The Buzz

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Take this job and shove it. ESPN's reality show "Dream Jobs" (on Sunday nights starting Feb. 22) is the sports-nut version of "The Apprentice." Twelve contestants will compete for a one-year gig as an anchor on ESPN's "SportsCenter." But while viewers know that the Donald Trump job fetches a six-figure salary, ESPN is not revealing its own dollar motivation. "The finalists are aware what the salary is," said an ESPN spokesman. "Otherwise we do not discuss salaries." But contestants will compete in rigorous tests of skill, and one sucker will be bounced off each week via judges, espn.com voters and text messaging.

Of course, this being a reality show, lots of advertisers are sponsoring it. Verizon is behind the text messaging. Wendy's provided one of the show's contestants, the "wild card" No. 12 candidate, through promotions involving soda cups at franchises. Visa is providing credit cards, each with a $1,000 max, which the contestants will use to do whatever it takes to become presentable. Labatts Beer promoted the auditions. And Mazda will hand the winner a "dream car," whatever Mazda model they want. "The show is basically sold out," said Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, with the five sponsors gobbling up about 90% of the inventory. That should provide enough dough for six-figure salary for the winner, no?

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