Starting this season, the Baltimore Orioles will once again be heard on the FM radio dial in the city of Baltimore. 105.7 “the fan” (WJZ-FM) has reportedly signed a multi-year contract with the team for the right to broadcast their games as it’s flagship station. As you might recall, “the fan” owned the team’s radio rights from 2007-2010, before they returned to WBAL in time for the 2011 season. WJZ will now head the 34-station Orioles’ radio network, which encompasses parts of seven different states – starting of course with Maryland.
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Speaking for myself, I was very impressed with WJZ’s coverage of Orioles games when they had the network rights previously. Their pre/post-game coverage was incredibly strong, with Tom Davis and Dave Johnson often broadcasting their Wall-to-Wall Baseball show live from the Warehouse after games. It’s unclear whether or not that’s going to continue, however according to the release by the radio station they will have lots of Orioles programming on a daily basis.
However the best news in this exchange for Orioles fans is that the long-time tandem of Joe Angel and Fred Manfra will make the journey over to the FM dial with the Birds. That’s not overly surprising since announcers work for the team as opposed to the station, but that aside Angel and Manfra are of the best in the business.
Having said that, one thing that might come as a bit of a concern is the fact that WJZ employed a delay of about 90 seconds previously when they owned the radio rights. WBAL did in fact carry the games live and without delay. My personal hope is that WJZ finds a way to do this as well, as a lot of fans love to bring their radios and listen to the games in the stands. Nevertheless if you live in the immediate Baltimore area you’ll want to tune your radios to a new frequency for games this spring!