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Talking shop

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Legendary Detroit Tigers baseball announcer Ernie Harwell has de cided to retire at the end of the current season, after more than 40 years. But even in his final term, he's taking on side jobs—in this case, stumping for Kroger Co. grocery stores.

The first of 10 radio commercials featuring Harwell's golden vocals debuts this week in conjunction with the Tigers' April 5 home opener. Radio spots will air throughout the season on the Tigers' offi cial radio station, WXYT-AM 1270.

The 30-second spots from the Troy, Mich., shop support the new "Great meals start at Kroger" campaign. This is McCann's first work for Kroger since winning the account last November.

The Cincinnati supermarket chain split with Doner, Southfield, Mich., in October, citing strategic and financial differences. Kroger uses various shops to handle advertising in its regions.

McCann, teaming with retail unit McCann/Jay, handles all creative development, as well as media buying and planning.