Dan Patrick blazing a trail into your living room
BY DALE BOWMAN
"The Dan Patrick Show" begins airing on Comcast SportsNet Chicago today from 8-11 a.m.
Of course Dan Patrick would call last Monday from California, where he was doing a movie with Adam Sandler. Why not- Patrick speaks to sports via the multiple intertwined platforms of radio, print, online and television.
In his latest foray, Patrick tweaks the format of sports communication with a television broadcast twist of his radio show.
Today the TV simulcast of ''The Dan Patrick Show,'' a nationwide radio show, will begin anchoring morning programming on Comcast SportsNet Chicago from 8 to 11 a.m. Formerly, the radio show was broadcast in Chicago on tape delay overnight on sports talker WSCR-AM (670).
Simulcast may not do the show justice. This is more than turning cameras on in the broadcast booth.
But innovation and changes of direction are expected from Patrick.
In August 2007 he made one of the most audacious moves in modern sports media: he left the shelter of ESPN, which he calls the ''mother ship.''
''Dan decided, courageously, to own his name and his brand,'' said Dan Bernstein, a former frequent substitute host for Patrick who is half the afternoon drive duo on WSCR-AM. ''He detached from a comfortable, lucrative position of professional safety, understanding that the future of our business lies in the control of proprietary content.
''Rather than opt for indentured servitude -- albeit the really wealthy variety -- he's instead pioneering.''
Pioneering and showing the world differently.
''Most people want to be in TV; I chose to be in radio,'' Patrick said. ''It is the purest form of what we do in sports media.''
He means the instant feedback, the almost pathological need of listeners to respond by texting, e-mailing or phoning.
He's smart enough to know the passion of fans from ''parochial sports towns'' like Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia is more about their teams than national stories.
''We are not going to outlocal anybody,'' Patrick said.
Jim Corno, president of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, said adding the Patrick show ''starts our day off with live, up-to-minute sports news and topical sports discussion in a format that not only showcases Dan's talents, but also provides us with nationally recognized brand name that will only strengthen our overall programming lineup.''
The Chicago connection will be strengthened with ''local 'SportsNet Central' updates from our on-air team throughout the show as well,'' Corno said.
But the power of a national sports media figure has local advantages as well. One example Patrick used is a story like the rumored coming of Carmelo Anthony to the Bulls. His show could book Anthony or somebody in the know from Denver. In other words do more than just circulate rumors.
For all the innovation and playing on multiple platforms of the 21st century media advances, Patrick knows what remains key.
''What brings you there is content,'' Patrick said. ''I don't care what you do camera wise. It still goes back to this is what I do and how I do it.''
Doing a movie with Sandler plays perfectly with Patrick's positioning of sports within the pop culture context. He could see cross-pollinating by having Sandler come on to talk about his beloved Jets.
Adding a TV show simply adds more entertainment to the content.
''[The viewer will be] able to watch it unfold,'' Patrick said. ''We don't play to the camera. It is there, something different.''
The graphics people will be post graphics to the screen unbeknownst to Patrick.
''They can say whatever they want with graphics,'' he said. ''You are in on the joke and the joke is on us.''
He envisions the show as a bit ''voyeuristic'' and a peek at staff decisions behind the radio scenes, ''Seeing things maybe you shouldn't see,'' he said.
Or maybe should.
''[It's] not like I am reinventing the medium,'' Patrick said. ''But I am able to mass produce and distribute a product I am proud of.''