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Under The Radar – December 20, 2016

Jason Barrett

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The holidays are approaching, which means a slower news cycle awaits us. As a result, Under The Radar will go on hiatus until the new year. Sports media brands and employees who have news to share during the next two weeks can still send information along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. If it’s urgent, please include that in the subject title.

In the meantime, here are a few stories that you might have missed.

670 The Score in Chicago has elevated Rick Camp to full time content producer. As part of his daily responsibilities, Camp will be working with Mully and Hanley, and Spiegel and Goff. Camp recently celebrated his five year anniversary at The Score.

Houston sports radio veteran Robert Henslee has been let go from Sports Radio 610 KILT after the station recently elected to eliminate its morning and afternoon headlines packages. Henslee will continue working as the network engineer on Texans radio broadcasts, but is looking for a full time opportunity. He’s spent the past 24 years working in Houston radio. 8 of those years were with KILT. The other 16 were at KTRH 740 AM.

Longtime talk show host Gerry Vaillancourt is out at News Talk 99.5 WRNO in New Orleans. The station is inserting “Walton and Johnson” into the morning slot which had been previously occupied by Vaillancourt. Gerry V, as he’s known to his audience, moved to New Orleans from Charlotte when the Hornets switched cities and became the Pelicans in 2002. He served as the team’s color analyst on radio broadcasts for twenty two years before being let go in 2012. Prior to relocating to New Orleans Vaillancourt spent a decade hosting in Charlotte on WCNT, WFNZ, and WBT.

Congratulations is in order for Joe Bell, who was recently named the new market manager for Beasley Broadcasting in Philadelphia. One of the sports radio brands which Bell will oversee is 97.5 The Fanatic. The station is programmed by Matt Nahigian. Bell is no stranger to working with successful sports radio brands. He oversaw WQAM in Miami for 10 years during a period of time when the station was under Beasley’s control. CBS acquired WQAM in 2015.

1010XL, the flagship radio station for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has hired Hays Carlyon as its Jaguars beat reporter. Carlyon most recently covered the Jaguars for the Florida Times-Union. She’s expected to cover the team across the radio station and its digital platforms, and contribute to the afternoon drive show with Frank Frangie.

Is former UFC fighter turned analyst Chael Sonnen blowing smoke or do his latest comments contain some degree of truth? During a recent podcast interview, Sonnen hinted that Jim Rome could be in play as the future lead announcer for UFC broadcasts, replacing Mike Goldberg alongside Joe Rogan. The UFC and Rome have yet to comment on the story.

ESPN has signed MMA analyst Brett Okamoto to a new contract. Okamoto, will continue as a breaking news reporter, feature writer and analyst, host of 5ive Rounds, ESPN’s weekly MMA-centric podcast, and a one-on-one interviewer, for MMA content across linear and digital platforms. He’s been a member of ESPN since 2010.

Former WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic on-air host Brian Startare has changed career paths and is now working as a multi-media account executive for Philly.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Startare started his new job in November.

WEEU morning host Mike Keller has been named the new in-arena host of the Reading Royals minor league hockey team. Keller makes his debut this Wednesday, December 21st.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager of BetQL Network

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Audacy has announced Andrew Williams as the Brand Manager of the BetQL Network, the company’s sports betting platform.

Williams comes to BetQL after working as the Senior Producer for SiriusXM FC. He has also spent the past year as the Executive Podcast Producer for Chicago Fire FC.

“I am delighted and honored to join the BetQL Network and the Audacy family,” Williams said. “The opportunity to join the leaders in Wagertainment is something that I could not pass up. My family and I are extremely excited about this next chapter.”

“Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network,” said Matthew Volk, Audacy Senior Vice President of Sports. “We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year, and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.”

BetQL Network distributes roughly 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms, and features shows like BetQL Daily, You Better You Bet, The Daily Tip, and BetMGM Tonight.

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Reese Waters Exits The Team 980

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In what appears to be another budget cut from Audacy, The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has been cancelled.

“It is in fact true The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has come to an end,” Waters confirmed during a video posted to Twitter. Waters went on to thank his producers, guests, and listeners for helping him grow both personally and professionally during his stint hosting the show.

Waters, who told Barrett Sports Media his sportscasting career began by happenstance, joined the station in February of 2021. His show aired from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM daily. He will remain the host of Open Mic on WUSA TV.

Audcay has made several cuts over the last week. Jerry Coleman has departed 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, while the entire staff of 1250 The Fan in Milwaukee was dismissed.

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Craig Carton Details ‘MMA Uncensored Live’ Demise to Dana White

“About, maybe, 10 shows into it, Kevin Kay — the former President of Spike — comes to me and says ‘Listen, from now on, you can’t talk about the UFC’.”

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Craig Carton

UFC President Dana White appeared on WFAN’s Carton & Roberts Wednesday, which allowed Craig Carton the opportunity to tell White how he was partially responsible for the demise of Carton’s short-lived television show MMA Uncensored Live.

“I was not the biggest MMA guy, but I knew Dana and I knew the guys at Spike real well,” Carton said. “Spike decided to get in bed with Bellator, which was just a stupid decision because the UFC’s everything, right? So, Dana, you don’t know this story, I don’t think. About, maybe, 10 shows into it, Kevin Kay — the former President of Spike — comes to me and says ‘Listen, from now on, you can’t talk about the UFC’. And I go ‘Wait a minute. The name of the show is MMA Uncensored Live’. It was on Thursday nights. All we’re doing is talking UFC. And he says to me ‘I’m not putting any more money in Dana White’s pockets. F*** Dana White’. And I go ‘Then I quit. I can’t do the show’. Because it’s about the UFC.

“So he goes ‘Alright. I’m gonna compromise with you’. And the compromise was you can talk about a fight from last weekend but you can’t promote the fights that are happening in 48 hours. Which made no sense to me. And then when the poop hit the fan, I went on MMA Uncensored Live and I said, on the air, Joe Rogan is the best sports analyst of any sport on any network. And two weeks later, the show disappeared. So thanks, Dana. Appreciate that.”

White, who made headlines for calling an ESPN reporter a “scumbag”, then went on to detail how a Viacom executive — the parent company of Spike — who calls himself “Philippe Doo-mond” was one of the most “arrogant, pompous, goofy” people on the planet. White said “His real name is Phil Dauman. He’s from Jersey,” before detailing how Dauman thought Viacom had built the UFC into what it was at the time. Those ineptitudes, in White’s eyes, made the show’s cancellation unsurprising.

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