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Ben Wagner axed from Toronto Blue Jays radio broadcast

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Photo credit:instagram.com/benwag247
Zach Laing
2 months ago
Sportsnet announced a shocking move Wednesday morning: Ben Wagner will not return to Toronto Blue Jays radio broadcasts.
Wagner, 43, worked his way up calling games through the Jays organization, first starting as the play-by-play voice of the Triple-A Bisons in 2007 when the club was still affiliated with the MLB’s Cleveland Indians, now called the Guardians, and later with the New York Mets. The Bisons became affiliated with the Jays in 2013.
He was promoted to the Jays broadcasts in 2018, taking over for the legendary Jerry Howarth, who served as the voice of the Jays starting in 1981.
Wagner’s contract wasn’t renewed, Sportsnet said in a statement, which thanked him “for sharing (his) voice and expertise with listeners across Canada.”
No replacement has been named, but the company said it would “announce our radio broadcast booth prior to the start of the 2024 season.”
Hired in 2018, Wagner called games between that season and the 2020 campaign alongside Mike Wilner, but in 2021, Sportsnet experimented with simulcasting the television broadcast across the radio network. It was short-lived, however, as in July of that year, they returned to a dedicated radio broadcast featuring Wagner.
Wagner, a native of New Paris, Indiana, grew up a fan of the Chicago Cubs, and got his first on-air role in Nov. 1997, working for WAWC-FM when he was 16 years old. He later graduated from Indiana State University in 2003, with a B.S. degree in Radio/TV/Film.
Sportsnet’s broadcasts of the games reach across the nation with stations in the west in British Columbia (Vancouver), Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton), and Saskatchewan (Estevan, Kindersley, Rosetown, Weyburn), as well as stations in Nova Scotia (Halifax) and Quebec (Montreal) broadcasting the play-by-play radio call. Ontario, meanwhile, has stations broadcasting the call in Kitchener, London, North Bay, Ottawa, Sarnia, Smiths Falls, Stratford, and Wingham.
Sportsnet is a sports network owned and operated by Rogers Sports & Media, a subsidiary of the same organization that owns and operates the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Communications.
Wagner’s agent, nor Sportsnet, immediately responded to requests for comment.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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