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Johnson Done With Soccer PBP

Jason Barrett

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Gus Johnson is stepping down as Fox’s lead soccer announcer.

Johnson told Sports Illustrated that with full college football and basketball schedules, he couldn’t devote the time to soccer that being a lead broadcaster demanded, and contacted Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and requested that he be pulled off the assignment. Shanks agreed.

“I think that it was a mutual decision, but maybe I was the guy who came to it first,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said that his decision was influenced by the loss of his mother, Btroy Johnson, who died of ovarian cancer on June 7. Johnson last spoke to his mother when he was in Lisbon for the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid.

Johnson also told Sports Illustrated that he asked his mother if he should return home to be by her side, but she refused.

“I asked her if she wanted me to come home and she said, “No. You are a Johnson man and your job is to work.”I finished the game, got back home, and she was pretty much unconscious at that point because she had Stage Four ovarian cancer. I never got the chance to talk to her again because the cancer was eating her up. I think I’m still in the process of healing. My mother was the most important person in my life. She is the one who gave me my love for sports and communication.”

In the intervening time, Johnson has also gotten engaged. In the same interview, he intimated that the wedding is set for August 1, which is also his parents’ anniversary.

“I want to hang out with my wife and that is where I’m at,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to be exhausted, tired and unprepared. What I realized about calling soccer and especially international soccer, I needed to do 35-40 games just to get my bars up and my chops going.

Shanks also spoke to Sports Illustrated, and confirmed that he and Johnson saw eye-to-eye about what Fox Sports needed in a lead soccer announcer.

“We talked about everything he is going through with his mother, getting engaged, and Gus is a single parent sharing custody of his son. Where Fox Sports is now is different from when we asked Gus to do soccer. To be as good as Gus wants to be at soccer, he would have to be full time on it.”

Shanks also said that he still wants Johnson to call some soccer games, and neither Johnson nor Shanks would rule out the possibility of Johnson broadcasting some 2018 World Cup matches, though he would not be lead announcer. Johnson will also not serve in that role for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Credit to USA Today who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN

It was announced that Benigno would have a weekly call with WFAN Tiki and Tierney every Monday during the football season host on the weekends solo and with former partner Evan Roberts.

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Joe Benigno

On Friday’s Carton and Roberts, the show teased a major announcement and they delivered. Joe Benigno, a fixture at WFAN for 25 years, was returning to the station.

Benigno, who announced his retirement in October of 2020, is back in a more limited capacity than what was his previous afternoon timeslot. It was announced that Benigno would have a weekly call with WFAN midday show Tiki and Tierney every Monday during the football season. Also, he would be hosting both solo and with former partner Evan Roberts on the weekends.

“I think it was time to do something, and the opportunity to arose to be with my guy,” Benigno said. “Just doing it one day a week. I’m not looking to be back every day, but one day a week, a couple days a week, filling in, whatever. I’m ready to go. The opportunity to work with Evan once a week, I couldn’t pass it up.”

Benigno had been doing his own podcast, Oh the Pain, since last September. Benigno;s return will commence on Saturday, September 10.

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Sports Radio News

John Rooney Offers to Let Dan McLaughlin Call St. Louis Cardinals Postseason Action

“This is all John Rooney and the radio side,” Dan McLaughlin said. “He never had to do that. Ever. I was floored. I had no idea. I was emotional. All I ever wanted to do is call Cardinals postseason baseball.”

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John Rooney, Bud McLaughlin

When the Major League Baseball season ends and the sport switches to the postseason, national television takes complete control of the television product. No more regional sports networks. That’s not the case with radio calls, however, and it’s because of that the St. Louis Cardinals have the potential for a really special broadcasting moment.

The Cardinals are in a good position to make the playoffs and if they do, the team’s radio play-by-play voice John Rooney will step aside for the Cardinals’ television play-by-play voice to participate.

“This is all John Rooney and the radio side,” Dan McLaughlin said. “He never had to do that. Ever. I was floored. I had no idea. I was emotional. All I ever wanted to do is call Cardinals postseason baseball.”

Rooney said he was considering the idea after Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III brought it up to Dan Farrell, the man in charge of the team’s broadcast operations. Rooney then discussed it with the other on-air members of the radio crew.

“It was (unanimous) in thinking it was a great idea,” Rooney said. “Now is the time to do it.”

McLaughlin said that he was floored when the idea came up. “In a business that is so territorial, he had the ultimate class to ask me to join them,” McLaughlin said. “I will be forever indebted to John and the rest of the radio crew. They have been so good to me.”

Rooney said he will be glad to step aside a bit in the playoffs if the Cards get there.

“I’ve worked so much postseason over the years,” he said. “He needs to experience that.”

The idea came from the city’s hockey run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2019. Then, Chris Kerber (the St. Louis Blues’ radio voice) allowed John Kelly (the Blues’ the team’s television voice) to take over the play-by-play duties for the second period of the contests in the Finals.

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Sports Radio News

Yankees Announce John Sterling/Suzyn Waldman Talking Bobblehead Giveaway Night

On Friday, August 19th the first 10,000 fans that get to the Yankees game will receive a bobblehead featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

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John Sterling

On Friday, the New York Yankees announced a bobblehead giveaway that will honor the two radio legends that voice the team’s games. On Friday, August 19th the first 10,000 fans that get to the Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays will receive a bobblehead featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, the two longtime Yankees broadcasters.

The team made the presentation in a thirty second promotional video in which you see both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in the booth, listening to their talking bobblehead.

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