Trail Blazers Replace Longtime Voice Brian Wheeler With Travis Demers
The Trail Blazers named Travis Demers as the team's new "radio play-by-play broadcaster, making him just the fourth radio play-by-play voice in the team's 50-year history," according to Joe Freeman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Demers replaces Brian Wheeler, who had been the team's "radio voice" since '98. Wheeler "battled health issues last season," and Demers "filled in and called 57 games, including 11 in the playoffs." In July, the team announced that Wheeler "would not return" for this NBA season (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/10). In Oregon, Nigel Jaquiss wrote Wheeler "combined an encyclopedic knowledge" of the Trail Blazers' history and the NBA with "operatic expressions of anguish and joy, depending on which way the ball was bouncing." Demers is a "familiar name to local sports fans, having served in a variety of roles" on KFXX-AM since '03 before joining Trail Blazers flagship station KPOJ-AM in '15 (WWEEK.com, 9/9). Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan said that Demers "impressed him while filling in for Wheeler" last season (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/9).