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Emmy emeritus

Perpetual Emmy Award winning DC Examiner media columnist Jim Williams apparently tells DCRTV that:

  • Infinity and Clear Channel, two radio behemoths that have big footprints in the DC radio scene, "have expressed willingness to put together a Nats radio network . . . [f]ar more substantial than what Bonnville (which aired the games on Z104 and WFED) had in place for the 2005 season"; and,
  • "[T]he radio duo of Charlie Slowes and Dave Shea will be back next season - and will probably be the 'long term voices' of the club."
Both of these purported scoops strike me as dubious; in this respect, they are pretty consistent with Williams' track record, of course.

First, aside from some sloppy writing by DCRTV Dave, I am truly curious why Infinity and Clear Channel would work together. Both are arrogant cluster-factories, and their football outlets (WJFK-FM and WTEM-AM, respectively) often snipe at each other.

Second, you'd think that Major League Baseball, which is so "protective" of the as-yet-unnamed future ownership group's interests, would not be so presumptuous as to forfeit that group's imput on who should be the radio network's "long-term voices." The radio announcers are very important in big league baseball; even in these days of baseball saturated all over the television screen (or perhaps because of this), radio announcers still possess a singular hold over the fanbase. Whereas the TV guys are entertainment, the radio guys are companions. And so forth.

So it's nice of MLB to try to put together an actual network---with affiliates in Baltimore, Annapolis, Ocean City, Richmond, Winchester, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville, among other locales---but, to get down to brass tacks . . . could they hold off a moment, before they sign Dave Shea to a long-term contract or something?

No offense intended to Mr. Shea, of course, who was a real sport in the first season and seems an affable enough guy. But, insofar as he's neither a fluid play-by-play guy nor an insightful analyst, I think the team can do much better for a second voice. (Charlie Slowes---BANG! ZOOM! included---is a decent first announcer, I suppose, and it's a fait accompli that he'll stick around, what with his signature phrases.) Quite simply, Shea is a bit of a dizzy listen. I don't know quite how to describe it, except that he strikes me as how I'd imagine Harry Caray's second cousin would sound: somewhat inebriated and with a rather limited baseball acumen.

This isn't to claim that Shea actually announced in a drunken state. Not at all! But there's a quality in his voice that makes me think he is, and---unless it's an established and cherished affectation, a la the late Caray---it's a bit off-putting.

At any rate, I spent an enormous amount of time on my old blog pondering radio/TV issues last offseason. I guess there wasn't much else to do (especially since I started my blog in January). This offseason is starting to shape up similarly. So, in addition to the other things I've said I'd do but haven't really done yet (e.g., Advisory Opinions), look for me to say that I'll get into the radio/TV situations.


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