Ten months ago, Mario Impemba’s 17-year run as the Detroit Tigers television play-by-play voice came to an abrupt ending when both he and his broadcast partner, Rod Allen were let go following an off-air physical altercation. Impemba, who since joined the Red Sox radio broadcast as part of a rotation of play-by-play announcers, returned to Comerica Park over the weekend with Boston in Detroit for a series against the Tigers.
Impemba knew arriving at Comerica as part of the visiting team would be strange, especially the way his relationship with the Tigers ended last summer, but the veteran broadcaster was welcomed back. “It’s been really positive and that’s a cool thing,” he told Tony Paul of The Detroit News. “I’ve tried to flush the negativity out of my life the last nine months. It’s been a good return here. I’ll do two more games after tonight, and then go on with my life.”
Those two games have since been played, completing Impemba’s return to Detroit, but the way it ended last year still doesn’t sit well with the current Red Sox radio voice. “There’s still a lot of negativity surrounding what happened,” Impemba told Paul. “A lot of people ask me, ‘Why aren’t you telling your story?’
“I know what happened that night, he (Allen) knows what happened that night. I just want to move on. Nothing comes from rehashing a bad event in your life.”
After 17-years with the Tigers, his hometown team, Impemba envisioned choosing when he would leave his dream job after a celebrated career.
“I wanted to leave on my terms when I felt I couldn’t do the job anymore and say, ‘It’s been a great ride, thanks, I appreciate the opportunity.’
“And I was robbed of that,” Impemba said in his conversation with The Detroit News. “There’s some bitterness and anger there that you’ve gotta flush out. I think I’m getting there.
“I’m more angry at the situation, and it’s just going to take some time.”
Still, for Impemba, it could be worse than quickly rebounding with a franchise like the Boston Red Sox. Working at Fenway Park, for a team with World Series aspirations every year while the Tigers continue a long rebuild presents a silver-lining for Impemba, who’s enjoying working on radio.
“There’s more freedom, there’s less cooks in the kitchen, you just do what you do,” he said. “And there’s less egos in radio, too. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”