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In Sports

Cory Provus spent three years calling Brewers games alongside Hall of Famer Bob Uecker. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi )

Twins opportunity was too good for Provus to pass up


Cory Provus really wasn't looking to leave Milwaukee any time soon. He liked it here. He liked the team. He liked being close to his family. He liked the community, the restaurants and especially the stadium.

But in a business with only 30 possible jobs, when the opportunity to be a No. 1 broadcaster becomes available, you have little choice but to pursue it.

And so Provus, is headed to Minnesota where he will become the Twins' lead radio broadcaster, replacing John Gordon, who retired after 25 years calling Twins games.

"I'm 33 years old," Provus said. "I have a No. 1 job. It blows me away because I never really dreamt that it would happen this quickly. And to have the opportunity to do it for a great organization like the Twins, which has such a storied past and all these great names and legendary players. That just blew me away. I just had to take this opportunity."

After three years sitting alongside Hall of Famer Bob Uecker, Provus becomes "the guy," working alongside analyst and former Twins outfielder Dan Gladden.

"How about this," Provus said. "In my career, I've been able to work with Pat Hughes, Ron Santo, Bob Uecker for the last three years and now with Dan Gladden. That's amazing to me.

"I can't wait to work with him. I know he's a great guy and he's got a great personality. He likes to have fun, likes to laugh at himself. He realizes that he's got a job to do as a broadcaster but also wants to entertain people. That's the beauty of it."

Provus said that he wasn't actively looking for a new job and that the Twins opportunity came about "casually." The chance first presented itself during a mid-summer series between the Brewers and the Twins. Provus was interviewing John Gordon, who had announced that 2011 would be his last season as the Twins' radio voice, for a pre-game show segment.

Gordon had mentioned that Provus should consider the position and as the Brewers' season came to an end, Provus' agent told him that the team had shown interest.

"I said don't tell me anything more," Provus said. "I didn't want anything to get in the way of my job at that time. We still had some important games left to play and I wanted to focus."

When the Brewers' season came to an end with a 12-6 loss to St. Louis in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, the Twins' again expressed interest and this time, Provus was ready to listen.

The process, he said, was quick. About 10 days after the season ended, Provus had an offer. And though it was pretty much a no-brainer on his part to say yes, he had some thinking to do and turned to his wife, Dana, and what he calls his "broadcast counsel," a group of respected colleagues and peers in the profession.

"I didn't talk to one person, professionally, who said this was a bad move," Provus said. "It was not only a 'yes,' but a professional no-brainer and we, as a family, made the choice."

Provus said he also spoke about the job with his current partner, who expressed his support, too. For Provus, that was a big go-ahead.

"I'll tell you this," Provus said. "If I didn't have his blessing, I doubt I take this job. That's how it is between Uke and I. He was great. He told me I was a fool to pass this up.

"I have a No. 1 job now, but I'm leaving probably the best No. 2 job in all of baseball and all of that factored into my decision."

The Twins' history of success and their popularity not just in the Twin Cities market played into the decision as well. With the Brewers, Provus was heard on Brewers Radio Network 35 stations across the state. The Twins Radio Network includes 88 stations in five states throughout the upper Midwest.

"It's not just a No. 1 job," Provus said. "I was only going to consider certain ones and this one was right up there. To come to a great team that has been to the playoffs, six of the last 10 years, draws over 3.1 million fans, keeps me geographically close to not only my family but also Dana's family, this just had to happen.

Provus said he was grateful to the Brewers for not only giving him the opportunity in the first place, but also for being gracious enough to leave for another opportunity. He had one year remaining on his contract, but did have a clause allowing him to leave should a No. 1 job become available.

From the Brewers' side, there are no hard feelings. Team spokesperson Tyler Barnes says the organization will miss Provus, but wishes him well.

"We think the world of Cory," Barnes said. We certainly didn't want him to go but these opportunities don't come along very often. There are only 30 of these jobs in all of baseball. He's going to a great organization and they're getting a great guy."

The team, in conjunction with broadcast partner WTMJ-AM, will begin its search immediately. Barnes said that neither party is going into the process with preferred candidates.

"We want to be as inclusive as possible," Barnes said. "We don't want anybody, at least those who are qualified with experience, to be discouraged from applying. We like to consider candidates of all different types and find the best person and not go into it with any kind of bias."

Uecker will also be a part of the conversation. Barnes said its important for the veteran broadcaster to participate in the process because, ultimately, he'll have to work with the new announcer on a daily basis.

"When you have a guy who has been with the organization as long as he has, he'll play a key role in this," Barnes said. "He doesn't have any preconditions either. He just wants to find the right person for it. We're all on the same page."


Talkbacks

diesel24 | Nov. 10, 2011 at 9:28 a.m. (report)

Check your facts - the Brewers were knocked out in Game 5...not Game 5.

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milrtime83 | Nov. 8, 2011 at 6:44 a.m. (report)

It's not that surprising. From your interview with him just last month it sounded like he would leave as soon as something better came along as that's what he has always done in his career (not that I can blame him).

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Bunderscore | Nov. 7, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. (report)

Cory Provus has had a pretty amazing career. Sad to see him go, because I think he's very talented, but happy that he has such an amazing offer. Best of luck to him!

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