The Dodgers today finalized a deal with Clear Channel to move their English-language radio broadcasts from 790 KABC to AM 570 Fox Sports LA. The contract is a three-year deal that runs through 2014 and covers marketing as well as game broadcasts.
"Clear Channel’s all-sports format will elevate the Dodgers in terms of coverage and significantly enhance our fans’ engagement with the club. Through this strategic partnership, the Dodgers will now have the opportunity to connect with the millions of listeners that tune into Clear Channel’s wide-reaching AM and FM stations," said Dodgers Chief Revenue Officer Michael Young.
All 162 regular season games, any potential postseason games, and at least seven spring training games will be broadcast on AM 570 and the 22 affiliates of the Dodgers Radio Network.
In addition, postgame DodgerTalk will run "for at least one hour after every game," which wasn't always the case on 790. There will also be a nightly one-hour version of DodgerTalk at 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays from the beginning of spring training through opening day.
What we don't know is whom will be the host(s) of DodgerTalk. Josh Suchon and Joe Block were under contract with KABC, and it is yet unknown whether or not they will make the move over to KABC. This season was Suchon's fourth season as co-host of DodgerTalk, the first three with Ken Levine, who was one of several former Seattle Mariners broadcasters to return to broadcast games this season as a tribute to former Mariners' announcer Dave Neihaus, who passed away in November 2010.
Suchon and Levine had a great rapport and made the show a fun listen after Dodgers games, regardless of the strength of the callers. Suchon also put on a good show with Block, who was in his first season on DodgerTalk after hosting a similar show for the New Orleans Hornets. Block also called Jacksonville Suns games when they were a Dodger affiliate, including when Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, James Loney, and others were there.
Block didn't fill the comedic shoes of Levine, an Emmy-winning television writer who wrote several episodes of M*A*S*H and Cheers, among other projects, but Block didn't necessarily have to. Block and Suchon are good natured hosts who treated callers fairly and presented a fun show that was easy to listen to.
Whomever is hired to host DodgerTalk in 2012, they will have some big shoes to fill.
In other news, Matt Kemp was named as the Dodgers nominee for the 2011 Hank Aaron Award, given to the top offensive performer in each league. Fans can vote on the award on MLB.com, through October 9. The award will be presented during the 2011 World Series.