Before the holiday weekend begins, what’s worth posting now:
== There is more evidence supporting the rumors that the Rams are about to lock down a radio deal to have their games heard both on all-sports KSPN-AM (710) and classic rock station The Sound 100.3 FM.
It’s a rather odd arranged marriage with the AM side supported by ESPN Radio/Disney Corp., and the FM affiliate from Entercom.
The favorite going in had to be the iHeartRadio combo of KLAC-AM (570) paired up with any of its FM affiliates, most notably KLOS (95.5), KIIS (102.7), ALT (98.7) or Power 106.
How did they possibly fumble this one?
Cross promotion is usually thought to be the key, which can be done cleaner with stations owned by the same company.
Sports-talk programmers in L.A. have been handicapped since the mid-’90s in not having a local NFL team to either promote or talk about, and many over the last 20 years insist that a connection with an NFL franchise would do wonders to boost ratings and impact in the genre.
KSPN, which already has the Lakers and USC football and basketball, seems to think it can make the Rams fit in there as well. Why not? KLAC, with the Dodgers, UCLA football and basketball, and the Clippers during the playoffs as a late edition, also has several overflow channels large enough to accommodate scheduling conflicts.
One of the more interesting notions was that KABC-AM (790), which has the Kings, was going to have the Rams, and could have made it almost all-day programming considering what else the station has to offer. Cumulus currently owns KABC, but it also has somewhat of a partnership with KSPN-AM, which likely would send live games to if there was a conflict.
Next up: Hiring a broadcast team that might be compared someday to the Dick Enberg-Don Drysdale pairing of old on KMPC-AM (710).
Steve Savard, the news anchor at St. Louis’ KMOV, had been calling Rams games with former player D’Marco Farr. There should be a long list of local talent that would be willing to jump into this position, with KSPN talent expected to be included on pre- and post-game coverage.
== The Southern California Sports Broadcasters have announced that The Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award will be added to its annual recognition ceremony, starting in January, 2017, and that Vin Scully will be the first recipient. Former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley has also agreed to introduce Scully for that inaugural award.
“At the SCSB we are delighted to have both men in attendance,” said current group president Chris Roberts, the recently retired voice of UCLA sports. “Who better to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award than the greatest broadcaster of our time?”
== You’ll see stories with provocative headlines pop up these days, such as:
“Did you know Vin Scully almost became John Madden’s partner at CBS?”
Actually, yes, we did. Scully was Madden’s partner, which included the 1982 “The Catch” NFC title game, until Pat Summerall was officially named Madden’s boothmate.
But as is the case with Scully now, everything old is new again, repackaged as news. Because looking back to see how events of the past reflect on today are another way to celebrate Scully’s presumed final year in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth.
The story is in reference to a long New York Times’ piece by Rob Weintraub that basically quotes former CBS exec Terry O’Neil’s recollections of that moment in network sports TV in the early 1980s. Scully isn’t quoted.
With each week that is whittled off the 2016 schedule, more stories appear. More of Scully’s time is requested, and more of his recollections come through.
It’s almost as if today’s best sportswriters are writing a book on Scully’s career, chapter by chapter, all to be put into a giant binding sometime at the end of the year.
The latest editions:
= The Wall Street Journal had Jason Gay out to do a “why leave now?” piece.
“I’ll miss it,” Scully says. “I know I’ll be very unhappy for a while.”
= The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman wrote an essay recently about how “Today’s baseball would have no room for the brilliance of a young Vin Scully.”
“Listening to Scully through the magic of baseball’s satellite of love is to be touched by real irony,” Raissman wrote. “It is to know this man, whose skills go unmatched, would never be hired today.”
= The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick recalls a time Scully was very upset after the way fans in Detroit reacted to the Tigers winning the 1984 World Series, which Scully called for NBC.
“Man, was he angry, indisputably and understandably angry, raging against that storm,” wrote Musnick. “That Sunday afternoon, after all, the World Series, as described brilliantly to a national audience by Vin Scully, concluded with a riot — personally described to me by Vin Scully. When our conversation ended and I looked at my note pad. I didn’t have much.
“I still am unsure if it was a good thing that I happened to be on the phone with Scully as that riot erupted — whether it was some sort of luck-of-the-draw privilege to have heard Vin Scully blow his top — but I felt almost as if I had been eavesdropping.”
We’ll collect and link to as many Scully stories as they come each week. Just because.
== Then there are stories couched as breaking news about Scully that have no news value at all. Just because. Continue reading