Radio the talk of the town, but what's there to talk about?

ON MEDIA

November 08, 2008|By RAY FRAGER | RAY FRAGER,ray.frager@baltsun.com

Serving this week's helping of sports media notes while keeping my eyes to the ground looking for loose change in anticipation of playing some of those 15,000 slot machines:

* Bob from Hamilton, Fred from Arbutus and Cindy from Glen Burnie, has this been a great week for you or what? With Monday's launch of the new sports yak attack that turned the artist formerly known as WHFS into 105.7 The Fan, callers must be in turn-down-your-radio heaven.

Check out the landscape: Every weekday, The Fan runs local sports talk from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. That is in addition to the all-local lineup each day on WNST (1570 AM), Jerry Coleman's show on Fox Sports 1370 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Steve Davis' chatfest on WBAL (1090 AM) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

That's an awful lot of time to be dissecting the question of whether the Ravens will make the playoffs. This is sort of a corollary to building an arena before you have a team to play in it: setting up loads of sports talk to accommodate more than the two pro teams your city already has.

* Everyone hosting a talk show, please step forward. Not so fast, Anita.

As part of its flip from ESPN 1300 to The Fan, station management teamed Anita Marks with Scott Garceau, former Channel 2 sports anchor and original voice of the Ravens. In doing so, however, it clearly made Marks second banana on what had been her own show.

Many commentators on my blog (baltimoresun.com/mediumwell) have noted how Marks seems to be sitting in the "guest" chair as seen on the MASN simulcast. But beyond that, you only had to listen how Garceau clearly was driving the train during their first two shows. At 105.7's Web site, the logo for their show even puts Garceau's photo out front with Marks in the background.

And most remarkably, with Garceau away this week for a golf vacation planned before he knew he was joining the new station, his substitute, Jeremy Conn, stepped in.

Attempts to reach Marks this week were unsuccessful.

* So much for Garceau's short-lived "retirement." After a bit of a breather since leaving a full-time job at WMAR in the early summer, Garceau now has a five-days-a-week afternoon radio slot, the Monday Morning Quarterback (which remains on 1300) and other Ravens programming assignments, as well as basketball and lacrosse games for MASN and ESPN.

Even before The Fan came along, Garceau said, he wasn't exactly being idle.

"It wasn't like I sat home in my rocking chair, saying, 'What's for lunch?' " he said.

As for the pairing with Marks, he said: "I think we'll go in and see how it goes. ... We have different styles. Sometimes that can be a good thing."

After 28 years mainly spent presenting the day's sports news in condensed form, Garceau said he looks forward to the daily conversation.

"In a two-minute sportscast, you get very little time to offer an opinion."

The show (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) will be "caller-driven," Garceau said. "There's a lot of passion, and 70 percent [of the calls] are good. I like calls ... that get you thinking a little bit."

Ray from Calvert Street calls in to say he's glad to have Garceau back on the Baltimore airwaves in a regular spot and thinks hiring a respected and knowledgeable professional was the best move 105.7 made in its sports switch.

* As part of the radio flip, ESPN 1300 truly became an ESPN station, running all ESPN Radio shows all day. If you missed Colin Cowherd, he's back from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you longed for the hour of Scott Van Pelt at 3 p.m., he's there. Between 1300 and the Fox programming on 1370, Baltimore ears won't be lacking for national perspectives. Because, after all, we just can't get enough of hearing about the Dallas Cowboys' woes, can we?

* NBC presents what promises to be a worthwhile, 90-minute documentary on the Beijing Paralympics tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. (chs. 11, 4). Unfortunately, it is airing in the middle of an NFL afternoon - fire up your DVR - but the show features two area athletes familiar to readers of The Baltimore Sun - swimmer Jessica Long and wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden. The program is narrated by Bob Costas.

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