Barry Jackson

Heat names Crotty new TV analyst; NBC-6 hires Kuperstein’s replacement

From 1997: Miami Heat's John Crotty passes the ball past Portland's Kenny Anderson during first half action at the Arena. Crotty will take over as Heat TV analyst next season.
From 1997: Miami Heat's John Crotty passes the ball past Portland's Kenny Anderson during first half action at the Arena. Crotty will take over as Heat TV analyst next season. Herald Staff

The Heat on Friday named John Crotty its new television analyst beginning next season. He replaces Tony Fiorentino, who is not being retained but is being given a farewell season.

Crotty, 48, has been a member of the Heat’s broadcast crew since 2005, calling games on radio and appearing on Fox Sports Sun Heat studio programming.

According to sources, former Heat forwards LaPhonso Ellis and Caron Butler also received strong consideration. Former Heat guard Jim Jackson also auditioned.

Eric Reid will remain the team’s TV play-by-play announcer.

“It’s truly an honor to have such a lengthy history with the Miami Heat, first as a player, then as a radio broadcaster and now as the TV color analyst,” Crotty said. “I want all of Heat nation to know that I am humbled by the big shoes I have to fill, but very excited to take on the challenge.”

According to a source with direct knowledge, the Heat wanted to upgrade over Fiorentino, who is in his 15th season as the Heat TV analyst. His new job will include community events and running the Heat’s basketball camp.

Crotty, who spent the 1996-97 season as the Heat’s backup point guard, becomes the seventh TV analyst in Heat history, following Reid (who began as an analyst alongside original play-by-play man Sam Smith), Dave Wohl, Jack Ramsay, Ed Pinckney, Mike Fratello and Fiorentino.

Crotty played for seven teams in an 11-year NBA career (1992-2003), averaing 4.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 477 games.

“John has been a part of the Heat family for many years, who has earned this opportunity,” said Eric Woolworth, the Heat’s president/business operations. “We are thrilled to have him on board as our color analyst and excited about the future of our broadcasts on Fox Sports Sun. We have every confidence that John is going to do a great job.”

NBC-6 MAKES HIRE

NBC-6 has promoted weekend news anchor Keith Jones to the job previously held by Adam Kuperstein - lead sportscaster and news anchor on two weekday afternoon newscasts.

Jones, who has been a news anchor and reporter for NBC 6 since July 2012, will co-anchor the 4 p.m and 5:30 p.m. news shows and also assume all lead sportscaster duties, including host Sports Final at 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.

He replaces Kuperstein, who left in September to become a weekend co-anchor at the NBC owned-and-operated station in New York City.

Chris Fischer will remain NBC-6’s No. 2 sportscaster.

“Keith Jones is a well-rounded TV journalist that tackles breaking news, in-depth reporting and sports with great passion,” said Migdalia Figueroa, NBC-6’s vice president/news. “With his unique set of skills and knowledge, Keith is the perfect person to replace Adam Kuperstein as 4 PM anchor and lead of our sports coverage.”

Before joining NBC 6, Jones was a news anchor at the CBS affiliate in Tampa. He has reported from the crash site of United Flight 93 on September 11th, 2001, and from the scene of nine trapped miners at Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania.

Jones earned a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication/Journalism from Barry University, where he attended on a baseball scholarship.

Lead sportscaster jobs in the market don’t come open very long. The market’s other lead sportscasters - WSVN-Fox 7’s Steve Shapiro, WFOR-CBS 4’s Jim Berry and WPLG-ABC 10’s Will Manso - have held those positioned for more than 55 combined years.

Shapiro’s 27 consecutive years as a South Florida TV sports anchor ranks second in the market’s history behind Tony Segreto, who anchored weeknight sportscasts at WTVJ for 29 years (the last two of which he juggled news and sports).

This is the third among my four posts in a few hours today. Please click here for some interesting comments from Al Michaels on how the networks benefit when the Dolphins are good, and some more TV stuff. And please click here for my story on the Dolphins raising ticket prices.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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