Ford Frick nominees announced


For more than 90 years, the connection between baseball broadcasters and fans has strengthened the appreciation for the National Pastime.

Fans can celebrate that bond by making their voices heard in the annual online vote to determine three finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

The process will allow fans to cast votes at the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/baseballhall — marking the ninth consecutive year that fans will select three of the 10 names on the ballot for the Frick Award. Voting runs from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, and fans can cast votes once per day through September for their favorite broadcaster.

This year, the Museum has pared the list of fan-eligible candidates to 75 – two representing every current big league team and 15 at-large selections — based on popularity, longevity and past voting results in the online fan balloting. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two.

Results of the fan voting will be announced on October 5. The final 2012 Frick Award ballot will be comprised of the three fan selections, along with seven other candidates, determined by a Hall of Fame staff research team.

The 2012 Ford C. Frick Award winner will be announced December 6 at baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Eligible broadcast candidates for the fan vote include:

Arizona Diamondbacks: Greg Schulte, Daron Sutton

Atlanta Braves: Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren

Baltimore Orioles: Joe Angel, Jim Hunter

Boston Red Sox: Joe Castiglione, Jerry Remy

Chicago Cubs: Pat Hughes, Ron Santo

Chicago White Sox: Ed Farmer, Ken Harrelson

Cincinnati Reds: Waite Hoyt, Joe Nuxhall

Cleveland Indians: Mike Hegan, Herb Score

Colorado Rockies: Jack Corrigan, Wayne Hagin

Detroit Tigers: George Kell, Jim Price

Florida Marlins: Tommy Hutton, Rich Waltz

Houston Astros: Bill Brown, Larry Dierker

Kansas City Royals: Ryan Lefebrve, Paul Splittorff

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Dick Enberg, Jose Mota

Los Angeles Dodgers: Rick Monday, Ross Porter

Milwaukee Brewers: Merle Harmon, Bill Schroeder

Minnesota Twins: Dick Bremer, John Gordon

New York Mets: Gary Cohen, Ralph Kiner

New York Yankees: Michael Kay, John Sterling

Oakland Athletics: Ray Fosse, Bill King

Philadelphia Phillies: Richie Ashburn, Chris Wheeler

Pittsburgh Pirates: Steve Blass, Lanny Frattare

San Diego Padres: Ted Leitner, Eduardo Ortega

San Francisco Giants: Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper

Seattle Mariners: Ron Fairly, Rick Rizzs

St. Louis Cardinals: Al Hrabosky, Mike Shannon

Tampa Bay Rays: Todd Kalas, Dewayne Staats

Texas Rangers: Mark Holtz, Eric Nadel

Toronto Blue Jays: Tom Cheek, Jerry Howarth

Washington Nationals: Bob Carpenter, Charlie Slowes

At-large candidates: Thom Brennaman, Joe Buck, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Ernie Johnson Sr., Ned Martin, Buck Martinez, Tim McCarver, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, Phil Rizzuto, John Rooney, Steve Stone, Gary Thorne

Online voting for fan selections for the 2012 Frick Award ballot will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Hall of Fame’s Facebook site www.facebook.com/baseballhall and will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.

This fall, a 20-member electorate will vote on the final 10-name ballot to determine the 2012 Frick Award winner, which will be honored in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend 2012, July 20-23. The 20-member voting electorate features all Frick Award winners, including 2011 Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Van Horne and the other 14 living Frick Award winners: Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Milo Hamilton, Jaime Jarrin, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff, along with five historians and veteran media members: Bob Costas (NBC/MLB Network), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of New York Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Ebersol returning to NBC


Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Dick EbersolDick Ebersol’s exit from NBC may turn out to be more of an extended vacation.

The NBC Sports veteran will return to the network as a senior advisor, just three months after stepping down as its chairman, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

NBC Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ebersol will be involved with both the Olympics and “Sunday Night Football,” both of which he negotiated to bring to NBC, the Times said. He was expected to serve in an advisory role for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The news came on the same day NBC announced that “Today” executive producer Jim Bell would executive produce its coverage of the Olympics. Ebersol hired Bell to help cover the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Ebersol decided to leave his home of more than twenty years after contract negotiations broke down with the network’s new parent company, Comcast, a senior network executive told TheWrap.

Read more at Yahoo Sports where this story was originally published.

