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Michael Kay Re-Signs At ESPN NY

Jason Barrett

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ESPN New York 98.7FM has signed veteran New York City broadcaster Michael Kay to a three-year contract extension that will keep the longtime radio voice with the station through 2018. The successful team of Kay, host of The Michael Kay Show, and partner Don LaGreca has been an afternoon drive mainstay for New York sports fans since 2002.

The duo will continue to interact with listeners during afternoon drive, as they have for the past 14 years, discussing the latest sports news and previewing upcoming events in an entertaining manner, infused with opinion, analysis and humor. The Michael Kay Show is broadcast weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. ET and will continue to be simulcast on the YES Network, as it has been since February 2014.

“Mike has been the cornerstone of ESPN Radio New York for the past 14 years and his audience is growing,” said Tim McCarthy, General Manager, ESPN New York 98.7FM. “He is a familiar and friendly voice for the New York sports fan. His credibility and passion each day provide New York Metro listeners an entertaining and informative choice for their commute home. He is one of the best in the sports business and I am proud he will remain part of the 98.7FM team.”

Kay added, “After 14 years, I am l thrilled to remain with 98.7FM and seized this opportunity to continue doing sports talk radio in a fun and entertaining way. Don and I don’t take our positions or the loyalty of our listeners who spend their afternoons with us for granted. They are part of our family. And we treat them that way! I am really excited about 98.7FM’s future and am very happy to remain with such a great company, ESPN.”

Kay and LaGreca have broadcast their show from some of the top sporting events, bringing listeners their unique New York perspective, including the Super Bowl, the MLB All-Star Game and more. The Michael Kay Show debuted on ESPN New York in 2002.

Kay graduated from Fordham University in 1982 with a B.A. in Communications. That same year, the Bronx native became a general assignment writer for the New York Post and later covered college basketball, the New Jersey Nets and, ultimately, the Yankees for the paper.

While there, Kay got his first television job, with MSG Network in 1989 as host of the Hot Stove League segment of MSG’s SportsNight and as Yankees reporter. In 1992, he added Knicks locker room reporter to his responsibilities, and continued in that role until the 1998-99 season. Kay won three Emmys and accumulated numerous Emmy nominations while at MSG.

In 1989, Kay moved from the Post to the Daily News, where he was the Yankees beat reporter, before taking the job as a Yankees broadcaster on WABC Radio in 1992. Kay worked as the Yankees play-by-play commentator and analyst on WABC Radio’s Yankees broadcasts from 1992 through the 2001 season, and then became YES’ Yankees play-by-play man when the network launched in 2002. In 2015, Kay won the coveted “Best Play- by-Play Voice in NY.

Kay has been a contributor to ESPN’s Sunday morning Sports Reporters roundtable discussion show and served as ESPN Radio’s play-by-play commentator for national broadcasts of the 2013 American League Divisional Series (Tigers-A’s) and the 2008 National League Divisional Series (Phillies-Brewers).

Credit to ESPN Media Zone who originally published this story

Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning 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 switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went 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 with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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