Steve Garvey, who less than two weeks ago was fired as a sports talk-show host by San Diego radio station XTRA, has found another broadcasting job, this one with the Prime Ticket cable network.
The deal, to be announced today, calls for Prime Ticket and the Garvey Marketing Group to produce a series of six charity events called "The Steve Garvey Pro Celebrity Series."
Many of the events previously were carried by ESPN.
The first will be the seventh annual "Steve Garvey Celebrity Ski Classic" March 1-4 at Deer Valley, Utah, for the benefit of the Utah Special Olympics. It will be televised in April.
The Prime Ticket deal also calls for Garvey to do some commentary on college baseball telecasts with Tom Kelly.
Garvey said that he hopes the job, coupled with an out-of-court settlement with former wife Cynthia Truhan on Friday over child visitation rights, marks the beginning of a comeback.
"You could say 1989 was not the best of times, to say the least," he said. "Well, so far, 1990 looks pretty good."
Of Friday's court decision, Garvey said: "The most important thing is that I have to rebuild my relationship with my daughters (Krisha, 15, and Whitney, 13, who live with Truhan in the Malibu area)."
Garvey also plans to move back to the Los Angeles area.
"Now that I'm no longer at the radio station, there is nothing tying me to San Diego," he said.
Of losing his job at XTRA, Garvey said: "The parting was amiable. When I picked up my final check, there was also a bonus for improved ratings."
Garvey said the ratings for his time period went from a .6 to a 1.6 during his tenure.
Garvey started his 5 a.m.-to-9 a.m. show last June 28, but after 2 1/2 months his time on the air was cut drastically. Toward the end, he was on the air less than 15 minutes an hour. The rest of the time was devoted to news, traffic reports and feature segments.
Finances may have also played a role in Garvey's dismissal. His one-year contract called for a salary of between $100,000 and $150,000--not much compared to what Garvey was making during his playing days with the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but a lot for a rookie radio announcer, and considerably more than Lee Hamilton, the station's sports director, is making.
Garvey said the firing didn't catch him totally off guard.
"The station was going toward an all-news format, and I just didn't fit in their plans," he said.
Don Corsini, Prime Ticket's program director, said that in hiring Garvey, no thought was given to Garvey's troubles of last year.
"It's all in the past," Corsini said. "It wasn't a factor."
A Nov. 27 Sports Illustrated story alleged, among other things, that Garvey mishandled funds from a benefit auction at his 1987 celebrity ski event at Deer Valley.
Corsini said that, too, was not a concern, since Garvey still has a working relationship with the promoters in Utah.
Garvey said the allegations in the magazine were not accurate, that the reporter read the wrong form.
Garvey's public troubles began last year when it was reported that he was involved with three women at once, impregnated two of them and was marrying another.
"I had an idea of what was coming, but it just seemed to grow and grow," Garvey said.
Later in the year, his former wife raked him over the coals, first in her book, "The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey," then on the talk-show circuit and a book promotion tour.
Then came the Sports Illustrated article entitled, "America's Sweetheart." It didn't blow many kisses Garvey's way.
But Garvey was wearing his usual smile Monday.
"Somebody said to me that I was like President Reagan, that no matter what happens to me, it bounces off and I end up on my feet," he said.