Ticats radio duo brings a coach and quarterback together in the booth

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats radio team this season will be the broadcast equivalent of a buddy-cop movie.

Marshall Ferguson will handle play-by-play, cast in the role of the enthusiastic fresh-faced rookie getting his first shot at the big time. Meanwhile, his partner will be John Salvantis, the grizzled veteran returning to the booth for a 23rd season.

TSN 1150 general manager Bob Harris – somewhat miscast as the perpetually grumpy lieutenant – made the pairing official on Monday. Ferguson will replace Andy McNamara, who held the job for just a single season after the team’s radio broadcast rights were sold to TSN last spring after almost 50 years with CHML.

“Marshall and Coach Sal compliment each other incredibly well,” Harris said.

Ferguson, 24, was a quarterback for the McMaster Marauders from 2010 to 2014 while Salavantis, 74, was an assistant coach with the Ticats from 1985 to 1990.

“When we sat down with the Ticats and talked about what else we could bring to the broadcasts, we started looking at elevating the content,” Harris said. “Having a quarterback call play-by-play with Coach Sal in the booth as well, that’s pretty good combination.”

Harris is hoping the pair will appeal to different segments of the station’s target audience, with Ferguson plugged into the millennial generation and Salavantis resonating with the older demographic that remains the CFL’s core fan base.

“The league and the Ticats are trying to find new audiences and while the conversation has to happen on-air, it also has to continue online and through social media,” Harris said. “Marsh has that element covered and Coach Sal has the knowledge and respect from the team and the fans. It will be really solid from both sides.”

The Ticats and TSN are continuing to develop their digital presence and Harris says he expects that to continue. In other words, planning for the inevitable sequel has already begun.

“I think the Ticats and TSN are looking to push the envelope, innovate and do things different,” he said.

“I don’t think we’re done yet.”

Notes: Former Alabama kicker Cody Mandell’s performance at last month’s mini-camp appears to have earned him an invite to compete for the Ticats’ vacant kicker spot at training camp. “I’m excited to officially announce I will be Punting and Kicking for the @Ticats this season!” Mandell Tweeted. The team is expected to bring two or three kickers to camp to compete for the job.

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