Hold tape, Gumbel likes that live morning feeling


CBS morning Olympic co-host Greg Gumbel has a favorite part of his weekday, 7-9 program. It's 1 p.m. in Albertville when Gumbel signs on, and events are happening all over -- even if CBS doesn't choose to show us many.

"The thing I like about it is it's live," Gumbel said yesterday, referring to the challenge of live broadcasting. "Most anybody can go in a studio and get it right the fifth, sixth, seventh time."

And Gumbel said he understands if the morning show isn't as heavy on actual sports as it could be.

"I guess you have to be cognizant of the kind of audience you have that time of the day," he said. "You don't have the hard-core sports audience."


A lively glitch: Hard-core or not, the audience could appreciate CBS' playing it live last night during the team ski jumping competition, even though it had been over hours before.

Before the final jump, announcer Phil Liggett said the Austrian jumper had to feel comfortable with his team's having clinched a gold medal. Then analyst Jeff Hastings broke in, saying that, no, the initial figures were incorrect, and Finland actually was in the lead.

This added drama to the final jump, which fell short for Austria and set off a spirited celebration among the Finnish contingent.

An overzealous producer might have corrected the scoring glitch by getting the announcers to re-record their commentary -- and perhaps draining the events of some excitement.


Looking ahead: Sleep in this morning, let the kids watch their cartoons and rest up for a long day of Winter Olympics coverage on CBS. The network is on from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. . . . The afternoon show will feature a profile of American bobsled driver Brian Shimer, whose partner in the two-man competition (part of today's program) is Herschel Walker. . . .

Also scheduled during the afternoon is a segment on U.S. hockey captain Clark Donatelli. . . . The buildup for Dan Jansen's 500-meter speed skating race includes an afternoon piece on how Jansen's hometown of West Allis, Wis., is preparing to watch him. Like the rest of us, the hometown folks must wait until tonight's program. . . . Late changes: Tim McCarver on "the zone" (an athlete's groove) and a report on Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, originally scheduled for last night, are supposed to air sometime over the weekend.


Ratings game: Thursday's national ratings for prime time marked another win for CBS, with a 19.2 rating and 29 share, topping NBC's 14.0/21, Fox's 10.9/16 and ABC's 10.7/16. A rating measures the percentage of all television households watching a program. A share measures the percentage among homes where television is in use.

CBS' six-night average is 19.1/29, 3 percent higher than ABC's first six nights during the 1988 Calgary Games.

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