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YES & SNY Actually “Report” on the Sidelines

By Mike Silva ~ June 1st, 2010. Filed under: Sports Media Commentary.

One of the annoying creations of modern sports on television is sideline reporting. They intrude on the game, ask useless vanilla questions, and disrupt the viewer’s enjoyment of the broadcast. Networks typically focus on the looks of the sideline reporter, so you get tons of attractive females in the position. To say their knowledge of the game and ability to interview is short would be an understatement. Now, there are exceptions to this as I think Kim Jones does a nice job on the sidelines, but networks are more interested in promoting someone like Erin Andrews, who is more interested in marketing herself than doing the job at hand. Give me sports not American Idol. Fortunately, baseball fans here locally have no such problem as both YES and SNY have done a great job with the likes of the aforementioned Jones, Jack Curry, and Kevin Burkhardt.

Curry just started the job after leaving the NY Times. His career as a reporter has brought the one valuable skill that is almost always missing from the position: reporting. Instead of repeating useless cliché’s or trying to be funny, Curry works on providing the audience with information, a point that was not lost on Phil Mushnick of the NY Post. I realize Curry is more in studio, but there is no drop off in game on he sidelines. When it comes to Kim Jones I think she would do a fantastic job as a host on WFAN since she has a great handle on the different dynamics of the ballclub. She may not be the reporter that Curry is, but she works hard at keeping a pulse on the ballclub and asks decent questions.

Across town, Kevin Burkhardt does a great job with the in game interviews (even though some are ill timed) and balances good reporting with having some fun. If there is an athlete, former Met, or celebrity in the stands you can be sure Kevin will track them down for an interview. His ability to do play by play during these spots makes for a seamless broadcast. Yes, Kevin is careful to criticize the local team, that isn’t his entire fault as I am sure the network plays a role in that scenario, but he tries to bring up difficult subjects in a non threatening manner. Most important, he does his homework and reports interesting news about the team during the broadcast.

Unfortunately these individuals are the exception, not the rule, as you see more eye candy on sidelines throughout sports than reporting. I believe someone like Erin Andrews will set a precedent and make the position one where individuals jumpstart their career on reality television instead of mastering the job at hand. Perhaps Erin Andrews could learn from a Kim Jones, Jack Curry, and Kevin Burkhardt. Of course, that would require time away from self indulgent activities like “Dancing With the Stars” than becoming better at her trade. Thankfully the local networks aren’t like ESPN which appears to be more interested in exploiting what a reporter looks like on the sidelines instead of what they have to offer. In the modern world of shallow television that should be commended.

If you are a young male or female who wants to get into broadcasting. Turn on one of the local broadcasts so you can learn how to do the job properly unless, of course, you are using the position to become a professional dancer.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to YES & SNY Actually “Report” on the Sidelines

  1. RonOK

    Kevin Burkhardt is the best by far.

    I have noi respect for Kim Jones after it was confirmed that she was a Yankee Management shill who was asking difficult questions of Joe Torre during his post-game news conferences just to make him look bad and help managament justify his firing.

    She is every bit the Yankee shill as Suzyn Waldman ….

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