LOS ANGELES — The English-language broadcast booth for the National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers will get a makeover for 2005.
Announcers Vin Scully and Rick Monday will return, along with a new play-by-play announcer and a baseball analyst, the Dodgers announced today. The Dodgers also announced that Ross Porter will not rejoin the broadcast team next season.
Scully, a Hall of Fame broadcaster entering his 56th season as the “Voice of the Dodgers,” will continue in his current solo role both on television broadcasts and in simulcasts of the team’s first three innings on radio flagship station KFWB and along the Dodgers Radio Network.
The Dodgers’ Spanish-language broadcast, which airs on radio flagship KWKW, will remain unchanged. Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin returns for his 47th season along with Pepe Yñiguez, entering his eighth season with the Dodgers. “Fernandomania” continues its second run in Los Angeles as legendary Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela begins his third season in the booth as an analyst on Spanish-language broadcasts.
Dodgers Executive Vice President Lon Rosen said that after strategic consultation with the team’s English-language television and radio broadcast partners, the decision had been reached that the Dodgers’ broadcast format would undergo several alterations for the 2005 season. Most notable among the changes is the introduction of the first English-language two-person broadcast booth in franchise history. The two-person booth will be comprised of a play-by-play announcer and a baseball analyst. Talent for those positions will be announced at a later date.
“After lengthy discussions with our broadcast partners, the organization is focused on taking its on-air format in exciting, new directions,” Rosen said. “This was a long evaluative process, and an extremely difficult decision. This represents part of an ongoing, overall strategic change geared toward enhancing the overall entertainment experience for Dodger fans.”
An Emmy-nominated broadcaster, Monday will begin his 12th season with the Dodgers in 2005. The former Dodger outfielder and two-time Major League All-Star began his broadcasting career as a sports anchor on KTTV in Los Angeles in 1985 while also calling play-by-play and hosting the pregame show for Dodger games on Dodger Vision and Z Channel.
“Rick Monday’s extensive baseball experience, both as a player and an announcer, offers an unique, insightful perspective for our broadcast booth, and we will look to Rick in a number of capacities in the coming season,” Rosen said.
Porter leaves the Dodgers after 28 seasons. The two-time Emmy Award winner was named the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association’s Best Sports Talk Show Host on four occasions for his work as host of the popular DodgerTalk pregame show. Prior to joining the Dodgers in 1977, Porter called NFL games for NBC-TV from 1970-76. Porter also broadcast the World Series in 1977 and ’78 and the 1984 NL Championship Series for the CBS Radio Network. Porter will be inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in January 2005.
“It has been an honor for me to broadcast games for the Dodgers for the past 28 years,” Porter said. “Now the organization has decided to go in another direction and it was their decision. I wish to thank the fans and listeners for their loyalty and their support of my work. There are no plans to retire. I love what I do.”
“Ross Porter has been a dedicated member of our broadcast team for nearly three decades, and he is to be commended for his service to the organization, the city and the Dodgers’ wide-reaching radio and television audience,” Rosen said. “We will always hold Ross in high regard for his place in Dodger history, and we wish him well in all future endeavors.”
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