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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – September 6, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Another edition of Under The Radar takes a look at some of the news you might have missed from across the sports media universe. A reminder that if you have personnel, promotional, or a brand success story to share, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • Former 97.5 The Fanatic midday host Sean Brace has landed a sports anchoring position with FOX 29 in Philadelphia. Brace begins his venture into sports television starting September 9th.
  • Despite Detroit Sports 105.1 folding, Rico Beard has landed on his feet. The former midday host announced that he’s taken over as host of “The Spartan Beat” on 92.1FM in Lansing. The show airs from 6p-7p and debuts on Tuesday September 6th.
  • Eric Messersmith has exited 101 ESPN in St. Louis where he was working primarily in a behind the scenes role in order to accept a position as an on-air talent at the new 590 The Fan KFNS operated by Tim McKernan. Messersmith will work on the 2p-4p show with Joe Roderick and Howard Balzer.
  • ESPN 980 evening host Tim Murray has been named the new studio host for Navy football radio broadcasts this season. Murray will host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows on the Navy radio network.
  • 670 The Score in Chicago is holding auditions to find its 2016 Fantasy Football Expert. The radio station will be present at the Illinois Media School for a number of tryouts, and a final decision will be made by judges at a September 20th event. The will appear every Sunday on The Score during Joe Ostrowski’s show from 8-9a CT.
  • Congrats is in order for Brady Farkas who was named the new Program Director of ESPN 101.3 in Burlington, Vermont. Farkas had been working in Albany, NY for 104.5 The Team as a producer and on-air contributor. His first day of duty is Tuesday September 6th. He joins a radio station which recently installed Arnie Spanier in afternoon drive.
  • With Farkas heading to Burlington, 104.5 The Team has filled his void by promoting Zach Bye. Bye will produce “Big Board Sports with Rodger Wyland” and contribute on-air. Bye is already familiar with Wyland from having worked with him on University of Albany football and basketball broadcasts.
  • TNA Wrestling voice Josh Matthews had been hosting a weekend show on 102.5 The Game in Nashville. Matthews though has announced that the two parties have agreed to part ways. He says to stay tuned for future news regarding the Josh Matthews Show.
  • Staying in Tennessee, Marky Billson is hosting shows all of this week on WEMB 1420 in the Tri-Cities area. Billson previously worked for the radio station in the 1990’s and will be hosting the 12p-2p shift.
  • ESPN has added a new play by play broadcaster for the SEC Network. Courtney Lyle is joining the network and she’s expected to be involved in calling basketball, softball, and volleyball games.

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant

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For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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