Sports media beat: Is Scott Van Pelt new ‘face’ of ESPN? SI photographer’s worst subject; new interim editor of Grantland

Spanning the globe to give you the constant variety of sports media:

Ken Fang of Awful Announcing asks with Bill Simmons gone, who is the new “face” of ESPN? I like Scott Van Pelt.

Armed with a new contract and an upcoming solo host spot for a late night edition of SportsCenter, SVP is the odds-on favorite to be the new face of ESPN. Coming over to Bristol from Golf Channel in 2001, Van Pelt showed that he knew not just the links, but other sports as well. He grew from a SportsCenter anchor to an ESPN Radio co-host. Van Pelt remained on golf going to Augusta to host SportsCenter from The Masters and having a heavy presence on both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship.

When he becomes the host of the midnight ET SportsCenter, he’ll anchor the show all by himself which shows how much the bosses at ESPN value Van Pelt.

Jeff Pearlman has a terrific interview with Sports Illustrated photographer Ronald Modra. He recalls his worst subject, David Justice, who then was married to Halle Berry.

An hour and a half later, Justice and Halle came out. When he saw the lights we set up he started to pitch a fit. “What’s this? It’s like a major shoot!” By then I’d had enough. I was standing on a crate so I was almost as tall as he was. I said, “David, I told you this is the most important picture.” Then I turned to Halle and said, “The magazine offered to fly him out to your set the other week. Did he tell you that?” Halle gave Justice a pretty cold look and Justice gave me a really nasty look.

I showed Halle the little sketch I made of the picture I wanted and said, “Halle, you’re an actress and a model. I know you can do this. Make this work and I’ll be out of here in five minutes.”

The picture was well received at the magazine, a great shot of a couple in love. (They were divorced less than a year later).

Joe Posnanski discusses his career in the latest installment of “Still No Cheering in the Press Box” for the Povich Center.

Sports journalism is changing next week, and the week after that, and the week after again. It follows where technology and circulation go. I think that it’s changed so much that last few years that now we are going into the territory that none of us can necessarily foresee.

The writing – it’s going to be interesting to see. Being provocative, being interesting, asking hard questions, making it fun – that’s what sports journalism was about in the 1900’s and I think it’s what it’ll be about forever.

Chris Connelly is the new interim editor of Grantland.

“Bill Simmons had the vision to create ‘Grantland,’ and his leadership, ideas and inspiration made it singularly great,” Connelly said in a statement provided by ESPN. “I’m looking forward to helping the writers, editors and producers on this amazingly talented staff create more of the outstanding work for which they’ve rightly become known.”

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports on college athletes and Twitter.

Anne Delany at AWSM details a diversity program offered by APSE.

Michael Bradley for the National Sports Journalism Center offers his insights on teaching sports journalism.

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