Joe Tessitore is still in prime time, but on a bigger stage.
The Schenectady native and Christian Brothers Academy graduate was promoted this season by ESPN. After calling college football games on Friday nights for the last several seasons, Tessitore is now on Saturday night games and will call tonight’s SEC matchup between Georgia and Missouri at 7:45 on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.
While Tessitore is still in prime time, Saturdays are the more traditional time to watch college football, and there is more of an audience.
“It’s been fun,” Tessitore said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I just did seven straight radio interviews all over the country, people just wanting you to have as a guest because you end up with some games on some weeks that become the most talked-about games in the country. It just so happens we’ve got it.”
After leaving the Big 12 Conference, Missouri makes its SEC debut tonight. And, with ABC Sports televising a NASCAR race tonight instead of college football, the spotlight falls on Missouri with Tessitore and Matt Millen calling the game.
Tessitore wasn’t getting many calls from sportstalk radio shows asking his opinions on a Friday night matchup. But that’s not to say Tessitore didn’t have some showcase games.
“Fridays last year, strangely enough, ended up stealing the show,” Tessitore said. “We had RGIII [Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III] basically start his Heisman campaign with a five-touchdown game against TCU. We had the wildest upset of the year when Oklahoma State was going to play for the national title and they lose to Iowa State in overtime as a 28-point favorite.”
Preparation for calling the games remains the same for Tessitore.
“The biggest difference in my career right now is the games I’m getting, for the most part, are probably more consistently high-profile,” Tessitore said. “When you say you’re doing a Saturday night game, it’s kind of understood in our business what that means. Even the casual fan understands that doing a Saturday night prime-time game [and] the level of what you’re doing.”
Tessitore recently signed a new contract with ESPN. Part of that deal gave him a new responsibility, hosting “College Football Live.”
Josh Everett has been named program director of FOX Sports 980 (WOFX) and WGY-AM (810) and WGY-FM (103.1).
Everett joins the market from Clear Channel Lexington, where he spent the last two years serving as program director for Newsradio WLAP. He also oversaw the local production of the University of Kentucky sports coverage. Everett previously worked at Clear Channel Louisville’s WHAS and WAMZ under the direction of former WGY program director Kelly Carls.
Everett replaces Paul Ihander, who left Clear Channel Albany in July.
‘Cover 2’ debuts
“Inside Pro Football” won’t be the only NFL show that will be debuting on ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team (WTMM-FM) this weekend.
“Cover 2,” an NFL pregame show, will premiere at 11 a.m. Sunday. The show will be hosted by Pierce Brix, who is the producer of “Game On with Bruce Jacobs,” and Joe Bianchino, who is the writer and creator of the “2 Guys, 1 Mic” podcast on 1045theam.com.
“Inside Pro Football,” hosted by local sports agents Ray Brownell and JR Rickert, airs at 9 a.m. today for the first time on WTMM. The show moved from WOFX.
Chris Berman will be around ESPN for several more years.
ESPN announced Friday, the day of the cable network’s 33rd anniversary, that Berman signed a new multiyear extension which takes effect in 2013.
Berman joined ESPN in October 1979, about a month after the cable network launched. He became the face and voice of the network with his nicknames he used for baseball players when he anchored “SportsCenter.”
Berman, a six-time National Sportscaster of the Year, will continue as the leading voice and face of ESPN’s National Football League studio coverage as host of “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “Monday Night Countdown” and “Monday Night Football” halftime, NFL highlight segments on “SportsCenter” and the NFL Draft. He will also continue to host the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby and ESPN’s U.S. Open golf coverage.
The first Sunday of the NFL season is here. Here are the upcoming games in the NFL and college football that will be on TV and the Internet. Most of the ESPN and ESPN2 games will also be available on ESPN3, ESPN’s Internet outlet.
Announcers (where available), in order of play-by-play announcer, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses:
CBS6 (WRGB) and CBS6 HD — Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. (Marv Albert/Rich Gannon).
FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD — Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa); San Francisco at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).
NBC13 (WNYT) and NBC13 HD — Pittsburgh at Denver, 8:15 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Cincinnati at Baltimore, 7 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden/Lisa Salters); San Diego at Oakland, 10:15 p.m. (Chris Berman/Trent Dilfer).
NFL Network and NFL HD — Chicago at Green Bay, 8:20 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).
ABC10 (WTEN) and ABC10 HD — Penn State at Virginia, noon (Mike Patrick/Ed Cunningham/George Smith); Southern California vs. Syracuse, 3:30 p.m. (Sean McDonough/Chris Spielman/Shelley Smith).
Time Warner Cable Sports-3 and TWCS-3 HD — North Carolina State at Connecticut, noon (Eamon McAnaney/David Diaz-Infante/Paul Carcaterra); Bucknell at Marist,
6 p.m. (Chris Watson/Marsh Canosa).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Auburn at Mississippi, noon (Dave Pasch/Brian Griese/Jenn Brown); Florida at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Heather Cox); Washington at LSU, 7 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe); Illinois at Arizona State, 10:30 p.m. (Mark Jones/Brock Huard/Jessica Mendoza).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Central Florida at Ohio State, noon (Beth Mowins/Joey Galloway/Lewis Johnson); Air Force at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (Bob Wischusen/Danny Kanell/Maria Taylor); Georgia at Missouri,
7:45 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Matt Millen/Quint Kessenich).
