The new voice of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ is former Toronto Argonauts’ sideline reporter Andy McNamara.
McNamara, a nine-year sports broadcast veteran who has also covered National Lacrosse League contests for TSN telecasts and served as a radio host, will team with veteran Ticat color commentator John Salavantis, 73, beginning June 19 in Winnipeg for the club’s second pre-season contest.
McNamara replaces veteran CHML sportscaster Rick Zamperin, who provided the play- by-play for the past seven seasons but won’t continue as part of the switch of Cat broadcasts to 1150 CKOC. Zamperin remains as assistant program director at CHML.
TSN veterans Rod Black and Chris Schultz will team up to broadcast Monday’s Tiger-Cat preseason game against the Ottawa Redblacks.
After that contest McNamara and Salavantis will take over for the remainder of the season working with pre and post-game host Matt Cauz and former McMaster Marauder quarterback Marshall Ferguson, who will handle the sideline reporting.
The changes were confirmed Thursday by TSN radio national programming director Robert Gray as part of the re-branding of CKOC this fall into TSN 1150 all-sports radio in Hamilton.
So far Ferguson, 23, is the station’s only hire. He is under contract to provide podcasts and blog reports from the Tiger-Cat training camp to CKOC Radio 1150.
Gray said TSN and Bell Media are looking to hire about 15 employees eventually when the re-launch rolls out this fall.
“When we get things up and going later this fall with the full launch of the sports format we’ll be hiring for a number of positions. We’ll have news on that coming out in the next couple of months,” Gray said.
Gray confirmed the station will look predominately at Hamilton media reps for those jobs.
“Right now it is still the Classic Hits CKOC format for the summer and with the Ticat games, with additional coverage on the CKOC website. The full launch with the full TSN branding will come in the fall.” And we’ll start then with local shows as well.
“I think it’s going to be great. I think Hamilton is totally deserving of an all sports station. You have a great sporting community there, lots of great sporting history. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I know we’re getting a lot of interest about it,” Gray said.
CKOC will be one of six TSN stations across the country which will be carrying live coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which begins Saturday.