In Sacramento, Gary Gerould is best known as the radio voice of the Kings. Around the rest of the country, he’s better known for his coverage of motor sports on TV.
After 37 years covering every type of motor sports, from Formula One to hydroplane boat racing, he’s hanging up his headphones. His last broadcast will be Sunday on ESPN for the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.
“It’s been a combination of things,” Gerould said. “The NHRA is going to a new platform next season, taking things in-house, and they have a new contract with Fox Sports. Plus, I’m 75 years old. I’m going to slow it down and become more of a fan.”
Gerould has no plans to step away from his duties calling Kings games, which he has done since the team arrived in Sacramento in 1985, making him one of the NBA’s longest-tenured announcers. The NBA season has overlapped with his motor sports duties, forcing him into some frantic travel.
“It won’t hit me until next May when hoops is over,” Gerould said. “It will probably be tough to handle. I’ve been with ESPN for 11 years and have developed a lot of great relationships. This weekend may be the last time I see a lot of them. I’m a little melancholy in a sense.”
Gerould also has worked in the booth for NBC’s pro football coverage and was a member of NBC’s broadcast team for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Gerould started his broadcasting career at KHSL-TV and radio in Chico in 1962 after graduating from Anderson University in Indiana. He joined KCRA in 1965 and left in 1977 to pursue freelance auto racing assignments, and he since has been busy as a radio and TV reporter and announcer.
“I spent 25 years doing IndyCars coverage, and I’ve had the privilege of being in the pace car twice,” Gerould said. “When you look back over your shoulder at the field of 33 cars and see 400,000 race fans … man, the hair stands up on my arms now just thinking about it.”
Gerould has seen the world with his wife, Marlene, often by his side. He said the golden age of network TV sports coverage allowed him to travel in style, and his bosses had no problem springing for Marlene’s tickets and accommodations, too. That era is over as fragmentation of TV sports has led to smaller and smaller production budgets, Gerould said.
Gerould, who said he will call Kings games as long as the team wants him, is giddy about calling games at the Golden 1 Center downtown next season. But he’ll also continue to glance at the TV to see who is the fastest NHRA qualifier that week or who is leading the points chase in NASCAR and IndyCar.
“What a ride it’s been,” Gerould said.
Read more at the Sacramento Bee which is where this article was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.