The Lakers have agreed to multiyear deals with broadcasters Bill Macdonald and Stu Lantz, making them the centerpiece of the team’s move to a newly created Time Warner Cable channel next season, The Times has learned. Macdonald is in his first year as the Lakers’ play-by-play announcer, and Lantz is in his 25th year as their color commentator. After a decades-long partnership with Fox Sports West and Channel 9, the Lakers begin a 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable next season. It could be extended to 25 years and total more than $5 billion if the Lakers pick up an option for five more years in 2032. Macdonald was on a one-year contract this season after replacing Joel Meyers and becoming the Lakers’ third play-by-play announcer since Chick Hearn. Radio broadcasters John Ireland and Mychal Thompson are also expected to be retained next season by the Lakers, though nothing has been finalized.
Bill Macdonald Rumors
The Lakers have hired Bill Macdonald to do TV play-by-play and John Ireland to do radio play-by-play for their local broadcasts in the 2011-12 season. Spero Dedes had hoped in April a deal would work out for him to move from radio to the Lakers’ TV job. But things changed during negotiations that included Dedes wanting to continue periodic work for CBS on the NFL and college basketball and other national jobs — and Dedes is instead headed to be a radio and TV play-by-play man for the New York Knicks, who will allow him to do some national work. “We had a verbal agreement with Spero to be our new TV play-by-play announcer,” Lakers spokesman John Black said. “However, prior to getting a finalized contract, he had a change of heart and decided to pursue another job.”