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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – September 26, 2016

Jason Barrett

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There’s never a dull moment in sports media. The past week produced a ton of news from the sports radio and television industries and in case you missed any of it, we’ve got you covered. A reminder, if you have a news story, promotion, or anniversary to share, you can email it to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. On to this week’s news we go!

Congratulations to Adam Hawk who has been named the new lead producer of the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio. Hawk most recently produced JT The Brick on FOX Sports Radio, and previously produced the Fred Roggin Show in Los Angeles on 980 The Beast.

After parting ways with morning host Chad Doing a few weeks earlier, 95.7 The Game has replaced his position with the addition of Dan Dibley to the morning show. Dibley was part of the station’s original morning show, the Rise Guys, which included Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler. In his new role, Dibley will team up with Joe Fortenbaugh, Anna Kagarakis, and former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal. The show will be titled “Joe, Lo, Dibs and Anna” and debuts on Monday September 26th.

CAA has landed Stephen A. Smith and will provide him with exclusive representation in all areas, including broadcasting, endorsements, publishing and speaking according to Sports Business Journal. A team of agents inside of CAA will represent Smith.

670 The Score in Chicago has announced that Len Kasper will join their broadcast team during the playoffs. Kasper will handle radio play by play duties for Cubs games during the 5th inning, and provide on the field interviews.

Speaking of play by play, Houston Astros TV play by play man Bill Brown has announced he will retire this month. The sixty nine year old Brown has spent nearly thirty years with the Astros, calling his first game for the franchise in 1987. His final broadcast will take place on September 28th when Houston faces the Seattle Mariners.

The taste of crow is one that Brendan Tobin of 790 The Ticket in Miami is about to become familiar with. The midday host said in August that he’d ‘eat crow’ if Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich hit 20 homers this season. Yelich had 11 homers at the time, and entered the season with 20 in his career during a span of 1,458 at bats. Well, Yelich got hot, and started hitting bombs, climbing to 19 before cooling off. But then last Wednesday, he took Max Scherzer deep to notch his 20th, leaving Tobin to have to pay the price. To his credit, Tobin says he will sit down, tuck in his napkin and eat every single piece.

Kentucky sports radio host Matt Jones is launching a new television show on Monday titled “Hey Kentucky“. The program debuts on WLEX-TV (Channel 18) at 7:30pm. Jones says the show will be like ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” but will venture beyond sports too. WLEX-TV president and general manager Pat Dalbey adds that the show will feature different co-hosts, including former UK stars, political figures, “whoever can lend a provocative voice to driving an engaging and lively debate with Matt.”

The Houston Rockets are tweaking their TV and radio broadcast pairings. Longtime TV play by play voice Bill Worrell will continue to call home games on television alongside former Rockets players Clyde Drexler, and Matt Bullard, but he’ll only work select road games. The team will utilize radio play by play man Craig Ackerman on most road games, and Sports Talk 790 radio host Matt Thomas on radio play by play when Ackerman shifts to television. Thomas also returns as the team’s public address announcer for home games. Additionally, 790 host Adam Clanton adds studio hosting duties on Rockets radio broadcasts.

As WEEI goes through its process of looking at hosts to potentially become a third member of the morning show, one interesting name was in the building last week. SB Nation Radio host and former NFL Quarterback and ESPN NFL Analyst Sean Salisbury sat in on Friday alongside Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan. A vacancy on the morning show was created when longtime morning man John Dennis left the show last month.

BSM would like to pass along condolences to Bob Fitzgerald who lost his wife last week to cancer. The KNBR radio host and TV voice of the Golden State Warriors had been married to his wife Carol for 26 years. Together they have three children. Services are scheduled for October 7th. The family has requested donations in Carol’s honor be made by clicking here.

92.3 The Fan morning host Anthony Lima is under fire from the Cleveland bicycling community. The morning host said on Friday that he gets a “murderous feeling” when stuck behind cyclists which drew the ire of Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle, who wrote a letter to Program Director Andy Roth demanding that The Fan run educational announcements produced by Bike Cleveland, and require Lima, his partner Ken Carman, and the show’s producers, take part in a class taught by Bike Cleveland members to show what cyclists encounter on the road. Lima said he was trying to add levity to the show, and took the point too far, and is sorry if it was offensive.

97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio has inked a new three year extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets to continue serving as the team’s radio partner. The Blue Jackets have played their games on The Fan since 2000-2001. Ryan Mitchell has joined the broadcast team handling pre, post and intermission hosting duties.

A new podcast is being launched by Jason Page. “The Intersection Podcast” will cover sports, politics and entertainment. Page says it will have something for everybody. The first two episodes will feature Detroit Pistons head coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. Connoisseur Media CT will distribute the weekly podcast.

WRGRB-TV is in need of a new Sports Director. Doug Sherman, who had spent 19 years with the station, has announced that he will leave when his contract expires on October 31st to join ESPN as a play by play announcer. Sherman has called games on a part time basis for ESPN since 2003. His prior work has revolved mostly around college basketball and football broadcasts.

SB Nation Radio has strengthened its football contributors by adding former NFL wide receiver Keenan McCardell, and former NFL Quarterback Ryan Leaf. McCardell will appear weekly with Steve Bunin and Sean Salisbury. Leaf is hosting a 2-hour program on Saturday’s starting at 8pm.

Sports radio fans in Hattiesburg, Mississippi have reason to be excited. The Score 1400 has confirmed it will be launching soon as a Fox Sports Radio affiliate. The station will carry network programs with Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd and Jay Mohr, and a local show “Pine Belt Sports Drive” weekdays at 5pm. The station has also added “To The Top Talk” with Jamie Arrington, every Tuesday at 6pm.

Brett Dawson has announced via social media that he’s joined The Oklahoman where he’ll contribute to the sports department’s coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dawson previously worked in New Orleans covering the Pelicans.

A new member has been added to the MLB postseason broadcast team on TBS. Former Phillies, Dodgers and White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins is joining the network to provide analysis during the upcoming playoffs. He played for the White Sox this season but was released in June.

Mile High Sports in Denver has added Brittanie Fowler as a video host. Fowler is expected to contribute to the company’s website, and possibly to Mile High’s local magazine.

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.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

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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