It wasn’t that long ago that cameras and cellphones were banned from sports and race books.
So it was a jarring sight for bettors to see a Fox Sports 1 anchor desk near the deli at the LVH’s Superbook for the past eight days.
Jay Kornegay, vice president of the LVH’s race and sports books, had another work for it: “groundbreaking.”
Launched in August, Fox Sports 1, the 24-hour, multi-sport cable channel based in Los Angeles, built a set to provide live and taped segments for expanded coverage of the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s certainly a nice breakthrough that a major sports media outlet is covering the tournament in Las Vegas. And it was somewhat overdue,” said Kornegay, who was called on to supplement the coverage with his betting expertise. “To have a major network recognize what we do legitimizes what we do. It certainly put a positive light on our industry.”
The Fox Sports 1 team included the network’s gambling guru, Todd Fuhrman, a former financial planner who has worked with Don Best and Caesars Palace.
Fuhrman’s co-hosts included Clay Travis and Charissa Thompson.
I asked Kornegay for the craziest sight during the first week of March Madness.
“It never fails that we get some novice bettors in here who prematurely tear up their betting slip,” he said.
It’s a good bet that he was referring to Iowa State’s improbable comeback against North Carolina on Sunday in an 85-83 win.
“We’ve had to help them piece them together like a jigsaw to cash them out,” he said.
FATORS TO CLEAR THE AIR
My inaugural “Conversations With Norm” interview series Sunday featuring Mirage headliner Terry Fator will include wife and stage assistant Taylor Makakoa at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
They decided it was an opportunity to talk about their marriage and set the record straight about their time together.
They plan to discuss their courtship and address remarks by his ex-wife, Melinda, that he was cheating on her at the end of their marriage.
Fator and Makakoa, a Hawaiian model, were married Nov. 3, 2010, one day after Fator’s divorce was finalized. He was 45; she was 22.
They had met at an audition in the fall of 2007 after he won “America’s Got Talent.”
Makakoa was a member of his touring staff during 2008, but they have stated the romance did not start until after his divorce.
Kevin West, the main sports guy at KSNV-TV, Channel 3, for most of the past eight years, is moving back to Austin, Texas, his hometown. “It’s a family move, all about the kids,” he said. He left KSNV at the end of January. ...
Alan Stock of KDWN-AM has been named to Talker magazine’s Top 100 talk-show hosts in the United States for the 15th year in a row. He’s the only Nevadan this year. He will celebrate his 15-year anniversary as a Las Vegas talk-show host in June. He spent his first 12 years at KXNT before moved to KDWN in 2011.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Former UNLV basketball star Greg Anthony has one more thing to think about as he heads into the Sweet 16 stretch of March Madness as one of CBS’ top analysts. He and his wife, Chere, are expecting their fourth child, a girl, on Saturday. Had she arrived on Sunday, it would have shared March 23 with the day Jerry Tarkanian was hired by UNLV in 1973. That would have been sweet timing. ...
Talent agent Jaki Baskow, founder and CEO of Baskow and Associates in Las Vegas, was among a group of 34 tourism executives from across the United States who participated in a discussion of tourism at the White house on March 20. The invitation was extended by the White House Business Council on Travel and Tourism.
Former porn star Sasha Grey, celebrating her 26th birthday Saturday at Crush (MGM Grand) with former INXS drummer Jon Farriss, Mark Stoermer of The Killers and Chicago music producer Tommy Lipnick. She partied later at Beacher’s Madhouse. … Reality TV star Brody Jenner, partying at Hyde Bellagio after dining at Sensi (Bellagio). He’s returning to Las Vegas next month with his father Bruce Jenner for the Aria-hosted Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek. … Jane Fonda’s actor son, Troy Garity, with his wife, Simone Bent, at Tao Asian Bistro on Friday. … “Glee” actor Max Adler, dining at Tao Asian Bistro on Saturday with fiancee Jennifer Bronstein. … Frankie Sidoris from Slash &the Conspirators, sitting in with Franky Perez Saturday during Perez’s performance at The Lounge inside the Palms. Sidoris is the son of Angela Stabile, producer of “X Burlesque” and “X Rocks.”
THE PUNCH LINE
“Today is the first day of spring. And just in time, because yesterday was the 400th day of winter.” — Seth Meyers
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.