Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – May 30, 2017
Holiday weekends have a tendency to keep the news cycle in sports radio a little lighter. Nonetheless there were still a few items of note to pass along. A reminder, if you have news about yourself, your station or your company to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
After Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported that tensions were high and the atmosphere around ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ had turned poisonous, Mike Golic has responded by taking aim at internal leaks. In an interview with the South Bend Tribune, Golic says things have been blown out of proportion and he and his longtime radio partner are fine. He is however frustrated that people working on his show have been talking anonymously about in-house issues. Golic says the biggest lingering issue is the expiration date for the show, which still hasn’t been decided on by ESPN executives.
When the 2017-2018 NBA season begins, the New York Knicks will have a new radio voice. The team has decided to part ways with Mike Crispino who had called the team’s games since 2013, in addition to a separate stint working for the franchie from 2009-2011. Analyst Brendan Brown (Hubie’s son) is expected to return. Knicks games can be heard in New York on 98.7FM ESPN New York.
Congratulations to Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle of ESPN 1000 in Chicago. The popular afternoon team known to local listeners as Waddle & Silvy are celebrating 10 years on the air together. To commemorate the joyous occasion, the duo are broadcasting live from El Dorado Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico for two days. Day 1 took place on Memorial Day. The final remote broadcast occurs Tuesday afternoon. As part of the on-air special, Waddle & Silvy will welcome visits from a few special guests and longtime friends of the show, plus reminisce and share audio moments from various milestones over the past 10 years.
ESPN 700 is making changes yet again to its weekday lineup. Popular local afternoon host Sean O’Connell, who doubles as a UFC fighter, was informed last week that his contract was not being renewed. He is now searching for his next opportunity. You can reach him by clicking here. Expect 700 to make a formal announcement about the future of its afternoon show soon.
In Miami, WQAM has adjusted its drive time shows. The afternoon program which featured Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz, is now a two-man affair with Hochman and Crowder. Krantz moves into mornings opposite longtime market veteran Joe Rose. With Krantz changing shows, Rose’s former on-air partner Curtis Stevenson has exited the radio station. Sensing an opportunity to strengthen its programming, local competitor 790 The Ticket brought in Stevenson for a few shifts this past weekend. No word yet on if the station is carving out a role for him.
92.9 The Game is taking a look at Doug Stewart for its vacant evening shift. The former member of the 2-Live Stews will host this Thursday and Friday night from 7p-11p ET.
A new weekday program is being added to SB Nation Radio‘s weekday schedule. Starting June 5th, “The Sports Bosses” will take over the 10a-12p timeslot. The program features Miami-based radio hosts Jim Rodriguez and Brad Johnson.
Henson Media is bringing ESPN Radio back to the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. The new station is expected to launch in June and will include ESPN Radio programming, Matt Jones‘ Kentucky based show, a 1-hour local afternoon show, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and more. The brand will be positioned on the air as “The Ref.”
Former University of Arkansas defensive lineman Geno Bell is returning to his alma mater to serve as the sideline reporter for Razorbacks football on the IMG Razorback Sports Network. Bell replaces Quinn Grovey who was elevated to the lead analyst spot on the broadcast opposite play-by-play voice Chuck Barrett.
NHL writer Craig Custance announced on social media that his final day working for ESPN was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He had worked for the network for the past 6 years. Custance says that the decision to leave was difficult but his next opportunity was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He expects to make an announcement in the near future.
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
Mike Florio: Chris Simms Isn’t Desensitized to Internet Criticism
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope.”
Chris Simms caught some heat this week while discussing the death of Miami Dolphins fan Eric Carmona. Carmona was the brain behind the Tuanon viral videos, which featured him in a Dolphin mask attacking critics of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Simms was one of his frequent targets.
Carmona was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. He leaves behind a wife and four children. He was just 30 years old.
Mike Florio brought the story up on Pro Football Talk Live, because Tagovailoa himself donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to support Carmona’s family. Simms responded by noting that Carmona was a frequent critic of his.
Florio pushed back saying that trolling is better than being ignored. People are passionate about their teams and if they are passionate about attacking you for criticizing their teams, it means you matter to them.
“This is a deep subject and I think it’s societal and I won’t go into it because I’m only going to get myself in trouble,” Simms responded. “We’re also setting an example like, ‘Hey here’s money to a guy who was very negative too.’ That’s all I’m saying.”
On Friday, Florio made his weekly appearance on WQAM in Miami. Morning show host Joe Rose asked Florio what Simms was thinking with those comments.
“I don’t know. That’s a question for Chris, and you could invite him on and he could talk about that,” Florio answered. “And I’m not trying to be flippant by saying that. I understand the way he feels from my perspective.”
