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DiPietro Explores Sports Radio

Jason Barrett

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Rick DiPietro and Alan Hahn were supposed to be preparing for a radio show, but the conversation again had gone “off the rails,” as they like to put it. The subject: Batman vs. Superman.

“Batman is Inspector Gadget with a cool suit,” DiPietro said before veering into an analysis of Aquaman and his heroic limitations, which brought Hahn back to Iron Man, of whom he said, “Again, he’s just a guy in a crazy suit.”

This was Wednesday evening, an hour before the latest episode of a summertime radio bromance on ESPN New York that improbably has lasted past Labor Day and whose public reception has both surprised and heartened DiPietro, the former Islanders goaltender.

By 7:20, the discussion had found its way on to the air when DiPietro finally concluded, “Unless Batman’s suit is made of Kryptonite, he has no chance.”

Before they were done at 11, they had covered a range of sports topics and many other matters, including the old MTV reality show, “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica,” and the tracklist of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

To say DiPietro, whose most recent job had been blocking vulcanized rubber disks for a living, is enjoying all this would be an understatement.

“It’s just so easy, man,” he said in the show’s Upper West Side studio as he studied a stack of newspapers — old school! — with a highlighter and a notebook full of potential material he neatly had written out during the day.

“My wife is like, ‘Isn’t four hours a lot?’ And we’ll look at each other at 11 o’clock and say, ‘That’s it?’ We could go for six. We could go for eight . . . It just goes so fast.”

Actually, Hahn and DiPietro do go for six or eight, in that their debates begin as they carpool from their homes in West Hills and Oyster Bay and continue on the ride back to Long Island.

It all works thanks to a relationship dating to Hahn’s time covering DiPietro and the Islanders for Newsday, one that continued into Hahn’s current job as a Knicks studio analyst on MSG.

DiPietro would text observations and/or wisecracks when Hahn was on MSG or hosting Saturdays on ESPN Radio.

“After the show I would text him back, like: ‘You should do this,’ ” Hahn said. “He would just say, maybe, yeah, maybe. I would tell him: ‘We’re going to do this one day. I’m going to get you in there one day.’ “

It happened Aug. 11, when DiPietro joined Hahn and SNY’s Brian Custer. Two nights later, Hahn was scheduled to work alone. He told DiPietro to come along anyway, figuring “no one needs to know.”

That night DiPietro landed a newsmaking interview with the Mets’ Matt Harvey, a friend of his.

Then Hahn was asked to work Labor Day afternoon, the traditional end point for summer radio fill-ins. He said he would do it if DiPietro could come along.

Soon they were doing nightly shows this week, while the usual host, Dave Rothenberg, joined the midday show with Ryan Ruocco, whose old partner, Stephen A. Smith, now has a satellite radio show.

They are set to work nights again next week. After that . . . “Who knows?” Hahn said. “I’m just riding it, having fun with it, and we’ll see what happens.”

That is DiPietro’s attitude, too. But unlike Hahn, he does not have another job waiting for him.

To read more visit Newsday where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.

Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.

Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.

“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”

Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.

“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”

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Sports Radio News

Stetson Bennett IV Fires Back at Steak Shapiro Over Parade Criticism

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Georgia walloped TCU last week to win their second straight national championship, and the Bulldog community came together toward the end of the week to celebrate with a parade.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took part in the parade, but 92.9 The Game host Steak Shapiro wasn’t thrilled with how Bennett acted during the celebration.

Shapiro on Tuesday took a shot at Bennett, who appeared to spend some time fiddling with a cell phone during the parade.

Tuesday night, Bennett responded first with a quote tweet.

Bennett followed that up with a longer statement he posted under his quote tweet explaining the situation.

“I appreciate your concern with my image/intentions/loyalties/obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them),” Bennett wrote. “You obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had.”

Bennett said ultimately he was trying to soak up the moment with his teammates, and he was just trying to make sure the celebratory mood was set with the right music on his phone.

“So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford,” he said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”

Bennett finished with a little dig of his own at Shapiro.

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro,” he said. “But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either.”

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Sports Radio News

Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA

“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”

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Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.

“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.

He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.

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