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Program Director Dan Zampillo Leaving ESPN 980

Jason Barrett

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2015 was a tumultuous year for Red Zebra Broadcasting’s ESPN 980 in Washington DC. Unfortunately, 2016 is starting off in similar fashion.

Program Director Dan Zampillo is leaving his position with the radio station to pursue other interests. He was unavailable for comment but according to sources he’ll be staying on for a little while during the station’s transition.

Zampillo joined ESPN 980 in late April after former Program Director Chuck Sapienza resigned following a chaotic situation with station ownership. Sapienza made a decision to hire a new local morning show hosted by Jason Reid and Chris Paul titled “The Man Cave”. Before the show could hit the airwaves though, Redskins ownership intervened and pulled the plug on it. Sources state that a few members of the Redskins hierarchy were especially not pleased with Reid who had been a critic of the team during his tenure at the Washington Post.

After two weeks of criticism and the resignation of Sapienza, an understanding was reached and the show was permitted to debut on March 30th. However, it would be short lived as Reid and Paul were handed their walking papers on October 28th, just seven months after taking over the morning slot. The station cited poor ratings as the reason for its decision.

Then to add insult to injury, the radio station parted ways with General Manager Rick Carmean in December. Carmean had spent 8 years with the company, including the past 5 overseeing all of its radio business. Ownership announced they were going in a different direction and utilizing more involvement from team executives. Redskins Executive Vice President Terry Bateman, Redskins Play by Play voice Larry Michael, and Sales Manager Steve Johnson were brought in to help run the company business.

For Zampillo, his run in DC ends sooner than expected. Prior to joining ESPN 980, he spent time programming SiriusXM’s NBA and Bleacher Report channels. He’s also served as PD of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, and as APD for WGN in Chicago. No word yet on what his future plans are but interested parties can reach him by email at dzampillo@gmail.com.

 

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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