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Originally, the St. Louis Blues aired their games on KPLR-TV and KMOX radio, with team patron Gus Kyle calling games alongside St Louis broadcasting legend Jack Buck. Buck elected to leave the booth after one season, though, and was replaced by another famed announcer in Dan Kelly. This setup—Kelly as commentator, with either Kyle, Bob Plager, or Noel Picard (whose heavy French-Canadian accent became famous, such as pronouncing owner Sid Salomon III "Sid the Turd" instead of "Third") joining as an analyst, simulcast on KMOX and KPLR—continued through the 1975–76 season, then simulcast on KMOX and KDNL-TV for the next three seasons. KMOX is a 50,000-watt clear-channel station that reaches almost all of North America at night, allowing Kelly to become a celebrity in both the United States and Canada. Indeed, many of the Blues' players liked the fact that their families could hear the games on KMOX.

From 1979 to 1981, the radio and television broadcasts were separated for the first time since the inaugural season, with Kelly doing the radio broadcasts and Eli Gold hired to do the television. Following the 1980–81 season, the television broadcasts moved from KDNL to NBC affiliate KSD-TV for the 1981–82 season, produced by Sports Network Incorporated (SNI), owned and operated by Greg Maracek who did the broadcasts with Channel 5 sportscaster Ron Jacober. The broadcasts failed to produce a profit and then returned to KPLR for the 1982 NHL playoffs and the 1982–83 season before returning to KDNL (currently St. Louis' ABC affiliate) for the 1983–84 season, the first under the ownership of Harry Ornest. The Blues skated back to KPLR 3 years later.

In 1985, Ornest, wanting more broadcast revenue, put the radio rights up for bid. A new company who had purchased KXOK won the bid for a three-year contract and Kelly moved over from KMOX to do the games on KXOK. However, the station was never financially competitive in the market. Additionally, fans complained they could not hear the station at night (it had to readjust its coverage due to a glut of clear-channels on adjacent frequencies). KXOK backed out of the contract after just 2 years, and the Blues immediately went back to KMOX, who held the rights until 2000. Dan Kelly continued to broadcast the games on radio but was diagnosed in the summer of 1988 with lung cancer and died on February 10, 1989. After his death, Ron Jacober (who had left Channel 5 to be KXOK's sports director in 1985 then left for KMOX in 1987) was hired as the radio play-by-play announcer for the remainder of the season, and John Kelly succeeded in that position. After Dan Kelly's death, Ken Wilson became St. Louis Blues' lead television play-by-play announcer alongside former Blues' players Joe Micheletti and Bruce Affleck. During this time, from 1989–2000, more games began to be aired on Prime Sports Midwest, the forerunner to today's Fox Sports Midwest.

The long-term partnership between KMOX and the Blues had its problems, however, namely during spring when the ever-popular St. Louis Cardinals began their season. Blues games, many of which were crucial to playoff berths, would often be pre-empted for spring training coverage. Angry at having to play "second fiddle", the Blues elected to leave for KTRS in 2000. However, in an ironic twist the Cards purchased a controlling interest in KTRS in 2005, and once again preferred to air preseason baseball over regular season hockey. In response, the Blues moved back to KMOX starting in the 2006–07 season. The season of 2008–09 saw the Blues play their last game on KPLR, which had the rights since the 1986–87 season (except for the 1996–97 season on CBS affiliate KMOV), electing to move all their games to FS Midwest, starting with the 2009–10 season. The Cardinals moved back to KMOX in the 2011 season, with conflicting games moved to KYKY, an FM station owned by the same group as KMOX.

Since the 2019-20 preseason, WXOS (101 ESPN) has been the flagship radio station for the Blues. Chris Kerber and Joe Vitale are the current radio broadcast team. John Kelly (son of Dan), Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko handle television coverage, and Scott Warmann, Terry Yake and Jamie Rivers (pre-game and post-game shows).

Radio

Years Play-by-play Color commentators
1967–68 Jack Buck Gus Kyle
196873, 197583 Dan Kelly Gus Kyle
197375 Dan Kelly Noel Picard
1983–84 Dan Kelly Bill Wilkerson
1984–85 Dan Kelly (primary)
Ken Wilson (during Kelly's NHL on CTV assignments)
Ron Oakes
198587 Dan Kelly (primary)
Ken Wilson (during Kelly's NHL on CTV or NHL on Global assignments)
Joe Micheletti, Bill Wilkerson, Ron Oakes, Bruce Affleck, and Joe Micheletti
1987–88 Dan Kelly (primary)
Ken Wilson (during Kelly's NHL on CTV or NHL on Global assignments)
Bruce Affleck, Joe Micheletti, Bill Wilkerson, Ron Oakes, Joe Micheletti, and Bruce Affleck
1988–89 Dan Kelly (before becoming ill)
Ken Wilson or Ron Jacober (after Kelly became ill)
Bruce Affleck, Joe Micheletti, Bill Wilkerson, Ron Oakes, Joe Micheletti, and Bruce Affleck
1989–90 Ken Wilson (first and third periods)[1]
John Kelly (second period)[2]
John Kelly (first and third periods)[2]
Ken Wilson (second period)[1]
Bruce Affleck
199092 Ken Wilson (first and third periods)[1]
John Kelly (second period)[2]
John Kelly (first and third periods)[2]
Ken Wilson (second period)[1]
Bruce Affleck
199296 Ken Wilson and Ron Jacober Ken Wilson and Ron Jacober
1996–97 Ken Wilson and Ron Jacober Ken Wilson, Ron Jacober, Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
19972000 Dan P. Kelly

