Former KBVR-FM commentator makes his dreams reality


Photo courtesy of Josh Worden

Former KBVR-FM play-by-play announcer and Barometer writer Josh Worden preparing to call the Oregon State baseball games in Surprise Stadium in Surprize, Ariz. on Feb. 18. While Worden was broadcasting the games, the Oregon State baseball team went 4-0, defeating the University of New Mexico Lobos and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs.

Sam Misa, Sports Contributor

What started as a chance meeting between Josh Worden and his idol ended up helping Worden realize his dreams of being a professional broadcaster could be a reality.

According to Worden, his interest in sports broadcasting began a decade ago in 2012 when he was still in high school. For Worden, he had no idea how to become a broadcaster—all he knew was he wanted to become one.

“It was just sort of a pipe dream because I didn’t know what a sports broadcaster is,” Worden said.

When a charity bid to have breakfast with Mike Parker, a 20-year veteran commentator for Oregon State University, occurred in the summer of 2012, a friend of Worden’s father won the bid. According to Worden, that friend intended to bring along his nephew to the dinner.

“His nephew never made the time or it just never worked out,” Worden said. “When I became interested in sports broadcasting, my dad’s friends suggested, ‘Well, how about you?’”

Not long after, Worden would end up eating with Parker at the restaurant formerly known as Broken Yolk, now known as WiseCracks Cafe in Corvallis, Ore. This was the first time Worden ever met Parker, and according to Worden, he still has a photo with Parker from that day.

“[Parker] just said to stick with it and thought that I could be good at it, encouraged me and was very conscientious and kind,” Worden said. “I grew up in Corvallis and I was a Beaver fan as a kid, and to meet the guy I’d heard so many times on the radio was awesome.”

From 2012 to 2022, Worden worked his way from high school to college level broadcasting, building up his experience and portfolio. This included four years working at Orange Media Network while he went to OSU. This year, Worden is closer to accomplishing his dreams than ever before.

While his major in digital communication arts was helpful in learning about media productions, to Worden, the best knowledge he learned was outside of school.

“The most helpful stuff was definitely the experience at the radio station with both [KBVR-FM] and the newspaper with The [Daily] Barometer.”

According to Worden, he thought making it to where he is now would take him much longer. As a matter of fact, he thought he would be in his 30s or even middle aged by the time he would be broadcasting for a Power-Five school.

Power-Five refers to the group of conferences—the Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12—that generate the most athletic revenue in the National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA].

“My goal in 2012 when I started was to be the next Mike Parker,” Worden said. “But I didn’t really think that was realistic. And it still is a dream. And I have no expectations of doing Oregon State sports long term. It’s not guaranteed to me.”

According to Worden, what he does now for a living isn’t necessarily easy to describe.
“This gig I’m doing right now is just a part time thing with Learfield,” Worden said. “They contract with Oregon State to broadcast the football, men’s basketball and baseball games.”

Learfield is a networking organization that hires people such as Parker and now Worden to commentate on sports. According to Worden, Learfield reached out to him in August about his current assignment following years of Worden trying to connect with Learfield to let them know he was open to working with them.

“They asked me to do the baseball game, the first quarter of the baseball season while Mike Parker’s still doing men’s basketball. Worden said. That was the first opportunity I’ve ever had to do Oregon State on the network radio broadcasts.”

As a broadcaster, for Worden, the most important thing to focus on is telling the story of what’s happening in the game.

“Sometimes I tell too many stories,” Worden said. “To be fair, it’s usually a three and a half or four-hour broadcast. And so I want to fit in as many stories as I can because there’s a lot of time to fill.”

In terms of what Worden plans to do in his future, he hopes to stay involved with OSU. For him, that means trying to get as many games near Corvallis as he can, as well as getting to broadcast for Oregon State as much as possible as well.

For anyone hoping to become a professional broadcaster, Worden said to make a full hearted attempt for it. However, Worden also said to not make broadcast your whole life.

“You get out what you put in and effort you put in,” Worden said. “The more you’re thinking about it in ways that are real and treating it like it’s a big deal, the more you’re going to receive.”

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