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Richard Deitsch
December 09, 2002
George on Our Mind, Scorn for Horn, Myers Hired
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December 09, 2002

Under Review

George on Our Mind, Scorn for Horn, Myers Hired

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? Phyllis George's much hyped Thanksgiving Day guest shot on Fox before the Redskins-Cowboys game proved to be a big turkey. Instead of providing insight into her experience as the first woman to hold a regular NFL studio job (she teamed on CBS's pregame The NFL Today with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder from 1975 to '85), George did one long infomercial for herself. She spent most of the segment hawking her new self-help book and handing out copies to the fawning hosts, Terry Bradshaw, James Brown, Jimmy Johnson and Howie Long.

?How bad is ESPN's month-old Around the Horn? The daily gabfest—in which host Max Kellerman presides over a panel of four sportswriters who attempt to outargue each other—is nearly impossible to watch, and most other critics agree. Last week the Los Angeles Times, whose writers regularly appear on the show, called Horn "30 minutes of hell, orchestrated by a blathering self-important loudmouth...." Still, the network remains solidly behind Horn, which airs immediately before Pardon the Interruption. Mark Shapiro, ESPN executive vice president, says that ratings are up about 64% from a year ago (when the time slot was held by Unscripted with Chris Connelly), and adds, "We will monitor and tweak the show as it evolves."

?The Tennis Channel—which expects to debut next month—has made a smart hire in Fox Sports's Chris Myers, who'll host the half-hour interview program Center Court with Chris Myers. As the host of ESPN's daily show Up Close from 1995 to '98, Myers earned his bona fides as an interviewer: His testy posttrial talk with O.J. Simpson was a TV segment to remember.