IronPigs TV Network ‘Graduates’ Marakovitz

PRESS RELEASE – Meredith Marakovits, a former TV 2 Sports reporter and member of the IronPigs TV Network broadcast team, has accepted a position at ESPN 1050 AM (New York) as beat reporter for the 2010 World Champion New York Yankees. The Northampton native and former Central Catholic (Pa.) High School standout was a co-host of the IronPigs Pregame Show as well as the main sideline reporter for the first two IronPigs’ seasons on the Service Electric Cable TV & Communications’ Emmy Award-winning telecasts.

In addition, SECTV officially announced today that Sports Scene anchor/reporter Doug Heater has been named to replace Marakovits on IronPigs telecasts. Heater joins Mike Zambelli, Steve Degler, Matt Provence and Troy Hein on the IronPigs TV broadcast team for the 2010 season.

“We will miss Meredith and all the hard work she put into our sports broadcasts,” said SECTV General Manager Andy Himmelwright of Marakovits, who also worked on the station’s coverage of the Reading Phillies and served as a regular contributor to Sports Scene and other TV 2 Sports endeavors. “But we feel very proud to have helped launch her towards what should be a tremendous step in her career.”

Mike Zambelli, Sports Director of TV 2 Sports and IronPigs lead TV announcer, added: “Just like a Triple-A player trying to move up, Meredith did a great job here with us in order to earn her call-up to cover a Major League team. She has a very professional approach and – as a standout athlete herself – she understands the preparation and what an athlete goes through on a daily basis to be a successful reporter.”

Marakovits, who will also be leaving her position with Sports Radio 950 AM (Philadelphia), has recently made both regional and national contributions while covering the Phillies on Comcast SportsNet, ESPN and MLB Network.

“I’m very grateful to SECTV for giving me the opportunity to grow as a sports reporter,” said Marakovits, who played NCAA Division-I volleyball at LaSalle University. “I thoroughly enjoyed covering our local Pennsylvania teams making it a difficult decision to leave. Ultimately, a chance to cover arguably the most passionately followed sports franchise in the world in the country’s largest media market seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Marakovits becomes the second member of the IronPigs TV Network to advance to a position covering a Major League team, following former analyst Ricky Bottalico (2008) who last year joined Comcast SportsNet coverage of the Philadelphia Phillies as a studio analyst.

Heater, 42, has been a part of Sports Scene from its inception in October of 2004. The Clinton, N.J., native has also done both play-by-play and color analysis for wrestling, football and softball among other sports for SECTV.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity,” said Heater, who has been working in some capacity with the station since 1996. “As a sports reporter, I can’t think of a better thing to do than to be out at the ball park and around the game for 72 nights during the summer. I also feel fortunate for the opportunity to be able to contribute to an Emmy Award-winning production.”

SECTV coverage of live IronPigs baseball begins with Opening Day at Coca-Cola Park on April 14. Since their inaugural season in 2008, the IronPigs remain the lone team in Minor League Baseball to have all 72 home games televise live. Last September, SECTV was honored by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sporting Game-Live/Unedited Series.

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