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TV-Radio / Larry Stewart

Stockton, Walker Get a Break as Big Call Goes Their Way

September 20, 1985

CBS, which is televising Sunday's Raider game because the visiting San Francisco 49ers are an NFC team, has assigned Dick Stockton and Wayne Walker to the Los Angeles telecast and assigned the No. 1 team of Pat Summerall and John Madden to the St. Louis-New York Giants game at East Rutherford, N.J. This despite the fact the Raider-49er game is going to 81.5% of the nation, while the Card-Giant game is going to only 54.4%.

CBS spokesman Doug Richardson said that NFL Executive Producer Terry O'Neil is essentially aligning some of his announcing crews with particular teams, at least during the early part of the season. Summerall and Madden get the Giants, and Stockton and Walker get the 49ers.

It's obvious who got the break here.

"Dick and I are assigned to seven of the first nine 49er games," Walker said. "Yeah, it's great. The 49ers are an exciting team that moves the ball well. And they have a lot of interesting players.

"I'd say this game and the Washington-Dallas game would have to rate as the two biggest games of the first three weeks."

Add Walker: The former Detroit Lion linebacker has been the sports director of San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX-TV since retiring from football in 1973. In past seasons, he has worked radio broadcasts of 49er games.

Because of his ties to the 49ers, the Raiders barred him from attending practice today.

"It's no big deal," Walker said. "Some teams allow us to attend practice on Fridays and others don't. I talked to (Raider executive assistant) Al LoCasale. I'll be allowed to talk to the players and coaches after practice."

One thing for sure. Had Madden been assigned the game, he wouldn't have been barred from practice. He is still a Raider employee, handling special projects.

Homecoming: Former Los Angeles sportscaster Gil Stratton, who lives on the Kona Coast on the island of Hawaii, where he owns two radio stations, will be back on the air here tonight. Stratton, in town on business, was asked by an old friend, Ed Kerby, general manager of radio station KDAY (1540), to work tonight's Gardena-Long Beach Poly high school game. KDAY's Pete Arbogast will be the commentator.

Asked when he last did play-by-play on high school football, Stratton said: "Two weeks ago. We do a game of the week on one of our stations in Kona, and I filled in for our regular guy. Before that, you have to go back to 1951 when I was at KGIL."

Stratton had open heart surgery last December, his second major operation. "I feel great now," he said. "I was back on the golf course in six weeks. I recovered faster the second time. Must be the fresh air in Hawaii."

New show: Following the baseball season, radio station KMPC (710) will inaugurate a new weeknight talk show, "Sports Open Line," with Joel Meyers as host. It will follow Jim Healy, who has been asked to expand his 5:30 show to a half-hour.

"Jim doesn't know if he can go to 6 o'clock every night, but he'll give it his best shot," KMPC General Manager Bill Ward said. "Whenever he finishes, 5:50 or 5:55, that's when 'Sports Open Line' will begin and it will run until 7 p.m. It will be a natural lead-in to our Clipper broadcasts this season."

Healy said he'll experiment with the half-hour format next Thursday. "I've got a classic Tom Lasorda tape that's never been aired before," he said. "I've got it all bleeped and ready to go and plan to use it Thursday night. It's the expanded version of the one in which Lasorda says, 'Garvey, Garvey couldn't hit the bleeping ball with a bleeping oar.' "

Add KMPC: Because of an Angel broadcast Saturday night, it is unable to carry the UCLA-San Diego State football game at 6. KLAC can't carry the game, either, because it is committed to the Kings' first exhibition game. So KMPC lined up XTRA (690) to carry the game. The powerful Tijuana station, formerly the Mighty Six Ninety, is now known as XTRA Gold because it plays music from the '50s and '60s.

Add UCLA: The Bruins are making the rounds of the networks. In their last four games, counting the last two last season, the Bruins have been on CBS (against USC), on NBC (against Miami in the Fiesta Bowl), on ESPN (against BYU) and on ABC (against Tennessee).

Clipper update: The top candidate for the play-by-play job for the telecasts on Channel 5 this season is Phil Stone of San Diego. Eddie Doucette, last season's radio announcer, reportedly is also being considered.

Ted Green, last season's radio and TV commentator, is probably the top candidate for those positions again this season.

Laker update: The team announced its schedule Thursday for the new cable channel, Prime Ticket Network. The first telecast will be Oct. 19, when the Lakers play the Boston Celtics in an exhibition game. The next telecast will be the team's home opener Nov. 5 against Cleveland.

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