[3]

Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
200018 Chris Kerber Kelly Chase and Joe Vitale
2018–present Chris Kerber Kelly Chase and Joe Vitale

Fill-ins

Play-by-play

Years Play-by-play
1969–70 Hal Kelly and Jim White
1970–71 Gus Kyle and Jack Buck
1971–72, 1974–78, 1981–83 Gus Kyle
1972–73 Gus Kyle and Roy Storey
1973–74 Jim White and Gus Kyle
1978-79 Bob Costas, Eli Gold, and Bob Starr
1979–81 Bob Costas
1983–84 Bill Wilkerson
1984–85 Ron Oakes
1985–89, 1996–97 Ron Jacober
1987–89 John Kelly
1992–93 Dave Strader and Paul Romanuk
1993–94 JP Dellacamera and Ron Jacober
1994–95 JP Dellacamera and Bob Miller
1995–96 JP Dellacamera

Color commentary

Years Color commentators
1968–69 Dave Martin
1974–75 E. J. Holub
1975–76 Jim Heard
1976–77 Rick Francis
1978–79 Red Berenson and Bob Starr
1981–84 Gary Green
1983–84 Dan Dierdorf and Jim Holder
1984–85 Dan Dierdorf
1990–94 Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko, and Bruce Affleck
1993–95 Ron Jacober, Rick Meagher, and Joe Micheletti
1995–98 Rob Ramage
1999–2000 Bob Hess, Kelly Chase, and Mike Zuke
2002–03 Pat Jablonski

Notes

  • During the 1968 playoffs, games were sent to WIBV for the entire playoffs with the exception of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. However, there was an ad for one game saying that KMOX would join the Blues game in the third period. KMOX however, didn't even air playoff games on days when the Cardinals didn't play. On April 13, Game 5 of the Flyers series was played at Philadelphia and could've been televised in St. Louis. However, Jay Randolph was covering the Masters golf tournament for CBS-TV and could not have broadcast that game on TV.
  • In 1988–89, during Dan Kelly's illness and eventual death, there were many different combinations used. In fact, one game KPLR used a split feed because Ken Wilson and John Kelly were not available, and they did not want Ron Jacober on a TV game. Rich Gould did the play-by-play for at least one game with Bruce Affleck.

Television

Years Play-by-play Color commentators
1967–68 Jay Randolph Bob Ingham
196870 Dan Kelly Hal Kelly
197073, 197583 Dan Kelly Gus Kyle
197375 Dan Kelly Noel Picard
1983–84 Dan Kelly Bill Wilkerson
1984–85 Dan Kelly (primary)
Ken Wilson (during Kelly's NHL on CTV assignments)
Ron Oakes
198587 Dan Kelly (primary)
Ken Wilson (during Kelly's NHL on CTV or NHL on Global assignments)
Joe Micheletti, Bill Wilkerson, Ron Oakes, Bruce Affleck, and Joe Micheletti
198789 Dan Kelly (before becoming ill)
Ken Wilson or Ron Jacober (after Kelly became ill)
Bruce Affleck, Joe Micheletti, Bill Wilkerson, Ron Oakes, Joe Micheletti, and Bruce Affleck
1989–90 Ken Wilson (first and third periods)[1]
John Kelly (second period)[2]
John Kelly (first and third periods)[2]
Ken Wilson (second period)[1]
Bruce Affleck
199092 Ken Wilson (first and third periods)[1]
John Kelly (second period)[2]
John Kelly (first and third periods)[2]
Ken Wilson (second period)[1]
Bruce Affleck
199298 Ken Wilson and John Kelly Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
19982000 Ken Wilson and John Kelly Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
200004 Ken Wilson and John Kelly Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
200509 Ken Wilson and John Kelly Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko
2009–present Ken Wilson and John Kelly Joe Micheletti, Bruce Affleck, Darren Pang, and Bernie Federko

Notes

  • The 1968-69 and 1969-70 simulcasts were unusual in the sense that while Dan Kelly's play-by-play was on both, Gus Kyle's comments were on KMOX only, and Hal Kelly did TV color (in addition to filling in for his brother on play-by-play on occasion).
  • Noel Picard was the primary radio/TV analyst in 1973-74 and 1974-75, with Kyle returning in 1975-76; while Picard was the analyst, Kyle filled in as play-by-play when needed.
  • Eli Gold did a separate TV feed in 1979–80 and mostly did games by himself but did have some injured players serve as analysts when available. The year before, the Blues still had a simulcast when games were on KDNL-TV. But with those games, only Dan Kelly's voice was heard. Kent Westling would talk with Dan Kelly on camera before the game and during the intermission, but was not heard on the radio. There were a few times when Kelly was "on assignment", there was a separate TV feed with Westling doing the play-by-play and Bob Plager serving as analyst. The 1978-79 season was one of two seasons (1984-85 being the other) where there was not set analysts on broadcasts. Once Ken Wilson arrived on the scene, Kelly and Wilson were the team for TV games.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Chris Kerber, Kelly Chase Introduced As New Blues Radio Broadcast Team On KTRS. St Louis Blues Online. Archived from the original on 2006-12-16. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 John Kelly Television Play-by-Play. Blues.NHL.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
  3. Dan Kelly Television Broadcaster. Chicago Blackhawks (2010). Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved on January 7, 2011.

External links

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