NBC taps 'Today' producer for Olympics


Courtesy of the New York Times

OlympicsNBC is to announce on Tuesday morning that it has given the top production job for its coverage of the 2012 Olympics to Jim Bell, executive producer of the network’s most important news program, the “Today” show.

The announcement is expected about 10 a.m., after NBC breaks the news to the staff members of both its news and sports divisions. Because of the crucial role “Today” plays at NBC — it is the most profitable news show on television — NBC will emphasize that Mr. Bell is not leaving his assignment on “Today,” but will instead add the Olympics duties to his work at the morning news program.

He is expected to step away from day-to-day production of “Today” for a period of several weeks during the Olympics coverage from London, but NBC will emphasize that he is still in charge of “Today” and will return at the conclusion of the games.

Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Sports, made the choice of Mr. Bell, and will make the announcement for NBC. In an interview by phone, he cited Mr. Bell’s experience both as an Olympics producer early in his career at NBC and as a producer of a live news program since 1995.

“He’s a one of a kind choice,” Mr. Lazarus said. “As opposed to me going out and bringing in a producer from the outside, Jim is someone who culturally made sense for the kind of atmosphere that we wanted to create at the company.”

Mr. Bell has had a long association with the Olympics at NBC, having begun his career at the network as a production assistant during the Olympics from Barcelona in 1992. He actually connected with NBC in Barcelona even earlier. In 1990, when NBC executives were visiting the city to examine sites for the games, the network needed some help getting one of its then executives, Randy Falco, around.

Mr. Falco had ruptured an Achilles tendon and could not walk the many hills and stairways of the city. NBC looked around for someone who could physically carry Mr. Falco — not a small man. They found Mr. Bell, then in Barcelona coaching a semiprofessional football team. He had recently graduated from Harvard, where he had played defensive tackle, and he could handle the assignment.

After toting Mr. Falco around, Mr. Bell came to the attention of Dick Ebersol, then the head of NBC Sports and the executive producer of its Olympic coverage.

Mr. Ebersol hired Mr. Bell and he became a protégé of the NBC executive, serving in increasingly important production roles on Olympics NBC covered from Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002, and Athens in 2004. In Athens, Mr. Bell was in charge of all the daytime and late-night coverage for the games. He was selected executive producer of “Today” a year later.

In accepting the job of executive producer of the Olympics, Mr. Bell will take on the role held since the 1992 games by Mr. Ebersol, who was also Mr. Lazarus’s predecessor as chairman of NBC Sports. Mr. Ebersol left the network in May after a contractual disagreement with the new NBC management from the Comcast Corporation.

Read more at the New York Times where this story was originally published.

Versus launching sports talk show


Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter

VersusNBCUniversal sports cable network Versus said Wednesday that it is launching a one-hour 6pm weekday live studio talk show under the banner “NBC SportsTalk” on Sept. 8, which will use talent from across the NBC Sports Group.

Plus, in another example of cross-pollination following the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast, CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell will launch the half-hour CNBC Sports Biz: Game On on Versus on Fridays at 7pm.

“NBC Sports Talk,” hosted by former Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic anchor Russ Thaler, will focus on discussions of the day’s big sports events. Mondays and Fridays will be devoted to football, while the rest of the shows during the week will focus on the most topical sports stories.

Talent featured will include Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Football Night in America and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com for the NFL-themed show on Friday nights.

“NBC SportsTalk is the type of nightly, relevant programming that viewers can expect to see as we continue the re-branding process from Versus to the NBC Sports Network,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and Versus. “The live nightly shows also give us the opportunity to tap into our stable of top talent across all of our platforms to provide a unique perspective for sports fans.”

Versus previously announced that it will be rebranded as NBC Sports Group on Jan. 2.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter where this story was originally published.

Dodgers broadcast teams returning


Courtesy of MLB.com

DodgersVin Scully and Jaime Jarrin announced their plans to return for the 2012 season over the weekend. The rest of the Dodgers’ broadcast team followed suit on Tuesday.

In a press release, the club announced the entire eight-man broadcast team will return for next season.

On the radio, Rick Monday enters his 19th season behind the mic with the Dodgers’ supporting play-by-play man Charley Steiner, who will be in his eighth season calling games for Los Angeles.

Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yñiguez return behind the mic to help Jarrin call the games in Spanish. For Valenzuela, the former Cy Young and 20-game winner with the Dodgers, it’s his ninth season calling games, while Yñiguez will step to the mic for his 15th year.

Former Dodger Steve Lyons and play-by-play man Eric Collins, who fill in for Scully for road games in cities outside the National League West, also return for their eighth and fourth seasons, respectively, with the club.

Read more at MLB.com where this story was originally published.

Burnham MiLB Broadcaster of the Year


Courtesy of the Trentonian

Trenton Thunder Director of Broadcasting Jay Burnham has been named the 2011 Baseball Digest Broadcaster of the Year.

“Most people have no idea what work goes into the job of a modern MiLB broadcaster in the rapidly shifting media landscape,” said Kevin Reichard, publisher of Ballpark Digest, in a statement. “It’s one thing to call the action — and that’s something Burnham excels at — but it’s another thing to put together the broadcast deals in the first place.”

Burnham, who has also served as the radio play-by-play voice of the Asheville Tourists, Hagerstown Suns and Pensacola Pelicans, recently appeared on the HBO documentary Derek Jeter 3K with talented broadcaster partner Hank Fuerst.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award, especially since there are any number of broadcasters at all levels that are deserving as well,” Burnham said. “I am fortunate to be a part of one of the best organizations in baseball. My broadcast partner Hank Fuerst and I have had an unforgettable season between the new radio station and visits from some of baseball’s greatest players past and present, including Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter and Shane Victorino.”

Read more at the Trentonian where this story was originally published.

Harrisburg getting sport station


Courtesy of the Harrisburg Patroit-News

Harrisburg’s rhythm-and-blues lovers are about to lose their Touch, but 95.3 FM’s impending format switch will also leave a hole in the local African-American community’s information pipeline.

WTCY-FM, better known as The Touch, will switch to ESPN Radio’s all-sports format starting Thursday, ending a nearly two-decade run of playing classic and contemporary R&B hits and delivering syndicated national personalities such as Tom Joyner and Doug Banks.

The station where listeners tuned to hear Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston will offer “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” ESPN’s nationally broadcast sports talk show.

The change means not only the loss of the Harrisburg market’s only R&B station, but also the elimination of some local programming aimed at the black community, including “Gospel Cavalcade Live,” a four-hour show that was broadcast Sunday mornings. The final show aired Sunday.

“It’s going to leave a void,” said Kirsten N. Keys, who co-hosted the show for many years with her father, the late Olin Harris Sr., and her son, Christopher Olin Harris. “We provided a time when families could gather for worship, but we also provided a critical flow of information to the community.”

Keys, who recorded the on-air announcement of the format change, said the station provided forums for political candidates to share their views, as well as providing information about community events and issues of importance to the minority community.

“We all realize that in this economy, it’s difficult,” she said. “We’ve been trying to adjust for three years, but the lack of support from sponsors and advertisers creates a trickle-down effect. We all took pay cuts.”

Station manager Ron Giovanniello acknowledged the loss of the station’s community role, but said the decision to change formats was mandated by economic issues.

“Yes, The Touch has played an important role for the past 18 years in the local African-American community, and that aspect will unfortunately be lost with this change,” Giovanniello said in an email to The Patriot-News on Monday. “In the end, The Touch was/is a business … and like any business, it cannot survive without the support of enough customers, in this case advertisers and sponsors.”

The format switch is the second in the Harrisburg area in the past month. On Aug. 1, 92.7 FM switch from smooth jazz to classic rock.

Giovanniello said the ESPN Radio programming on 95.3 FM will be simulcast with another Cumulus Media station, 1400 AM, which was the former home of The Touch until it switched to FM in 2008. Online broadcasting of The Touch also will cease.

“We feel we have tried our best,” Giovanniello wrote, “and the lack of support from the business community is a clear indication from the marketplace that it was time to make a change. This is strictly a business decision.”

Read more at the Harrisburg Patroit-News where this story was originally published.

Goldwater to do SoCon TV games


The Southern Conference, in conjunction with its marketing partner CSE, has announced that Darren Goldwater and Doug Chapman have been hired to serve as the broadcast team for the Southern Conference Sports Network’s television package this fall. Chapman will serve as the analyst while Goldwater will handle the play-by-play duties.

