31 October 2005

A's radio up in the air

The Chron's radio reporter, Steve Kroner, wrote in Friday's edition about the many issues that the A's face in their broadcasting future. Not only does A's VP Ken Pries have the impossible task of filling the seat of the late, irreplaceable Bill King, but he also has to to broker a deal to get the A's on some kind of flagship station (AM-preferred) prior to the start of the 2006 season. Among the other open issues:
  • Who will be the A's television play-by-play guy(s)?
  • Will Hank Greenwald return? If so, how diminished will his schedule be?
  • What will happen to fill-in radio play-by-play man Steve Bitker?
Based on various media reports, there are a few quality "free agent" broadcasters out there, including Ted Robinson (most recently of the Mets) and John Rooney (White Sox). Rooney would be my choice just because of his smooth baritone, but Robinson is perfectly competent - he's even worked for the A's in the past. Another possibility is Doug Greenwald, Hank's son, who has spent the last couple of years broadcasting for the Giants' Fresno (AAA) team. Greenwald has worked for nearly every California minor league team, and he at least deserves a shot at the gig. He previously auditioned for the open Giants radio position that eventually went to Dave Flemming, another young upstart.

Not to be lost in all of this is the news that after initial discussions, neither KQKE-960 nor KNEW-910 will broadcast the A's next season. That eliminates two more candidates from the already short list of potential radio homes for the A's. November is usually negotiation time for such matters, so we should hear more then.

Following up on initial reports in early October, the Bay Area Radio Digest confirmed that Cumulus Media is buying Susquehanna's radio properties, which include KNBR-680 and 1050.

Thanks Rob for the heads-up on the A's radio article.