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Under The Radar – June 19, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The news keeps trickling in so this week we have 15 items to fill you in on. A reminder, it’s extremely helpful to us when you pass along news tips, press releases and social media links. That allows us to stay informed and keep the rest of the sports radio industry updated. If you have future information to pass along, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to the news!

A war of words escalated last week in the big apple between Craig Carton of WFAN and Peter Rosenberg of 98.7 FM ESPN NY. The spat began over differing views over LeBron James’ home being vandalized in Los Angeles. After Carton shared why certain parts of the story didn’t make sense to him, Rosenberg took exception. That then led to a caller bringing up Rosenberg ‘s rebuttal to Carton who fired back. Rosenberg then countered via a video post.

Staying in New York, the New York Post caught up with Brandon Tierney of CBS Sports Radio. The headline of the piece is sure to raise a few eyebrows, “Why I am not chasing Mike Francesa’s throne anymore.” To read the article click here.

A little further north in Albany, congrats are in order for Jeff Levack of 104.5 The Team. The afternoon host announced via social media that he’s signed a new 2-year contract to continue working for the radio station.

106.7 The Fan has announced they’ve reached agreement with Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins to once again contribute throughout the NFL season. Cousins will appear weekly with Grant and Danny for the third straight season. In addition, Cousins will appear on the station in July, two days after the deadline passes for the Redskins and Cousins to reach a long-term deal. Whether he does or doesn’t sign a new deal, he plans to give only one interview afterwards, and that will be to The Fan.

Shifting to the west coast, Tim Montemayor has joined 1580 The Fanatic in Phoenix. The sports radio veteran has previously worked in Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Sacramento and Salt Lake City and is now hosting weekdays 12p-3p MT on the station. He made his weekday debut on June 5th.

An interesting look at the latest Toronto sports radio ratings was provided by Toronto Sports Media. In the latest book, The FAN 590 maintains a commanding lead over local competitor TSN 1050. The Fan’s highest rated performance was from 9a-12p when Jeff Blair and Baseball Central are on the air. The two stations have their closest contest between the hours of 1p-4p ET. Click here to see the full details.

In Vancouver, longtime Canucks writer Iain McIntyre has announced that he’s joining SportsNet in September. McIntyre will produce content for the company online and television. He’ll also contribute on radio once the company launches their new sports radio station SportsNet 650.

Westwood One has set their broadcast crew for the College World Series Finals June 26-28 live from Omaha. Kevin Kugler and Scott Graham will call the action, and 1620 the Zone’s John Bishop will contribute as field reporter for the series. Bishop serves as the voice of Creighton baseball and basketball and co-host’s The Zone’s afternoon show Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Elsewhere in the network play by play space, Touchdown Radio has announced its 2017 college football schedule. This year’s broadcast team features Roxy Bernstein and Taylor Zarzour calling the action, and former Miami Hurricanes quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta providing analysis. To see the network’s full game schedule click here.

Congratulations is in order for 101 ESPN. The St. Louis sports radio station won the award for Best Original Programming at the 2017 Missouri Broadcasters Association Annual Convention. The piece of content which the station produced to earn recognition was their “Legends of the Dome Charity Flag Football Game” featuring a live game broadcast from the Edward Jones Dome which featured former members of the St. Louis Rams.

Greg Peterson is on the move. After spending the past year with 102.9/750 The Game in Portland as a producer and on-air contributor, Peterson has accepted an opportunity in Las Vegas with the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSIN) which features Brent Musburger. He’s expected to serve as a producer and college basketball analyst.

Another off the air addition has been made in Houston. SB Nation Radio has added Christopher Tubbs as the new producer of GameNight with Matt Perrault. Tubbs will officially relocate to his new job on July 17th.

Sports Radio 610 in Houston debuted a new Saturday show this past weekend featuring Landry Locker and Matt Hammond. The duo teamed up from 1p-4p CT.

A new play by play announcer has been hired by Learfield Sports for Mississippi State football and men’s basketball games. Neil Price has been named the new voice of the Bulldogs. He takes over for Jim Ellis who retired in March.

Jason Myrtetus of 97.5 The Fanatic has announced plans to launch a new podcast titled Stick To Hockey. Myrtetus says he considered taking the plunge for the past few years and is finally ready to give it a go. The plan for the new audio offering is to provide discussion, debate, news, guests, and interaction on the coolest game on ice.

In the print world, the sale of Yahoo to Verizon has led to a few talented writers losing their positions. Among the affected include Kelly Dwyer and Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports. Dwyer contributed to Ball Don’t Lie and Edholm to Shutdown Corner.

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, according to sources.

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

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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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