A running back at Marshall, Chapman was a member of the Thundering Herd squad that won the 1996 Southern Conference Championship as well as the NCAA FCS National Title. Marshall was 50-4 over Chapman’s four years on the team. He finished his collegiate career with over 4,000 rushing yard and 60 touchdowns.

“I’m honored to be a part of this new Southern Conference football package,” said Chapman. “As someone who is quite familiar with the conference, I am excited to be in the booth with Darren all season long calling these great matchups. I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

A third round pick (#88 overall) of Minnesota in 2000, Chapman spent four years with the Vikings and one season with the San Diego Chargers. In addition to working for the NFL Players Association, Chapman also spent three years calling games for ESPN. He has also worked for CBS Sports and Versus Network.

No stranger to Southern Conference athletics, Goldwater spent the past three years as the Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for The Citadel football, basketball and baseball teams. Prior to that he spent five seasons as the baseball announcer and studio host for football and basketball games.

“Having been a part of the Southern Conference for the last eight years, I’ve seen firsthand the evolution of the league and its institutions,” noted Goldwater. “The SoCon’s new television package is a tremendous step forward for the league and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

In addition to his responsibilities with The Citadel, Goldwater has also called various high school football and basketball games in the Charleston area. He also worked as the Sales and Marketing Director for ESPN 910 in Charleston and served as Charleston Southern’s play-by-play announcer from 2003-04.

The 2011 broadcast package begins October 1 when last year’s co-champions, Appalachian State and Wofford square off in Spartanburg, S.C. Each of the eight televised games will be available statewide in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as parts of Alabama and Tennessee. The games will also be streamed live through the conference web site, ESPN3.com and on the individual public television websites in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

David Archer joins Atlanta's Zone


Courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

David Archer David Archer officially replaced David Pollack today on the afternoon show on 790/The Zone with Mike Bell at 3 p.m.

Bell, in an interview earlier this month, wouldn’t reveal who it would be but said he was much more stylistically similar to Archer than Pollack.

It didn’t take long for sports talk radio observers to figure out it was Archer. Archer, who does play by play for Falcons radio with Wes Durham, has been a regular fill in for Pollack. (Pollack is now working full time with ESPN.) Bell lobbied for Archer to take Pollack’s place and succeeded.

Bell on the air today said the contractual deal for Archer with the Zone dragged on a bit longer than he had expected.

Andrew Saltzman, president of the Zone, acknowledged “there were a lot of moving parts” related to Archer’s contract but wouldn’t go into detail.

Archer, a former NFL quarterback, has also been doing college football analysis for the ACC game of the week. “He’s a scratch golfer,” Saltzman noted. “He’s unbelievably connected in sports. And he and Mike have a special chemistry. Not all guys can do play by play and color and make the transition to talk radio. I’ve never seen anyone as adept on both. He’s just amazing.”

Read more at the Atlanta Journal Constitution where this story was originally published.

Ex-Cardinal Berry joins Phoenix's Fan


Courtesy of azsportstalk.com

ON-AIR Sports Marketing is proud to announce former Arizona Cardinal Bertrand Berry will made his debut Monday hosting “Bertrand Berry Show” weekdays 1pm-3pm on The Fan AM 1060.

Berry is no stranger to the airwaves hosting Big Red Rage with Bertrand Berry for five years on KTAR while a member of the Arizona Cardinals.

He finished his career with 65 sacks, including a career-high 14 1/2 in 2004 — the third-highest single-season total in franchise history, earning him Pro Bowl honors. Season-ending injuries struck Berry in his final three years, limiting him to 27 of 48 games. He retired from the NFL on January 21, 2010.

Berry was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1997. After three seasons with the Colts he missed the entire 2000 NFL season, signing with the Denver Broncos in 2001.

With the Broncos Berry recorded 32.5 sacks in three seasons. He then signed with the Cardinals – where he spent the last six seasons of his career.

For his career Berry had 232 tackles, 17 pass deflections, and 13 forced fumbles.

Berry, who played collegiately at Notre Dame, was an all-everything high school star. He started at linebacker and running back, was a starter in basketball and was state-ranked in the discus and 300-meter hurdles for the Humble High School Wildcats in Houston, Texas.

Read more at azsportstalk.com where this story was originally published.