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jim BrandstatterFor 28 years, Jim Brandstatter, part of the radio broadcast teams for Michigan and Lions football, has not missed working a game.

But that streak will end Sunday.

Brandstatter will handle the play-by-play for the Michigan football broadcast from Michigan State on Saturday afternoon, but will not be able to pull off the doubleheader as he always has done. With the Lions playing early Sunday in London, he logistically can’t make the trip.

“I don’t like missing it,” Brandstatter said. “I wish there was a way, but given the circumstance, it’s out of my control. I looked at every possibility to go there, and the best scenario if everything worked out perfectly, would get me there right at the start of the game.

“It’s a bummer, but I’ve had a year to think about it.”

When the schedule came out, Brandstatter went to station executives at 97.1 and told them there likely would be a conflict. For nearly three decades he has been able to call a Michigan game and then make the Lions game, despite some hectic travel plans.

Rob Rubick will fill in for Brandstatter as the analyst on the Lions game with Dan Miller on the play-by-play.

Brandstatter will get to the radio studio early Sunday, however, and will be on air for pregame, halftime and postgame work.

Meanwhile, he will be without radio partner Dan Dierdorf for Saturday’s Michigan-Michigan State radio broadcast. Dierdorf, who had major back surgery earlier in the year, recently underwent a medical procedure that is expected to sideline him for one game only. Dierdorf is anticipated to return to the booth for the Indiana game Nov. 1 at Michigan Stadium.

Jon Jansen, also a former Michigan offensive lineman like Dierdorf and Brandstatter, will fill in as the analyst for Saturday’s game. Jansen already is part of the game-day radio crew.

Read more at the Detroit News where this story was originally published.

When the Quad-City Mallards drop the puck on their first season in the ECHL, they’ll be doing so with a new voice booming throughout the iWireless Center.

Jim Albracht will make his debut Friday as the Mallards’ public address announcer, taking over for Guy Perry, who had served as the team’s P.A. announcer since the team’s inception in 1995 until retiring this summer.

“I know it’s pretty exciting and I’d like to be part of the excitement,” Albracht said. “Hopefully I can be part of the whole atmosphere.”

Albracht is no stranger to the local sports scene. He was the sports director at WQAD for 12 years and had a radio show at WOC AM 1420 for several years. He also served as the play-by-play announcer for the Quad-City Steamwheelers. More recently, he’s worked with the Iowa Hawkeye Radio Network. Despite that, he knows he’s venturing into uncharted territory.

“Guy was very good at what he did, and when you do it for so long, and you do it well, people appreciate it,” Albracht said. “I just hope I can bring the enthusiasm and the professionalism that he did, that’s kind of what I’m gunning for.”

Albracht admitted his hockey knowledge has been limited, with his biggest exposure to the sport coming thanks to the recent success of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. But he’s eager to learn.

“I’m looking forward to learning the game from my vantage point and is there a better seat in the house?” he said. “It’s one of them, anyway, and I understand wool socks are vital at this point.”

Read more at the Quad City Times where this story was originally published.

It may be America’s national pastime, but it has never felt less national.

On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in.

For most of the last century, the start of baseball’s World Series — with its red, white and blue bunting and occasional ceremonial first pitch from the president — was always a major event. The opening game of the Fall Classic has provided some of the country’s most enduring sports memories, including Willie Mays’s over-the-shoulder basket catch (1954), Sandy Koufax’s 15-strikeout performance (1963) and Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run (1988).
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New show to debut in Tampa

October 24, 2014
Courtesy of Talkers

The two sports talk stations are operated by Genesis Communications and, although they carry the slogan “The Team,” are branded collectively along with the website of the same name, “Sports Talk Florida.” Now the simulcast adds a new local show to the program lineup. Debuting in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is “The Front Office,” hosted by Tom Veit, a.k.a. The GM.

The station says the program “will take a unique look at the Central Florida sports world giving listeners the perspective from those that make the deals and the sports insiders that know how they’re made.

Veit is a seasoned sports executive with over 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry.” Veit comments, “With 10 major professional sports teams and seven all sport Division I collegiate programs in Florida, there needs to be a place during the midday to talk local sports. Every day there will be passionate debates on the hot topics. After spending so many years working in the Central Florida sports scene, the one thing I know is that there is passion from every point of view.”

Read more at Talkers where this story was originally published.

Holy mackinaw!

For more than three decades, Leafs fans could hear Joe Bowen’s trademark catchphrase in his televised play-by-play broadcasts — until he was switched over to the radio side earlier this year.

Now, fans are pushing to get Bowen back on television through a BringBackBowen hashtag on Twitter and a Change.org petition, which has more than 400 supporters so far.
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KWTO Springfield drops Fox for ESPN

October 24, 2014
Courtesy of KY3 TV

A radio station that carries sports programs will switch national affiliations on Jan. 1. Meyer Communications says it signed a three-year contract for KWTO FM 98.7 to be an affiliate of ESPN Radio. KWTO, which markets itself as The Jock, has been an affiliate of Fox Sports Radio for many years.

