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Under The Radar – May 30, 2017

Jason Barrett

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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.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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