CBS, which is televising Sunday's Raider game because the visiting San Francisco 49ers are an NFC team, has assigned Dick Stockton and Wayne Walker to the Los Angeles telecast and assigned the No. 1 team of Pat Summerall and John Madden to the St. Louis-New York Giants game at East Rutherford, N.J. This despite the fact the Raider-49er game is going to 81.5% of the nation, while the Card-Giant game is going to only 54.4%.
CBS spokesman Doug Richardson said that NFL Executive Producer Terry O'Neil is essentially aligning some of his announcing crews with particular teams, at least during the early part of the season. Summerall and Madden get the Giants, and Stockton and Walker get the 49ers.
It's obvious who got the break here.
"Dick and I are assigned to seven of the first nine 49er games," Walker said. "Yeah, it's great. The 49ers are an exciting team that moves the ball well. And they have a lot of interesting players.
"I'd say this game and the Washington-Dallas game would have to rate as the two biggest games of the first three weeks."
Add Walker: The former Detroit Lion linebacker has been the sports director of San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX-TV since retiring from football in 1973. In past seasons, he has worked radio broadcasts of 49er games.
Because of his ties to the 49ers, the Raiders barred him from attending practice today.
"It's no big deal," Walker said. "Some teams allow us to attend practice on Fridays and others don't. I talked to (Raider executive assistant) Al LoCasale. I'll be allowed to talk to the players and coaches after practice."
One thing for sure. Had Madden been assigned the game, he wouldn't have been barred from practice. He is still a Raider employee, handling special projects.
Homecoming: Former Los Angeles sportscaster Gil Stratton, who lives on the Kona Coast on the island of Hawaii, where he owns two radio stations, will be back on the air here tonight. Stratton, in town on business, was asked by an old friend, Ed Kerby, general manager of radio station KDAY (1540), to work tonight's Gardena-Long Beach Poly high school game. KDAY's Pete Arbogast will be the commentator.
Asked when he last did play-by-play on high school football, Stratton said: "Two weeks ago. We do a game of the week on one of our stations in Kona, and I filled in for our regular guy. Before that, you have to go back to 1951 when I was at KGIL."
Stratton had open heart surgery last December, his second major operation. "I feel great now," he said. "I was back on the golf course in six weeks. I recovered faster the second time. Must be the fresh air in Hawaii."
New show: Following the baseball season, radio station KMPC (710) will inaugurate a new weeknight talk show, "Sports Open Line," with Joel Meyers as host. It will follow Jim Healy, who has been asked to expand his 5:30 show to a half-hour.
"Jim doesn't know if he can go to 6 o'clock every night, but he'll give it his best shot," KMPC General Manager Bill Ward said. "Whenever he finishes, 5:50 or 5:55, that's when 'Sports Open Line' will begin and it will run until 7 p.m. It will be a natural lead-in to our Clipper broadcasts this season."
Healy said he'll experiment with the half-hour format next Thursday. "I've got a classic Tom Lasorda tape that's never been aired before," he said. "I've got it all bleeped and ready to go and plan to use it Thursday night. It's the expanded version of the one in which Lasorda says, 'Garvey, Garvey couldn't hit the bleeping ball with a bleeping oar.' "
Add KMPC: Because of an Angel broadcast Saturday night, it is unable to carry the UCLA-San Diego State football game at 6. KLAC can't carry the game, either, because it is committed to the Kings' first exhibition game. So KMPC lined up XTRA (690) to carry the game. The powerful Tijuana station, formerly the Mighty Six Ninety, is now known as XTRA Gold because it plays music from the '50s and '60s.
Add UCLA: The Bruins are making the rounds of the networks. In their last four games, counting the last two last season, the Bruins have been on CBS (against USC), on NBC (against Miami in the Fiesta Bowl), on ESPN (against BYU) and on ABC (against Tennessee).
Clipper update: The top candidate for the play-by-play job for the telecasts on Channel 5 this season is Phil Stone of San Diego. Eddie Doucette, last season's radio announcer, reportedly is also being considered.
Ted Green, last season's radio and TV commentator, is probably the top candidate for those positions again this season.
Laker update: The team announced its schedule Thursday for the new cable channel, Prime Ticket Network. The first telecast will be Oct. 19, when the Lakers play the Boston Celtics in an exhibition game. The next telecast will be the team's home opener Nov. 5 against Cleveland.
Notes Saturday night's Larry Holmes-Michael Spinks fight will be televised live by HBO, with the coverage beginning at 6 o'clock. . . . Ross Greenberg, HBO vice president and executive producer, has put together a number of features. Besides in-depth profiles of the participants, the features include former light-heavyweights Bob Foster, Archie Moore, Billy Conn and Joey Maxim talking about their unsuccessful bids in title fights against heavyweights. Foster lost to Joe Frazier, Moore to Rocky Marciano, Conn to Joe Louis and Maxim to Ezzard Charles. . . . The fight is also getting national radio coverage, with promoter Don King having lined up both English and Spanish radio networks. KKGO-fm (105.1), a Westwood station, will carry the English coverage, as will KDIG in San Bernardino and KERW in Palm Springs. Don Dunphy is among the English-speaking announcers working the fight. Spanish stations carrying the fight include KSKQ (1540) in Hollywood and XEMO (860) in Chula Vista. Both the English and Spanish radio coverage begins at 5 p.m., with radio offering coverage of preliminary bouts.
Because the Raider game will be on Channel 2 at 1 p.m. Sunday, the taped coverage of the USC-Baylor game has been switched to 10 a.m. . . . The USC game will be televised again Tuesday at 11 p.m. on the Financial News Network's SCORE program. . . . Radio coverage of the USC-Illinois game Sept. 7 seemed a little out of sync. Announcer Tom Kelly fell behind several times because of untimely commercial breaks. During one ill-advised commercial break, the live call of Illinois' only touchdown was missed. . . . The national rating for Monday night's Cleveland-Pittsburgh football game was a 18.1 The rating for the second game of the season last year, Washington vs. San Francisco, was a 16.1.
Channel 4 won't be carrying any more Charger games that are blacked out in San Diego. NBC presumed that it was OK for Channel 4 to carry last Sunday's game against Seattle because CBS-owned Channel 2 had carried a non-sold-out exhibition game between Dallas and the Chargers last month. NBC was informed last Friday that it had to black out the Chargers in Los Angeles, but NBC got permission from the Chargers to go ahead and show the game in Los Angeles because ads and listings had indicated the game would be on.
KNBC was criticized here last week for cutting away from the coverage of Pete Rose's record 4,192nd hit too soon, but the station's managing editor, Pete Noyes, said he had to cut away because of restrictions imposed by the technicians' union. "I would have loved to have shown more but I was limited to three minutes because it was a pickup from another source," he said. . . . ESPN has hired Dan Kelly of the St. Louis Blues and Sam Rosen of the New York Rangers as its NHL play-by-play announcers. Kelly, who previously worked the games on the USA network, has been with the Blues for 19 seasons. He and the Kings' Bob Miller are probably the two best hockey announcers in the business. ESPN's commentators will be Brad Park, who played for the Rangers, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, and Mickey Redmond, a commentator on the Canadian Broadcasting Co.'s "Hockey Night in Canada." ESPN Executive Vice President Scotty Connal said that since ESPN has never done hockey before, he wanted experienced announcers.