There was no mistaking how Parkins & Spiegel feel about Eddie Olczyk leaving the Chicago Blackhawks for anyone that tuned into 670 The Score on Monday afternoon. The Chicago duo opened their show by ripping the local NHL franchise.
“Eddie Olczyk didn’t leave for a better job. He left for the Seattle Kraken,” Danny Parkins said with a mix of confusion and contempt. “The highest profile analyst in Chicago, who calls the Stanley Cup Finals, left for the Kraken? That is an insane headline!”
The Hall of Fame forward and Chicago native played five of his 18 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks. While he began his broadcasting career in Pittsburgh, he had been on the television call of Blackhawks games for the last 16 seasons.
His work for the Blackhawks may be how Chicagoans know him best, but Parkins pointed out that Olczyk’s appeal in the Windy City isn’t limited to hockey fans. He has become something of a local institution.
“He’s a huge deal in town beyond hockey. He goes on every show in town to talk hockey. He goes on every show to talk Kentucky Derby and horses. This is a nationally relevant broadcaster at the top of his day that is beloved.”
Eddie Olczyk has been doing national broadcasts, first for NBC and now for Turner Sports, since 2006. Speculation in the Chicago media has centered on that national schedule, with many openly theorizing that the Blackhawks did not want to pay Olczyk for a full season if he was going to miss more than a quarter of the team’s games.
While it may make financial sense, Matt Spiegel said that the Blackhawks are mired in negative headlines. They cannot afford to think that way with someone like Olczyk.
“It is astonishing that that organization that desperately needs positivity is letting the most positive thing they have associated with them walk out the door.”
He added that if it is indeed a money issue, it shows a level of arrogance in the organization, thinking there wouldn’t be someone willing to show Olczyk that they understand his value is more than just the number of games he is in the broadcast booth.
“They think ‘Eddie loves it here. Eddie’s a Blackhawk for life. This is a great backdrop for what Eddie wants to do. His son is employed here and everything else like that, so he’s not going to be leaving us’. And now he leaves you perhaps in part because you have the audacity to offer him less than a full season’s salary because he happens to have a national gig?
“His goodwill and his presence and his association with the brand is worth every bit of the full season salary you aren’t willing to give because he only works 60 games. Incredibly short-sighted and stupid and embarrassing for the Blackhawks today.”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.