WNYT’s staff shuffling is a win-win situation
Andrew Catalon and Chris Onorato are switching roles at NBC13 (WNYT).
The station announced this week that Onorato was promoted from a part-time sports reporter to full time, while Catalon will take the part-time role.
It’s a move that has been in the works for a while, according to Catalon. He initiated the suggestion.
With his burgeoning play-by-play career, Catalon wasn’t at the station as much. Catalon is calling the University of Connecticut women’s basketball games for SNY. In addition, he will be calling several college basketball games for CBS Sports Network, with a game today between Cincinnati at Marshall. He also works on the Masters coverage for DirecTV, and calls matches for the Tennis Channel.
This past summer, Catalon called tennis matches during NBC Sports’ Summer Olympics coverage, including the epic semifinal match between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro that ended with Federer winning, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17, in four hours, 26 minutes. He also called matches from the U.S. Open tennis tournament for CBSSN.
“This move is a win-win-win; it benefits our sports coverage, it’s a well-deserved promotion for Chris and it allows me a little more flexibility to announce games,” Catalon said. “It’s something I’ve been considering for a while, and when I proposed it to our news director several months ago, he was receptive to it.
“I will still be the sports anchor on the weekends I’m here, and I will continue to do my player of the week stories, which was very important to me. On a whole, I don’t think the viewer will notice much of a difference.”
It’s a well-deserved promotion for Onorato. I’ve seen him in action, mostly at Union hockey games, and he works hard. When Catalon is away, Onorato will be the weekend sports anchor.
“I’m very excited to expand my role and on-air contributions at NewsChannel 13,” Onorato said. “With the recent adjustment to schedules within our sports department, I will now have more time to do what I love most, and that is seek out and report on good local sports stories. Rodger [Wyland, the sports director] and Andrew have always been great supporters of mine, and we are all excited about the possibilities within our department as we each bring unique skills to the table.”
ESPN suspended ESPN2 “First Take” participant Rob Parker on Friday following his comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thursday’s show.
“Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review,” an ESPN spokesman tweeted Friday.
Parker, who is African-American, questioned whether Griffin, who is also an African-American, was black enough. Parker asked, “Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”
End of era
Larry Merchant will end his 35-year boxing analyst career for HBO Sports tonight, when the cable network has its season finale of World Championship Boxing at 9:30.
Merchant isn’t leaving HBO.
“Starting in January, I will become a Tom Brokaw-like senior kibbitzer on major news and events in boxing,” Merchant said in a statement. “I was extraordinarily lucky to land with HBO when it was just a startup. I’m proud to be associated with so many talented people who made us into a groundbreaking network. I’m looking forward now to my new role and to new adventures in television, writing and the expanding media universe.”
Merchant worked side-by-side with Jim Lampley since 1988. Max Kellerman, who joined HBO Sports in 2005 and has alternated with Merchant the past few years, will now be the full-time HBO ringside boxing commentator and post-fight interviewer.
Boxing, boxing, boxing
Boxing fans will be in heaven today. There is a triple-header of TV coverage.
For the first time in 15 years, CBS Sports televises some bouts. The main event is IBF bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz defending his title against Alberto Guevara. Joseph Diaz Jr., who boxed for the U.S. Olympic team in London last summer, will make his pro debut in a bantamweight bout against Vicente Alfaro. Coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. on CBS6 (WRGB).
HBO will have two live bouts. Nonito Donaire defends his WBC Diamond/WBO junior featherweight titles against Jorge Arce. Guillermo Rigondeaux takes on Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in a super bantamweight bout.
Before those fights, HBO will re-air last Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez bout. Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round of the bout that saw each fighter get knocked down prior to the sixth round.
Showtime will televise three bouts starting at 10:30 p.m. Deontay Wilder battles Kelvin Price in a heavyweight bout,
Here are the upcoming games in the NFL and college football that will be on TV. The college bowl season gets underway today. Announcers, in order of play-by-play announcer, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses:
FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD — N.Y. Giants at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa).
CBS6 (WRGB) and CBS6 HD — Denver at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf); Pittsburgh at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).
NBC13 (WNYT) and NBC13 HD — San Francisco at New England, 8:20 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).
ESPN and ESPN HD — N.Y. Jets at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden/Lisa Salters).
ESPN and ESPN HD — New Mexico Bowl: Nevada vs. Arizona, 1 p.m. (Bob Wischusen/Danny Kanell/Kaylee Hartung); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo vs. Utah State, 4:30 p.m. (Tom Hart/Mike Bellotti/Quint Kessenich).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — NCAA Division II playoffs championship game: Valdosta State vs. Winston-Salem State, 1 p.m. (Eamon McEneaney/David Diaz-Infante/Paul Carcaterra).
ESPNU and ESPNU HD — NCAA FCS playoffs semifinal: Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington, 4 p.m. (Joe Davis/Jay Walker/Jill Montgomery).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Rod Gilmore/Jemele Hill).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl: Central Florida vs. Ball State, 7:30 p.m. (Dave Neal/Andre Ware/Desmond Howard and Cara Capuano).
Week 16 flex schedule
The NFL announced Monday that the San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game will be the “Sunday Night Football” matchup on NBC Dec. 23.
The game, which could decide the NFC West, replaces the San Diego Chargers-New York Jets contest. That game will now be at 1 p.m. on CBS.
In another move, the New York Giants-Baltimore Ravens game on FOX moves from 1 p.m. to 4:25.