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Baltimore Sports Media Approval Ratings: Anita Marks

ESPN 1300\'s Anita MarksI’m settled back in, the site appears to be functioning properly (cross your fingers), and the Orioles are off before visiting Wrigley Field for a series against the seemingly unstoppable Chicago Cubs. Perfect time for the latest installment of the Baltimore Sports Media Approval Ratings, no?

And this one’s a biggie, too. For today we tackle the person who is arguably our city’s most polarizing and controversial sports media figure: none other than Ms. Anita Marks herself.

I went back and forth a few times with this one. Is it too early? Should I let the SMAR concept marinate a bit more before taking on Ms. Marks? Maybe so, but screw it. The time is now.

Anita Marks is, for those who don’t know, the afternoon drive time host on ESPN Radio 1300 AM and, for part of the show, MASN. She arrived in Baltimore back in June of 2006 and has been a vocal and visible part of our sports landscape from basically day one. Prior to her time here, she was a sports radio host in her native Florida.

She’s also a former women’s pro football player who (as if anyone doesn’t know this) once appeared in Playboy.

She has an occasionally updated blog at the 1300 site and has her own site.

So: yea or nay on Ms. Marks? Vote below and explain/analyze in the comments. Criticize to your heart’s content but do so in a thoughtful and respectful way. Clean, cool, and on-topic are the order of the day.

Buck Martinez staged an impressive comeback in the last poll, eventually finishing as a solid “yea” with 72%. Something tells me Marks might not have it so easy…

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  • 18 comments to Baltimore Sports Media Approval Ratings: Anita Marks

    • Andrew out of Rochester

      I thought long and hard about this, trying to be relevant, and play Devil’s Advocate with myself and come up with a good argument for how Anita Marks helps, in some form, the Baltimore Sports Landscape. But here’s what I got: she’s an out of towner, nobody really likes her, she’s not that attractive (although she is ripped and will probably find me and destroy me for saying that…mostly because it’s not relevant when I just…said…I was going to be…relevant), she coddles her interviewees, and she’s probably the number 1 reason why Nestor et al is upset that they can’t have Orioles on their station, which has in turn led to me hearing about it fucking constantly and now my listening pleasure on a radio show that isn’t Anita Marks has gone down because of Anita Marks. God damn, actually that’s quite the reach for an out of towner to extend her power so quickly. That is impressive, and I will now vote “yea”.

      (No I won’t)

    • dan the man

      I’m willing to overlook the out of towner aspect of Anita Marks. Because she does seem like a legitimate fan of the Orioles and Ravens, even though that’s her job. But here’s what can’t be overlooked:

      1. Her grating voice.
      2. Her extremely overrated looks. (And I’m not saying that female sportscasters have to be good looking, but stop trying to advertise the show with it when it’s kind of a stretch – but that’s honestly not all her fault).
      3. Her God-awful interviews.
      4. Her tendency to ask the same question for like 5 minutes before finally deciding to settle on one version of it.
      5. Her lack of knowledge of the Orioles. She might love them, but every time I listen to her, I’m pointing out mistakes.
      6. Her annoying habit of trying to sound black when talking to black football players.
      7. Yes, AooR, I agree: Nestor and Drew now bitch about her so thanks for that, Anita.
      8. She is BY FAR the easiest, cushiest, safest, most-PC, soft-ball throwing player interview on sports radio. I will give her one thing and that’s that if the person is NOT a player, the interview CAN be legit. But wow. It’s so blatant.
      9. SO MUCH FREAKING RAVENS.

      I’m sure she’s a hard worker and good human being. But she just ain’t doin it for me.

    • neal s

      As one might guess, my vote falls into the “nay” category as well.

      I’m with Dan in that I don’t mind the out-of-towner thing. People move to new cities for their work all the time, and now that she’s been here two years it’s kind of a moot point. On top of that she seems to have embraced the city and that’s good and worthy of recognition.

      My issue with her is just that her show isn’t good. The analysis is thin, the focus is lacking, and I can’t remember the last time she brought something fresh to the table or actually made me think. She’s just simply not good enough to hold down afternoon drive on the city’s largest sports station. The only thing that saves her is access to the team(s), but even then she fails to capitalize on it and really deliver an insightful interview. It’s just wasted opportunity after wasted opportunity.

