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Barrett-ChuckChuck Barrett has decided to step away from his baseball play-by-play duties after 23 seasons. Barrett will still handle play-by-play responsibilities for football and men’s basketball. He broadcasted all three Razorback sports for the past seven years as well as served as Razorback Athletics’ Director of Broadcasting.

Barrett began his affiliation with Razorback Athletics in 1992 when he was hired to be the baseball play-by-play announcer. Barrett has been behind the microphone for every season of Razorback Baseball since Arkansas entered the Southeastern Conference. During that span, Barrett has called more than 1,250 games including some of the most memorable moments in Razorback Baseball history. During his span as a baseball broadcaster, Arkansas has made three College World Series appearances, 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and won two SEC regular season and four SEC Western division championships.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to broadcast Razorback Baseball for more than two decades,” Barrett said. “I have enjoyed watching the Razorback baseball program grow from its early stages in the SEC to the national prominence it now enjoys. I am appreciative to Coach Norm DeBriyn, Coach Dave Van Horn, the hundreds of Razorback players and all those associated with Razorback Baseball who helped make the past 23 years so enjoyable. I also owe my thanks to the various baseball broadcasting partners I have had through the years including Rick Schaeffer and Mike Nail. But most of all I am thankful to the Razorback Baseball fans who have tuned in night after night to follow their beloved Razorbacks.

“And while I have truly enjoyed each and every of the past 23 season, I decided it was time for me to step away from the baseball broadcasts. I sincerely appreciate the University of Arkansas and IMG working together to create a new role that will allow me to continue my affiliation with the Razorbacks as the play-by-play broadcaster for football and men’s basketball.”

Barrett will become an employee of IMG College, the University of Arkansas’ multi-media rights partner while continuing his work with the Razorback Sports Network. In addition to his football and men’s basketball play-by-play duties, Barrett will continue to host the football (The Bret Bielema Show) and men’s basketball (Full Court Press with Mike Anderson) television shows as well as weekly radio shows On the Air with Bret Bielema and Mike’d Up with Mike Anderson. Barrett will also serve as the host of various other Razorback Sports Network programming.

Barrett, who has been named Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year three times, originally hails from Clarksville, Ark., and has been part of Razorback football radio broadcasts for 20 years in a variety of roles. He became the play-by-play voice of the Arkansas men’s basketball team at the start of the 2010-11 season, replacing Mike Nail who held the position for 29 years.

Barrett has been a staple on the air in Arkansas, including serving as a radio talk show host for Citadel Broadcasting for 15 years. IMG College, in consultation with the University of Arkansas, will commence a national search for the position.

Read more at the Fort Smith City Wire where this story was originally published.

Nowkhah-DariESPN has reached a multiyear deal with Dari Nowkhah, a graduate of OU and Tulsa Union High School, to host the SEC Network and its weeknight news and information show, “SEC Now.”

The contract comes on the heels of Nowkhah’s 10-year anniversary with ESPN, having established himself as one of college sports’ most versatile hosts. The 24-hour network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN will debut on Aug. 14.

“You would be hard pressed to find a sportscaster with more passion than Dari Nowkhah has for covering a range of college sports,” ESPN’s Stephanie Druley, vice president, production, college networks, said in a news release. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that is needed for a network that will cover all of the conference’s 21 sports.”
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For the fifth time in six years, WRMJ (102.3 FM) Sports Director Jim Taylor has earned the “Best Sportscaster Award” from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in the Small Market category. The award was announced Wednesday night (June 18th) at the IBA’s annual banquet in Champaign. Taylor is the host and producer of the WRMJ Sportsline and WRMJ High School Sports Spotlight and provides play-by-play of high school basketball, baseball, softball and football. Taylor also received IBA Broadcasting Excellence Awards for his feature reporting on the Mercer County Fair and his series reporting on high school student-athletes and summer schedules.

The IBA also honored WRMJ for its community service work with the Brandon Ballard Foundation and the promotion and coverage of Brandon’s Awareness Run.

Read more at the Aledo Times Record where this story was originally published.

A pair of Carson-Newman announcers are moving on to the next stage in a national contest to find the best single play-by-play call in 2013-14 thanks to a boatload of votes from Carson-Newman fans.

The Voice of the Eagles Adam Cavalier (Montgomery, W.Va.) and Assistant Director of Athletic Communication Michael Wottreng (Cincinnati, Ohio) two of the eight semifinalists for Stretch Internet’s Call of the Year.

“It’s incredibly humbling that we have the support that we do here at Carson-Newman,” Cavalier said. “To pull in enough votes to get two semifinalists from the same school is insane to me. It’s just a blessing to be here.”
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It doesn’t really matter that Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci, Fox’s new No. 1 baseball team, have only worked together four times through almost three months of the season.

They will have plenty of time to get it together before undergoing microscopic scrutiny beneath the bright lights of October and the World Series.

The trio will be tested Saturday night in the Bronx working Red Sox-Yankees (7:15 p.m.). Considering the current state of both teams and the mediocre AL East, the anticipation level for this game is a million miles away from Boston-New York matchups of the past.
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Sean McManus’ courting of Mike Carey began at a most unlikely place — the CBS Sports production truck at the Augusta National Golf Club.

It was during last year’s Masters tournament where the CBS Sports chairman told the then-NFL referee how much he admired his work as an official over the years. Carey developed plenty of relationships with NFL broadcast staffers during his two decades as an NFL referee and McManus heard good things from his staffers about how Carey conducted himself when the officials met with CBS personnel before kickoff on Sundays.
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“I’m a tough guy, but it is tough being in a hospital bed having to look down at this stump that was my foot,” sports broadcaster, author and CFP columnist Eddie Zawadzki told me over the telephone from St. Joseph’s Health Care Center this morning.

Eddie, 53, diagnosed with the sudden onset of diabetes, having been rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home, underwent partial amputation of his foot on June 22.

Eddie did not know he was diabetic. A gash that suddenly showed up on his foot took him to his doctor’s office. Even with antibiotics, the gash only got worse. Then he suddenly collapsed.
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Bob Cole turned 81 on June 24, but the hockey play-by-play man still isn’t ready to retire.

Rogers announced in early June that Cole would be one of its play-by-play men when it begins its 12-year, $5.2-billion broadcast deal with the NHL in the 2014-15 season. Jim Hughson will be the lead play-by-plan man for Rogers, with Dave Randorf and Paul Romanuk also calling games along with Cole.

When legendary broadcaster Dick Irvin was a guest on the HI/O Show on The Gazette’s website this past season, I asked him about some of the people he had worked with over the years, including Cole.
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Light rain sprinkled from the dark gray clouds billowing over Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on a humid summer night.

On the field, the Dunedin Blue Jays were playing the Daytona Cubs.

In the broadcast booth, play-by-play announcer and STAA client Tyler Murray was calling the game with one eye on the diamond below and the other on the weather radar on his laptop computer.

Read more at Tampa Bay Newspapers where this story was originally published.

One of the difficult things about leaving the Sounders FC beat for The Seattle Times is there were a few stories out there I still wanted to tell. One of them is a little outside the box, involving broadcaster Ross Fletcher, who has now been the Voice of the Sounders longer than anyone else.

Kevin Calabro (2009)
Arlo White (2010-11)
Ross Fletcher (2012-current)

I still caught up with Fletcher for a short interview before leaving had it been for a story, the chat likely would have been longer, but here is a transcript:

* * *

(What does it mean to you to now be the longest tenured Sounders FC broadcaster?)
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