Behind The Mic: YES Makes Sarah Kustok First Full-Time Solo NBA Analyst for RSN; Barber Brothers Reunite for NFL on Fox

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, YES Network revamps its announcer lineup, as Sarah Kustok will become the only woman to work as the primary solo NBA game analyst at an RSN; NHL Network has added Dan Bylsma, Ken Daneyko, Stu Grimson, and former Sportsnet anchor Jackie Redmond; Rondé and Tiki Barber reunite to call the Giants-Buccaneers game on Oct. 1; Alan Jouban will make his Fox Sports desk analyst debut with Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping on UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAINT PREUX VS. OKAMI; and ESPN has announced new digital roles for Monique Jones and Cristina Daglas.

Sarah Kustok

…The YES Network, the exclusive local television rights holder of the Brooklyn Nets since the network’s 2002 launch, will enter the 2017-18 NBA regular season with a revamped announcer lineup. While multi-Emmy Award-winning Ian Eagle will continue to split play-by-play duties with Ryan Ruocco, Sarah Kustok, who has been YES’s Nets courtside reporter the past five seasons, will now become YES’s primary game analyst. Kustok will become the only woman to work as the primary solo NBA game analyst at a regional sports network.  She periodically worked as a Nets game analyst for YES the past three seasons.  YES veteran and fellow Emmy Award-winner Jim Spanarkel will split game analyst duties with Kustok.  Mike Fratello, yet another YES Emmy Award-winner, and a game analyst for YES since his arrival at the network in 2008, will move into a studio analyst role this season, working alongside Chris Shearn, Nancy Newman and multiple Emmy winner Bob Lorenz, who will continue rotating as studio hosts. Michael Grady will make his debut this season as YES’ Nets courtside reporter.  Grady is the 2016 Indiana Sportscaster of the Year, as voted on by the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.  Most recently, he was sports anchor at WRTV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, where he won an Emmy Award for his coverage of the 2016 Indianapolis 500. He will continue co-hosting the Grady and Big Joe Show with former Indianapolis Colts player Joe Staysniak on 107.5 ESPN Radio in Indianapolis…

…NHL Network has announced that 2009 Stanley Cup-winning head coach Dan Bylsma, three-time Stanley Cup champion Ken Daneyko, 14-year NHL veteran Stu Grimson, and former Sportsnet anchor Jackie Redmond have joined its roster of on-air talent appearing across its studio programming. Bylsma, Daneyko and Grimson will contribute as studio analysts, and Redmond will serve as a studio host and reporter. Bylsma, who served as a guest analyst on NHL Network during the 2017 and 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, played in 429 games in his nine-year NHL career before moving to behind the bench as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009 – 2014) and Buffalo Sabres (2015 – 2017). Daneyko, who most recently served as a guest analyst on NHL Network during the 2016-2017 regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs, played in a New Jersey Devils franchise-record 1,458 career games during his 20-year NHL career. Grimson played in 771 games across his 14-year NHL career, including 42 playoff games. Grimson went on to serve as a color analyst on the Predators’ radio network for six seasons (2008–2014) before contributing to Fox Sports Tennessee’s Predators coverage for the last three seasons. Redmond joins NHL Network following six years as the host of a variety of studio programs on Canada’s Sportsnet…

….The NFL’s famous twins, standouts Rondé and Tiki Barber, will be teammates once again, reuniting on Fox to call the game on Oct. 1. Pitting their former teams (Giants – Tiki; Bucs – Rondé) against each other is believed to be the first time twin brothers have called an NFL game for national broadcast television. They join Rondé’s Fox NFL boothmate, play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, and sideline reporter Kristina Pink to telecast the battle between the franchises at which each spent their entire NFL playing careers. Rondé played cornerback for the Bucs from 1997 through 2012, while Tiki was a Giants running back from 1997 to 2006. Rondé has served as a Fox NFL analyst since 2013, while Tiki co-hosts “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Radio. In their first joint broadcasting project, the Barbers shared the airwaves on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Barber Shop” for several years…

….Fox Sports announces UFC welterweight Alan Jouban  will make his Fox Sports desk analyst debut with champions Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping, host Karyn Bryant and reporter Megan Olivi  for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAINT PREUX VS. OKAMI live from Saitama, Japan on Sept. 22. Bow-by-blow announcer Todd Grisham  and former welterweight contender Dan Hardy call the fights live on FXX Octagon-side from Japan. Victor Davila and UFC bantamweight Henry Briones have the call in Spanish on Fox Deportes…

…ESPN has announced new roles for Monique Jones as ESPN.com’s MLB deputy editor and Cristina Daglas as ESPN.com’s NBA deputy editor. Jones joined ESPN in 2015 as an NFL senior editor where she oversaw coverage of Tony Romo’s eventual retirement with the Dallas Cowboys and the Deflategate investigation of New England Patriots player Tom Brady. Ahead of joining ESPN, Jones was the NFL deputy editor for USA Today and the NFL editor for The Baltimore Sun. She also held reporter roles with The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and Pensacola News Journal. Last year, Daglas became the first woman MLB deputy editor for ESPN.com. She led ESPN’s extensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs ending their 108-year drought for a World Series championship and played an active role in the launching and execution of the Béisbol Experience project. She joined ESPN in 2014 as a senior editor at ESPN The Magazine where she primarily covered NFL. Prior to ESPN, she was the editor of D Magazine and Milwaukee Magazine….

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