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Behind the Broadcast: WXXA’s Morlock latest to depart area airwaves

Saturday, June 16, 2012
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It certainly has been a tumult­uous year for sportscasters in the Capital Region.

In March, FOX23 (WXXA) sports director Rich Becker left the station to take a public relations position with Albany Med. Last month, Joe Calderone and YNN parted ways.

Now, a third sportscaster is signing off the air.

FOX23 sports reporter and weekend anchor Scott Morlock is departing the station after nearly 16 years there. His last day on the air will be on Sunday night on a show that he is most identified with, “FOX Fast Track.”

Morlock, who started as an intern, was a candidate for the sports director position and weekday sports anchor of the FOX 23 newscasts when Becker left. Instead, the station hired Kristian Read from FOX44 in Burlington, Vt.

Although he was passed over for the sports director job, Morlock stressed that wasn’t a factor in his decision to leave.

“I was looking forward to continuing what [former FOX23 weekend anchor] Brent [Martineau], Rich and I established there,” Morlock said. “But the station dec­ided to go in a different direction. It’s disappointing. I love what I’m doing. It was obvious the station wanted to go in a different direction, and I wasn’t part of that dir­ection. My contract’s up, and I’m leaving.”

Morlock has some job prospects both in and out of TV, but nothing concrete.

“I’m open to a lot of different dir­ections right now,” Morlock said. I can either stay in the business, or I’m looking into some media rel­ations-type stuff. “

It’s a shame that FOX23 is losing Morlock. I can attest that he was a very hard worker for the stat­ion the numerous times I saw him on the road covering Union College hockey, especially during the Dutchmen’s memorable run to the Frozen Four last season.

summer at saratoga

NBC Sports Group and NYRA announced its “Summer at Sar­atoga” broadcast schedule Thursday.

There will be five telecasts from Saratoga Race Course. The highlight is Saturday, Aug. 25, with the running of the Travers Stakes on NBC Sports.

There will be 11 races shown on either NBC Sports or NBC Sports Network.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday, Aug. 11 6-7 p.m. NBC Sports Network — Fourstardave Handicap.

Sunday, Aug. 12 6-7 p.m. NBC Sports Network — Adirondack Stakes and Saratoga Special.

Saturday, Aug. 18 5-6 p.m. NBC Sports Network — Alabama Stakes and Sword Dancer Invitational.

Saturday, Aug. 25 4-6 p.m. NBC — Travers Stakes, King’s Bishop, Test Stakes and Ballston Spa Stakes.

Saturday, Sept. 1 5-6 p.m. NBC — Woodward Stakes and Forego Stakes.

Controversial bout

If you didn’t watch the cont­roversial WBO welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley on pay-per-view last Saturday, you will get a chance to see it tonight, and have an opportunity to vote on who won the fight.

HBO will re-air the fight at 10 p.m. Bradley won a split decision over Pacquiao to win the title, although many observers believed Pacquiao was the true winner.

Viewers will be able to vote by logging on to Facebook.com/HBOBoxing. The results will be announced during the middleweight title showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee.

nba finals ratings

The first two games of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder each had an 11.8 rating for ABC.

Tuesday’s game, won by the Thunder, 105-94, was the best for a finals opener on ABC, two-tenths of a point better than Game 1 of the Detroit-Los Angeles Lakers series in 2004.

The Heat’s 100-96 win Thursday the highest preliminary television rating since 2004, when Game 2 of the Pistons-Lakers final earned a 12.3 overnight rating. ABC said Thursday’s rating was 12 percent better than Game 2 of last year’s Heat-Dallas Mavericks final.

fusselle dies

Warner Fusselle, the play-by-play voice of the New York-Penn League’s Brooklyn Cyclones, died last Sunday. He was 68.

The Cyclones said Fusselle passed away from an apparent heart attack. He was scheduled to start his 12th season of calling the Cyclones’ games Monday.

Baseball fans around the country know Fusselle as the voice of “TWIB Notes” on the classic version of “This Week in Baseball.”

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Warner’s passing,” Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen said on the team’s Website. “There is no one who knew more — or cared more — about baseball in Brooklyn than Warner. His distinctive voice, knowledge and endless passion for the game enriched Brooklyn Cyclones baseball for our players, staff, and fans from day one and his presence will be sorely missed.”

new radio network

NBC Sports Group is teaming with Dial Global to create the NBC Sports Radio Network. The network will start in September, and will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as full-length shows.

In addition to distribution on terrestrial radio stations, NBC Sports’ audio content will be available on a wide variety of digital platforms. Live shows will be streamed on NBCSports.com, DialGlobalSports.com, affiliate stations’ websites and other streaming services. On-demand short-form audio content will also be distributed online and through podcasts and other digital applications. Dial Global will be the exclusive ad and affiliate sales representative to the network.

 
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