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Strickland Rising In St. Louis

Jason Barrett

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The playoffs are a busy time for Andy Strickland, who is in his 16th season of covering the Blues in a wide variety of capacities.

He currently is in his second season as a contributor to Fox Sports Midwest’s Blues pregame shows, and also is a sportscaster at KTRS (550 AM) plus he appears Friday mornings on Frank Cusumano’s show at WGNU (920 AM).

What with the Blues having a late game Thursday night and a 6:15 a.m. airtime looming Friday at KTRS, where he is filling in on the early shift while Jim Holder recovers from ankle surgery, he wasn’t counting on getting much sleep before his radio shift.

“It’s a quick turnaround, but I’ll be on adenine in the morning,’’ he said Thursday. “It will be a long day, because (later) I’ll be at the rink for practice as well as on Frank’s show. But it’s great.”

Strickland doesn’t mind all that, because he has made covering hockey his professional life — most likely to his detriment in a baseball-crazed market. He doesn’t dispute the notion that he has been pigeon-holed into being thought of only as “a hockey guy” by management at many stations.

“I definitely have been,’’ he said. “I think it’s my own fault because of my passion for hockey. I’ve been around the game for my entire life, growing up playing it and having coached with our Triple A St. Louis Blues — the top youth hockey organization in St. Louis — for 10 years. And I’ve really been into covering the NHL. It’s almost my own fault because it’s not a traditional hockey market, yet I put myself in that position years ago.”

Strickland, now 38, got his start in 2000-01 season when he was working behind the scenes at KMOX and impressed Dan McLaughlin — who without management’s approval let Strickland start coming on the air. McLaughlin, now FSM’s longtime Cardinals play-by-play broadcaster, was working weekends then at KMOX.

“I knew he loved hockey, I knew he wanted to be on the air,’’ McLaughlin recalled. “I also knew I probably wasn’t supposed to give him a particular segment, but I didn’t care because I knew he had a passion for it.”

Strickland put together prepackaged interviews and features, then after they aired he and McLaughlin would discuss them.

“It was all him,’’ McLaughlin said of giving him the opportunity. “He had earned it, worked hard. I thought it was a smart thing to do then, I think it’s a smart thing to do now. I think it’s the responsibility of people like myself or others who are on the air that if a guy shows initiative and is working hard, why wouldn’t we give him a chance?”

Strickland, a Parkway North High graduate who has worked in many low-profile jobs in local print, radio and TV, was pointed toward finding his niche. He eventually met with Tom Langmyer, who then ran KMOX. Langmyer asked him about his career goals.

“I said, ‘I want to be the best I can be at covering the National Hockey League, I think there’s a need for it in St. Louis,’” Strickland recalls saying. “There really wasn’t anyone (in local broadcasting) doing it, I felt there was a void. I thought I could jump on it. Here we are 16 years later, and I always think about that.”

He made a name for himself, especially in Canada, with his in-depth coverage of the Mike Danton case. Danton was a Blues player who was charged in 2004 with conspiracy to commit murder, leading to a wild saga that made international headlines.

“That vaulted me,’’ said Strickland, who still appears on hockey radio shows across North America.

He also became prolific with written hockey coverage, especially online, and wasn’t afraid to throw out things he had heard or got from anonymous sources — a more undisciplined blog style than mainstream media uses. But he has given that up because of his FSM ties.

“I really had to re-invent myself in terms of how I cover the St. Louis Blues because, now working for Fox there are certain expectations in terms of how you handle yourself around the rink,” he said. “So I stopped writing in general because I didn’t want to get myself in trouble, No. 1. And No. 2, I’m not covering the team the same way that I used to. Obviously 95 percent of the information that I gather I can no longer report. … I still do a lot of reporting, but I don’t always release that information.

“But I wouldn’t have it any other way, either,’’ added Strickland, who said Blues owner Tom Stillman has been instrumental in his job growth. “This has been a great opportunity for me and I’m trying to take advantage of it.”

Like most St. Louis radio sportscasters, Strickland has worked at numerous stations in the market and now does several shows at KTRS. But Strickland, a man of many roles, has a new favorite one.

“I really like doing the TV thing,’’ he said. “I knew I would like it, but I like it even more (than I thought I would). There’s a big difference of being on TV (as a guest) and doing TV (as a regular). The people have been great to me. I really enjoy this.”

Credit to STL Today who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Leads 97.1 the Freak For Its Debut in Dallas

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

The dawn of a new sports radio signal in Dallas has come and who else to be the first voice you hear, but the Old Grey Wolf Mike Rhyner.

97.1 the Eagle stopped their regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, the technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming into new programming. They began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them then went into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history transitioned into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

He would go on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas. 97.1 The Freak is off and running.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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Sports Radio News

Jake Chapman Named Orlando Magic Radio Play-By-Play Voice

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jake Chapman has been introduced as the new radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Chapman is beginning his 10th overall season with the franchise. He has previously served as the pre-game and post-game host for the team, as well as the radio producer. He joined the club as in intern in 2006 before becoming a producer in 2009. He then joined the Detroit Pistons Radio Network in 2014 to become its pre-game and post-game host as well as executive producer. He later joined 92.3 The Fan and the Cleveland Browns Radio Network as a producer. He returned to the Magic in 2019.

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Kravitz will serve as co-host for pregame, halftime and postgame. The network pregame show, Magic Tonight, will hit the air 30 minutes prior to tip-off. Magic Tonight is scheduled to premiere on October 11.

96.9 The Game is the radio flagship of the Magic Radio Network.

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