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Andy Pollin’s 25-Year Run Ends at ESPN 980

Jason Barrett

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What a ride it’s been for Andy Pollin. The longtime Washington D.C. sports personality has occupied the airwaves of ESPN 980 in the nation’s capital for close to twenty five years, but on Thursday, he learned that the journey had come to an end.

Pollin, who had been teaming with Steve Czaban in afternoon drive since last May, was notified that he had done his final show on the station. His contract was set to expire in February, and the company had not displayed an interest in retaining his services.

Czaban and Pollin had previously hosted together for 13 years, before Chris Cooley replaced Pollin in the summer of 2013. That change led Pollin into morning drive, a slot now occupied by Cooley with Kevin Sheehan.

After being told of the decision to part ways, and not granted a final opportunity to talk to the audience, it would have been understood if Pollin was bitter. However, he took the high road when talking to the Washington Post about the situation.

“I’m not in any way bitter about this,” Pollin said. “I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue. I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.”

Czaban on the other hand said he was gutted by the decision, and credited the success of his career to Pollin.

“I have no doubt Andy has more chapters to write in his broadcasting and journalism career here in D.C.,” Czaban wrote on Twitter. “I would hire that guy tomorrow. I’ll miss him tremendously as a sounding board on all things sports, radio — and life.”

Ironically, the afternoon show with Czaban and Pollin had recently experienced some positive news in the ratings. When we last looked at the D.C. numbers in late November, the show had grown from a 2.7 to 4.4 and was involved in a tight race with 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes.

Although Pollin’s name will attract the headlines, he wasn’t the only talented performer to receive grim news from 980 officials. The station also informed two of their promising young personalities, Nick Ashooh and Tim Murray, who had hosted the evening program “DMV Gametime”, that they were casualties of station budget cuts.

Murray has confirmed via Twitter that he will continue being part of the SB Nation Radio morning show, which he works on along with Scott Linn and Steve Solomon. Ashooh is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached here.

Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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