By Paul Sykes
A welcome change in the WHAS-TV broadcast booth for University of Louisville football: Morning radio talk show host and former University of Kentucky sideline reporter Drew Deener has replaced Ari Wolfe as the face of Cardinal football and hoops.
The move, while rather surprising, makes sense on several fronts. Deener has a good, balanced delivery and is not prone to the dramatic swings that some announcers display during broadcasts. He’ll pair well with the loquacious Bob Valvano during basketball season. Doug James, who will pair up with Deener for football broadcasts, has a strong knowledge of the game and should be able to carry Deener while he gets his feet wet.
Deener’s pairing with former coach John L. Smith last year on the Early Birds radio show on 790 WKRD proved that although Deener has strong UK roots, he could also be an informative and even positive mouthpiece about the Cardinal program.
Deener still heads up the Early Birds each morning and is expected to continue in that role in addition to the new duties.
Wolfe, who came to Louisville from Philadelphia in 2005, was a competent and informative face for Cardinal sports while here but never really seemed to become a big fan favorite with Cardinal sports television viewers.
The fact that Rick Pitino used radio funnyman Terry Meiners instead of Wolfe for his weekly show might suggest that although he performed his play-by-play tasks well, his ability to ad lib and interact with coaches was suspect. This theory could also be amplified by the use of veteran broadcaster Paul Rogers to host the weekly Steve Kragthorpe television show.