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Old 07-07-2006, 11:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Pens' Announcer Mike Lange Fired!

Lange, Penguins ready to talk
Bargaining for return to radio play-by-play position is set for next week
Friday, July 07, 2006

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mike Lange, fired last week as the television voice of the Penguins, will begin talks in a few days with the team involving the job as radio play-by-play announcer.

"There's really not a whole lot to report," Lange said. "We did talk to the Penguins [Wednesday] and set up a meeting for some time early next week."

FSN Pittsburgh, which holds the television rights to Penguins games, fired Lange last week and replaced him with Paul Steigerwald, who had been doing the team's games on radio. The Penguins immediately offered the radio job to Lange, although no specifics have been discussed.

Lange's name has been linked to a job with the Chicago Blackhawks, who are looking for a play-by-play announcer for their television games.

The Blackhawks do only road games, which means such a position would not necessarily involve Lange having to move from Pittsburgh, his longtime home.

Eddie Olczyk, former Penguins coach and before that a broadcast partner of Lange's, has been hired as the lead game analyst on NBC's NHL telecasts and as color analyst for television games by the Blackhawks.

Lange said he has not had much opportunity to explore other options.

"This decision sort of came out of nowhere, so it's going to take me a little while to figure all this out and see if there is anything out there and what to pursue," he said.

Lange has been involved with Penguins broadcasting for 30 years, most recently as the TV voice of the team. As rights holder, FSN hires, fires and pays the announcers. The Penguins control their radio rights and the announcers.

After difficult negotiations last summer, Lange signed a one-year deal, with FSN holding an option for the second year. FSN decided last week not to exercise that option.
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