SBD/Issue 152/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Jazz' Hundley Signing Off After Season

Hundley Retiring After Calling
More Than 3,000 Games
In Salt Lake City, Ross Siler reported Jazz officials Friday announced that radio broadcaster "Hot" Rod Hundley, "one of the last of his generation of broadcasting greats," will retire following this season after 35 years. Hundley, is the "last remaining member of the original New Orleans Jazz staff," and he called his 3,000th Jazz game earlier this season. The Basketball HOF in '03 honored Hundley with the Curt Gowdy Media award (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/25). In Utah, Tim Buckley noted there are "two obvious in-house candidates" to replace Hundley: Salt Lake City's KFNZ-AM host David Locke and Triple-A PCL Salt Lake Bees announcer Steve Klauke. Jazz President Randy Rigby: "There will be myriad interested parties. We've got a great stable, I think, of talented people who work for us in various capacities in broadcasting" (DESERET NEWS, 4/25).

MONDAY NIGHT HEAT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman reported Marv Albert's contract with Westwood One radio to call "MNF" games has expired, and the company wants to cut his annual salary of around $500,000 "in half, maybe more." Sources indicated that Albert's "initial reaction was to nix" the offer, and some are "already speculating about his replacement." WFAN-AM personalities Ian Eagle and Kevin Harlan have the "inside track." However, Raissman noted Boomer Esiason "definitely will be back" as the analyst for Westwood One's "MNF" broadcasts. A source said that Esiason's contract, worth about $600,000 annually, stipulated "if Westwood One kept its NFL package Boomer would return" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/26).

QUITE FRANKLY: ESPN's Stephen A. Smith's tenure at the net comes to an end Thursday, and in N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes, "What had been abundantly clear among ESPN's TV and radio audiences from the start -- that Smith was a self-promoting, race-based gasbag with almost no discernible sports credibility beyond maudlin genuflecting at the feet of big shots -- had finally become clear to ESPN's shot-callers." Smith said of his departure, "If this is where I stop, then at age 41, I'm not growing anymore, and I couldn't live with that" (N.Y. POST, 4/27).

NOTES: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote if ABC/ESPN NBA announcer Jeff Van Gundy "called analysis of every NBA game, I would watch every NBA game" (TAMPABAY.com, 4/26)....Former Detroit News sports columnist Rob Parker, who left the newspaper after heavy criticism surrounding his questioning of then-Lions coach Rod Marinelli, today will start writing columns for WDIV-NBC's Web site (FREEP.com, 4/24).

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