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Bill Simmons Takes Aim At ESPN

Jason Barrett

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Earlier this year, ESPN decided to cut their ties to Bill Simmons by not renewing his contract. He responded by taking some time off and then announcing that he would be taking his talents to HBO. And while it’s still a little unclear what he’s going to be doing for the cable network, Simmons has launched The Bill Simmons Podcast to get back into the podcast game.

Very early this morning, Simmons released not one but two episodes of his new podcast. The first features him jumping right back into the deep end by running through NFL Week 4 lines with Cousin Sal, while the second features him talking about Deflategate, Donald Trump, and more with John “JackO” O’Connell. Not surprisingly, both feature Simmons taking several jabs at ESPN and some of his former colleagues.

In the first episode of the podcast, Simmons begins by addressing his new situation with HBO, while taking a thinly-veiled shot at ESPN as a whole.

“HBO is going to be my new employer,” he says. “I’m very excited to work with them. They’ve been great. A place that cares about creative freedom and freedom of speech. I’m very excited about that.”

He also says he’s “excited to poke fun at some of the ESPN on-air talent” while simultaneously poking fun at Chris Berman.

In the second episode of the podcast, Simmons calls ESPN out for not covering Deflategate properly.

“Granted, I’m a little biased here,” he says. “The way everyone else covered Roger Goodell in this whole story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing. I couldn’t believe nobody called out ESPN about it.”

Simmons also continues to “poke fun” by asking JackO if there are any ESPN personalities that he’s been waiting to roast. JackO mentions Mike Greenbergand Mike Golic from ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning before Simmons—who had a very public spat with Golic last year—chimes in with an impression of Greenberg as well as some snarky commentary on the recent interview Greenberg and Golic did with Roger Goodell.

Simmons doesn’t go in on anyone too hard, but it’s pretty clear that he’s not going to shy away from criticizing ESPN personalities on his podcast moving forward.

“I do not work for them anymore,” he says, “and I like poking fun at media people from time to time. We’re going to be able to do that.”

Credit to Complex who originally published this article. Visit their website and you’ll be able to hear both of Bill’s podcasts

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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