The Name Games in Turin -- or Is it Torino?

Times Staff Writer

The Winter Olympics are providing a language quandary for the TV networks, which don’t quite agree what to call the Italian host city.

NBC Universal, showing the games on its various over-the-air and cable channels, has slapped the “Torino 2006" logo across its coverage, using the Italian name for the city on the Po River. Ditto the International Olympic Committee.

Geographic dissent, however, has already emerged.

“Turin is the city’s English name,” anchor Elizabeth Vargas told viewers Friday on ABC’s “World News Tonight.” “Just as we would say ‘Rome,’ not ‘Roma,’ ‘Florence,’ not ‘Firenze.’ ”


She added, “The head of the Olympic organizing committee says he wanted ‘Torino’ to ‘give an Italian identity’ to the Games. But he also says he doesn’t mind if the media use the English version. So we’ll stick with ‘Turin.’ ”

That seems to be a minority view. “Torino” is the preferred choice at cable outlets Fox News Channel and CNN.

“We’re using ‘Torino’ because the Games are called by the name used by the host country -- it’s the proper Italian name,” Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said.

Issue settled? Not quite.

The website for MSNBC, NBC’s cable news outlet, features an Olympics roundup from the Associated Press. The dateline? Turin.