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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – December 5, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Here’s the latest sports media news making waves across the country. If you have a news tip to pass along or something exciting taking place inside your company and want to share it, please send your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Big news out of New York City. Three key members of the New York Daily News‘ sports section are moving on. Longtime sports media columnist Bob Raissman, and baseball reporters Anthony McCarron and Andy Martino have elected to take buyouts from the newspaper. The Daily News saw its circulation plunge double digits in 2016, and new co-publisher and co-chairman Eric Gertler is looking to trim 6 million dollars in payroll according to the New York Post. The newspaper is also said to be looking to downsize its office space.

Last week, Steve Bunin announced he’d be leaving SB Nation Radio to return home to Seattle and join KING as a morning news anchor. To fill Bunin’s vacancy SB Nation Radio is conducting a nationwide search to find the right partner to join weekday host Sean Salisbury. The network has confirmed that Kayce Smith, Craig Shemon, Patrick Creighton, Brien Straw, Danny Mata, Fred Davis and Dave Shore will earn opportunities to audition. Others could be added as well. The plan is to exhaust all options before making a permanent decision on the network’s new afternoon host.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford have hired their next Program Director. An official announcement is expected soon. The iHeartmedia station had been searching for a new leader after former PD Tim Spence returned home to Denver to program Denver Sports 760 and newstalk station KHOW. Both Denver stations are owned and operated by iHeart, which means Spence has remained with the company.

Congratulations is in order for Landry Locker, who has agreed to join Sports Radio 610 in Houston as the new producer for MaD Radio, featuring Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Locker stays with CBS, exiting his current position as morning show producer of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Locker is a Texas native and the opportunity allows him to return to his home state while continuing his career on another top notch morning show.

With Locker exiting Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan Program Director Andy Roth is in the market for a new producer to work with his talented morning team of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. The job posting is available in our jobs section. You can reach it by clicking here.

BSM sends its best wishes to WQAM midday host Orlando Alzugaray who had a health scare last week and was forced to miss a week of action on the Miami sports station. “The Big O” underwent surgery and is expected to return to his show this week. Robert Littal of Black Sports Online is filling in on Monday’s show.

With the holidays approaching, Marc James will be stepping in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. James will host Rome’s program next Monday December 12th and Tuesday December 13th. He’ll also host the show December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.

WJR Lions pre/post game host and former Detroit Sports 105.1 weekday host Sean Baligian has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes to provide play by play of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31st. The game will air on FOX Sports Carolina, the team’s local television home. Baligian says it’s a one game assignment but he’s hopeful of doing more play by play assignments in the future.

Former FOX Sports Radio and 670 The Score morning host Mike North has launched a daily podcast. “Mike North: Sticks and Stones” will post weekdays around 9:30am CT. The podcast will be available on Gow Media’s Podcast Arena network, AudioBoom, iTunes, and North’s website.

Speaking of new podcasts, former NBA player turned TNT NBA Analyst Chris Webber has entered the digital space with a new program available on Podcast One. “Fearless or Insane” debuted on Tuesday November 29th. The plan is for a new episode to drop every Tuesday.

Staying in the digital arena, former 95.7 The Game in San Francisco weekday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are taking their podcast program on the road. The duo will broadcast live from The BrickYard in San Francisco at 7pm PT on December 14th. The duo are also filling in on KNBR 1050 Tuesday from noon to 3p PT.

Former 102.5 The Game in Nashville Program Director Jeremy Bennefield has landed on his feet, and didn’t have to relocate to do so. Bennefield has accepted an opportunity at Nashville’s leading newspaper The Tennessean.

A new afternoon show has launched on 103.1 The Team in Columbus, MS. “The Drive with Steve and The Professor”, features Steve Rogers and Glenn “The Professor” Lautzenhiser, and now airs weekdays from 4p-6p ET. The show debuted on November 28th.

Townsquare Media has pulled the plug on ESPN Evansville 105.3. The station has flipped to Christmas Music and is being rebranded as My 105.3 WJLT. The station will switch to an AC format after the holiday season.

A round of applause for 1010XL in Jacksonville who raised over $115,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund last Tuesday. The station’s previous high was $92,000 which they raised last year. The Jay Fund is a local Jacksonville charity which was founded by Coughlin in 1996 and it’s purpose is to assist local families battling childhood cancer to make ends meet financially. For more information click here.

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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