--NBC greatly improved its tennis coverage by adding Mary Carillo,
the sport's top analyst and one who's equally comfortable doing
investigative work (on HBO's Real Sports) and commenting on
matches. An ex-pro, Carillo isn't shy about taking players to
task. She'll join NBC for the French Open (May 31-June 8) and
Wimbledon (June 28-July 6) and will also be a general anchor at
the 2004 Olympics on CNBC, MSNBC or Bravo.
--ESPN's Around the Horn bills itself as "featuring passionate
opinions on the day's hot-button issues." Unless, it seems, those
issues involve one of the show's panelists. Last Tuesday, some 42
hours after Boston Globe columnist and Horn regular Bob Ryan said
on Boston's WBZ-TV that he would "like to smack" Joumana Kidd,
wife of Nets star Jason Kidd, Horn ignored the issue. (Ryan was
peeved at Joumana partly because he felt she used the Kidds'
four-year-old son as a "prop" to get on TV.) Why the silence of
the Horn? ESPN says the Ryan story was fluid when Horn was
taped--the Globe's statement that Ryan would be suspended a month
without pay had not been released--but that's a cop-out; the
panel had fun with Michael Jordan's up-in-the-Air status with the
Wizards before his situation was resolved. The show did get
around to discussing Ryan's comments, but not until Wednesday,
three days after he'd made them.
--Though Jordan is looking for a job in basketball, don't expect
him to follow pal Charles Barkley into the studio. TNT invited
the ex-Wizard to appear last week, but Jordan declined. "We have
an open seat at TNT if he ever wants to try," says Barkley. "We
offer great hours."