Sports

Sports media

Walt Perkins, WBZ radio part ways

The Patriots’ rout of the Broncos earlier this month drew a 47.2 household rating and 69 share locally on CBS.

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Patriots’ rout of the Broncos earlier this month drew a 47.2 household rating and 69 share locally on CBS.

Walt Perkins, a familiar sports voice on news radio WBZ (1030) for more than a decade, is no longer working at the station.

Multiple industry sources said Perkins was fired approximately two weeks ago for reasons that were unclear.

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But Perkins, who had been at the station since 2001 and took over as the morning sports anchor in 2009 when Gil Santos retired, said Wednesday that the decision was mutual and something he had been considering for a while.

“I had been thinking about it since our clock changed and the sports role was greatly reduced,’’ wrote Perkins in response to a request for comment via Facebook. “I was given 70-90 seconds for my sportscasts. In a market that supports two full-time sports talk stations, it was discouraging. But that is the direction the station wanted to go in.

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“Luckily for me, the news anchors managed to find me another 20 or 30 seconds most times, but that often left them fighting the clock for ‘Traffic on the 3’s.’ When I heard some other opportunities might be developing in the market, I thought the time was right to make a move.”

A spokesperson for CBS Radio Boston, WBZ’s parent company, did not respond to a request for comment.

Perkins worked as a freelance sports reporter and weekend anchor at Ch. 5 from 1988-2003. He also spent the 1987-88 season as studio host for Bruins broadcasts on Ch. 38.

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Perkins said he already misses some aspects of his role at WBZ, though not necessarily the early wake-up call.

“I must say, not having the alarm go off at 1:50 a.m. isn’t all that bad. I am slowly getting acclimated to the Eastern time zone once again,’’ he said. “I do miss my co-workers in the morning. There’s a certain camaraderie you develop when you are all sleep-deprived together.”

Changes at Herald

The Boston Herald has hired Sean Leahy as its sports editor. Leahy had been a senior sports producer the past 3½ years for BostonGlobe.com. Previously, he was the digital NFL editor at USA Today.

He succeeds Hank Hryniewicz, who left in October after 10 years in the executive sports editor role. Hryniewicz had been a deputy sports editor for a decade prior to that.

Leahy is stepping into a potentially contentious situation. Mark Murphy, the current deputy sports editor and Hryniewicz’s longtime righthand man, was passed over for the role. Multiple Herald staffers have indicated recently that they believed the smart and widely respected Murphy would and should be the choice.

It bears watching to learn whether there will be more willing departures on the Herald sports staff. Gerry Callahan, the WEEI morning show co-host who at his best was an exceptional sports columnist, quit his role as a contracted columnist around the time Hryniewicz left.

Highly rated

The Patriots have seemed to achieve one ratings milestone or another each week during their seven-game winning streak that has made them a consensus Super Bowl favorite. Last Sunday’s 34-9 victory over the Lions on Fox earned a 35.6 household rating and a season-best 70 share in the Boston regional market.

In other words, 70 percent of people in the market who were watching television Sunday afternoon were tuned in to the game. That’s staggering, and it leaves media watchers wondering what kind of crazy numbers might be attainable Sunday, when the Patriots take on the NFC’s Super Bowl favorite, the Packers, in a matchup airing on CBS in the desirable 4:25 p.m. window.

It should approach the highest-rated Patriots game locally this season, a 43-21 rout of the Broncos, which drew a 47.2 rating and a 69 share in the same 4:25 window on CBS.

He bears watching

Pablo Sandoval is a fine player, a better defensive third baseman than his portly physique suggests he should be, and an above-average hitter with three World Series rings to confirm his knack for rising to the occasion.

There are plenty of baseball reasons for the Red Sox to be pleased the player nicknamed Kung Fu Panda accepted their five-year offer.

But Tuesday’s introductory news conference, during which someone roamed the Fenway Park premises in, yes, a panda costume, is all the confirmation required that at least some fraction of his appeal to management is Sandoval’s easy marketability on NESN.

All revved up

NBC Sports Network will broadcast Saturday’s second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals between the Revolution and the New York Red Bulls. John Strong will be on the call, with Kyle Martino the analyst for the 3 p.m. match. It will also be carried on Univision Deportes. If you’re listening on the radio, it can be found at 98.5 The Sports Hub per usual, with Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner . . . Roughly 400,000 Massachusetts households who subscribe to Verizon FiOS for their TV service lost their signal to WFXT-TV (Fox 25) Thursday morning amid a fee dispute between Verizon and the new owner of the Boston-area Fox affiliate.

Jon Chesto of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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