Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – March 13, 2017
One of the busiest week’s yet for the UTR column. A total of 23 news items are included in this piece. If you have a future news tip, press release or promotion you’d like to share, you can reach me by email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to this week’s news.
Expect some news to trickle out this week from a few national sports radio networks. A couple of interesting developments that should generate some conversation inside sports radio circles. Stay tuned.
As I reported Friday on Twitter, former ESPN Dallas host Matt Mosley was brought in to host shows Friday and Saturday on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation. Sources say Mosley could be in play for a larger role with the network. Stay tuned for further details.
Bad news was delivered on Friday inside the offices of FOX Sports 640 in West Palm Beach. The radio station which broadcasts into the city of Miami and at one point featured Sid Rosenberg on its airwaves, terminated its only remaining local program, the morning show. As a result, Joe Raineri and his supporting staff were let go. With Alpha Media taking over control of the station, the plan is to feature national programming going forward. Raineri is looking for his next opportunity. To learn more about him you can visit his website by clicking here.
One move which hasn’t received any attention but has taken place in Los Angeles, Fred Roggin and Rodney Peete are now hosting middays together on AM 570 LA Sports. The previous program LA Today was hosted by Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden. Reiter left for CBS Sports‘ digital team in September, and Tweeden moved to KABC in February. Roggin and Peete have been having some fun with the audience, giving them an opportunity to help name their program.
Staying in California, congratulations to Erik Peterson, who has signed on with TMZ Sports as a Talent Coordinator. Peterson has previously served as a Producer for The Beast 980, FOX Sports Radio, Westwood One and ESPN Radio.
After reporting last week that WFAN and CBS Sports Radio anchors would assume more responsibility on WINS and WCBS, it appears that further adjustments are taking place on the CBS Sports Radio Network‘s overnight schedule. Anchor Peter Schwartz announced via Twitter that his overnight shift was coming to an end, but that he’d remain involved with the network on a part-time basis.
Elsewhere on the national stage, ESPN Radio anchor Steve Lenox has revealed that he’ll be contributing to ESPN’s college baseball coverage in 2017 on the SEC Network and ESPNU. Lenox officially got started on Friday, calling Florida A&M vs. Bethune Cookman alongside Jay Walker.
Getting caught up on some ratings data, Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City turned in a big January book. The station finished in the top 3 in middays and afternoons, and in the top 4 in morning drive. Overall the station finished 3rd M-SU 6a-Mid with a 6 share, with middays registering the top monthly performance. With baseball season just a few weeks away, local competitor 610 Sports should benefit from the return of the Royals. The team’s games are played on their airwaves, and help the brand deliver higher numbers. But play by play aside, WHB has to feel good about their standing right now.
KOA Newsradio 850AM and 94.1 FM in Denver has announced new multi-year contracts for Colorado Rockies radio broadcasters Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel. Corrigan has been part of the play by play team for the past 14 years. Schemmel has been involved for the past seven.
Speaking of baseball, a tip of the cap to former St. Louis sports radio anchor Sara Dayley who has been added to the St. Louis Cardinals television team for the 2017 season. She joins a crew which includes Dan McLaughlin on play by play, and Al Hrabosky, Tim McCarver, Ricky Horton, and Jim Edmonds as analysts. Dayley will contribute as a reporter and host to Cardinals Live, the team’s pre and post-game show, along with Jim Hayes and Scott Warman. Former Cardinals Rick Ankiel and Brad Thompson (101 ESPN afternoon show host) will also contribute as studio analysts.
Congratulations to Kyle Bailey who’s signed on with WFNZ in Charlotte. Bailey previously worked as a host for Kirkman Broadcasting’s 98.5 The Zone and ESPN Charleston, and prior to that he spent time hosting in Blacksburg, VA for Super Sports 101.7 and 105.3 The Bear. Bailey had recently been filling in on the Charlotte sports talker, and will now join the station on a permanent basis as a host and executive producer.
North of border in Toronto, the Toronto Sports Media blog has learned that 590 The Fan is adding Ben Ennis to the midday show alongside Andrew Walker.
In Houston, Alex Del Barrio of Sports Radio 610 has confirmed that he’ll be joining the Houston Dynamo radio team alongside Jeremy Branham. The Dynamo play their games on 610.
A little further to the west in Austin, 104.9 The Horn has added Ashley Kamrath to help oversee the radio station’s digital efforts.
