A WEEI Red Sox banner and job posting. A WEEI Red Sox banner and job posting. (WEEI.com, Audacy on LinkedIn.)

There are an extremely limited number of regular TV and radio MLB announcing roles for teams, making those positions hotly-coveted. And once in those roles, many stay with that team for decades, or if they do move on, it’s in a highly-publicized move to another team and/or to a national role. And the searches for replacements are often handled very quietly with the team talking to specific targets rather than just posting a general-purpose job application.

Thus, that all had many wondering what was going on when Audacy (parent company of Boston radio station WEEI, home of the Red Sox radio broadcasts) posted a job ad to numerous career sites for “Red Sox play-by-play/analyst announcer.” That had a lot of people thinking the station was replacing Will Flemming (who had held the Red Sox’s lead radio play-by-play role since 2019). But station program director Mike Thomas told Chad Finn of The Boston Globe this role is just “building a bench” behind Flemming (who does also do ESPN work, and thus may need a substitute at times):

And the full LinkedIn posting for this job does back that up if you read it to the end closely, including with lines like “Some games/innings will be in a play-by-play role, describing on-field action; other games/innings would be spent as an analyst, assisting the lead play-by-play voice with game reaction.” And the “entry level” applied to this posting makes sense for that (and would presumably not be a term used for Flemming’s role). But with the mention of main analyst Castiglione and the omission of Flemming in the posting, and with only the first paragraph of the posting being shown in the tweets on this, it’s quite understandable why many thought this was a move replacing Flemming. Here’s some of that conversation:

At any rate, it looks like WEEI isn’t actually replacing Flemming. And it’s absolutely reasonable (and smart) to hire some announcers in smaller roles like this, giving them some experience that can maybe lead to more down the line. And for a limited rather than primary role, an open posting like this actually has a number of advantages, allowing all those who think they might fit to apply and creating a wider candidate pool to consider than a targeted search would. But this announcement probably could have been worded better if the goal isn’t actually to replace Flemming, especially considering the drama we’ve seen around beloved Red Sox announcers being replaced in the past.

[LinkedIn, Chad Finn on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.