      Put her on HFS or BAL or some other station where she’s doing a lifestyle show with a sports focus and she’s probably fine. I wouldn’t listen, of course, but she’d probably be good at it. As it stands she’s simply in over her head and I think the fans deserve better.

    • Andrew out of Rochester

      Well, the out-of-town issue is this: she doesn’t seem to really know much about the Orioles. Baltimore has exactly 1 major sports team in the summertime. Baltimorons know about the Orioles. She’s been here two years, but doesn’t know enough to not make some foolish comment daily?

    • dan the man

      Neal, I think you summed it up pretty good.

    • neal s

      You’re right, Andrew, but I think that goes more to the “she’s just not that good at it” angle than to the fact that she’s from out of town. I don’t think her knowledge is lacking per se, I just think she lacks the ability to translate that knowledge into an insightful, informative daily show.

      I’m kind of surprised we haven’t had more comments on this yet. I suppose they might come flooding in tomorrow because the site outage this morning probably tamped down today’s traffic. I hope that’s the case, anyway, because I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion.

    • dan the man

      She had 10 “nay”‘s before anyone commented on it.. haha maybe that says something right there.

    • dan the man

      And whoever that lone “yea” is – speak up brave one and be heard!

    • Sportsman

      It’s about time…Anita is a nightmare! It’s funny she thinks she knows so much about the players and baseball/football, yet I’ve been told she’s never been in the clubhouse or locker room, but I’m willing to bet if there was a womens softball team in Baltimore, she’d be in that locker room all day long…lol…or sideline..hmmm…she talks about what the players do, but has never been to a game to talk to the players, never attends games (maybe in the stands once a season) but not as a “professional”…because she isn’t one. She has no respect from the athletes because they know she is a moron and doesn’t know her “craft”. Her guests (on the show because of the station, not her), disagree with her beaten ideas and call her on it over and over. And how does she do her hair in the morning? Putting a wet finger in a light socket? I give Anita a HUGE “Big Brown” “NNNAAAAEEE”…she should join the roller derby team in Canton! I know I sounded a little harsh, but it’s like a bad set of schreechy brakes in your car that you just can’t get rid of…Cheers!!!

    • I don’t really pay attention to her, I only really know about the talking heads of Orioles game time TV and radio (thorne, manfra, angel, martinez, palmer, hunter, theoharis, dempsey, etc), and I know very little of people like Nestor, Marks, Jim Davis … and all the other DJs I can’t think of because I don’t listen to them.

      That said, from what I know about Ms. Marks is that they try to sell some sort of sex appeal on her that just completely loses me. I don’t find her attractive. As mentioned before, she doesn’t necessarily have to be attractive to be a decent broadcaster… but to me it’s been her main selling point and if that’s the case then she fails. You get nothing, good day sir.

      I voted nay.

    • BTW, I wanted it to be known that I’ve taken Saturday the 21st through Sunday the 29th off of work etc, and I’m reporting from the New Jersey shore with my roommate from college. I went to my first minor league baseball game to see the Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies A affiliate; plays with the Shorebirds) play the Lake County Captains (Indians A affiliate). I had a blast watching the game even though they lost. They played obnoxiously awful music every time the opposing batters come up to bat (their lead off hitter always came up to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”) and their 9th hitting SS was always introduced as “strikeout captain of the team” and to that emo song “Hey There Delilah”.

      Anyway, I’m flying out of Newark tonight to Chicago to see the Wednesday night game. I’m going to try and find an orange Afro wig here and maybe some huge ridiculous sunglasses so I can dress up for this event. I can’t wait. I’m gonna take some pictures.

    • Mike L

      I thought about this for a while too. but I said nay. I do listen to her show if im out and about between 3 and 5 because i live in carroll county, and it’s the only sports radio i get. And somedays are in fact better than others.

