Behind the Mic: Kevin Harlan, Olivia Harlan Dekker Become First Father-Daughter Broadcast Duo in History; Candace Parker Joins the NBA Crew on TNT

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, Kevin Harlan and his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker will make broadcasting history during the Monday Night Football telecast, WNBA veteran Candace Parker joins the staff at Turner Sports, FS1’s Kristine Leahy will debut her new show on October 22, and Danny Sullivan will also debut a new show on Sirius XM Radio on October 15.

Photo: USA Today

On October 15, Westwood One presents the first-ever national NFL broadcast to feature a father-daughter broadcast team. The network’s Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan will be joined by his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker as the sideline reporter for the San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers matchup at Lambeau Field. Hall of Famer Kurt Warner will be the game analyst.

“It’s probably every parent’s dream to someday get a chance to work side-by-side with their child,” says Harlan. “The fact that this will be at Lambeau Field where Olivia’s grandfather ran the Green Bay Packers for more than two decades, and where she used to play as a little girl and attended many games growing up, makes it even more special. To be a part of an NFL broadcast is always an honor, but to have our daughter as part of our crew is extraordinary and wonderful. I know I speak for Olivia, my wife Ann, and our three other children in saying that this will be an incredibly proud moment for our family, and we offer our sincere thanks to Westwood One and the NFL.”

“My Dad is my greatest coach, but I’ve learned the most just by watching him with admiring eyes my whole life,” adds Harlan Dekker. “His perpetual drive to improve at his craft, the thorough preparation for every game, and the class and professionalism that he’s known for are the gold standard. To work an NFL game together on national radio is a personal and professional highlight for me, of which I’m so thankful to Westwood One for the opportunity. We both can’t wait for Monday night at Lambeau!”

It’s not the first time a father and child have broadcast a game for Westwood One; the legendary Marv Albert and his son Kenny Albert worked select Monday Night Football games together during the 2004-2005 seasons. Marv did play-by-play and Kenny worked the sidelines…

…Turner Sports has reached an agreement with Candace Parker, a 10-year WNBA veteran and two-time league MVP, on a dynamic position including full-time contributions as an analyst and commentator for the NBA on TNT and NBA TV throughout the season.

Parker, still in the midst of her playing career coming off an All-Star campaign in 2018 where she led the Los Angeles Sparks to the postseason, will join the Players Only studio team for telecasts airing on both TNT and NBA TV. The innovative Players Only franchise offers viewers an entertaining narrative and unique insights into the game directly from the athlete’s perspective. NBA TV will air Players Only telecasts on Monday nights beginning Oct. 22 through late-January. TNT will then air the remaining Players Only telecasts Tuesday nights from the series’ Jan. 29 debut through mid-April.

Parker will also provide analysis for NBA TV’s GameTime — the network’s flagship studio show — with regular appearances on Sunday nights during the 2018-19 season beginning with her debut on Oct. 21. She will also contribute to a variety of special projects for both the NBA on TNT and NBA TV. Additionally, Parker will provide commentary for Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship…

…Fox Sports announced the premiere of Fair Game with Kristine Leahy on Monday, Oct. 22 (5:30 PM ET) on FS1. The network’s new weekday sports show features host Kristine Leahy in conversations with the biggest names in sports and entertainment. The announcement was made by Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FS1.

Filmed in Santa Monica, just steps from the ocean, this 30-minute, single-guest show is destined to make waves as Leahy gets her guests to relax, open up, and move the conversation forward. The show will mix in-depth sit-down interviews with rapid-fire inquiries and fun segments talking about pop culture, music, fashion, or social media. Some of the guests for premiere week of the show include former professional football player Ray Rice, Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers, movie star Josh Duhamel, Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Nastia Liukin, and WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder

…SiriusXM announced that former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan, winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion, will host a new weekly show that will air nationwide on the Dan Patrick Radio channel on SiriusXM (channel 211). The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour will debut on October 15th and air every Monday (6:00-7:00 pm ET). Sullivan and Bill Armour, a longtime journalist and racing insider, will cover the world of motorsports — including Formula 1, IndyCar, IMSA, Moto GP, and more — and share their insights and discuss the trending topics from on and off the track.

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