Twenty five years after he left KTUL-8 to form a sports production company, nationally known sportscaster Chris Lincoln is back at the Tulsa station. Lincoln, 59, made his return Monday as sports director, replacing Jack Bunds who was fired after Wednesday’s 6 p.m. newscast.
After leaving KTUL in 1981, Lincoln and Jim Wilburn, the station’s top salesman, built Winner Communications into the nation’s largest independently owned sports production company, producing more than 3,000 hours of programming a year for 15 networks. Lincoln and Wilburn sold the majority of Winnercomm, which is housed in a six-story building in Broken Arrow, to outside investors in February 2006, although Lincoln still works as a consultant for the company.
Tulsa viewers should enjoy the colorful and opinionated sportscaster who has covered a variety of horse races over the years, including an international series from 1998-2003. He missed his first Kentucky Derby in 20 years due to the recent birth of his first grandson.
“It’s a lot easier to get to Norman and Stillwater than it is to Dubai and Hong Kong,” he said during a telephone interview Thursday.
Viewers will notice a much thinner Lincoln than in his previous stint with KTUL. Ater undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2003, he originally lost more than 200 pounds. “Before my surgery, I was 420 pounds with a 62-inch waist. Now, I’m 230 pounds with a 38-inch waist. I do an hour or hour and a half workout every morning. I’m very careful about taking my protein drink in the morning. I can’t eat very much; my stomach is reduced in size. That’s what’s frustrating, I never was a big eater. I just had that metabolism problem. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t lose the weight.”
A few of his other opinions:
On revamping KTUL’s Sunday night sports show, “You Make the Call”: “That’s a crap show, God Almighty! I see it as more of a sports conversation show and feature-type interviews with more preproduced-type stuff.”
On TV weathermen, who generally rule Oklahoma TV stations: “Please just put up the seven-day forecast and get off the air! I always look at weathermen as major-league players. They just have to hit 1 out of 3 and they can stay in the big leagues.”
On his favorite sports: “My No. 1 passion is college sports, especially college football play-by-play. I hope to get some opportunities to get to that down the road. I’m just a young kid, compared to Bob (Barry) Sr.”
Fight to be replayed: If you didn’t fork out $54.49 to watch the Oscar de la Hoya-Floyd Mayweather bout last Saturday, you can watch Mayweather’s split-decision victory at 9 p.m. Saturday on HBO for no additional charge.
Classic NFL games: Beginning this week, the NFL Network (Cox 252) will start carrying classic NFL games on at 7 p.m. Thursdays, with a replay at 3 p.m. Fridays. The first game will be the Chicago Bears’ 24-23 comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals from last season. The Bears rallied from a 20-0 deficit in the Monday night game. Each game features the original announcers and network graphics.