Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – June 19, 2017
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.
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
Jay Williams Calls Listener, Forces Him To Pay Their $1000 Lakers Bet
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
If you owe Jay Williams money, he is going to find you. Just ask Rob, a listener in Orlando who bet the ESPN Radio morning man that the Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals.
Last week, Rob called Keyshawn, JWill and Max and bet Williams $1000 the Lakers would eliminate the Denver Nuggets. Williams said if that happened, he would pay Rob $1500.
Obviously, that is not the way things played out. On Tuesday morning, Jay Williams called Rob demanding payment.
“He owes me my money,” he said. “So you know what we do? We got Detective Pat on the call today. Pat, let’s give this man a call. See if this guy picks up, trying to run away from giving me my money.”
The show’s associate producer Patrick Costello called the number Rob left last week. On the first attempt, the listener did not pick up. Williams vowed to keep up the pressure on social media and national radio and television until he got paid.
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
“You know, getting that money is a wrap, Jay,” Keyshawn Johnson said through laughter. “I told you that.”
The show made one more attempt to connect with Rob before having to turn things over to Greeny. This time, the Lakers fan picked up and acknowledged that he had to pay. He offered to make a donation in Williams’s name.
“I’ll send you my bank account here privately, and then I will send it to the charity of my choice,” Williams agreed.
Rob agreed to the arrangement. Williams asked him if he wanted to apologize for doubting the basketball analyst’s prediction of the Lakers’ demise.
“Apologize? I need the Lakers to apologize to me after that performance,” Rob said. “Because Jesus Christ, that was horrible. That was bad.”
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen on LeBron James Retirement Talk: ‘NBA Needs Offseason Stories’
“I think we pick and choose with him. I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
As the Los Angeles Lakers exited the court after being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, a grim reality set in across the basketball world regarding the future of forward LeBron James. Widely regarded as one of the best players to ever suit up, James is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, a 19-time All Star selection, four-time MVP, and four-time NBA champion.
During his postgame media availability on Monday, he stated that he had to seriously think about his future, undoubtedly referencing retirement. James just completed his 20th season in the Association and continues to play at a high level, but is going to think about walking away from the game after falling short of the NBA Finals this year.
“He’s been a pretty good soldier for the game,” said Tom Milikan, morning show producer and assistant program director at 97.1 The Ticket. “There’s been some things I haven’t agreed with him [on] that he’s liked or tweeted or whatever. I think he’s had some ignorance, but I think that applies to every single athlete out there that’s great.”
Throughout his NBA career, James has been the subject of criticism. The ESPN special he participated in titled The Decision saw him reveal he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. He is also a frequent subject across the network’s programming, including on Get Up, First Take and NBA Today.
“I think we pick and choose with him,” Millikan said. “I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
Show co-host Mike Stone read messages from the 97.1 The Ticket text line during the show, many of which criticized James for being a “flopping” player desperate for any semblance of attention since he will not be in the NBA Finals. One text suggested his revelation of weighing retirement was done intentionally, surmising that he has a film documentary crew around him and coming back stronger than ever would make for a great story.
“The league needs some offseason stories,” Millikan said. “From what I know, the free agency class is not all that great this year – and one of the big names is Kyrie Irving, and that’s toxic. It’s sort of like, ‘Hey, maybe they’re generating buzz or trying to do the whole Brady thing.’ So be it – I’ve seen it 15 times in my life.”
Stone recognized that athletes like James are genuinely once-in-a-generation type talents, and that his time in the NBA has been defined by more than what he has done on the court. James has also been an immense advocate for greater causes, including social issues, youth education and community affairs. Whenever he decides to call it a career though, fans should rest assured that James has truly given the game everything he has.
“I want to see the best that they have for as long as possible,” show co-host Jon Jansen said of star athletes. “If they end up playing too long, so be it. I don’t care. Then I know I’ve [seen] it all.”
Sports Radio News
Danny Parkins: NFL Teams ‘Don’t Really Care About Your In-Stadium Experience’
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it.”
On Monday at the NFL Owners’ Meetings, flex scheduling for Amazon Prime Video’s presentation of Thursday Night Football was approved 24-8. Games can only be flexed between Weeks 13 and 17 with 28 days notice required. Additionally, a maximum of two games can be flexed per season, with the entire operation being on “a trial basis.”
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it,” said Danny Parkins on 670 The Score as the news broke Monday. “[The] first rule already happened, and the Bears are one of the teams that either benefit or are victimized by the rule depending on your interpretation. You can play on multiple Thursdays this year. You can’t play multiple road Thursdays, but the Bears have two Thursday night games – in Washington and home against Carolina.”
In an effort to broadcast compelling action on a national stage, the National Football League did not give all of its 32 teams at least one game on national television this season. Conversely, the New York Jets, complete with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will be featured on national television for the maximum of six times, including two matchups on Thursday Night Football. The Jets, along with the Chicago Bears, dissented from voting in favor of flexible scheduling, but Parkins assumes it has nothing to do with the fans.
“My guess is [it is] because they already have two Thursday night games,” Parkins said. “Maybe they’re just altruistic and they care about fans and travel and all that, but I bet you that they said, ‘Well, we’re playing in Week 5 in Washington and Week 10 at home against Carolina. We don’t want to risk Bears-Browns or Bears-Falcons being flexed into Thursday Night Football later in the season and end up with three Thursday night games.’”
Many football fans and media professionals have pushed back on granting the property any type of flex scheduling because of the negative impact it has on injury prevention, something that is not as pronounced with other properties solely because of the day of the week. Sunday Night Football on NBC was previously the only property with flex scheduling ability, and Monday Night Football on ESPN is being granted that ability between Weeks 12 and 17 with at least 12 days notice.
“They don’t really care about your in-stadium experience – they don’t,” Parkins said of the league. “As long as you watch on TV, they’re thrilled because that’s where they make a huge, ungodly percentage of their money – more so than any of the other sports.”