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Buren only looking for Albertville's 'big stuff' Local stations keep perspective


An article in yesterday's sports section incorrectly listed the radio station for the "Pro Wrestling Talk" show. The program is on WITH.

* The Sun regrets the error.

The Winter Olympics are upon us. Coverage by CBS (channels 11, 9) begins tomorrow at 4 p.m. (practice in men's downhill and ski jumping), even before the opening ceremonies at 8 p.m.

And if your network doesn't have the Games, you still must know folks are interested, right, John Buren?

"I think there's a lot of interest in the female demographic [that's TV-ese for women] in figure skating," the Channel 13 sports anchor said. "And there's a lot of interest in sports in which someone could get killed [those in which competitors hurtle down a mountain]."

(By the way, it's not every sportscaster who comes with subtitles.)

"Certainly, around here there's a lot more interest in the Summer Olympics than the Winter Olympics," Channel 2's Scott Garceau said. "I don't think people are into the Nordic sports."

"The big stuff gets on," Buren said, referring to highlights of major Olympic events, which are embargoed for use beyond CBS until after 11 p.m, "but the world goes on. We're not going to turn our show upside down. . . . Cross-country skiing is not going to replace baseball."

Gerry Sandusky, meanwhile, will deliver sportscasts on Baltimore's station of the Olympics. But he said he doesn't feel any pressure to go heavy on Albertville news.

"We don't have that feeling that we have to cram in the Olympics," he said.

Channel 11 will carry hourly updates of 30 seconds to a minute during non-Games programming, he said, and "during sportscasts, we'll balance it with the other sports news of the day."

Lest we forget, the Orioles open spring training a few days before the Olympics end. What biathlete can compete with that?


Wired Olympics: TNT's $45 million schuss into the Winter Olympics is a sign of things to come, said Don McGuire, Turner Sports senior vice president/executive producer.

"There may be a new balance in the next Olympics," McGuire told the Chicago Tribune. "You may see fewer hours on network and more on cable. I don't think you'll see all of the Olympics on pay-per-view or cable. But I do see a Winter Olympics with 45 hours on network and 116 on cable."

That's the opposite of this year's arrangement, and, considering that cable already has the NFL, NBA and major-league baseball -- past network staples for whom cable once seemed unthinkable -- there appears to be little reason to doubt McGuire's prediction. Besides, you probably need cable for good reception in a crystal ball.


Policy disagreement: On Saturday, Gayle Gardner, anchoring NBC Sports' update show, had to introduce an NBC News segment on the Mike Tyson trial. NBC News allows alleged rape victims to be identified, which the piece did, including showing the face of Tyson's accuser.

"I was not happy about it. In fact I was angry," Gardner told the New York Daily News. "I've always been a strong believer that an alleged rape victim's identity should not be revealed."


The more the merrier: Starting March 16, Baltimore radio returns to a three-show sports chorus -- and that's good news for listeners. Stan "The Fan" Charles, who moves full-time to WCBM (680 AM) Mondays through Saturday at 10 p.m.-1 a.m., joins Jeff Rimer's "Sports Line" on WBAL (1090 AM) and the three-headed beast (Kenny Albert, Jerry Coleman and Nestor Aparicio) of "Sports Forum" on WITH (1230 AM). We had been down to two shows with Bennie the Fan's departure.

Charles' move to WCBM is a reunion with many of his old WFBR colleagues, including the programming director at WCBM, Ed Graham.

"We had a lot of people bidding for the time [slot]," he said. "But Stan had a good show on the wrong station [WCAO, a gospel-music station]."

(Charles probably would agree with that wrong station assessment, if for no other reason than the frequent technical glitches on his weekly "Hoops" show. On Monday, for example, he was speaking when a commercial suddenly came on. A crash was heard, and the commercial stopped.)

And what does Charles bring to the air?

"Not that the other guys lie, but Stan is more honest," Graham said. "When people are upset, they call Stan."

Hmm, maybe he should be Stan the Crisis Counselor.


Flipping the channels: David Letterman called up CBS Olympic host Tim McCarver in Albertville the other night and quizzed him. McCarver got two out of three questions right (the medal between gold and bronze and the spelling of luge), but missed on what the letters CBS stand for. . . . WCBM debuts a weekly bowling show Sunday at 6 p.m., with host Don Vitek. . . . Larry Katz's pro wrestling show, which has been bounced around more than one of Ric Flair's opponents, has bounded off the top rope and landed -- splat -- on WCBM. It will follow the bowling program at 7 p.m. and run until 9. (Editor's note: This item was typed in while Mr. Frager was ripped out of his seat and held at bay in a figure-four leg lock.)


Come on, baby, light my Olympic fire: The boss' Winter Olympics interest is at a fever pitch. I still don't know how he fit those two luges in his office. He continually plays that tape of Franz Klammer's gold-medal run on his office television. Posters of Jens-Uwe Mey and Petra Kronberger adorn his walls. He keeps sliding up and down the hallways, shuffling his feet, pretending to be Bill Koch. I can't wait for the official flame-lighting ceremony next to the Bonnie Blair-autographed skates. Ah, but his attention goes beyond the Games, to other games.

Things My Boss Wants to Know: If Dick Vitale is doing Duke-North Carolina on ESPN and Billy Packer is on the ACC network, wouldn't it just be better to black out the game altogether? . . . Is it true that Las Vegas has a line on which sportscaster will be the first to report from spring training that the pitchers are ahead of the hitters? . . . How's John Madden's bus doing on its trip to Albertville?

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