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NSMA names annual award winners

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Kimball, Cyr named Maine’s Sportscaster, Sportswriter of the Year

BANGOR/HOULTON – The National Sports Media Association has named its Sportscasters and Sportswriters of the Year.

The NSMA names annual winners for each state. This year’s Maine winners are Rich Kimball of Black Bear Sports Properties/Learfield in Orono for Sportscaster and Joe Cyr of the Houlton Pioneer Times for Sportswriter. This marks Kimball’s seventh time winning the award; it is Cyr’s first win.

These awards are voted on by each state’s NSMA members. The other finalists included WAGM-TV’s Rene Cloukey for sportscasting and the Bangor Daily News’s Ernie Clark for sportswriting.

Kimball – host of the ever-popular “Downtown with Rich Kimball” radio show on AM 620 WZON – has won this award numerous times, largely for his work as part of the broadcast team for University of Maine Black Bear football.

(Note: The writer of this story is a twice-weekly guest on “Downtown” and a longtime friend and colleague of Kimball’s. He is also a former voting member of the NSMA.)

Cyr is a veteran of the print media here in Maine, having spent time at various places all over the state. The Houlton native has worked in Presque Isle and in Rockland; he has been at the Pioneer Times since 2009.

The hardware will be handed out at the 59th annual NSMA Awards Weekend, scheduled to take place June 23-25 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In addition to the 50 state awards, the NSMA also picks national winners. This year’s honorees are:

Kevin Harlan, National Sportscaster of the Year. Winning his first NSMA National Sportscaster of the Year award, Harlan is the recognizable voice of the NFL and college basketball on CBS, the NBA on Turner Sports, and Monday Night Football on Westwood One. Harlan began his career as a 22-year-old radio and TV play-by-play announcer, calling Kansas City Kings’ games. His path has also included stints as play-by-play announcer with the University of Kansas, University of Missouri, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, NBC, ESPN, and FOX Sports.

Adrian Wojnarowski, National Sportswriter of the Year. Wojnarowski has won the NSMA National Sportswriter of the Year award for the first time. Known for his NBA scoops, he left Yahoo Sports after nearly 10 years, and on July 1, 2017, returned to his hometown of Bristol, Conn. to work at ESPN. Before Yahoo, Wojnarowski wrote for The Record (Bergen County, NJ), Fresno Bee and Waterbury Republican-American. He is a two-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors’ “Columnist of the Year” award.

In addition, the NSMA has named four new members to its Hall of Fame. Baseball writer Thomas Boswell, play-by-play man Woody Durham, longtime sports broadcasting notable Bryant Gumbel and basketball writer Dick Weiss will be inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame at the June awards ceremony.


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