As the presence and impact of females in sports broadcasting continue to grow, a Boston Red Sox affiliate is prepared to take that growth to an exciting new level.
The Salem Red Sox, a Single-A-Advanced minor league team in the Carolina League, will become the first team in professional baseball to feature an all-female broadcasting team after announcing the hiring of new play-by-play announcer Melanie Newman on Wednesday.
Newman will be joined in the booth by Suzie Cool, who made history last season when she became the first female broadcaster in the Carolina League.
WE HAVE BIG NEWS! 🚨@MelanieLynneN will be the new broadcaster for Salem in 2019! The Sox now have the first all female broadcasting booth in all of @MLB and @MiLB, with the duo of Newman and @SuzKewl.
— Salem Red Sox (@salemredsox) February 27, 2019
“Melanie’s experience is going to be an amazing addition to our broadcasts this year,” team president and general manager C. Ryan Shelton said in a statement. “Her knowledge and extensive background in the game is going to provide an insight for our fans, that is going to be so different from what they have heard in the past. She and Suzie are going to take this historical moment for the game of baseball, and make this season one to remember for the organization.”
Newman is coming over from the Frisco Roughriders — the Texas Rangers’ Double-A affiliate — where she split play-by-play duties last season. She’s done previous broadcasting for the ACC Network and GameDay Radio, and was a sideline reporter for FOX Sports Southwest. But that’s only a fraction of an impressive résumé that has now led to this groundbreaking opportunity.
BLESSED to say I’m the new lead play-by-play announcer for the Salem Red Sox, Boston’s A+ affiliate! IT GETS BETTER! @suzkewl and I will be the first all-female booth! I’m so so SO excited to move to Virginia after spring training! LET’S GO SOX!!! pic.twitter.com/1XW6IOP457
— Melanie Newman (@MelanieLynneN) February 27, 2019
“I’m so beyond thrilled to be joining Salem for numerous reasons,” Newman said of her new opportunity. “The timing could not have been more perfect; the ability to finally work with Suzie, after bonding over social media, the way most of us women in sports have, makes everything come full circle. The cherry on top is working in the farm system of the team that my family is rooted in. I can’t wait to start sharing Salem’s stories with its fans.”
As for Newman’s partner, Suzie Cool came to Salem after working for AT&T Sports Network in Pittsburgh, where she helped provide content for Pirates broadcasts.
“I get to take one more step towards my dream and I get to show everyone what I know about the game of baseball,” Cool said prior to her Salem broadcasting debut last season.
Salem’s broadcast team makes up half of the women who are active female broadcasters in the minor leagues. They are joined by Kirsten Karbach (Clearwater Threshers) and Emma Tiedemann (Lexington Legends). That’s double the number of female broadcasters featured in Major League Baseball. ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza has become a regular on Sunday Night Baseball. AT&T SportsNet Colorado’s Jenny Cavnar handled play-by-play for several Colorado Rockies games last season, joining the all too short list of females to call MLB games.
Those numbers should, and hopefully will, continue to grow.
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