Donoho, Physioc Share a Common Bond
Todd Donoho and Steve Physioc are two of the classiest people you’d ever want to meet.
Good family men, they are involved in church and charitable affairs.
Although they have their critics--it’s the nature of the business--you never hear anything personally derogatory about either.
They are in the spotlight these days for different reasons.
Donoho made news when it was learned that his days as sports anchor at Channel 7 are numbered--his last day is Monday, Sept. 28.
Play-by-play announcer Physioc is in the midst of the Angels’ division race. He’ll call tonight’s home game against Seattle for Fox Sports West with Sparky Anderson, Saturday night’s game for Channel 9 with Jerry Reuss, and all three games of the Texas series next week for Fox Sports West.
The public reaction to Donoho’s firing has been mostly negative, and co-workers also haven’t been pleased. Said one, “Rarely have I had the pleasure of working alongside someone the likes of Todd. He never asked for a big office, like someone of his stature deserved. Todd was satisfied with a small desk in the back, just as long as he had room for pictures of his beloved wife and children.”
Physioc draws similar praise. Bill Robertson, former director of communications for Anaheim Sports, said, “Steve is a great guy, liked by everyone, and he works extremely hard. He takes laborious notes and before every game goes through the clubhouse, talking to as many players as possible.”
But Donoho and Physioc have more in common than simply being L.A. broadcasters and good guys.
Although they didn’t know each other at the time, Physioc, 43, went to Shawnee Mission South High in the Kansas City area. Donoho, 42, went to Shawnee Mission North.
Physioc, a Kansas State graduate, was working in television in Topeka, Kan., in 1983 when he was hired as a sports anchor and play-by-play announcer by WLWT in Cincinnati. The person Physioc replaced? Todd Donoho.
“Todd went out of his way to help me,” Physioc said. “I remember telling myself that if I ever get fired, I’m going to be as kind and nice to my replacement as Todd was to me.”
Said Donoho, “The situation then mirrors the one now. Management called me in and said they really liked me but they were going in a different direction. When I met Steve, I told him, ‘Don’t feel bad for me.’ I liked Steve right away and was going to make sure he got off to the best start possible at WLWT.”
Donoho was more than just kind to Physioc.
While Physioc was off and rolling at WLWT, Donoho got a job with a Midwest cable network, Sports Time, where he worked with a young woman named Stacy St. James. He introduced her to Physioc on her birthday.
“I think it was love at first sight,” Donoho said.
They were married two years later, on Sept. 7, 1985, the day Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb’s major league record for most hits. Physioc, then announcing Cincinnati Reds games on television, had to delay his honeymoon until Rose broke the record.
Today, the Physiocs live in Trabuco Canyon with daughter Ryan, 11, and son Kevin, 9, and their life is good.
And Donoho isn’t complaining about his. He says he plans to take some time off, watch his son Kevin, 15, play B class football for Hart High in Newhall, coach his 13-year-old son Jeff’s youth basketball team and also spend time with son Scott, 10.
“And my wife [Paula] and I will be able to have dinner together for a change,” Donoho said.
UCLA won’t be on ABC this weekend, nor on ESPN or Fox Sports West or even Fox Sports West 2. Carrying the Bruins’ game at Houston at 12:30 p.m. Saturday is FX. It’s a big day for FX, which also has Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals from Milwaukee at 5 p.m. However, not every cable company carries FX, and making matters worse for Bruin fans is that XTRA 1150 will not have radio coverage of Saturday’s game. Since the Dodgers, who play Saturday afternoon, have priority on XTRA 1150, the UCLA game has been farmed out to a San Diego station, KOGO (600), which is hard to pick up in parts of the Los Angeles area. . . . USC’s 7 p.m. game against Oregon State will be televised by Fox Sports West 2, with flagship XTRA 690 offering radio coverage.
Home run chase update: ESPN is adding games to keep up. It will show the Cincinnati Reds-Chicago Cubs Sunday at 11 a.m., as well as live cut-ins of McGwire’s at-bats against the Milwaukee Brewers. On Tuesday, ESPN will show either the Cubs-Brewers or Houston Astros-Cardinals game with live cut-ins of the other game.
