While the on-ice product of the Los Angeles Kings has garnered popularity over the last few years due its vast success, the same can be said for their broadcasting team. On Wednesday, another honour was bestowed upon one of their own as it was announced the club’s television color analyst, Jim Fox, will be inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Reported by Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, the news of Fox’s induction into the SCSB Hall of Fame in the new year will make him the fifth representative of the Kings, past or present, to be inducted. Fox’s broadcasting partner Bob Miller was inducted in 2002 while the team’s radio broadcaster, Nick Nickson — whom Fox replaced in 1990 when the Kings separated its simulcast — is a 2009 inductee while former Kings reporters Stu Nahan (2001) and Rich Marotta (2011) are also in the SCSB Hall of Fame.
While this is the ultimate honour given from the SCSB, it hasn’t been the only time that they have recognized the 55-year-old.
This past January, the SCSB named Fox the winner of the Best TV Play-by-Play award for a second-consecutive season and the fifth time in the last six seasons. To be inducted into this Hall of Fame, however, has to be a tremendous achievement not only for Fox personally but for the entire Kings family.
After being drafted by the Kings 10th overall in 1980, Jim Fox played his entire nine-year career with the club before jumping into the broadcast booth. However, as hard it is to believe from listening to him today, Fox initially had difficulty transitioning from the ice to behind the mic.
“When I went into broadcasting it was a very difficult transition for me,” Fox told me last October. “I was learning on the job and for the first two or three years, I felt that I was embarrassing myself every game. There were some games that I didn’t even know the final score because I was so overwhelmed with the technical aspects.”
Fox, though, to his tremendous credit, stuck with it and overcame the adversities he did to become the analyst fans see and hear today. While he has worked hard at his craft, the native of Coniston, Ont., did not get to where he is today without a little help, specifically from his longtime broadcasting partner, the aforementioned Bob Miller.
“I have learned a lot just by observing Bob and the way he goes about things,” Fox told me last fall. “Things like, don’t take things too hard when things go wrong, the next play is a chance to get back on track. Preparation is something that applies to every job, but I have learned from Bob that there is no substitute for preparation and the only way to be comfortable on air is to be confident and the only way to be confident is to prepare.
“The biggest thing I have learned from Bob is to take pride in your work. Unlike many play-by-play men, I did not grow up aspiring to be an announcer, but Bob has showed me how to take pride in what you do and that has helped me apply myself in a more efficient way.”
As far as how he became a broadcaster, Fox largely attributes the opportunity to timing.
“I never pursued the broadcasting job. It just found me. Timing is everything,” the career-long King told me. “When I retired for the Kings as a player, I went to work in the Community Relations department. A year or two after Wayne Gretzky joined the Kings, the management decided that it would be beneficial to split up the simulcast (radio and TV worked by the same announcers) and separate radio and TV. That meant there would be an opening for an analyst since Nick Nickson moved to radio play-by-play. I was recently retired and was the guy that was just available. The analyst position is exclusively an ex-player position and since I was with the Kings my whole playing career, there really would not be a spot open for me anywhere but the Kings.”
In addition to his work as a broadcaster, Jim Fox is a staple in the Kings community, whether he and his wife Suzie are hosting an event or taking a few moments to speak with — or sign an autograph or take a picture for — a fan. This only strengthens the popularity of the decision to made by the SCSB to include the TV colour analyst into their Hall of Fame.
For a list of all the SCSB Hall of Fame inductees, which dates back to 1992, click here.
This writer’s heartfelt congratulations go out to Mr. Fox, his family and the Los Angeles Kings organization for this great honour.