Thorne named the lead for O's TV play-by-play

Hunter to host MASN's O's Xtra

February 22, 2007|By Ray Frager | Ray Frager,Sun reporter

Veteran sportscaster Gary Thorne is joining the Orioles' broadcast team as the lead television play-by-play man, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network announced yesterday.

MASN released the lineup for Orioles game, pre-game and post-game programming, and Thorne - rumored to have been in the running - is the biggest addition. Thorne, most familiar nationally for his baseball and hockey work with ESPN, will call play-by-play with returning analysts Jim Palmer and Buck Martinez.

In the new arrangement, Jim Hunter ends up as the largest presence on Orioles TV. Hunter apparently will be the only announcer working every Orioles telecast (except one - Hunter said he will miss one game for a son's graduation).

Hunter becomes host of the O's Xtra pre- and post-game shows, joined by Rick Dempsey, who moves from the club's coaching staff to the broadcast crew, and Hunter also will call the games that Thorne doesn't work. It breaks down to two-thirds studio shows and one-third play-by-play, Hunter said yesterday.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity, because they're putting a lot of faith in me to be the lead guy," said Hunter, an Orioles TV presence for the past three years and a radio voice for the past 10.

Longtime Baltimore sportscasting fixture Tom Davis replaces Hunter in the studio when he's calling a game. Dempsey fills the analyst role on 20 to 25 games.

Former WBFF sports anchor Amber Theoharis assumes the new job of sideline reporter.

MASN also set the remainder of its Washington Nationals broadcasters, after having earlier announced the play-by-play/analyst duo of Bob Carpenter and Don Sutton. The voice of University of Maryland football and basketball, Johnny Holliday, becomes Nats Xtra host, working with ex-major leaguer Ray Knight. Debbi Taylor is the sideline reporter.

ray.frager@baltsun.com

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