      However i remember one day about 4 or 5 months back that I was listening to their show and she released “breaking news” that Ray Lewis (yes that Ray Lewis) was going to participate in UFC in the offseason, in 3 or 4 fights, and a possibly a paperview. The crew on the show went on talking about this for 30 mins talking about him being an all american wrestler in highschool, and debating whether he’d make it or not. Turns out someone calls in saying in fact “A” Ray Lewis (not thee Ray Lewis) was pursuing a UFC carrer, and that the name was a couincedence. I believe Ray’s agent sent an email to them later confirming that Ray was not participating in any of that. That kind of reporting, without any confirmation is just lazy. Credibility really is lost when you pull those stunts.

      The ultimate reason i say nay is because if she was replaced by another baltimore sports show, I wouldnt miss it.

    • dan the man

      HAhaha I remember that day also.

      Jesus…

    • Jeff in New Freedom

      She is the worst, when is her contract up so she can go packing back to Miami. It’s funny how CBS has to put others on the show with her to support her because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. CLUELESS & EMBARESSING are 2 words that describe her. Nasty Nestor needs to move on the dial to a station with power to reach the whole metro area & he’ll wipe 1300’s ass all over town.

    • xi0

      Kinda late, but I say “nay” as well.

      This has nothing to do with her looks, but I just don’t think she knows much about sports in any situation…and if she does, then she’s doing a horrible job proving that to me. I find her show irritating. She seems to take vacation all of the time, and when Ken Wienman fills in for her the show is about 1000% better, so much so, that callers to the show have expressed this sentiment several times before WHILE the show is airing on MASN. So she must not be that well-liked by someone at WJFK or MASN.

      The only bright spot about the show is maybe Jeremy Conn, who honestly doesn’t get enough airtime. I found that his show on WNST was decent. He must have had his salary multiplied several times over for him to bear sitting across from Anita every freakin’ day talking about her “favorite players” on rival teams. Makes me vomit.

    • Jessica

      anita marks is a very nice girl so dont bad mouth her she knows a lot about baseball/football and her show is awesome, its funny and great to listen to. go anita

    • James

      horrible show, way too many promos and ads and station ids, that’s at least half of the show. interviews are terrible. i can’t remember her ever having any kind of well-thought opinion that got people thinking and talking and calling the show. her existence is part of what makes baltimore a third-rate sports town. viviano and yaffe are better, it’s too bad viviano’s tv work would make him taking the spot impossible

    • T.J.

      A former co-worker sent me this link, and I felt compelled to laugh and commnt…

      I worked with Anita at the station she was at, – WFTL, 1400AM, Ft. Lauderdale, FL – before she got her gig in Baltimore. Remarkably, many of your same comments ring true with respect to her performance there. For example…

      1) The only sport she seemed to know anything about (or care about) was the NFL. Some knowledge of the Dolphins, but VERY limited with respect to the rest of the League. Always wanted to interview players, reporters, insiders, and usually got her way, which was unfortunate because the interviews were brutal, as apparently has been the case in your city.

      2) “Career” as a “pro” quarterback. It was painful to be on the air with her when talking to any pro athlete, as she always brought up the fact that she was an “ex-pro.” My wife played for a season in the same league. Obviously, there is no comparison to pro sports at any level. Most of the athletes who were involved in these interviews spent the time shaking their heads and asking other hosts and producers, “What the hell is she talking about.” We all agreed that she was, and probably still is, waiting for her call from Canton.

      3) Knew absolutely NOTHING about any of the other pro teams in the market. I’m talking Heat, Marlins, Panthers, UM. On the occassion when I was teamed with her, and talk centered around something other than the NFL, of if an interview was being conducted, she would often excuse herself and come back when the piece was complete. Sometimes because she had nothing to say, but mostly because she simply was not prepared.

      4) Hotness? Obviously that is in the eye of the beholder. However, I can assure you, in the studio, she looked nothing like the pages of Playboy.

      5) Respect in the South Florida market. Besides the fact that she was a woman, it ended there. Couldn’t write, didn’t produce, didn’t want to help produce, and was more concerned about getting VO or promo $$ than doing what should have been done.

      So many of us in South Florida are still shocked she got an afternoon drive gig in a decent market that loves their sports so much. We feel your pain, and hope that it will not last too much longer.