People & Personalities: Sources: Coomer Set To Succeed Moreland In Cubs' Radio Booth
Chicago-based media reporter Robert Feder cited sources as confirming that former MLBer Ron Coomer "will succeed Keith Moreland in the Cubs radio booth alongside play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes." Coomer has "agreed to a two-year contract as color analyst" for WGN-AM. Coomer most recently worked with the Twins' pre- and postgame shows for FS North (ROBERTFEDER.com, 12/12). In Chicago, Sherman & Gonzales cite sources as saying that Coomer "became the clear front-runner as the other reported finalist, Todd Hollandsworth, took a full-time position with the MLB Radio Network." Hollandsworth "will be part of a Monday-through-Friday morning show on the MLB Radio Network," and it also is "likely he will make TV appearances on MLB Network." It is expected that Hollandsworth "will continue in his role as a pre- and postgame analyst for Cubs games" on CSN Chicago (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/13).
END-OF-THE-YEAR AWARDS: SI's Richard Deitsch names ESPN's Jay Bilas "Broadcaster of the Year," writing Bilas "is one of the most thoughtful and prepared voices in any sport, a broadcaster who can move seamlessly from the studio to a game site." He "proves smart can be successful in television." Meanwhile, Deitsch picks NBCSN's Rebecca Lowe as the "Rookie of the Year," as she has "already vaulted to the top echelon of studio hosts thanks to her intellect and knowledge" of the EPL. Lowe is the "rare ego-free host who makes a studio show about the panelists." Finally, Deitsch names Auburn IMG Sports Network's Rod Bramblett the "Play-by-Play Announcer of the Year." Bramblett "was given two once-in-a-lifetime plays this year, and he delivered on both." Though his call of Auburn CB Chris Davis' 109-yard return in the Iron Bowl "will be played for eternity, even better was his description" of team WR Ricardo Louis' 73-yard catch of a tipped ball that gave the school a 43-38 win over Georgia last month (SI, 12/16 issue).
NO CORPORATE SCHILL: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes despite ESPN's Curt Schilling moving from the studio to the broadcast booth to replace Orel Hershiser on the net's "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcasts, he is "not suddenly going to change himself for the gig." Schilling "sounds like a guy who firmly believes he can reinvent the way pitching is analyzed on TV." He has "already outlined a 26-week plan on presenting the art of pitching during a broadcast." Meanwhile, Schilling has his "own idea where the boundaries lie when it comes to criticizing players." Schilling: "The only time you are going to hear me criticize a player is when he doesn't give effort. Or when he doesn't respect the game" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 12/13).
A SAN FRANCISCO TREAT: ESPN.com's Bill Williamson reported ESPN has "switched its game plan to ensure" Chris Berman will be part of the coverage at Candlestick Park for the Dec. 23 Falcons-49ers "MNF" matchup, which will mark the stadium's final game. The net is "switching Berman and Stuart Scott, making Berman the on-sight host, while Scott will be in Bristol" hosting "Monday Night Countdown" (ESPN.com, 12/12).
KID'S GOT CHOPS: In Boston, Chad Finn writes no "promising youngster generated more buzz this week at baseball’s Winter Meetings" than 18-year-old SB Nation writer Chris Cotillo. The senior at Algonquin Regional High School is "making a habit of breaking major baseball news, the kind that usually comes from national writers with years of experience and a couple of iPhones’ worth of contacts." He was "first to report a deal that no one saw coming: the Tigers’ swap of pitcher Doug Fister to the Nationals for three modest players." Meanwhile, Finn notes NESN has hired Elle Duncan as an anchor, host and reporter beginning in February. She currently serves as the Philips Arena in-house reporter for Hawks games (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13).