ESPN “World Series of Poker” co-host Lon McEachern, who made his debut in the Professional Bowlers Association broadcast booth as play-by-play announcer for the 2012 PBA Summer Shootout series, will join PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen as the PBA’s telecast team at the start of the new ESPN television season which begins in December.
McEachern is the newest addition to a distinguished list of announcers who have called PBA action over a span of more than five decades while Pedersen will celebrate his 12th anniversary as ESPN’s PBA Tour color analyst.
“Ironically, I first met Randy when I was sports director at KCOY in Santa Maria, Calif., and we covered the PBA Tour event in 1986 in Union City where he won his first PBA Tour title,” McEachern said. “We covered him pretty extensively during that tournament and I continued to follow his career after that.
“Our paths didn’t cross again until we worked together at the PBA Summer Shootout last summer, but when we met again it was like we were old buddies.”
McEachern, who has served as co-host for ESPN’s World Series of Poker telecasts with analyst Norman Chad since the show’s inception, has covered a variety of ESPN shows since 1994, including the Tour de France, X Games, World Cup Skiing, billiards and K-1 Kickboxing. Prior to his work with ESPN, McEachern called sporting events such as inline skating, martial arts and outdoor recreational activities for NBC, Fox Sports and the former Outdoor Life Network.
McEachern received a Golden Mic Award for his radio work in Southern California and was nominated for an Emmy for his X Games play-by-play coverage.
“As an avid sports fan my whole life, the weekends were often filled with watching sports and the PBA Tour telecasts were a can’t-miss show,” McEachern added. “The PBA Tour has always been in the upper echelon of prestigious sports properties and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
During a 25-year career on the lanes, Pedersen earned his place as one of the Tour’s top players, winning 13 PBA Tour titles. His skills led to his selection as the 35th greatest player in PBA history as part of PBA’s 50-year celebration in 2009, followed by his induction into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Since becoming the PBA Tour’s color analyst in 2001, Pedersen has witnessed many memorable moments in PBA history, but counts the major championships as the most memorable.
“What has been the most memorable for me over the past 12 years has been covering some of the greatest majors in PBA history,” Pedersen said. “The past three seasons have been good examples when you look at Kelly Kulick becoming the first woman to win a Tour event at the Tournament of Champions in 2010; Mika (Koivuniemi) winning the TOC with a 299 in the semifinal match in 2011, and Pete Weber’s dramatic fifth U.S. Open title this past season. You can’t beat those.”
Pedersen incorporates his experience as a player, knowledge of the game and a mixture of humor and commentary to keep PBA Tour fans informed and entertained.
“You try to not talk above or below the audience, but right in the middle,” Pedersen said of his role as color analyst. “I strive to bring a player’s perspective to the audience in a fun and informative manner to enhance their viewing experience.”