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Under The Radar – February 27, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The month of February comes to a close with a batch of industry news that may have slipped by you. A quick reminder that if you have a news tip, press release or a story involving your brand or one of its personalities, and you’d like to be included in a future UTR column, send the details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Congratulations to Laurence Holmes who has signed a new deal to remain 670 The Score‘s evening host. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Holmes acknowledged exploring a few options after his deal expired, and despite being initially disappointed in not receiving an opportunity to move up in the lineup following Terry Boers‘ retirement, he’s thrilled to remain in a position where he can continue to inform and entertain Chicago sports radio fans on a nightly basis.

Speaking of Chicago, congratulations to ESPN 1000 who turned in a stellar January in the ratings. The radio station won the head to head battle against 670 The Score in middays, afternoons, and M-F 6a-7p led by strong showings from Waddle & Silvy and David Kaplan, who were both 1st in their respective timeslots. The Score continued to lead the way in mornings thanks to another great showing from Mully & Hanley. The January book contained two weeks of The Score’s new weekday lineup.

A big January from the Atlanta Falcons helped fuel record ratings for 92.9 The Game. The station turned in an overall rating of 4.4., its highest number since launching four years ago. Congratulations to Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson and the entire staff.

Shifting to Salt Lake City, ESPN 700 has added a new partner alongside afternoon host Sean O’Connell. Former University of Utah All-American Punter and Melbourne, Australia native Tom Hackett is joining the show on a full time basis starting Monday. To see the video announcement about the new program click here.

Meanwhile in San Diego, it appears that Tony Gwynn Jr. will be joining the Padres broadcast team. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gwynn is likely to appear on 30 telecasts on FOX Sports San Diego, and 30 radio broadcasts on FM 949. The specifics of his role are still being sorted out.

The Miami Herald reports that the Miami Marlins have dropped Carl Pavano as a studio analyst from their television broadcasts. The team is retaining the services of former players Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Jeff Nelson on its pre-game and post-game shows.

In Charlotte, WFNZ morning show producer Travis “T-Bone” Hancock has created a new podcast called “The Boneyard“. Hancock says the show will take listeners behind the scenes of the station’s morning show “The Mac Attack” and include in depth conversations with a few of the station’s callers and personalities. To hear the first episode click here.

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit is bringing back its popular golf show, “Lesson on Golf” hosted by Jeff Lesson. The show has been a mainstay on the station’s airwaves for the past 20 years.

Further north in Toronto, Colin Teskey has begun anchoring sports updates on a part time basis for Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Teskey also serves as a co-host of The Regulars on Extra 90.5 in Peterborough, Ontario.

The Erie Sea Wolves have signed a new two year agreement with FOX Sports Radio 1330 to broadcast more than 140 games on the Erie sports radio station. The sports station is owned and operated by Connoisseur Media.

After 13 years, Tony Castleberry is leaving The Daily Reflector in Greenville, North Carolina. Castleberry has landed a digital content producer job with WECT in Wilmington.

MLB.com has added Mark Feinsand as an Executive Reporter. Feinsand spent 16 years with the New York Daily News covering the New York Yankees. He has a new book “The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List” coming out April 15th.

And to close out this week’s column, Alexa Datt has launched a new show titled “12:25 Live“. The program airs M-F on both MLB.com and Facebook Live. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig made an appearance on the debut program which took place this past Friday.

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Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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