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Wright's Way Is Now Radio

October 01, 2004|LARRY STEWART

Van Earl Wright's signature introduction, "Hel-looooo, everybody," may soon become "Goooood morning, everybody."

Wright is switching jobs and hours.

It will be announced today that he is the new host of the nationally syndicated Fox Sports radio network "Morning Extravaganza."

He is replacing Tony Bruno on the show that is heard on 108 stations, including XTRA (690 and 1150) in Los Angeles. Bruno left the show when he couldn't come to terms on a new contract.

Wright will join co-host Andrew Siciliano and sports-news anchor Krystal Fernandez on the show Monday.

He said he would also continue working as an anchor on FSN West's nighttime "Southern California Sports Report" until his contract expires Oct. 31.

"I'm going to be a zombie all month," he said.

Wright said the pay on the new job was about the same as he has been making, but that he liked the freedom of a four-hour radio show.

High on Downing

Al Downing was the sixth and final former Dodger to work as a guest radio analyst Wednesday night, and he was excellent. He was at ease, told good stories and at times it seemed as though he had ESP. He predicted that reliever Yhency Brazoban might have problems and that Giovanni Carrara wouldn't, and was right on both counts.

Steve Garvey and Ron Cey, who preceded Downing in the booth this week, were also good but overdid the "we" and "our."

Tommy Davis, Eric Davis and Eric Karros preceded Garvey, Cey and Downing, and Lon Rosen, Dodger executive vice president, said he liked the work of all six and that all would be considered for the new role of Dodger radio analyst.

Gearing Up

FSN West, which produces the Dodger telecasts on both FSN West 2 and Channel 13, and Channel 9, which is carrying two of the Angels' three games at Oakland, are gearing up for possible division-title celebrations.

FSN West executive producer Mike Connelly said that five cameras had been added for Dodger telecasts, two in the locker room.

The big Fox network is producing Saturday's Dodger and Angel telecasts. Channel 11 is again carrying the Dodgers, and the Angels are being farmed out to Fox sister station Channel 13. It gets confusing because Channel 13 is the Dodger flagship.

Where Were Replays?

The Dodger production crew needed more time Tuesday night when Milton Bradley blew up.

Connelly said the crew prepared a package on Bradley's struggles at the plate and in the field that night and his ensuing temper tantrum, but because so much was happening in the final two innings there wasn't time to show it all.

So it might have appeared that FSN West 2 didn't want to show an ugly incident, but Connelly said that wasn't the case.

"There is an unwritten rule that we don't show drunken fans running onto the field, but when news happens, we want to show it," he said.

Said Rosen, "Fox no longer has anything to do with running our ballclub, and we have nothing to do with what they choose to televise. We want them to show the good, bad and ugly, and fortunately these days it is mostly good."

Where Were Highlights?

Nobody does play by play as well as Vin Scully, who can call two games as seamlessly as he calls one. He was tremendous giving FSN West 2 viewers pitch-by-pitch updates from the tight game between the Padres and San Francisco Giants at San Diego on Wednesday.

But once the Dodger game ended and the "Southern California Sports Report" began, there was a big drop-off in updates from San Diego.

And then there were no immediate highlights on the "Southern California Sports Report" after the extra-inning game in San Diego ended dramatically.

All viewers got was the final score and the fact that Giant right fielder Dustan Mohr was injured.

Short Waves

After tonight's Giant-Dodger telecast on FSN West 2 there will be a special "Beyond the Glory" look at Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and Kirk Gibson's home run. The special will be repeated Sunday night at 8 on FSN West.... With TBS televising a college football doubleheader Saturday, former FSN commentator Tom Ramsey has been picked up to work with Bob Neal on Arizona State-Oregon.

NBC's NASCAR announcer, Allen Bestwick, suffered a broken leg while playing in an adult hockey league game Wednesday night and will miss Sunday's race at Talladega, Ala. Regular host Bill Weber will also call the race.... Rick Allen, who will call Saturday night's Craftsman Truck race at California Speedway for Speed Channel, knew very little about auto racing five years ago. He was the P.A. announcer at Nebraska games when a donor who owned a nearby dirt track recruited him as an announcer. "My career took a 180-degree turn," said Allen, who now lives in Charlotte, N.C., and works full-time for Speed Channel.... Sunday's IRL Toyota 400 will be on ESPN at noon.

In Closing

ESPN's "Hustle" fell flat. The heavily promoted movie about Pete Rose's gambling managed only a 1.2 rating in ESPN households. Previously, "Season on the Brink," shown simultaneously on ESPN and ESPN2, got a combined 4.0, and "Junction Boys" did a 3.5.

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