Behind The Mic: NBC Taps Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski as Figure Skating A-Team in Korea; WFAN Unveils Mike Francesa Successors
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, NBC Olympics has elevated Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir to handle primetime figure skating for the 2018 Winter Olympics; Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray will succeed NY sports-talk-radio legend Mike Francesa at WFAN; celebrity chef David Chang joins NBC Olympics for its Winter Games coverage in in PyeongChang, South Korea; ESPN hires Dr. André Snellings; former Bruins goaltender Andrew Raycroft joins NESN as a guest studio analyst; and former USMNT coach Bruce Arena debuts as a studio analyst for Fox Sports’ soccer coverage.
…Play-by-play commentator Terry Gannon, 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, and three-time U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir will handle NBC’s primetime figure skating coverage during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, who provided commentary for NBC Olympics from 2002-14, will serve as a special contributor and analyst on Olympic Ice, a new live daily figure skating preview show on NBCSN. Liam McHugh will host Olympic Ice, alongside 2006 Olympic ice dance silver medalist Tanith White, who will also offer analysis on the show. Andrea Joyce will reprise her role as a figure skating and short track speed skating reporter….
…New York’s WFAN Sports Radio has announced a replacement for Craig Carton on its Boomer and Carton morning show. Gregg Giannotti, currently co-host of “Gio & Jones” on CBS Sports Radio, has been named co-host of the newly renamed WFAN morning show, “Boomer & Gio,” alongside Boomer Esiason. Later in the day, SportsRadio 94WIP’s Chris Carlin, former New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott and Maggie Gray of CBS Sports Radio and Sports Illustrated will replace outgoing NY sports radio legend Mike Francesa, who is departing on Dec. 15. “The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie” and “Gio & Jones” will take effect Jan. 2.
…The award-winning chef David Chang will join NBC Olympics for its Winter Games coverage in PyeongChang, South Korea, it was announced today. Chang will serve as an NBC Olympics special correspondent, who will provide viewers with an insider’s look at Korean food, culture and traditions. Chang, a second generation Korean American who founded the Momofuku Restaurant Group, will take part in multiple features and discussions…
…Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and retired vet Yves Edwardsw will work as analysts in Fox Sports’ Los Angeles studio with host Karyn Bryant for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: WERDUM VS. TYBURA on Saturday, Nov. 18. In addition, Dan Hardy will join blow-by-blow announcer John Gooden to call the bouts Octagon-side from Sydney, Australia. Heidi Androl will add reports and interview fighters onsite. Victor Davila and Marlon Vera have the call in Spanish on Fox Deportes. Coverage begins on Friday, Nov. 17 (7:00 p.m. ET) with the FS1 UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW with Bryant, Woodley and Edwards in studio and Androl reporting onsite. The same crew kicks off Saturday’s programming at 7:00 p.m. ET on FS2 with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW, previewing the evening’s fights….
…ESPN has hired award-winning fantasy basketball writer Dr. André Snellings to expand ESPN’s Fantasy Basketball coverage across all ESPN platforms. He will start at ESPN on Monday, November 20, and be based in Bristol, Conn. Snellings joins ESPN as a Fantasy Writer following a full-time, 16-year career as a neural engineer, during which he was also a senior writer and analyst for Rotowire and a contributor to several fantasy sports outlets, including TYTSports, Nylon Calculus, Fansided, and Summit Hoops. A two-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Basketball Writer of the Year, Snellings has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Michigan and uses his background as a scientist and basketball fanatic to understand and interpret the game in unusual ways, resulting in unique insights for fans…
…Former Bruins goaltender Andrew Raycroft is joining NESN’s Dale Arnold, Barry Pederson and Billy Jaffe to serve as a guest studio analyst Thursday (11/16) and tomorrow, Saturday (11/18) when the Bruins travel to play the LA Kings and the San Jose Sharks respectively. NESN’s Bruins coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. on both nights. Raycroft was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1998, making his NHL debut in the 2000-2001 season. During his first full season in the NHL (2003-2004) Raycroft compiled a 29-18-9 record with a 2.05 goals against average and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. He retired in April of 2014 after two seasons playing in Europe….
…Former U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena joined Fox Sports as a studio analyst for FS1’s presentation of the USA-Portugal international friendly on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Studio coverage began at 3:30 p.m. ET. Arena made his first studio appearance since the USA’s World Cup elimination, joining host Rob Stone and U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Alexi Lalas for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. Once the action began on the field, John Strong called the match alongside former U.S. MNT midfielder Stu Holden…