Five months have passed since the dismissal of Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler and the signs that he is still inextricably linked with the franchise are everywhere. In a world of hoax FaceBook pages, one claiming to be Hudler last month created a media sensation with the claim that Rex wanted Fox Sports West peppered with pleadings from fans. Here at Halos Heaven, the mention of any announcing issues in a thread invariably bring out the Rex backers pining for their wonderdog. Are these lone voices? Check out our SiteMeter analysis of this site's recent visits from search engines after the poll...
Of our most recent 4,000 unique visits, more people came to this site from search engines looking for information on Rex Hudler and his dismissal than were searching for coverage of the coming All Star Game of Anaheim! I can attest that Hudler appears in our search engine sitemeter rankings every day here.
Other than one phone interview on AM-570, Hudler has laid low. The Angels broadcast booth has been fine without him as the team of Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza have delivered professional quality telecasts.
But with AM-830 handing much of its programming reins over to ESPN, will bottom line bean counters feel beholden to last season's petty backroom broadcast squabbles? Will they be able to ignore the roar of a fan base who likes their commentary with homer-heavy cheese? Will ESPN's objective programmers who are not involved in a 2009 p*ssing match with a fan favorite be able to reinstate a sure-fire ratings boost? Whoever has a say so in any Rex Hudler retrenchment will likely have three years of job security ("an estimated assignment length from 4/2010 – 4/2013") as this ESPN-KLAA JOB LISTING indicates:
Executive Producer Position:
This person will oversee the day to day ESPN programming of the new ESPN affiliate in LA - AM 830 KLAA; including, but not limited to scheduling and overseeing the production of live, local and network programs, play by play events, creative imaging, and commercials
The right candidate will be; a creative force, big idea generator, clever writer, a passionate, proactive, extremely organized and communicative leader who is able execute a programming vision and work with partners and clients in an exciting, new way, and is constantly driving for results.
Anyone with an appreciation of the corporate bottom line, the dollars and sense of populism and the need for brand consistency should be able to answer this question: Is the Wonder Dog on his way back? The only question left to answer is: How much control over promotion of their product have the Angels handed over to ESPN in their radio affiliation deal? After dropping $50 Million on KLAA in 2006, Arte and Co look poised to walk away from their media mouthpiece, making the answer to that question either "Most of it" OR "All of it".