O's TV booth still one man short as Singleton, Reghi await word

Media Watch

February 13, 1997|By Milton Kent

The waiting remains the hardest part for former Orioles outfielder-turned broadcaster Ken Singleton, one of two finalists for the team's vacant television play-by-play slot.

"We're just sitting and waiting for something. It's been an interesting situation," said Singleton yesterday.

Singleton and Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Michael Reghi are the men in line to replace Mel Proctor, who will leave next month to call San Diego Padres games on television. Reghi could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Singleton, who did Montreal Expos games on radio as well as analyze games for Fox last season, would seem to be the choice if local ties are a factor.

He was a popular player who spent 10 seasons in Baltimore, retiring in 1984 and becoming a member of the team's Hall of Fame in 1986. His .328 batting average in 1977 remains a club record. Singleton began his sportscasting career here at Channel 13, the team's flagship broadcast station, and he and his family live in the Baltimore suburbs year-round.

However, Reghi is the favorite for the slot, say sources both with the team and at Home Team Sports, which holds the cable television rights and produces the telecasts both on its signal and on Channel 13. Reghi worked with Orioles broadcasting and marketing director Michael Lehr when Lehr held a similar post with the Cleveland Indians.

Singleton said he met with Lehr earlier this week, and called the visit "nice." Singleton's 20-week commitment to Fox's Saturday baseball telecasts could pose a problem, but he said he would consider giving them up next season, after his deal with the network is over. Besides, with seven Orioles games on the Fox schedule, there's a good chance Singleton will work some of those, anyway.

If the Orioles gig falls through, Singleton said he has received feelers from the New York Yankees, but he has a clear preference to work in Baltimore. Whether his wishes are granted should be known soon, but we've told you that before, haven't we?

HTS officials, meanwhile, are operating under the assumption that Jim Palmer will rejoin the broadcast crew as an analyst. Palmer auditioned two weeks ago for a Yankees opening, but said he wanted to remain with the Orioles.

The real deal

ABC will have the women's and pairs finals of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships live in prime time Saturday (Channel 2, 8 p.m.) from Nashville, Tenn.

If your immediate reaction is to yawn at the prospect of another hyped-up skating show, that would be precisely the reaction that ABC programmers fear -- that the public has become so weary of the myriad televised skating events that it won't care about the genuine article, which Saturday's show is.

"This is a legitimate competition," said Lydia Stephans, ABC Sports vice president of programming during a conference call this week.

The network will air the men's finals on a one-day tape delay Sunday at 2 p.m.

Kilborn's dig

In case you've wondered what happened to the brilliant Craig Kilborn after he left ESPN's "SportsCenter," he landed as the anchor of the wickedly funny "Daily Show" on Comedy Central, which airs at 7 p.m. weekdays, and re-airs at 11 p.m., 1: 30 a.m. and 8: 30 a.m.

In a Tuesday commentary, Kilborn got in a wicked dig at his former employer, centered on a remark by Green Bay return man Desmond Howard during Monday's ESPY Awards that ESPN was becoming Comedy Central.

With mock indignation, Kilborn declared that there was only one Comedy Central, and that ESPN should stick to its shows with footage of games already played, its "T-and-A exercise shows," and to "under-paying its anchors."

Ouch, babe.

Pub Date: 2/13/97

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