Frank Beckmann, current mid-morning host at Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit, has announced his retirement as play-by-play host for University of Michigan Football at the conclusion of the Wolverines' 2013 season. He is expected to remain at WJR.
Beckmann took over in the booth for the late Bob Ufer in 1981 and stayed on the job after WJR dropped the games and they wound up first on CBS Radio's WOMC-FM 104.3 and currently CBS' WWJ AM 950 in Detroit.
In May of this year Beckmann penned a controversial column for The Detroit News about political correctness that centered on the flap over a racially insensitive comment made by pro golfer Sergio Garcia towards fellow golfer Tiger Woods. The fallout of that column resulted in the University of Michigan condemning it as offensive, but took no public disciplinary action against him. Beckmann later apologized for the column.
Part of official retirement statement from IMG Networks:
"We appreciate all that Frank has done for Michigan football for the past 33 years," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics at the University of Michigan. "Frank has dedicated his Saturday afternoons to telling the story of Michigan football through the radio to our fans. His voice has become synonymous with some of the great calls in the history of our football program. We look forward to enjoying one more season of Frank being the voice of Michigan football before he begins his well-deserved retirement. We thank Frank for all the years of talent, travel and support of Michigan Athletics. We look forward to celebrating his contribution to our football program as the 2013 season unfolds."
"It has been a pleasure for all of us at the IMG Audio network and our marketing staff at University of Michigan to work with Frank," said Chris Ferris, VP of Audio for IMG College, the school's multimedia rights partner. "While we will miss Frank's distinctive call, we are very grateful to have his continuing involvement in our broadcasts this season as well as in consulting the IMG operation and participating in broadcasting features for IMG in the future."
Beckmann is a member of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards for his sports broadcasting - a career that has included time as the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Tigers on both radio and television as well as covering the Detroit Pistons and recently as a fill-in for University of Michigan basketball play-by-play.