Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Out "Fox-ed" Again

It's not 'lead story' material, but it is good to see some genuine competition among TV sports sources. On Wednesday (7/9) afternoon, Fox Sports promoted a scheduled appearance by David Ortiz of the Red Sox shortly after 6 PM ET on Fox Sports 1. Sure enough, at 4:20 PM ET, viewers of MLB Network, shortly after its live airing of the Dodgers vs. Tigers game, "just happened" to score a live interview with none other than David Ortiz.

Getting the jump on a competitor is how it used to be in the media. This sure beats them reporting what the other is reporting instead of using company resources to confirm or deny.

Elsewhere, a definite Ohio flavor this week.

Our congratulations to Bob Trumpy, who is going to receive this year's "Pete Rozell Radio and TV Award" during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend of Aug. 1st to 3rd. During his playing days with the Cincinnati Bengals, Trumpy was among the very first athletes to transition into radio sports talk, doing so at a time when maybe one or two stations in a large market even had a show dedicated to sports talk.

Trumpy managed to host a show on WCKY Radio during his playing days in 1976, later to be hired away by WLW 700. This helped lead to being hired as a game analyst for NBC, working with Dick Enberg and Charlie Jones among others, and later doing at least one Super Bowl on national radio.

Having worked in the Cincinnati region during that time, I personally witnessed Trumpy go from his playing days to covering and talking about the games, and still recall who adept he was at that transition. He brought a strong broadcast presence from day one, and, unlike many former athletes turned analysts, worked hard at learning the other sports and making his opinions known.

These days in Cincinnati, Reds fans are enjoying watching their team on the tube. You would not guess this, but for the first half of the current baseball season, Reds telecasts have the third highest local ratings on Fox Sports Ohio. Not surprisingly, the top two local team telecast ratings come from Detroit and St. Louis.

In Cleveland, WTAM 1100 is picking up on the increased popularity of the Indians (and perhaps anticipating more interest in the Cavs games?) with regard to its nighttime lineup. On weeknights when there are no Indians (or Cavaliers games during NBA season), the station has added Nick Camino as its show host from 7 to 11 PM. Camino is the station's Indians reporter and host of "The Sports Feed" as well. Even though Camino's show will not be 100% sports focused, he replaces Bob Frantz, who is (as of this week) no longer with WTAM. Frantz had been with the station since 2006, his second stint there.

With the Indians hosting a series of 20-year anniversary celebrations for what is now Progressive Field, the August 1st home date will include a salute to radio voice Tom Hamilton. Fans at the game will be treated to Hamilton's calls of his "top 10 ballpark moments". A well deserved salute, indeed.

Meanwhile, CBS continues to gear up for its Thursday Night Football package, which begins in just two months. Former NFL official Mike Carey has been added to the on-air crew to comment about specific calls and explain rule interpretations. Carey is also expected to participate in the network's regular Sunday coverage as well.

OLYMPIA WA: KGY 1240 and KAYO 96.9 have announced they will no longer air high school football or basketball games effective immediately. This even includes playoff games. Management reports that the stations lost money on these over the past ten years, which, to their credit, shows this was not a typical radio "impulse" decision. But it is a shame for even one radio station to give up on something that it could offer exclusively to local listeners.

BILOXI MS: Sorry to hear of the passing of Walter "Waldo" Thornton last week at the age of 53 following a heart attack. Thornton is remembered as a long time play-by-play voice of Pascagoula High School (where he was a standout player on the 1976 MS state championship team) as well as Moss Point H.S. He also hosted sports talk shows on WPMO during his career.

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