22 Desember 2010

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A look at Golf Channel’s new morning show

In January, Golf Channel will debut its first live morning show, entitled Morning Drive. The show will originate from Orlando and be hosted by a couple of broadcasting veterans.

Erik Kuselias, most recently of ESPN fame on the radio and TV side, will be joined by Gary Williams of Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio. The show is billed as a program primarily about golf, but will bring in news and business headlines, weather, and other stuff.

Both the hosts and the concept strike me as something that could either pan out really well, or horribly.

Kuselias and Williams have morning experience, albeit almost exclusively on radio. Obviously, this is on television. The studio, though, is small (it used to house Golf Channel UK), and the desk at which both fellas sit has radio-style microphones. Maybe the show will be centered on radio-style banter – playing to the resurgence seen in broadcasting every modestly popular national sports talk show on television these days.

What seems to cause the most consternation is having a two-hour morning show on a network about golf with stuff other than golf in the show. Then again, there is only so much golf action to talk about in the morning. And if it’s hard enough to make a 7am tee time to actually play golf, then there has to be something else to lure audiences to a golf-focused morning talk show.

Format and talent aside, the studio for the show should arouse some conversation, too. When I first saw the studio in a visit to Golf Channel’s Orlando studios last week, I honestly had no idea what the set of a golf morning show would look like.

The set centers around the aforementioned desk with radio mics, but also is decked out to be fun in a golf-themed way. There’s a golf pinball machine. A golf cart shell is hung from the wall with a TV monitor in it. The walls are brick, though a golf ball shelf is in clear view of the camera. It works for me, but you’ll have to see it yourself to judge.

Morning Drive premieres on January 3, 2011, from 7-9am ET.