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Radio Voice of Local Football Calls His Last Game

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Matt Levine will call his final game for radio stations WSTC and WNLK on Saturday when Stamford and New Canaan football face off at Boyle Stadium. It may be the last for the recently sold radio stations, but he’s hoping to find another outlet to serve listeners.

“My option is to find options,’’ said Levine, 38, who has been the radio stations’ sports voice since 2001. “I have a website, zsnsports.com, where I’ve done some broadcasts, and I’m trying to build on that. I’ll try to do some things online. It’s time to take the next step.”

Levine started calling football games for the stations in 2002. He also hosted "The Final Score," a local talk show that discussed local, regional and national sports topics. He also delivered sports news on morning broadcasts. He will do his last "Final Score," a look back on nearly a decade of local sports talk, Saturday from 1-2.

Cox Media Group sold the stations this week to Sacred Heart University, which runs a National Public Radio affiliate and classical music station from its Fairfield campus. Ten employees and 30 hosts will lose their jobs in the transition, which takes effect on Monday.

“It’s sad,’’ Levine said. “I provided something no one else provided. It was good to be exclusive and bring things that nobody else can offer.”

Levine, a Stamford High graduate and Stamford resident, also worked at WGCH in Greenwich and in Eunice, La., where he was the News/Sports and operations director for Tri-Parish Broadcasting. Here in Fairfield County he interviewed some of the area’s biggest sports names, such as Gail Goodrich, Calvin Murphy, Bobby Valentine and Tommy John.

“The ability to do everything was fun,’’ Levine said. “The Saturday show was always good. The good games are the best. Sometimes you get some duds, but I enjoyed doing all of them.”

The timing could not have been worse from a football broadcaster’s perspective, either. The season is winding down with some critical contests on the short-term horizon. Levine won’t be able to deliver them to listeners. And people who can’t get to the games won’t have direct access to the contest. The Twitter feeds and real-time updates are nice. They are no match for a real voice delivering the play-by-play as it occurs.

“You do some crummy games, and now there are these good games in the next few weeks and I won’t be able to cover it,’’ Levine said. “The timing is bizarre.”

The losers in the transition will be Fairfield County radio listeners. Levine, who has a full-time position in software sales for a financial company, brought experience and a passion for local sports that only few people in the media industry can match. He will call the Stamford-New Canaan on a tape delay beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Then he’ll set off on the business of finding a new method to keep listeners current on the Fairfield County sports scene.

“I’m going to miss the relationships and being able to bring sports to the community,’’ Levine said. “I enjoy being a sportscaster and doing what I think I was born to do.”

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