston, New York and Los Angeles were not part of the deal. It is expected that AM 1510 will eventually be sold in a separate deal "¦If you do nothing else Tuesday night, check out HBO's "Wait "˜Til Next Year: The Saga of the Chicago Cubs" at 10:00 p.m. It is another jewel in the HBO sports documentary crown highlighted by Cubs' near misses and horror stories. If nothing else, it'll make depressed Red Sox fans feel good about themselves "¦ Departed Comcast CN8 host Ed Berliner recently won a Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Award for the network for his hosting work at last year's Cowtown Rodeo "¦ The multi-talented Mike Shalin is working with Doug Brown on several Boston University radio broadcasts this season and will be doing some play-by-play when Brown has WEEI conflicts "¦ Ian Logue's PatsFans.com has been named one of the top 4 Patriots fan websites by Sports Illustrated "¦ Heartfelt condolences to NECN sports anchor Chris Collins on the recent passing of his father Arthur. In several interviews with Media Blitz, Collins called his father a hero and best friend. Much peace to Chris and his family.

John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, Boston Sports Review, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.


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