Big Al Jerkens retires from KJRH after 34 years; Cayden McFarland named sports director

TULSA — KJRH 2 Works for You Sports Director Allen Jerkens, known to Tulsans as “Big Al,” is retiring after 34 years at the sports desk in Tulsa, effective February 2018.

Born in New York, Jerkens came to Oklahoma to work in the KJRH newsroom in 1979. He left in 1982 to broadcast news and sports in Kansas and Tennessee. In 1986, Jerkens returned to Tulsa and since then has been KJRH’s sports director.

He will retire to spend more time with his wife, three children and seven grandchildren. He plans to spend much of his time cheering on his grandchildren at their events, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and relaxing with his wife. “I’ll go to the games anyway,” says Al. “Trust me, my schedule will be full…but I will miss the post-game chatter and diagnosing each play.”

He’s very grateful to viewers who made his long career possible, “I hope they know I was loyal to them. I try my best every single day.”

Cayden McFarland will take over as the new sports director. “Big Al came to me and said the only person he could see filling his role as sports director is Cayden McFarland,” said Amy Calvert, vice president and general manager for 2 Works for You. “Cayden knows what matters to Oklahoma sports fans and they are a passionate audience. I know he will carry on the KJRH tradition of being a leader in local sports coverage.

A New Mexico native, Cayden moved from the newsroom to the sports desk in 2003.. Cayden was recently named "Oklahoma Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Association.

"Getting to work with Big Al for the last decade has been the highlight of my professional career,” said Cayden. “Trying to fill his shoes seems an overwhelming task, but I am ready for this opportunity to cover Sooner State sports with the same tireless work ethic and genuine passion Big Al has displayed for the past three decades."

Jerkens is staying at KJRH until the end of February in a part-time role, for coverage of his favorite high school football and NFL games. He will also be part of the station’s team coverage for the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2018 Winter Olympics, of which both will air on 2 Works for You.

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