105.7 The Fan in Milwaukee is bringing back Seth Everett as a baseball season contributor. Everett will provide a weekly check in every Wednesday at 12:05pm CT with The Fan’s midday host Bill Michaels. Michaels’ program not only airs on The Fan, but it’s also distributed on affiliate stations throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Alpha Media’s ESPN Myrtle Beach 1450AM has added an FM simulcast on 105.5 FM. Both frequencies will continue airing the entire ESPN Radio lineup.
ESPN 94.9 The Game 2 has signed on to carry Cincinnati Reds baseball. The station will air over 130 regular season Reds baseball games in the Nashville market.
A change is taking place in Decatur, Illinois. Aric Lee has confirmed that is program is moving from 1050 ESPN to 1340 WSOY. Lee will be heard weekday afternoons from 3p-5p CT starting on 3/13.
Bobby Corser has left his position as executive producer at Rip City Radio in Portland. Corser is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by email by clicking here.
The Frozen Four will have a new voice contributing to its broadcast coverage. Colby Cohen has been summoned to call the action this year for Westwood One. The hockey tournament officially begins in early April.
Congratulations to Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar‘s 5280 Sports Network. They’ve added J.J. Jerez to serve as the site’s Colorado Avalanche reporter.
Nashville’s On Demand Sports Talk Show “A To Z Sports“, hosted by former 94.9 The Game 2 hosts Austin Stanley and Zach Bingham, have added Mark Harris to report on the Nashville Predators.
Deb Antonelli will call men’s NCAA Tournament basketball games later this month on CBS, making her the first woman to do so in over two decades. Antonelli has called men’s and women’s hoops since the early 1990s, but this will be her first time broadcasting “March Madness.” She’ll work alongside Carter Blackburn and Mike Gminski.
And last but not least, congrats are in order for Josh Santry, who is leaving IF Management after 11 years, to join CAA Sports. Santry will remain based in New York City while working for CAA.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Chris Russo: Immediacy of News Has Hurt Sports Radio
“I mean, if something happens tonight at 7:00 that’s huge, by the time I get out of here 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, people may you might want to hear my take on it.”
Sports radio has changed since the heyday of Mike & the Mad Dog. It was something Chris Russo reflected on this week during an appearance on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.
Host Jimmy Traina, who grew up listening to Russo and Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York, said that he does not hear as much sports as he used to on sports radio. On Mike & The Mad Dog, talk about subjects outside of sports was a rare treat. Now, those subjects are part of every show every day.
Russo says he has noticed the same thing. Some of that is about the crowded market place for sports talk and athlete and team-owned media limiting opportunities to land headlining guests. Chris Russo says there is another reality that should be acknowledged with sports radio.
“I think a little something to do with it is there may be less, quote unquote, big time sports guys who are big fans doing the shows,” he said. “You’ll remember, I’m a big fan. Mike was a big fan. You’re a big fan. A lot of guys hosting shows across America right now, they like sports, but they don’t live it like some of us do.”
Traina noted that another factor is the changing pace of information. In the 90s, New Yorkers relied on Mike & the Mad Dog for the full story of the previous night’s game or details that had developed on a bigger story. Now, everyone has the internet at their finger tips and on their phones.
“I think the immediacy has hurt the guy doing a regular show,” Russio agreed. “I mean, if something happens tonight at 7:00 that’s huge, by the time I get out of here 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, people might not want to hear my take on it. I’ll give them a take, but I’m not going to get 4 hours out of it.”
Takes have always been the lifeblood of sports radio. Russo said in an age where everyone has the basic information and fewer people live and breathe sports, radio was bound to change.
“They’re more guy talk. So they bounce around and they do culture as much as they do sports. They do Brady and his ex-wife, instead of talking about Brady and what he did against Green Bay.”
Another side effect of so much access to information is that even the most unique sports take doesn’t always stand out. Chris Russo noted that the only thing a radio show has that is truly unique now is the hosts themselves.
Listeners form a bond with the host and want to hear more about his or her life. He learned that last week when he posted a picture of his son Tim signing a contract to be an assistant basketball coach at the University of Northern Arizona.
“A lot of guys out there who listen on our radio show feel part of a unit. They feel part of a group. They feel part of the channel. They feel part of the crew,” he said. “So as a result, where are they going to get information about Timmy, getting a Northern Arizona job? I’m only one.”
