Friday, April 1, 2011

Red Sox' play-by-play voice Dave O'Brien gets a contract extension

A busy off-season for the Red Sox on and off the field.

Yesterday, less than 24 hours before the 2011 season opener in Arlington, TX, the team and its flagship WEEI 850 announced they they signed one of its two play-by-play voices - Dave O'Brien - to a multi-year extension. O'Brien is returning for his 5th season alongside veteran Joe Castiglione who is back for his 29th. O'Brien will continue with his ESPN's Wednesday Night baseball call. Jon Rish or Dale Arnold will continue to sub for him on Wednesdays.

Here's WEEI's press release :

WEEI Re-Signs Red Sox Play-By-Play Announcer Dave O’Brien to New Multi-Year Extension

March 31, 2011 (Boston, MA)--Dave O’Brien, one of the most accomplished and versatile play by play broadcasters in the country, has agreed to a new multi-year contract with the WEEI Sports Radio Network to continue as one of the radio voices for the Boston Red Sox. O’Brien is now in his 5th season of calling Red Sox Baseball alongside Joe Castiglione.

O’Brien, a native of Quincy, MA, has built a national reputation as one of the country’s preeminent sportscasters. In addition to his role with the Red Sox, he serves as play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball. At ESPN he has also broadcast NBA basketball, NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball, and MLS Soccer. In 2006, he was the voice of the 2006 World Cup Soccer Tournament televised by ABC.

Prior to joining ESPN, he was the voice of the Florida Marlins from the team’s inaugural year in 1993 through 2001. From 2003-2005, O’Brien was the television voice of the New York Mets on WPIX-TV. He has also done play-by-play for the Atlanta Braves and called college football and basketball games for the University of Georgia and the University of Miami.

O’Brien says, "To be a Red Sox voice is a special honor for me, as a local guy. To know I'll be calling the Sox for years to come, with a great partner, makes it even sweeter. I'm delighted."

WEEI Vice President of Programming, Jason Wolfe, is thrilled to have O’Brien as part of the Red Sox radio team. “I’ve known Dave for more than 20 years and he is, without a doubt, one of the very best play by play broadcasters in America today. He’s done a phenomenal job for us since he was hired in 2007 and I’m extremely pleased that he’ll be with us for the foreseeable future.”


BRW Notebook :

The Story of Boston Radio : Donna Halper, author, educator, media historian and radio consultant, has a brand new book out called “Boston Radio, 1920-2010,” . She was guest on WBUR 90.9's "Radio Boston" earlier this week to talk about Boston radio thru the years. Here's the clip. Halper attended Northeastern University in Boston, where she was the first woman announcer in the school's history, broadcasting a nightly show on the campus radio station in 1968. She has more than 23 years as a radio programming and management consultant experience in markets of all sizes -- both college and commercial stations -- all over North America. She has hired and trained staffs, worked with and developed talent, helped to choose or improve formats, conducted music and market research, and helped her client stations to get better ratings. Prior to becoming a consultant, Halper spent 13 years as an announcer, music director and assistant program director in 4 major markets. In addition to a long career in both radio and print, Halper is well-known for discovering the rock group Rush, who dedicated their first two albums to her.

Ad It Up : Tempting as it is to gauge radio stations by ratings, the real internal measure of success is ad revenue. So let's look at the just-released 2010 radio revenue estimates from Virginia-based BIA Financial via the Boston Herald.(Ed. Note :  Unlike past years, I am not able to provide the full 'revenue' list this year due to the fact that BIA is now asking unreasnable amount of cash for what pretty much is a guess-stimates and not the actual figures. I say good luck to them in finding suckers). Okay, not much has changed at the very top, where CBS Radio's news/talker WBZ 1030 is No. 1 in ad revenue, with $28 million. Sports talker WEEI 850 is another perennial winner, is second at $24.25 million while ratings powerhouse Top40 hit machine WXKS/Kiss 108 came in 3rd with $24 million.

The Fest is yet to come :  Once again the annual Kiss Concert to be held on Saturday, May 21st at the 19,900 capacity Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA will have no shortage of star power. WXKS/Kiss 108,  “Boston’s Hit Music Station” announced some of the line-up last week which includes Flo Rida, One Republic, Far East Movement, Taio Cruz, Mike Posner, Tinie Tempah, Big Time Rush and The Ready Set. More performers will be announced in the next two weeks. As you guessed it, the even is already sold out.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Here's why WBZ led the way in revenue. They stack their sales staff with over 30 reps. All are paid on commission, with over-bearing pressure to bring in 'new business.' The problem is, with the number of reps on the staff, they're all bumping into each other chasing accounts. The only one's making any money are the one's who have been there the longest, and they make over $200,000 annually. It's like a pyramid scheme, though. If you get in now, you ain't making any money. Oh, I forgot to mention, the sales managers all make heavy money.