The Merc’s Daniel Brown reports that KPIX CBS5 has replaced sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell on the weekly 49ers’ “Coaches Corner” after last week’s heated on-air confrontation with Coach Mike Singletary (see video).

According to the Merc, KPIX has a contract with the 49ers that gives the team “editorial input” over the station’s 49ers programs, such as “Coaches Corner.” Yahoo Sports said the contract gives the team “editorial control.”

O’Donnell was replaced by sports reporter Kim Coyle.

49ers spokesman Bob Lange told the Merc that changing hosts was a “joint agreement (with KPIX) to give the interviews a better dynamic going forward.”

Lange said Coyle will do the interviews face-to-face with Singletary at the 49ers’ team headquarters in Santa Clara. O’Donnell asked his questions from the KPIX studio in San Francisco.

After the confrontation between O’Donnell and Singletary, KPIX pulled the video from its website. It also no longer appears on the Merc’s website. (The video above is from YouTube.)

During the interview, O’Donnell asked Singletary a couple of questions about a Yahoo article that said there’s growing tension between the 49ers’ coaching staff and players over play-calling issues following the team’s 31-6 opening day loss to Seattle.

The mention of the article set off Singleton, who eventually began to tell O’Donnell what questions he would and would not answer, as if the coach knew he had editorial control over the interview.

Asked about quarterback Alex Smith, Singletary said: “Alex will be fine Monday night. Watch the game and you will see that Alex will be fine. I don’t want to talk about time. I don’t want to talk about clock. I don’t want to talk about any of that. I want to talk about New Orleans if you want to talk about that.”

Bay Area Media News


  1. An unfortunate victim in this is Kim Coyle. She is an honest, hard-working journeyman sports reporter who does not deserve to be tarred as a shill because of KPIX's inability to control a crisis.

  2. O'Donnell didn't do anything provocative – Singletary just blew up and then acted like a baby. If Singetary wants to *lead*, he needs to act like a leader, not a whiny brat.

  3. KPIX needs to clearly identify the parts of their newscast that's under someone else's editorial control, otherwise they're mis-leading viewers.

  4. If you can buy segments on "Eyewitness News," then I think somebody ought to challenge CBS's license to operate KPIX when renewal rolls around. I think the FCC would go bonkers over the idea that sponsors could buy news segments without any disclosure to the public.

  5. Are KPIX sports news reports also subject to team "editorial control"? If so, why not give up the time slot to something more enlightening?

  6. If Channel 5 is going to air a segment during its news that is controlled by the 49ers, then it should air a disclaimer similar to those shown during advertorial programs.

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