By GEOFF HOBSON
Dave Lapham, whose voice is synonomous with Bengals football, hopes to have a decision within the week on whether he'll return for a 15th season in the radio booth as an analyst.
Lapham said he had a positive meeting today with officials from Clear Channel, the company that purchased broadcasting rights and is moving the games off 1160-AM The Bob and back on 700-AM WLW when there is no conflict with Reds baseball.
Lapham, a Syracuse All-American who played every position on the Bengals offensive line from 1974-83, is mulling other options. One of them is a package from Fox, the network for which he worked five NFL games and the Cotton Bowl last season. But the popular Lapham would have trouble leaving a town and a team where he has spent the last 25 years.
"From a selfish standpoint, I'd love to be part of the crew to broadcast the first game at Paul Brown Stadium," Lapham said. "It means a lot to the community where I've spent so much time and it would mean a lot to me. Plus, it seems to be going in the right direction. There's a new attitude with the new stadium and the new facilities. I've been through the good times, the bad times and I'd like to be here for the good times again."
If Lapham stays with the Bengals, he would work a Fox game on the opening week when the Bengals have their bye. He would again do the Cotton Bowl as well as Fox Sports Net's Big 12 college package on Saturdays.
The leading candidate for the play-by-play job is Channel 12 sports anchor Brad Johansen. Johansen has worked the Bengals' TV games the past two seasons.