Ken Meyer, owner of Meyer Communications, says The Jock will continue to carry two longtime local shows: “Sports Reporters with Ned Reynolds,” 9 – 11 a.m. weekdays, and “SportsTalk with Art Hains,” 4 – 6 p.m. weekdays.

ESPN Radio’s programs include “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” 5 – 9 a.m. weekdays; “The Scott Van Pelt Show,” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekdays, “Sedano & Stink,” 6 – 9 p.m. weekdays; and “The Freddie Coleman Show,” 9 – 11 p.m. weekdays. It also carries play-by-play coverage of Major League Baseball and the NBA, including All-Star Games and post-season games, and college football and basketball games.

The Jock also has carried Springfield Cardinals games for its first 10 seasons, and broadcasts high school football games in southwest Missouri.

Read more at KY3 TV where this story was originally published.

Dierdorfsm.jpgMichigan will be without a regular for the Saturday game at Michigan State.

Radio analyst Dan Dierdorf will miss the game after having a surgical procedure and is still rehabbing, U-M play-by-play man Jim Brandstatter announced during tonight’s “Inside Michigan Football” radio show.

“Dan, who’s done all of our broadcasts this year and he’s done such a wonderful job, had a medical emergency situation,” Brandstatter said. “He’s OK, everything’s good but he’s going to be in rehab for at least a week and he said I plan on being back for the Indiana game (Nov. 1.)”
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WTVJ-Ch. 6 has a new weekend sports anchor.

Stefano Fusaro joins the NBC affiliate in the Fort Lauderdale-Miami TV market beginning today.

Fusaro, a former Univision sports anchor in Houston and Miami, replaces Courtney Fallon, who left the Miramar-based station in August to be a sideline reporter for the CBS Sports Network.

“We are thrilled to bring back Stefano Fusaro to South Florida. His enthusiasm and experience to cover sports,” said Migdalia Figueroa, NBC 6 South Florida vice president of news, in a statement. “His energy and commitment to covering our local sports teams will really resonate with our viewers.”

It’s the latest change for the NBC sports desk. In September, longtime sports broadcaster and former Miami Dolphins player Joe Rose announced his retirement after 22 years at the station. He plans to leave in December.

South Florida audiences may be familiar with Fusaro, a Miami native who graduated from Florida International University’s journalism school. He covered regional sports for Univision Miami for eight years, leaving in 2012 to anchor sports in Houston at KXLN-TV.

He also worked at WAXY 790-AM sports radio, and did pre- and post-game coverage for the Miami Dolphins Spanish Radio Broadcast.

“I am proud to be coming back home, to cover the teams I love, and to serve the fans I have grown up with and around, most of my life,” said Fusaro in release. “It is an honor to join such an excellent organization, and a sports department who has the respect of this great community. Here we go!”

Read more at the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel where this story was originally published.

Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and Clemson Athletics have added Angela Mallen and William Qualkinbush for the 2014-15 women’s basketball radio broadcasts. Mallen will serve as the play-by-play voice, while Qualkinbush will handle analyst duties.

Clemson Tiger Sports Properties is scheduled to air 12 regular season contests as well as the ACC Tournament on four affiliates throughout the state. The remaining contests air on WCCP 105.5 FM The Roar of Clemson, the Flagship station of the Clemson Tiger Sports Network, reaching more than a million people.
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The longtime voice of the Arkansas Travelers is set to become the voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ baseball and women’s basketball teams.

The University of Arkansas athletics department announced Phil Elson will join Razorback Sports Network from IMG in the two roles.

“Over the past 14 years, Phil has become a familiar voice to Arkansans including his work as a play-by-play announcer for a variety of baseball, basketball and football broadcasts,” Jeff Long, vice chancellor and athletics director, said in a news release. “His wealth of broadcasting experience and sports knowledge combined with his familiarity with our state and the Razorback program made him an outstanding choice to help bring all the action of baseball and women’s basketball to Razorback fans throughout the state.”

Elson was the 2009 Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year and has 17 years of professional baseball broadcasting experience, including the past 14 seasons as director of broadcasting and media relations for the Arkansas Travelers. Before that, Elson called games for the Helena Brewers, Ogden Raptors and Mudville Nine.

He has also served as a fill-in replacement on baseball broadcasts since 2011.

“Broadcasting state wide for the fantastic, fervent Razorbacks fan base just adds to my excitement,” Elson said in a statement. “Thanks to Jeff Long and his staff, as well as all the people at IMG College, for putting their trust in me to deliver honest, exciting and entertaining broadcasts that bring these Razorback teams and their fans even closer together.”

Elson will debut Nov. 9 in the Razorback women’s basketball team’s exhibition game against Northeastern State.

Arkansas’ baseball season begins Feb. 13 against North Dakota.

Read more at Arkansas Business where this story was originally published.

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