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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – August 14, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Sports media news continues to trickle in and this is the place where you learn about some of the developments you may not have been aware of. If you’d like to have your personal or station news included in a future edition of UTR, please send details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest activity.

Congratulations to Jeff Rickard who has been promoted to Program Director at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The veteran national sports talk show host had been working for the station as its Executive Producer, and with Greg Rakestraw being tasked with developing the company’s Network Indiana project, Rickard has been given an opportunity to take on a bigger role overseeing day to day programming operations.

Staying in Indiana, Luke Martin has been named the new voice of Indiana State football. Martin will also have an extended role covering Indiana State baseball.

Thirty three years of calling Kansas City Chiefs games is plenty for former quarterback Len Dawson. The radio voice of the Chiefs will wrap up his legendary career calling the team’s games for the 2017 season before the organization turns the microphone over to a new announcer next season. Dawson said, “I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do. I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.”

Continuing with Chiefs news, KMOX (1120 AM) is back as a radio affiliate of the team for the 2017 NFL season. When games conflict with KMOX’s Cardinals or Blues commitments, they’ll be moved to 590 The Fan, KFNS.

Speaking of 590 The Fan, KFNS, the station is also gearing up for football season by making a number of solid moves. First, they’ve signed on as an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys, airing all of the team’s games for the 2017 NFL season. In addition, former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr will be appearing three times per week on the station as a contributor. Farr last worked for 101 ESPN before moving to Los Angeles. The station has also added former front office executive Mike Lombardi for two call-ins per week.

The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets radio contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. Talks have begun between the team and its radio partner, iHeartmedia New York. Mets games air on WOR 710AM.

A pretty cool story worth sharing. 920 The Jersey host and program director Zach Gelb will get his shot to fill in on WFAN in New York this weekend. Gelb will host the 2am ET shift early Sunday morning. Zach’s father Bob works for The Fan in sales after previously contributing to the programming department.

Talkers produced a fantastic piece highlighting the growth of WEEI‘s digital brand. The radio station recently celebrated nine years of digital excellence. To get familiar with the brand’s story click here.

Congratulations goes out to Evan Wilner. After seven years at MLB Network Radio, Wilner is moving over to SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation to serve as the channel’s Executive Producer.

Former 97.5 The Fanatic and Bleacher Report radio host Nick Kayal underwent some vocal troubles over the past two years. Fortunately things have turned in a positive direction with Kayal announcing that he’s been cleared to return to broadcasting following vocal cord surgery.

A newcomer is Portland bound. Brandon Droz has signed off in Grand Junction, CO, where he had worked for 1340 The Team, Magic 93.1, 92.3 The Moose, 1100 KNZZ  and 96.1 KSTAR, in order to join the Portland sports radio scene. Droz hasn’t said yet which station he’s joining. Stay tuned.

Alpha Media has struck a deal with Coastal Carolina University for WRNN-AM/FM to serve as the new flagship station of the Chanticleer Sports Network through the 2019-2020 season. The new agreement gives the radio station the ability to carry live game-day coverage of football, baseball, and men’s basketball.

Hall of Fame second baseman and former Cincinnati Red Joe Morgan will join Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley on Reds Wednesday home-game broadcasts through the remainder of the MLB season. Morgan will work Reds games against the Cubs, Mets, Brewers and Cardinals for FOX Sports Ohio.

Brett Dolan, a broadcasting veteran with twenty seven years of experience working on game broadcasts for the Houston Astros, ESPN, Root Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Television, has been chosen as the SEC Network voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dolan will be the Razorbacks’ lead play-by-play announcer and host a number of Razorback programs on RSN and Cox Sports Television. He’ll also oversee the strategic planning of video content for ArkansasRazorbacks.com. An official announcement will be made later this month.

After nine years at ESPN, Jason Vida has moved on to become the Associate Director of Athletic Public Relations for the University of Richmond.

While one departs the worldwide leader, another joins. David Albiani has been added as a production assistant. Albiani also contributes to Cover32.com writing about the New England Patriots.

WCTV in Tallahassee has a brand new sports director. Kevin Keane has accepted the opportunity and is heading home. He had been working for KGWN in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a surprising move in the windy city, Chris Boden is out at CSN Chicago after ten years. Boden says he was let go but is grateful for his time with the company. He hopes to find a new broadcast home real soon.

The run has also come to an end for Kevin Bowen. After spending five years working for the Indianapolis Colts and contributing to radio, television and print, Bowen says the team notified him they were parting ways. He called the opportunity a dream come true situation and thanked Colts fans for paying attention to his work.

Congratulations to Phoenix Carnevale on being hired by AXS TV. She’s been added as the channel’s cage/ringside reporter for MMA fights.

Effective today, Nate Scott is working for SB Nation. He says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to work with the best crew of storytellers working online today.

In Denver, Nick Kosmider has been added to the Denver Broncos beat at the Denver Post. He’ll work in tandem with Nicki Jhabvala covering the team.

Dean Straka is ready to start breaking news on the Big 12. Straka has announced that he’s signed on to work for Diehards.com. The site has also added Grant McGalliard as a freelance reporter.

And finally, after two years with the Shawano Leader, Chris Caporale is leaving to become the sports editor of the Daily Jefferson County Union.

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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