Melanie Newman will serve as the Salem Red Sox‘s (High A; Carolina League) play-by-play broadcaster for 2019, joining color analyst Suzie Cool in baseball’s first all-female broadcasting booth.
Newman, who will serve as the Red Sox’s lead play-by-play broadcaster and media liaison, comes to Salem with over a decade of work in baseball, including last season as a broadcaster for the Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League). The careers of Newman and Cool–along with those of Kirsten Karbach and Emma Tiedemann–were profiled last September in a Ballpark Digest feature written by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.
“Melanie’s experience is going to be an amazing addition to our broadcasts this year,” said Salem Red Sox President and General Manager C. Ryan Shelton. “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.”
In Frisco, Melanie worked as a multi-platform broadcaster, serving as the number-two play-by-play announcer, sideline reporter for games aired on FOX Sports Southwest, and The Ticket Dallas. She was also a contributor for FOX’s Riders Insider and digital host for the RoughRiders including Choctaw Chats which aired from within the team’s lazy river. Melanie actively occupies several other roles. Those roles include statistics through Major League Advanced Media, broadcasting for the ACC Network, GameDay Radio, World Axe Throwing Championships, and hosting for Troy University.
“I’m so beyond thrilled to be joining Salem for numerous reasons,” said Newman. “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.”
Previous stops for Newman include two years covering the Big South Conference, three seasons covering the Arizona Fall League, a year at WKSY-TV, a season and a half with the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) as a broadcaster, and host, and four seasons covering the Atlantic Sun Conference. As a student at Troy University, Melanie was active in the sports information department as well as the student broadcast network. She was both broadcasting and working behind the scenes with all Troy’s Division-I sports. She served as president of the National Broadcast Society, Alpha Epsilon Rho, and was named Troy’s Most Outstanding Woman. In her free time, Melanie loves spending time in the gym, reading, painting, and traveling. Her offseasons in Atlanta include substitute teaching, bartending, and occasionally serving as a movie extra.
The tandem of Newman and Cool accounts for nearly half of the women broadcasting in Minor League Baseball or eight women in all of professional baseball. Kirsten Karbach has moved up to the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League), after six seasons with the Clearwater Threshers (High A; Florida State League). Emma Tiedemann returns for her second season with the Lexington Legends (Low A; Sally League). Jill Gearin has been named the newest broadcaster for the Visalia Rawhide (High A; California League). The group accounts for the Eastern, South Atlantic, California, and Carolina leagues, with Karbach and Newman’s past stints in the Florida, Southern, and Texas leagues. Melanie and Suzie’s booth debut will mark the first all-female broadcast group in professional baseball.
“The addition of Melanie in Salem is one that you’re going to want to keep your eye on all season,” said Cool the Manager of Marketing and Promotions, On-Field Host, and Color Analyst on select broadcasts with the Sox. “When beginning the hiring process for a broadcaster back in October, I had a vision of an all-female broadcasting booth for the organization. When Melanie reached out; and said that she was interested in the position, I was completely sold due to her incredible talent, and level of experience within the world of baseball, and broadcasting. She was the candidate we couldn’t pass up, and I could not be more excited to join her in the booth this upcoming season.”
Fans will be able to catch Newman’s call beginning Opening Day, when Salem travels to Wilmington on April 4, 2019; first pitch is scheduled for 6:35. Newman and Cool will debut together April 23, 2019, when the team travels to Potomac. All Red Sox games are broadcast on ESPN Roanoke (1240 AM) and ESPN Blacksburg (810 AM) as well as online at salemsox.com and the TuneIn App.