MSG and MSG HD — East Carolina at South Carolina, noon (Dave Neal/Andre Ware/Cara Capuano); Western Kentucky at Alabama, 3:30 p.m. (Mike Morgan/Chris Doering/Jill Montgomery).
MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD — Tulane at Tulsa, noon (Ron Thulin/Shaun King/Desmond Purnell); Rice at Kansas, 3:30 p.m. (Joel Meyers/Brian Baldinger/Jim Knox).
FX and FX HD — Miami at Kansas State, noon (Justin Kutcher/Eric Crouch/Darius Walker); Wisconsin at Oregon State, 4 p.m. (Craig Bolerjack/Joel Klatt/Petros Papadakis).
ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Maryland at Temple, noon (Tom Hart/John Congemi); Michigan State at Central Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (Anish Shroff/Dan Hawkins); Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (Clay Matvick/Matt Stinchcomb/Allison Williams); Bethune-Cookman at South Carolina State (same-day tape), 10:30 p.m. (Joe Davis/Jay Walker).
Big Ten Network and BTN HD — New Hampshire at Minnesota, noon (Matt Devlin/Glen Mason/J. Leman); Iowa State at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Kugler/Chris Martin and Chuck Long/Jon Jansen); Vanderbilt at Northwestern, 8 p.m. (Eric Collins/Derek Rackley/Lisa Byington).
MY4 (WNYA) and MY4 HD — Ball State at Clemson, 12:30 p.m. (Steve Martin/Dave
ESPN3 — Maine at Boston College, 1 p.m. (Bob Picozzi/Paul Maguire/Cat Whitehill); Southern Illinois at Miami (Ohio), 1 p.m.
(Michael Reghi/Rocky Boiman); Illinois State at Eastern Michigan, 1 p.m.; Austin Peay at Virginia Tech, 1:30 p.m. (John
Sadak/John Gregory/Rontina McCann); North Carolina at Wake Forest, 3 p.m. (Paul Kennedy/Keith Jones/Jenn Hildreth); Indiana at Massachusetts, 3:30 p.m. (Shawn Kenney/John Bunting/John Brickley); Missouri State at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. (Drew Deener/Doug James); Georgia State at Tennessee, 4 p.m. (Randy Smith/Jeff Francis/Rick Russo); Nicholls State at South Alabama, 5 p.m. (Jared Schwartz/Stan Lewter); Savannah State at Florida State,
6 p.m. (Dave Weekley/Ralph Friedgen/Tiffany Green); Akron at Florida International,
6 p.m. (Drew Fellios/Doug Graber); Montana at Appalachian State, 6:30 p.m.; Memphis at Arkansas State, 7 p.m. (Brock Bowling/Cory Chavous); Texas Tech at Texas State, 7 p.m. (Trey Bender/Jay Taylor); Presbyterian at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (Ryan Rose/Warrick Dunn/LaChina Robinson); Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy, 7 p.m. (Jonathon Yardley/Forest Conoly); New Mexico State at Ohio,
7 p.m. (TBD/Jerod Cherry); Tennessee-Martin at Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. (Jim Barbar/ Bob Chmeil); Eastern Illinois at Western Michigan, 7 p.m. (Dan Gutowsky/Ben Leber); Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.; Texas Southern at North Texas,
7 p.m.; Idaho at Bowling Green, 7 p.m. (Greg Franke/Tom Cole); UTEP at Mississippi,
7 p.m.; Norfolk State at Liberty, 7 p.m.; Lafayette at William & Mary, 7 p.m.; Kent State at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (Matt Stewart/Cole Cubelic/Angela Mallen).
Pac-12 and Pac-12 HD — Southern Utah at California, 3 p.m. (Rich Cellini/Gary Plummer/Erin Coscarelli); Fresno State at Oregon, 6:30 p.m. (Ted Robinson/Adam Archuleta/Yogi Roth; Oklahoma State at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. (Kevin Calabro/Glenn Parker/Ryan Nece).
NBC13 and NBC13 HD — Purdue at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (Tom Hammond/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).
SNY and SNY HD — Howard at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m. (Mike Corey/Rene Ingoglia/Todd Kulis).
NBC Sports Network and NBCSN HD — Delaware State at Delaware, 3:30 p.m. (Todd Harris/Ross Tucker/Carolyn Manno); Army at San Diego State, 7:30 p.m. (Paul Burmeister/Rod Woodson/Anthony Herron).
FOX College Sports — Carnegie Mellon at Allegheny, 3:30 p.m. (John Sanders/Ellis Cannon/Amanda McCall); Western Carolina at Marshall, 7:30 p.m. (Mike Gleason/Gary Reasons/Lesley McCaslin).
FOX23 and FOX23 HD — Nebraska at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. (Gus Johnson/Charles
CBS Sports Network and CBSSN HD — South Florida at Nevada, 3:30 p.m. (James Bates/Aaron Taylor/Lauren Gardner); Louisiana Tech at Houston, 8 p.m. (Dave Ryan/Ron Zook/Evan Washburn).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Rutgers at South Florida, 7:30 p.m. (Rece Davis/Jesse Palmer and David Pollack/Samantha Steele).
ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Mississippi Valley State at Southern, 7:30 p.m. (Joe Davis/Jay Walker).
CBS Sports Network and CBSSN HD — Texas A&M Commerce at Midwestern State, 8 p.m.
ESPN and ESPN HD — Washington State at UNLV, 9 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Rod Gilmore/Jemele Hill).
Today is day 3,231 in the dispute between NFL Network and Time Warner Cable.