He did try to explain the point he was making to Simms in saying that being trolled is better than being ignored. He reminded Rose that there is a thick skin required to having the kind of jobs they do.
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope. He doesn’t actively participate in Twitter. He has one of the producers at NBC that primarily updates his account. So I don’t think he’s become as desensitized to it as I have over the years.”
Simms caught heat earlier this week from another fan base. Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie of the WIP Morning Show ripped the NBC analyst for ranking Jalen Hurts as the seventh best QB in the league.
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen Baffled By NBA Finals TV Schedule
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast. We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final continue with games taking place this weekend, and many basketball and hockey fans are expected to tune in to watch the action. The Denver Nuggets will try to take a 3-1 series lead on the Miami Heat, while the Vegas Golden Knights will look to rebound from an overtime loss to return home one win away from a championship. Aside from the pomp and circumstance, there is considerable intrigue pertaining to the action on both the court and the ice. The challenging part of the entire situation is knowing when the games are played due to the disjointed nature of the schedule.
Throughout the NBA Finals, games have taken place three days apart from one another, while the Stanley Cup Final has followed a similar pattern but both avoid playing games on Sundays. As a result, there were only two days between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, but three for the remainder should it reach a deciding seventh game. Similarly in basketball, the first three games of the NBA Finals were played every other day, but the remainder of the series is scheduled with two days of rest. There is a chance the decision was made to accommodate travel schedules, as both series are aligned in a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern, meaning the first two games are played in one city; the next two are played in the other; and then they continue to alternate until a champion is crowned.
“I don’t know why the NBA’s not playing on Sunday,” 97.1 The Ticket morning co-host Mike Stoney said. “That big travel day – because you really need travel days nowadays with your private planes to fly from Miami to Denver.”
Show co-host Jon Jansen, who played 10 seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle with Washington and Detroit, expressed how some players may need to acclimate themselves to the altitude in Denver, Colo. The city is located 5,280 feet, or one mile, above sea level, making the air thinner and dryer and presenting some visitors with difficulty breathing. Jansen never felt the effects of altitude sickness, claiming that it was never a big deal for him, but obviously, everyone reacts to things differently.
“Basketball in particular and hockey because it’s constant running, especially at your position,” Stoney proposed. “You’re not running like madmen [in football] like they do in basketball where I think it affects you the most.”
The schedule also presents challenges for consumers around the United States living in different time zones. The NBA Finals do not begin until 8:30 p.m. EST, and the games often do not include until close to midnight. Especially on weeknights, asking East Coast fans to stay up late and then go to work early in the morning limits the amount of sleep they can receive. Meanwhile, those on the West Coast are just returning home from a standard eight-hour workday and may have other tasks to carry out.
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast,” Jansen said. “We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
There is no perfect time slot that will appease all consumers, but even so, ratings for this year’s NBA Finals have exceeded most expectations. Game 3 attracted an average audience of 11.2 million viewers and peaked at a figure of 12.4 million, down 2.5% from last year’s third game of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Viewership for the first three games of the NBA Finals is averaging 11.6 million, representing a nearly 2% decline from last year’s numbers. ESPN reported its most-watched playoffs across its platforms in the last 11 years, with the total playoff viewership audience averaging approximately 6.1 million people.
Sports Radio News
Colin Cowherd: I Have Tried to Invest in MLS Teams Twice
“I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent.”
Could we have seen FOX Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd having some sort of ownership stake in an MLS team? Cowherd said he tried, and then he tried again.
Talking about Inter Miami adding global superstar Lionel Messi on Thursday, Cowherd mentioned that he inquired about getting involved with the league, but the asking price at this point is too much for him.
“I have twice tried to invest in the MLS, and I just can’t afford it,” Cowherd said. “I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent. The academy is slowly becoming something, but it is becoming something their academy system. And they are now on a regular basis going and getting the world’s biggest soccer stars.”
Colin pointed out that Messi is the most popular athlete in the world, boasting social media followings and name recognition that easily eclipses that of superstar athletes like LeBron James and celebrities like the Kardashians and Beyonce. So not only is Messi’s signing a monumental moment for Inter Miami owner David Beckham, but it’s a feather in the cap signing for Major League Soccer as a whole.
“Messi is massive for the MLS. It’s the biggest moment in the history of the franchise,” he said. “Think Beckham times two. And Beckham was big when he arrived here in the States.”
“I think it’s cool that the MLS, our domestic soccer league, can go out and bring a superstar – not a star, a mega superstar on our soil regularly,” he added.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.