Sports Radio News
Mike Mulligan: Jeff Van Gundy is Terrible & ‘That Broadcast is Bad’
“Unfortunately, my mind turned off when it was his voice.”
Mike Mulligan dislikes everything about Jeff Van Gundy. At the end of Thursday’s edition of Mully & Haugh, the 670 The Score morning man reacted with disgust to audio of the ABC analyst suggesting that an assist should be awarded to a player that passes to a teammate that is fouled if the teammate hits his free throws.
Dan Bernstein, who was in studio for the crossover segment, asked Mully if he really hates the suggestion or does he just hate that it is coming from Van Gundy.
“Unfortunately, my mind turned off when it was his voice,” Mully responded. “So, I don’t even know what we’re talking about.”
Others in the studio suggested that the disdain stems from the fact that Jeff Van Gundy was the coach of the Knicks, a team Mully hates. He disagreed.
“I think he’s terrible, and I think that broadcast is bad,” he said.
Bernstein noted that he is a huge fan of Stan Van Gundy’s work for TNT. He asked Mike Mulligan if his hate covers all of the Van Gundys or did it just apply to Jeff.
“Stan seems like a decent guy,” Mulligan answered. “I don’t adore his brother, but I do like his brother.”
Sports Radio News
Adam Silver: Networks Will Always Focus on Most Popular Players & Teams
“In fairness to them, the ‘Joker’ hasn’t been in the Finals before.”
The first two games of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets have attracted a larger than anticipated audience. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shared with Dan Patrick that he has attended the first three NBA Finals games, and the atmosphere inside both arenas has been electrifying. The same seems to be true from the media angle with comparable ratings to last year’s matchup featuring the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, a pleasantly surprising outcome marking sustainability and viability the league has worked to strengthen over the last decade.
“Probably after last night, we’re going to be up a little bit, which says a lot about the league that you have two midsize markets,” Silver said. “A popular team in Miami, and a Nuggets team that has never been in the Finals, and the fans are responding.”
Silver became the commissioner of the league in 2014, and since then has been a part of the league expanding its digital footprint. The NBA national media rights deal with The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Discovery expires at the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, and speculation has already begun as to which entities will bid to present league games.
Patrick asked Silver how the Association can do a better job in utilizing its national media rights to market superstar players in smaller markets. Prior to the NBA Finals, Nikola Jokić was a two-time recipient of the Most Valuable Player award and a five-time NBA All-Star, but was only ninth in social media views. Over the last 30 days, Jokić has skyrocketed to No. 1 on the list, drawing more than 300 million video views across the NBA’s social media platforms.
“We have some influence,” replied Silver. “It’s interesting. To the networks, they do focus on the teams and players that they think are going to be most popular. In fairness to them, the ‘Joker’ hasn’t been in the Finals before.”
On Wednesday, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and reiterated ideas he has previously stated about modernizing basketball. Some of these ideas included doing away with halftime, offensive goaltending and changing the rules on free throws. Silver heard these remarks before appearing with Patrick on Thursday, and responded to the inquiry with intrigue regarding halftime.
“When we’ve looked to shorten it a bit – because I think you know we changed the format of the last two minutes a couple of years ago to speed the game along – and I think we forget sometimes that the guys really do need the break,” Silver said. “Put aside the programming at halftime; the commercials… maybe you could shorten it slightly. But I think it is meaningful to the players in addition to the coaching that goes on at halftime, [plus] the opportunity to get a breather.”
Silver also commented on the recent merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf, which has come under scrutiny because of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns a majority stake in LIV Golf, and has made lucrative offers to external golfers in an attempt to lure them to the entity. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, along with several other golfers, took the money, and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is coming off as hypocritical after making remarks about how the deal comes off to families of survivors of the September 11 attacks. Silver divulged how the fund has not tried to make an offer for an NBA team; yet even so, the league only permits individuals to buy teams at the moment.
“When the Saudis invest in sports, it gets outsized attention,” Silver said. “I don’t want to complain about that because we want to get outsized attention. On the other hand, somebody could go down the list – they are investors in some of our largest American corporations. Some of the most well-known brands have investments from them…. With a sport like basketball, our Finals are distributed virtually everywhere in the world where the sport is played. It’s an opportunity to bring people together.”