WDCA drops Proctor for Karvellas Ex-Bullets announcer to team with Chenier

September 03, 1992|By Ray Frager | Ray Frager,Staff Writer

When Jim Karvellas last was the Washington Bullets' play-by-play man, Wes Unseld was grabbing rebounds, Phil Chenier was hitting jumpers and the team was reaching the NBA Finals.

Now, Unseld is the coach, Chenier is a television analyst and 11 seasons have passed since the Bullets made it past the first round of the playoffs. But Karvellas is back.

Channel 20 has replaced Mel Proctor, a 12-year Bullets announcer, with Karvellas, most recently with the New York Knicks but also a Bullets play-by-play man for 12 seasons. Proctor will continue to call Bullets games for Home Team Sports, and Chenier will remain the analyst on all telecasts.

"It was a decision that was made here at the station," Channel 20 general manager Dick Williams said. "We wanted exclusive play-by-play announcers for hockey and basketball, and that's what we get."

WDCA shares telecast rights of the Bullets and the Washington Capitals with HTS. Earlier this year, HTS replaced hockey announcer Jeff Rimer with Kenny Albert, but Channel 20 retained Rimer.

Proctor, also the voice of the Orioles on HTS, said he wasn't surprised by the move.

"They'd been stalling me for quite some time," said Proctor, who had a one-year contract with WDCA. "They told me I was too closely identified with HTS."

Proctor didn't seem very upset by the move.

"HTS has been terrific to me, and that's where my future lies," he said. "Channel 20 was the lowest-paying of anything I did. The reason I did it was out of loyalty to the Bullets.

"It might be a blessing in disguise. It would free me up for other things," said Proctor, who also recently has worked boxing telecasts for Turner Broadcasting and college basketball games for CBS.

"I was rather surprised," Chenier said. "You just think things are going to go along. . . . Mel and I are friends as well as co-workers, and you hate to see something like this happen."

Karvellas, last with the Bullets in 1974-75, was a Knicks television and radio announcer for 12 seasons. His contract was not renewed after the past season.

Karvellas was not available for comment yesterday.

In 1991-92, HTS carried 31 Bullets games and Channel 20 had 28.

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