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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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May 13, 2008 8:49 AM

A Hannah Storm-front hits ESPN, just in time for Beijing

Posted by Ron Judd

ESPN, left decidedly on the summer sidelines due to NBC's lock/stock/barrel ownership of Olympic broadcasts, isn't just conceding the ratings race to the peacock network.

ESPN will expand its popular SportsCenter show to mornings starting Aug. 11, just when the Beijing Games are getting rolling. And it will put a big name with long NBC roots -- Hannah Storm -- in the anchor's chair from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, the Associated Press is reporting. The announcement was expected later today.

Storm, 45, most recently anchor of the CBS Early Show, has a decade of NBC Olympic experience from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Salt Lake City.

It's part of a major lineup shuffle in which ESPN will replace nine hours of canned programming (mostly repeats of SportsCenter taped at 2 a.m. Eastern time the night before) with live shows. Under the old format, ESPN didn't begin live broadcasts until 3 p.m. Eastern. A Summer Olympics, with its non-stop news cycle, is the perfect time to make the switch.

"You look at Fox News and CNN, it's inconceivable that they would be on tape for that amount of time," Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president of production, told the AP. "The sports world is evolving in that direction. Things are happening all the time."

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Blogroll and links The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information. Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.