The Orioles are planning massive changes to their broadcasts on MASN for 2021, according to a report by The Athletic.
Longtime broadcaster Gary Thorne, who did not appear on telecasts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, won’t be back. Nor will Rick Dempsey, who has long appeared on pregame and postgame shows. Mike Bordick, who has analyzed games since 2012, won’t be back, either.
The Athletic reported that MASN would be eliminating its half-hour pregame and postgame programs. Tom Davis, who long hosted those programs but did not appear on them in 2020, and former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson are apparently not going to have a role in 2021 broadcasts, either.
Earlier Friday, Jim Hunter, who was removed from the Orioles’ broadcast team before the start of the 2020 season, announced in a tweet that he wouldn’t be returning to the team’s broadcasts in 2021.
Hunter, whose association with the team began in 1997 and served as a game broadcaster on radio and television and a pregame and postgame host, is parting ways with the team.
“I was informed this week by @Orioles my contract will not be renewed for 2021 ending my career w/the ball club,” he tweeted. “It’s disappointing to have my tenure come to an end especially since it was not my decision. For 24 years I gave my heart & soul to the broadcasts & now it’s over.”
Hunter declined further comment. The Orioles said they wouldn’t comment on personnel changes to the broadcast team and would have an announcement on their 2021 broadcasters soon.
In 2021, the Orioles added Geoff Arnold as their principal radio play-by-play voice, Melanie Newman and Brett Hollander as sideline reporters, radio play-by-play voices and pregame and postgame hosts. Each is expected back in 2021 as is Kevin Brown, who joined the Orioles’ radio team in 2019 and appeared on radio and television in 2020.
Scott Garceau was the principal television broadcaster. Ben McDonald and Bordick were the analysts.
Jim Palmer, who did not appear as a live analyst, did contribute to some broadcasts on Zoom.