Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post is reporting Jerry Schemmel has lost his job as a KOA Radio Colorado Rockies broadcaster. Schemmel’s termination comes as as part of iHeart Radio’s massive job cuts. iHeart is the largest radio conglomerate in the United States.
Schemmel has called Rockies games for the last 10 years, sharing airtime with Jack Corrigan. As Schemmel told Saunders, “There was never a day in my 10 years with the Rockies that I wasn’t excited to go to the ballpark... Calling baseball games was my dream job, always has been. To be able to broadcast a team from my own backyard has been amazing. Now I’ll have to find out what challenge comes next.”
“We are modernizing our company to take advantage of the significant investments we have made in new technology and aligning our operating structure to match the technology-powered businesses we are now in.”
Rockies fans expressed outrage on Twitter.
Jerry Schemmel is such a class act. I’m seriously sooooo sad that I won’t get to hear him broadcast Rockies games anymore. This is a huge blow in an already tough off season. pic.twitter.com/y3M7KPVIkx— becca (@beccadoodle10) January 16, 2020
This is sad news. I'm a Rockies fan and I listen to a lot of the radio broadcasts of a lot of their games. Jerry Schemmel is a very good baseball broadcaster and he will be missed by all Rockies fans. #Rockies https://t.co/mT2oSiJgyi— Kevin Mark (@Coachbulldog) January 16, 2020
According to Saunders, Manager Bud Black said of the termination, “Jerry is a pro. His passion for his profession showed up every day. I personally will miss our daily interactions and everyone around the ballpark. I’m sure we all feel the same.”
Saunders also reports that Schemmel’s termination comes at an especially bad time: Schemmel’s wife, Diane was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Corrigan told Saunders that there will still be a two-man booth for KOA broadcasts. When Corrigan and Schemmel were teamed together, they were both utilized as play-by-play broadcasters. It’s not immediately clear if there will be different plans heading forward.
Schemmel’s layoff provides an opportunity for AT&T SportsNet to expand their broadcast team with the popular broadcaster though there has been no indication the network has interest.
It should also be noted that Thomas Harding of MLB.com uncovered a story about KXNO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, where fans expressed their discontent with the layoffs of six sports talk employees (also by iHeartMedia). The fan response caused the station to reverse course and re-hire these employees.
If you want to see Schemmel back on Rockies’ broadcasts, this shows your voice can make a difference!