“What’s It Like To…” is a series that looks inside the worlds of extreme sports, professional athletics, and sports careers.
Most women don’t listen to sports talk radio, and I was one of them. As I became more obsessed with the athletics of football, however, I wanted to understand the game better. Why would the defense still make a defenseless receiver hit, when the penalties are now so high? Why would Brady deflate footballs when his team really doesn’t need the advantage gained by cheating? When Marcus Mariota still hadn’t signed with the Titans, was that a glimmer of hope that he might come to Philly?
None of my friends and colleague wanted to talk about these finer points of football, so I started looking elsewhere. When I found the afternoon show on 97.5 The Fanatic, I was hooked. The host Mike Missanelli obviously knows sports. What’s more unusual is that his show isn’t one guy yelling at some other guy. He’s respectful to those who call in, quickly zeroes in on the point of their call, and insists that callers support their view or he will point out the errors in their thinking.
In addition to sports talk, what I love about the show is Mike’s discussions about other subjects – for example, race, and relationships between men and women. Callers seek advice, (“Can I give my girlfriend just one gift if her birthday is near Valentine’s Day?”) and ask for rulings on potential “violations”, (“Is it still ok to wear a Shady McCoy jersey?”). And my most favorite part is the banter between Mike and his producer – it can be like the best Seinfeld episode, (“What’s the best scent for your bathroom’s hand soap?”).
Mike Missanelli began his sports talk radio career in 1992, and has hosted both locally and at ESPN in New York City. He’s been the host of the Mike Missanelli Show, 97.5 FM The Fanatic, since 2008. He’s analyzed sports in many TV positions, and prior to radio and TV, worked in newspapers for 15 years, including 10 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He got his Journalism degree from Penn State, and is a graduate of Widener Law School, admitted to the PA Bar in 1986.
Q: Best thing about being a sports talk host?
The freshness of daily conversation. Philadelphia is the best sports talk town in the nation. And being able to engage fans live and interactive each day is a wonderful experience. There is always a fresh take and a fresh angle evident in a sports crazed town like Philadelphia.
Q: Most difficult thing about being a sports talk host?
There’s nothing really difficult about being a sports talk host except when there is a dearth of conversation about sports. We just went through perhaps the most barren period in my sports talk career following the Eagles season. The Sixers and Flyers had non exciting seasons, and we were left without ANY baseball talk for an entire summer because of the poor state of the Phillies. That really tests the limits of the host’s creativity to talk about other subjects.
Q: Besides understanding sports, what top 3 qualities make a successful sports talk host?
The ability to handle both sides of an argument is the most important aspect. Bringing both sides into an argument makes it a much better and more interesting conversation. My law school training was essential for that. Also, I believe that some athletic experience gives you an edge when talking about the game. You can relate to certain aspects of sports better than someone who has never played. I was a three sport high school athlete and a varsity baseball player at Penn State, which means I was tutored in the finer arts of the game by some really good coaches. You also have to have a bit of ham in you. After all, you are trying to entertain people for four hours as well as educate them.
Q: How do you prepare for shows?
My preparation begins in the morning. I still read the newspaper, but I have a series of websites that I will consult in order to formulate talking points for the show. Watching ESPN sports center and CSN are essential. I will try to develop a hub, a main topic of the day, then spin off into various other topics, which may include aspects of modern culture or current events that have nothing to do with sports. By the time I go to the office, I have done all my preparation. I read a show sheet prepared by my producer Jason Myrtetus, and consult with him on various other ideas we can implement on the show.
Q: If you were to have a show about any other topic, what would it be?
I’m a huge proponent of social discussion, especially racial issues. I treat my show sometimes as a town hall show where all opinions are welcome. I am flabbergasted by small-minded ideas on racial progress and I feel it is my duty to try to broaden some listeners’ horizons in those matters.
Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”