The Media Learning Curve: More on Rory Markas

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At LARadio.com — now free to read, but we subscribe anyway — there were more comments from those in the broadcast business about the passing this week of Rory Markas (which we had more about in today’s column, linked here).

Paul Sakrison, the operations director at the Angels-owned KLAA-AM (730), set up a tribute site (linked here) and said: “In a market with such incredible talent, Rory was in the upper tiers.”

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830-AM Angels talk host Jeff Biggs: “Not only was Rory undervalued as a broadcaster, he had some of the best wit of anyone I’ve ever known. Just a great guy, I’m really going to miss him. God gave Rory an extra year, and he really made the most of it. … Rory did so many things, and so many things well that I think he got lost in the shuffle a little bit, especially in the shadows of the Hall of Famers we’ve had here in So-Cal. But as a baseball broadcaster, I would put him third all-time here locally behind Vin Scully and Dick Enberg.”

And from 710-AM’s Steve Mason: “I think that the highest compliment that can be paid to any broadcaster is that they are a pro. Rory was a pro, plain and simple. Always smiling. Incredibly accessible both as a broadcaster and a person. You could throw any situation at him, and he would handle it well. I’ll miss hearing his voice on summer nights, and the first Halo victory of the new season will have a certain sadness because it will happen without Rory’s trademark line.”

Trying to move on:

== The NFL Network has the five-part documentary, “Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League,” starting today at 5 p.m. The series, shown earlier this year on Showtime, has a new intro by John Madden. After tonight’s episode 1, the others air on three consecutive Thursdays, starting Jan. 14. Episodes 4 and 5 are on Jan. 28 at 6 and 7 p.m.

== The MLB Network will air “Holy Land Hardball,” a documentary about the formation of the Israel Baseball League in 2007, on Sunday at 7 p.m. It follows founder Larry Baras, former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette and the IBL staff from the league’s first tryouts in Massachusetts to the first pitch on June 24, 2007 in Petach Tikva, Israel. The IBL had one 45-game season among six teams in the summer 2007. It was directed and produced by Brett Rapkin and Erik Kesten of 24/6 Studio Productions.

== Shaun White, Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter will be in the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix from Mammoth Lakes (Channel 4, 10:30 a.m.) trying to secure a spot in the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team. Pat Parnell, Tina Dixon and Todd Richards call it.

== AND FINALLY:

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== ESPN’s Jon Miller is among the 10 finalists for the Ford Frick Award, awarded for excellence in baseball broadcasting and included in an induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this July.
The winner will be announced Feb. 1 (linked here)
Miller would have our vote. And not just for his standard wardrobe.
In 32 seasons with the Rangers, Red Sox, Orioles and Giants (where he’s been since 1997), Miller has been ESPN’s polished lead voice the last 20 years.

The other finalists:
Skip Caray: He did Braves games on TBS for 33 years (1976-2008) became part of the first three-generation call of a game in 1991 with his father (and 1989 Frick Award winner) Harry Caray and his son Chip Caray.
Billy Berrora: The Mets’ Spanish radio and TV play-by-play man the last 17 years.
Tom Cheek: The last 28 of his 32 seasons calling baseball were with the Toronto Blue Jays. He died in 2005.
Jacques Doucet: Spent 34 years doing the French network call on the Montreal Expos.
Lanny Frattare: Spent 33 years with the Pirates, from 1976-2008.
Graham McNamee: Called games for 13 seasons for Westinghouse and NBC and covered 12 World Series.
Joe Nuxhall: The former pitcher spent 38 years with the Reds (1967-2004). He died in 2007.
Herb Score: The former pitcher did Indians games for 34 years (1964-97)
Dave Van Horne: Has been with the Marlins the last nine seasons after doing 33 seasons as the English voice for the Montreal Expos.
Maybe someday down the road, Rory Markas will be in the discussion.

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