Sunday, December 20, 2015

Report : WEEI extends an offer to fill a vacant Red Sox radio role

Tim Neverett is pretty close to taking over one of baseball's most prized sports broadcast roles according to the report in Friday's Boston Herald.

After 9 years in the Red Sox radio booth, Red Sox play-by-play man Dave O’Brien is shifting from WEEI 93.7 over to the team-owned regional sports outlet New England Sports Network(NESN) to replace popular broadcaster Don Orsillo who was let go by the club in late summer(BRW 8/31).  As a result of Orsillo-O'Brien move, a major void was created in the radio announcing team. So far, the 33-year Sox radio fixture Joe Castiglione is currently the only voice signed to work 2016. As reported by Steve Buckley in the Herald, this situation will likely change as early as next week when New Hampshire native. Tim Neverett officially signs the team’s offer to become Castiglione’s partner on the radio side.

Neverett, 49, a graduate of Emerson College, spent the past seven seasons as a play-by-play voice for the Pittsburgh Pirates, alternating select games on KDKA radio and regional cable TV station ROOT Sports.. Prior to joining the Pirates' broadcast team, Neverett served as a pre- and post-game host for the Colorado Rockies and covered college sports for FOX Sports Rocky Mountain. He freelanced for NBC Sports during 2004 and 2008 Olympic games as baseball announcer.

Neverett,  the 1984 graduate of Nashua High School, initially broke into professional baseball as one of the youngest broadcasters in the history of the sport, calling select games as a 19-year-old for the Nashua Pirates.

He has yet to formally accept the position in the Red Sox booth(he's currently on vacation in Colorado), although he met with team officials earlier this week according to Buckley's report.

The Red Sox are going into the final season of a monster 10-year, $200-million dollar radio contract with WEEI's corporate parent Entercom. The radio company has reportedly lost millions of dollars on an overvalued deal which thru its course had encountered a nasty economic recession and is still battling on-going media advertising crunch.  Entercom also declined to exercise a 2-year renewal for 2017 and 2018 seasons using the same financial terms of the expiring deal.

The club and Entercom are currently working out a new deal in an exclusive negotiating window. WEEI's GM and Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary was hoping to close the deal by Christmas as he told Boston GLobe's media writer Chad Finn a couple weeks ago. If/when Neverett accepts the club’s offer, one would presume his deal will likely be tied into the new multi-year agreement with WEEI and ensure stability in the radio booth for seasons to come. Neverett will also be considered Castiglione's eventual replacement as the Hall of Fame broadcaster will be turning 69 in March.

Stay tuned. More details to follow in this space next week.


Christmas tradition continues on...broadcast radio

After a 3 year-absence from broadcast radio, Oedipus, legendary Boston radio programmer and DJ is returning to a familiar platform for his 38th annual Christmas Eve broadcast which will air this Thursday(12/24) from 6pm to Midnight. This time around, Boston's longest-running radio holiday show will be hosted at the studios of pubcaster WGBH 89.7 in Brighton according to the station. For those outside of Boston area or with preference for non-broadcast platforms, it will be streamed at wgbh.org

It's a tradition Oedipus had started back when he was working as WBCN 104.1's part-time nigh-time jock in 1978. When he moved into WBCN's program director chair in 1981, he decided that the only person who should work on Christmas Eve should be the boss. And so for over 35 years, Oedipus has never missed a live Christmas Eve show(WBCN 104.1 1978 to 2008, WFNX 101.7  from 2009 to 2011 and on Boston.com's streaming  station RadioBDC from 2012-2014.


BRW Notebook : 

I Am What I Play : Speaking of WBCN and special holiday week radio events, "An Evening with Boston Radio Legend Charles Laquidara" and screening of "I Am What I Play" documentary will take place on Wed, Dec 23rd at 7:30pm (Doors 6:30pm) at 500-seat Regent Theater in Arlington. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. More details are here.
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