When Major League Baseball returns from its lockout, Orioles fans will have a new/old place to listen to the team’s radio broadcasts.

Orioles’ management announced a new deal with Hearst to air the team’s games on 98 Rock (WIYY 97.9 FM), WBAL (1090 AM and 101.5 FM), beginning with this year’s games and spring training.

While the team called it a “multi-year” agreement, Hearst identified the length of the deal as six years, meaning it will run through at least the 2027 campaign.

No changes were announced to the club’s radio announce team, which includes lead announcer Geoff Arnold and partners Kevin Brown, Melanie Newman and Brett Hollander.

In addition, though the Birds’ television games will remain on the team-owned Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, new programming is expected to air on Hearst-owned WBAL-TV 11.

The deal takes the team from Audacy-owned WJZ (105.7 FM), where they had aired since 2015. It returns Orioles broadcasts to a familiar place, WBAL AM, where they have aired for 44 of the 68 years the franchise has nested in Baltimore.

However, this new pact with Hearst, which owns WBAL Radio, 98 Rock and WBAL TV 11, adds the Orioles to the FM rocker’s programming, though it’s unclear how many Birds games will air on 98 Rock, given its music format.

The move comes a month after Hearst nailed down a six-year extension with the Ravens to continue airing games on its radio outlets.

With the Orioles and Ravens in the same radio roost for the first time since 2014, it will be interesting to see who gets most favored nation status on Sundays in September, when the two teams might play at the same time.

Milton Kent
Milton Kent

Sports Media Analyst

Milton Kent is a veteran of Baltimore and Maryland journalism. Kent began a long association with the Baltimore Sun in 1985, serving as the Evening Sun’s Howard County reporter for 2 ½ years before joining the paper’s features department as an entertainment writer in 1988. In the following year, Kent began covering men’s and women’s college basketball for the Evening Sun, concentrating on the Maryland men’s and women’s teams. He continued covering college basketball when the writing staffs of the Evening and Morning Suns merged in 1991. From there, he covered the Orioles for three seasons before becoming one of the nation’s first fulltime sports media critics for parts of six years. In 2000, he began covering the NBA until 2004, when he launched a high school sports column, which he wrote until he left the Sun in 2008. Kent joined the staff of AOL Fanhouse, an online sports operation in 2009, covering sports media and women’s basketball, until operations ceased in 2011. He then joined the faculty at Morgan State University in the fall of 2011, where he has taught until the present day. In addition to writing for various platforms, including Sports Illustrated.com and TV Guide, Kent has hosted “Sports At Large,” a weekly commentary program airing on WYPR (88.1 FM) since 2002.

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