Davis 'stunned' by WBAL layoff

The Baltimore Sun

Chipping away at this week's sports media notes so no one slips off the couch from a thin layer of information:

* We've seen a flurry of activity in local sports talk radio in recent weeks.

First, Rob Long left WNST (1570 AM) for Fox Sports 1370, where he has been doing a 9 a.m.-noon show for a couple of weeks. That meant a regular return to the airwaves for WNST's owner, Nestor Aparicio, in the afternoons. Then, 105.7 The Fan re-upped Anita Marks for another year.

And, on Monday, WBAL (1090 AM) laid off talk host Steve Davis.

WBAL station manager and vice president Jeff Beauchamp said: "We've done some realigning because of the economy. ... This was an economic move" unrelated to Davis' performance.

Davis will be paid through the end of his contract, though neither management nor he would say how many months that is.

"For five years, it's been nothing but praise, nothing but compliments," said Davis, a former Channel 45 sports anchor. "This was totally out of left field. I'm stunned, but I'll be fine."

* MASN has confirmed that the entire Orioles broadcast crew for the 2009 season is coming back.

In an article about MASN's hiring of Rob Dibble as a Washington Nationals analyst, The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Orioles commentator Buck Martinez had been considered for the Nats job. However, Martinez - while confirming he had been in the mix to join Nats telecasts - said yesterday that he is coming back to the Orioles. He said he is in the final year of his contract.

The outspoken Dibble is replacing Don Sutton, who asked to be allowed to return to the Atlanta Braves as a radio announcer.

* WBFF's new weekend sports anchor/reporter, Kristen Berset, started at Channel 45 last Friday. She previously worked at WJHG in Panama City, Fla. Berset is a former Miss Florida USA. (For more information - and, yes, photos - there is a link to her Web site at my blog, baltimoresun.com/mediumwell.)

So we know where this is going, right? Beauty pageant contestant. Sportscaster. Next comes politics, then Berset gets placed on a presidential ticket after another couple of elections.

* ESPN is televising 30 regular-season college lacrosse games and 15 from the NCAA tournament this season. Unfortunately, the regular season is being carried by ESPNU, still not available to Comcast customers. However, 11 of the ESPNU games are also being broadcast on WMAR, beginning with Towson-Loyola on Feb. 22. (See my blog for a full schedule.)

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