Boxing beat: TVKO offers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez tonight at 6 as a $39.95 pay-per-view fight, while Showtime’s coverage of the Evander Holyfield-Vaughn Bean fight on Saturday night will be available to all cable subscribers as part of a “free preview” weekend. The Holyfield fight will also be Webcast on https://www.showtimeonline.com. . . . KNX will have round-by-round recaps of both fights. . . . TNT makes its entry into boxing with a card Tuesday night featuring “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Angel “El Diablo” Manfredy in title defenses at Madison Square Garden. The commentators will be Holyfield and Sugar Ray Leonard. The card will be shown, delayed, at 9 p.m. . . . Channel 9 devoted half an hour to an excellent Oscar De La Hoya special Thursday night, and it will be repeated Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
King fans will get their first opportunity to see their team--and the new uniforms--when Fox Sports West televises Sunday’s exhibition game against the Colorado Avalanche from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas at 5 p.m. The teams also play Saturday at 7:30 p.m., but new flagship station KRLA will not carry either game because of Angel baseball. Saturday’s game will be on KLSX-FM (97.1) and Sunday’s on KCTD (1540). . . . Award-winning sportscaster Irwin “Win” Elliot, whose 50-year career spanned nearly every major sporting event, died Thursday in Weston, Conn. He was 83. His brother Biff, a former actor, has been an L.A. radio correspondent for two decades.
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What Los Angeles Is Watching
A sampling of L.A. Nielsen ratings for Sept. 12-13, including sports on cable networks:
Over-the-air Channel Rating Share College football: Texas at UCLA 7 6.9 18 Tennis: U.S. Open (afternoon) 2 5.3 14 College football: Notre Dame at Michigan 7 4.7 10 Tennis: U.S. Open (morning) 2 3.8 11 Baseball: Dodgers at San Diego 5 3.5 7 Baseball: Angels at Baltimore 11 3.4 10 Boxing: Jorge Paez vs. Victor Paz 34 2.3 7 Gymnastics: U.S. Championships (men) 4 1.3 3
Cable Network Rating Share College football: San Diego State at USC FSW2 2.2 4 College football: Nebraska at California FSW 1.8 4 NASCAR Exide Select Batteries 400 ESPN 1.3 3 Boxing: Erik Morales vs. Junior Jones HBO 1.2 3 College football: Arizona State at BYU ESPN2 0.8 2 Track and field: Grand Prix final TBS 0.7 1 Baseball: Florida at Atlanta TBS 0.4 1 Baseball: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs WGN 0.2 0 Golf: PGA Canadian Open ESPN 0.2 0 Horse racing: Man O’ War Stakes ESPN 0.1 0 Golf: Senior PGA Comfort Classic ESPN2 0.0 0
Over-the-air Channel Rating Share Pro football: Dallas at Denver 11 13.5 30 Pro football: Tampa Bay at Green Bay 11 8.3 21 Pro football: Kansas City at Jacksonville 2 4.9 12 Tennis: U.S. Open (men’s final) 2 4.1 4 Baseball: Dodgers at San Diego 5 2.5 5 Golf: Senior PGA Comfort Classic 7 0.8 2 Soccer: MLS, Washington at Miami 34 0.8 2
Cable Network Rating Share Pro football: Indianapolis at New England ESPN 5.3 10 Auto racing: CART Honda Grand Prix of Monterey ESPN 0.9 2 Baseball: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs WGN 0.8 2 Golf: PGA Canadian Open ESPN 0.8 2 Tennis: U.S. Open (women’s doubles) USA 0.2 0 Baseball: Florida at Atlanta TBS 0.1 0
WEEKDAY RATINGS: Monday--Pro football, San Francisco-Washington, Ch. 7, 14.1, 25; Baseball: Chicago Cubs at San Diego, WGN, 1.2, 2.
Note: Each rating point represents 50,092 L.A. households. Cable ratings reflect the entire market, even though cable is in only 63% of L.A. households.