Sports Radio News
Westbrook Back At The Fanatic
As the start of the NFL season nears, ESPN 97.5 The Fanatic has locked down a familiar ex-Eagles star to bolster its football coverage.
Retired Eagles running back Brian Westbook will re-join The Fanatic and pair up with Anthony Gargano every Monday morning from 9 -10 a.m. following Eagles games as a regular football analyst.
Westbrook has a long history with The Fanatic. Last season, he co-hosted The Fanatic’s midday show with Harry Mayes, and has been a regular contributor to the station since retiring from football. While still a player, he hosted his own weekly show during the 2008 season.
Westbrook is one of many ex-Eagles players who have found a second career on Philadelphia sports radio. Earlier this month, Sportsradio 94.1 WIP added former Eagles great Jon Runyan to their football coverage, joining fellow ex-Eagles players Hollis Thomas and Ike Reese on air at the station.
A third-round pick out of Villanova in 2002, Westbrook spent eight seasons with the Eagles, where he earned two Pro Bowl berths and helped lead the team to four consecutive NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. Westbrook is slated to be inducted in the Eagles Hall of Fame at halftime during the team’s Monday night match-up with the Giants on October 19.
Credit to Philly.com where this story was originally published
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.
Sports Radio News
Brendan Tobin: I Love Mark Jackson Admitting Heat Gave Him Goosebumps
“I always like it when a person admits goosies.”
Who could have guessed that the moment that made the hair on the back of Heat fans’ arms stand up would be a pass that was never made? Maybe that isn’t true for everyone, but Mark Jackson said that the way Kevin Love reacted to realizing he missed the chance to hit Gabe Vincent in the corner for a wide open three pointer gave him goosebumps.
“I always like it when a person admits goosies and Mark Jackson yesterday, in front of millions on national television, admitted that when Kevin Love went over to hug Gabe Vincent for missing him wide open in the corner, he got the goosies,” Brendan Tobin said Monday afternoon on WQAM.
Jackson said that it stood out that Vincent didn’t pout and that Love did not get defensive. The pair hugged after the play. Jackson called it an example of the Miami Heat’s “winning mentality and outstanding culture”.
Jeff Van Gundy asked Jackson if he thought the Heat were overdoing it with the hug and if Jackson may have been being a little hyperbolic in his praise.
“No, it gave me goosebumps,” Jackson answered. “What is wrong with you?”
Brendan Tobin enjoyed seeing a member of the national media recognize that Heat Culture is about more than just winning games and series the team isn’t supposed to. It is built on recognizing how players up and down the roster can contribute all over the floor.
“You know what? I love it!” He said. “Gave me the goosies is too. Kevin Love – great locker room guy. Always there for support. I love Love.”
Sports Radio News
Sean Baligian Gets New Night Show at WJR
“The new show will be a revival of Sportswrap. It is one of many changes coming to the WJR lineup.”
Changes at WJR means good news for sports fans in Detroit. Sean Baligian is back on the air in the Motor City. He will be hosting a one hour show weekday evenings at 6pm.
Baligian most recently was part of the station’s morning show with Paul W. Smith. He is a staple of Detroit sports talk though. He was heard on WDFN multiple times in his career. He also hosted the afternoon show at the short-lived Detroit Sports 105.1 and a digital show for the Woodward Sports Network
The new show will be a revival of Sportswrap. It is one of many changes coming to the WJR lineup.
On Facebook, Baligian expressed his excitement. He also revealed that the start date for the new show is June 20.
In addition to hosting shows, Sean Baligian can also regularly be heard calling college football games. He has been the play-by-play voice of the Wayne State for more than a decade.
Sports Radio News
Ken Carman: You Don’t Have to Watch NBA Finals if You Aren’t Doing National Show
“I can go to bed; no big deal.”
The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets were not expected to attract particularly high ratings. According to preliminary overnight figures from Nielsen Media Research, Game 1 of the NBA Finals averaged 7.62 million viewers and had a 2.21 rating in the age 18-49 demographic. This number is significantly down from the 11.4 million viewers in the Celtics’ matchup against the Golden State Warriors last year.
Sunday night’s Game 2 ratings have yet to be released, but based on the conversation between Ken Carman and Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, basketball fans and media pundits should expect another report of low numbers.
“We all knew that there weren’t going to be as good ratings,” show co-host Ken Carman said. “The Heat do not generate the sense of outrage, [and] Denver does not generate the same type of passion as what LA and Boston do, clearly.”
Carman watched parts of the first two NBA Finals games, but opted to watch the morning recaps on YouTube instead of the game in its entirety. He surmises many basketball fans from around the country are doing similarly because of the ostensible lack of appeal – despite superstars Jimmy Butler and Nikola Jokić participating in the action.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers were in the NBA Finals, Carman acknowledged that he would be watching; however, his wife gave him a reason to turn it off when she asked him to watch an episode of Succession. Neglecting to watch the entirety of a professional sports league’s final championship round is a practice show co-host Anthony Lima regarded as something new to modern media consumption.
“There used to be a time where you couldn’t even really do a show if you didn’t watch the NBA Finals or the World Series,” Lima told Carman. “That was not an indictment of you because there have been World Series games I haven’t watched…The ratings of the NBA had all been up until we got to the NBA Finals and they have crashed.”
The Walt Disney Company recently reported its most-watched playoffs on ESPN platforms in the last 11 years, averaging nearly 5.8 million viewers on broadcasts. Year-over-year, viewership of the Western Conference Finals was up 17% from last year’s presentation, which was on TNT, and 44% higher than the last time ESPN televised the proceedings in 2021.
Despite the intriguing NBA Finals matchup and storylines associated with the action, the ratings indicate that many basketball fans are choosing not to watch the action because of the lack of tradition involved in the matchup. The Denver Nuggets have never won a championship in franchise history, let alone qualify for the NBA Finals, while the Miami Heat have not taken home the Larry O’Brien Trophy since 2013. The team, at that time, was led by the ‘Big Three’ of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, all of whom are expected to be named members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“You’re basically saying there’s nothing that game could have done that would have made you stick with it?,” Lima asked Carman. “Jokić had a run in the third quarter where he made every play on offense and then was coming up with fast breaks, dribbling coast to coast; then he made a couple of defensive plays. You look up at the box score [and it is], ‘Holy crap, he’s going to score 40 easily.’”
Nonetheless, Carman recognized that his radio show is a local program, and in turn needs to appeal to its audience. As a result, he felt like it was safe to watch Succession and then fall asleep, recognizing just how fundamental topic selection is in terms of captivating and retaining listeners.
“If it’s not one of the three teams in Cleveland – if the Cavs were still there, fine, that’s the job,” Carman expressed. “If it’s this, even though it’s the Finals and I have no national show to do tomorrow, I can go to bed, no big deal.”