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How Will 101ESPN Operate Without The Rams?

Jason Barrett

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101 ESPN’s Bernie Miklasz sat down for a chat with Program Director Chris “Hoss” Neupert and General Manager John Kijowski to discuss the state of the radio station following the departure of the St. Louis Rams. Below are some of the highlights.

On what the radio station will focus their efforts on now that the Rams have left town:

Neupert: We will still cover the biggest stories that are important to 101ESPN listeners. We will continue our tradition of carrying play by play, and we have exclusive rights to the NFL prime-time games, postseason games, and the Super Bowl. Fans of the Cardinals and Blues can count on us, and we are looking at ways to expand on our coverage. We will also look at the possibility of adding more fantasy-focused discussion.

Kijowski: Local team play by play is an additive benefit to what we do at 101ESPN. Our business model was built on attaining the best and brightest on-air talent and support staff in all major dayparts. Putting a sports format on a dominant FM signal was also a key.

Our sports-talk DNA is built on compelling on-air opinions, analysis and information. We add to that on 101sports.com with strong written opinions, podcasts and more. Having the ESPN brand gives us access to resources as well as the unique short-term play by play showcases such as the MLB Playoffs and World Series, college football bowl games, major golf tournaments, and World Cup Soccer.

Our partnerships with other networks gives us exclusive play-by-play rights to the NFC and AFC Championship games, the Super Bowl, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and two Sunday NFL games.

On whether or not the loss of the Rams hurts the radio station financially:

Kijowski: This does not hurt us financially. In our last agreement with the Rams, we had no financial obligation or risk, and we were not responsible for any broadcast expenses.

On the possibility of the radio station airing other football games on Sunday’s next season:

Neupert: Play by play will be a part of our future on Sundays.

On the consideration given to remaining a Rams affiliate and airing the team’s games from Los Angeles:

Neupert: We’re not interested in being a part of the Rams Radio Network at this time. From the initial reaction and the pulse of the town, it’s clear that our fans feel betrayed. We understand that.

On the possibility of adding other play by play rights:

Neupert: We are always looking to improve as a station and if the right situation is available and that opportunity presented itself, we would absolutely consider it. But even if we don’t have a play by play opportunity, we aren’t going to close our doors. We have an extremely talented group that brings 12 hours of live and local content on air and produces fresh online content at 101sports.com.

To read Bernie’s full interview click here. It’s a very informative piece.

Sports Radio News

ESPNU, SiriusXM End Partnership, Channel 84 Rebrands as SiriusXM College Sports Radio

“Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed.”

Jordan Bondurant

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SiriusXM still has a college sports radio station on its platform. It’s just called something different now.

A report from Cord Cutters News confirmed that ESPNU and SiriusXM have ended their partnership. Channel 84, which used to be known as SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, is now known as SiriusXM College Sports Radio.

ESPNU had been with the satellite radio provider since 2017. The channel itself, which has been on the Sirius lineup since 2010, was called SiriusXM College Sports Nation when it first launched.

Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed. Listeners can still tune in to hear hosts like Danny Kanell, Dusty Dvoracek, Rick Neuheisel and EJ Manuel, as well as live college sports play-by-play broadcasts.

The move doesn’t end ESPN’s partnership with Sirius. Cord Cutters noted that College GameDay will still be fully simulcasted on channel 81, which is ESPN Xtra.

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Sports Radio News

670 The Score Hosts Congratulate Mike Mulligan on Award From Loyola Chicago

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

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670 The Score morning host Mike Mulligan is being awarded the Father Finnegan Memorial Award from Loyola University Chicago this weekend, and some of his colleagues congratulated him on the air Friday morning.

The award is given “in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism and service to youth through athletics”. Mulligan — a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago — will receive the award Saturday during the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during a game against George Mason.

“Tremendous award,” co-host David Haugh said. “Proud moment for the show. Proud moment for you family.”

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

“That is fantastic,” Laurence Holmes said, while his co-host, Dan Bernstein, continued to say “wow”. “Congratulations. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should be proud.”

“I’m being celebrated for being old,” Mully joked.

“That’s not what that award says,” countered Holmes. “It says something completely different.”

The Mully & Haugh host eventually admitted he was appreciative of the award bestowed upon him by his alma mater.

“It’s a good thing. I’m very moved by it. Sister Jean will be there,” Mully said. “She has a book coming out with — I think — Seth Davis.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Tony Romo Regressing Because He Loves Golf

“I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

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The performance of CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has been a hot-button topic in sports media circles, especially after a widely-regarded lackluster performance during the AFC Championship Game. Colin Cowherd believes he knows why Romo has regressed.

During an episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the sports radio host claimed golf is the reason behind Romo’s regression.

“Romo wants to be on the Tour. He literally wants to be on the Tour,” Cowherd said. “And what’s the first thing Aaron Rodgers does in the off-season? He goes and golfs, he loves it. Both, by the way, great golfers, especially Romo. But I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

“Tony wants to be on the PGA Tour — but he likes the paycheck from CBS.”

Cowherd also added he hasn’t hired potential employees in the past if they told him they loved golf during the interview process, saying he has a theory that as men age they “get addicted to golf”.

“They’re on PGATour.com, they’re putting in the backyard, they’re thinking about it at work, they’re scheduling a trip to Scotland and they lose sight of their other job,” Cowherd said.

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