Kenny Albert’s New Book Offers Rare Look Into Broadcasting Royalty
After reading Kenny Albert's book - A Mic For All Seasons, it's hard not to be jealous of his broadcasting career.
As a sports fan and as someone who has enjoyed access to sporting events as a member of the media, be it radio, TV, and print, watching from afar a rare individual that craves to climb to the industry's top of the ladder, I'm always rooting them on. Rooting for Kenny Albert is easy. 258 pages that comprise his life and times has me applauding his personal and professional drive right up until the last page of A Mic For All Seasons.
Why am I an even bigger fan of Albert's today, since completing the book? He has never resorted or deflected to pursuing an opportunity with a team or network, solely because of who his family is. Dad is Marv Albert. Uncles Steve and Al Albert, combined, have been the "voice" to 10 professional sports franchises, and anchors at the sports desks for several major market news programs.
What I learned about Kenny's drive for success in his writing is the drive has been and continues to be his own. He loves sports and the broadcasting industry as much as his family members that have come before him. And, he's done so from the bottom up. Kenny is in every sense of the word a - grinder.
"I have a pretty good memory, but I think I had to look up a few things," said Albert about collecting a lifetime of memories during a recent telephone conversation from his New Jersey home. "(A Mic For ALL Seasons) was a lot of fun to write. I started it during the pandemic, writing while I was traveling, on planes, and in hotels."
Each page is a quick read. One job after another that he took on, even while a college student at NYU in the "Big Apple", Albert remained focused on learning the family business at every level.
"I've been very fortunate to do what I do. It's pretty hectic at times, but I have always enjoyed the variety of sports. It's hard to believe it has been 30 years in broadcasting."
One of the most rewarding parts of putting together his memoir was hearing from people that Albert worked with early on in his career. Throughout the 14 chapters of A Mic For All Seasons, readers will become familiar with the names of Albert's close network of friends, some dating back to his childhood growing up on Long Island. He remains as loyal and energetic with his friends as can be. Some friends, Albert has worked professionally with as well.
Kenny's mom, Benita, is introduced, publicly, perhaps for the first time by Albert in his writing. The story on how his mom and dad met (Shea Stadium had much to their initial contact), how she schlepped him around to college, setting up roots in Maryland for his full-time gig with the the AHL Baltimore Skipjacks, wherever he needed to be, is amazing. Even more amazing is, later in life, is her going through law school and making a difference for a variety of clients. Benita comes off as a hero,
Then, there is Barbara, Kenny's wife. Another absolute stalwart in the success of his career. Be it weather conditions, or airline complications, the stories shared of car services contacted at all hours, to ensure her husband of being where he has to be , and on time, is nothing less than spectacular. With little or no advance warning, getting cars to take Kenny from Cleveland or Pittsburgh, to home base in New Jersey, shouts teamwork. This partnership is another aspect of the Alberts to envy.
When this past August the package dropped off at his home arrived of 60 copies of A Mic For All Seasons, Albert was excited to see the final copy of his writing. He credits his daughters for playing a big part in the process.
"If I forgot a story, they helped out, especially my oldest daughter Amanda. She was a big part of the editing process."
After more than two years of gathering his information, Albert met the September 2022 deadline.
Perhaps another title for Albert's book could be Hunger Games. His steady diet of working late, far and close to home, never turning down an offer is what has allowed Albert to maintain status at the highest level. One of my favorite takeaways in A Mic For All Seasons is when Albert was working as an associate producer for Mets Extra, on radio with Howie Rose, during the 1987-89 seasons.
Readers learn that the Mets' post game radio show ended long after the play on the field had concluded, some times beyond midnight when Albert and Rose left Shea Stadium. Off he would walk to the LIRR or subway platforms, alone, to ride back into Manhattan.
What was it like, when as a child, Albert would have as house guests of his father the likes of Phil Jackson, Julius Erving, or "Chico" Resch? It's in the book. Getting his first shot at the "big-time" as a college student to call Islanders games on radio as a fill-in, to currently being the play-by-play radio voice of the New York Rangers, and seated next to Wayne Gretzky on team charter flights, none of this has ever been taken for granted by Marv's son.
Why is Albert calling NFL games for FOX Sports since September 1994? He hustles, and knows no other way to complete an assignment.
A Mic For All Seasons should be used in college classrooms, a must read for all those hoping for a career in broadcasting or sports administration. Hard work does pay off, but in most instances takes time, and a network surrounding you with those who have your best interest at heart. This is the life of Kenny Albert.
Don Laible is a freelance sportswriter from the Mohawk Valley, now living in Florida. He has reported on professional baseball and hockey for print, radio, and on the web since the 1980's. His columns are featured weekly at WIBX950.com. Don can be contacted via email at Don@icechipsdiamonddust.com.
Fox Host Failla Reaches USA from WIBX Studio in Utica
Gallery Credit: Bill Keeler
Top 10 Local News Stories of 2021
Gallery Credit: Jim Rondenelli
Top 5 Local Sports Stories Of 2021
Gallery Credit: Jim Rondenelli
10 Photos That Remind You Just How Much Litter America Produces
Gallery Credit: Kristine Bellino