Nashville, Tenn. - Nashville Predators Executive Vice President of Business Affairs Steve Violetta announced Thursday that veteran sportscaster Eli Gold, the radio voice of University of Alabama football and a member of NASCAR's Motor Racing Network, will take over the radio play-by-play duties for the Nashville Predators in 2006-07.
Gold joins the Predators' broadcast team with over 30 years of experience in the sports broadcasting industry, including 11 covering professional hockey. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native served as the play-by-play voice for the World Hockey Association's Birmingham Bulls (1976-79) and the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues (1979-80). He also handled play-by-play assignments in the Eastern, North American, Southern, American and Central Hockey Leagues.
"Many people don't realize that I began my career calling hockey games on radio and the sport has always been very near and dear to me," said Gold. "Having experienced the NHL years ago, I've always wanted to return, and I thank the Predators for giving me this opportunity."
A resident of Birmingham, Ala., Gold has been the voice of Alabama Crimson Tide football since 1988. Since 1976, he has been a member of NASCAR's Motor Racing Network, broadcasting racing events over a 600-station radio network, and he has also served as the play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, ESPN and TNN Motorsports in their coverage of NASCAR racing. On Sundays in the fall and winter, he is a part of Sports USA Radio's coverage of the National Football League, and Gold has provided the play-by-play for the Arena Football League on a variety of networks, including NBC Sports, FOX Sports Net and Comcast Sports.
"I continue to cherish the huge honor and responsibility of calling Crimson Tide football games, NASCAR races and the NFL," added Gold. "It is with that same sense of honor and responsibility that I join the Predators broadcast family."
The Predators announced earlier this week that they will produce separate television and radio broadcasts of their games in 2006-07, ending the simulcast arrangement that the club had employed since its inaugural season of 1998-99.
Play-by-play announcer Pete Weber and color commentator Terry Crisp will return for their ninth season together calling the Predators action on FSN South, and they will serve as the voices of Predators hockey on the club's radio network for all games that are not televised (or are televised exclusively by a national rightsholder).
"While many fans know Eli as the voice of Alabama Football in addition to his work with NASCAR, some also know he has an extensive hockey play-by-play background as well," said Violetta. "With Pete and Terry on television and Eli Gold now anchoring our radio broadcasts, we are going to create productions on TV and radio that play to the strengths of each medium, with added insight, creativity and uniqueness.
"Our loyal radio listeners will enjoy hearing a familiar voice now that we have decided to split the simulcast," added Violetta, "and we think Eli can help attract some new fans to Predators hockey on the radio."
WGFX 104.5-FM (The Zone) and WNSR 560-AM (SportsRadio 560) will be the flagship stations of the team's radio network for 2006-07, serving as the Middle Tennessee radio home of the Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League.
WGFX will carry all regular season and post-season Predators games that do not conflict with its previous broadcast commitments, while WNSR will broadcast the balance of the schedule. All regular-season and playoff games will include a post-game show, with home post-game shows emanating from the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Club inside the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
The Predators expect to name a color commentator for its radio broadcasts later this summer and will also make alternate arrangements for radio broadcasts that conflict with Gold's Alabama football commitments. The team expects to add a number of regional affiliates to the 2006-07 radio network over the next several weeks. A radio broadcast schedule will also be announced at a later date.
THE GOLD STANDARD
• Gold's 11-year hockey broadcast resume opened in 1971-72 with the Long Island Ducks of the Eastern Hockey League. He also worked with the Long Island Cougars (North American Hockey League), Roanoke Valley Rebels (Southern Hockey League) and Hampton Gulls (SHL/American Hockey League) before becoming the broadcaster for the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association. He served as the voice of hockey in Birmingham from 1976-1982, working through the Bulls' tenure in the WHA (1976-1979) and the Central Hockey League (1979-1981). He also served as the television play-by-play voice for the NHL's St. Louis Blues in 1979-80.
• Gold has been a member of NASCAR's Motor Racing Network (MRN) since May of 1976. Over the years, he has served the network as a co-anchor, turn announcer and pit reporter. Since 1982, he has served as the host of "NASCAR Live", a weekly, nationally-syndicated radio call-in show, which is now heard on over 450 stations.
• Gold has served as a play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, ESPN and TNN Motorsports in their coverage of NASCAR racing. He has also handled play-by-play for CBS Sports' regional coverage of NCAA basketball.
• Since 1988, Gold has served as the radio play-by-play voice of the University Of Alabama Crimson Tide. To this day, he remains the "Voice" of 'Bama's football program.
• He was hired as a play-by-play announcer for NBC Sports in late 2002, and has worked for NBC as a play-by-play announcer for their coverage of the Arena Football League.
• Effective in January 2005, Gold joined FOX Sport Net and Comcast Sports as a play-by-play announcer for their coverage of the Arena Football League.
• On Sundays in the fall and winter, Gold is part of Sports USA Radio's coverage of the National Football League. Sports USA Radio is one of two national radio networks to offer live, syndicated coverage of the NFL. He handles the play-by-play of one NFL game each weekend. In addition, Eli handles play-by-play for post-season college football bowl and all-star games for Sports USA Radio.
• Gold spent four years as a baseball play-by-play announcer in the Detroit Tigers organization.
• Gold is a four-time Alabama Sportscaster of the Year as voted by his peers in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He has twice been named the Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press and won the same honor once from United Press International.
• Gold resides in Birmingham, Ala. with his wife Claudette and their daughter Elise.