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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – August 21, 2017

Jason Barrett

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BSM is Los Angeles bound for the week for the Podcast Movement Conference and to visit a few familiar sports media industry faces. If you have news to share on behalf of yourself or your organization and wish to be included in an upcoming edition of UTR, please send it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now onto this week’s industry developments.

BSM is pleased to announce the addition of four sports media members to our writing team. FOX Sports Radio host Brian Noe, 610 Sports General Sales Manager Dave Greene, former KHTK Program Director and 104.3 The Fan Assistant Program Director Kevin Sherrets, and former 620 The Buzz executive producer and SB Nation Radio fill-in host Demetri Ravanos will all be providing content for the website in the future. BSM still has a few openings so if interested in writing about sports media, send an email along with a writing sample by email by clicking here.

Congratulations to Gregg Henson. After being the victim of a budget cut in Pittsburgh, while performing a dual role as program director of ESPN Pittsburgh and co-host of Jim, Droo and Gregg for iHeart Detroit and Grand Rapids, the veteran host and programmer has landed a new opportunity. Henson has relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska where he’s joined Alpha Media as program director and morning host. Henson began his new assignment last Monday. Be sure to keep an eye out this week for his review of 5 Podcasts in 5 Days on SportsRadioPD.com.

This year’s NAB radio conference in Austin, Texas will include a special appearance by WEEI morning host Kirk Minihane. One of the most successful local sports radio hosts with a popular podcast that has outperformed industry standards, Minihane will take part in a panel titled “Radio’s New Strategies and New Platforms” with Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs and Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein. A live performance by songwriter and recording artist Robert Earl Keen is also planned for the session. For more information click here.

It looks like John Kincade will be staying a little longer in Atlanta. The 680 The Fan talk show host has confirmed he’s signed a new contract with the radio station to remain partners with longtime running mate Buck Belue. Buck and Kincade have been together for 17 years, and are on the verge of celebrating 4,000 shows together. Truly a remarkable feat.

Another congratulations is in order for ESPN Radio‘s Pete Gianesini who recently celebrated 20 years with the company. Gianesini has climbed the ladder to become a trusted part of the network’s management team, having made a positive impact on the careers of many who have worked under him. He currently serves as ESPN Audio’s Senior Director of Digital Programming.

WDAE in Tampa won’t be sticking around for the end of Mike and Mike and the start of Trey Wingo and Mike Golic. Instead, the station plans to introduce a brand new local morning show starting Monday August 28th. Details on the station’s new team will be available soon.

After 18 months writing and reporting on the Bay Area sports scene, Kevin Jones‘ time at KNBR has come to an end. Jones joined the radio station in February 2016 after working for the Cleveland Browns, Pro Football Focus, Sports Illustrated’s The Cauldron and radio stations 91.3 WZMB in Greenville, NC and WUSA-9 in Washington D.C. He’s looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by clicking here.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, it’s good to see Mychael Urban getting more involved in sports media work again. Urbs as he’s known to Bay Area sports fans has been filling in on 95.7 The Game and working on a writing project for The Athletic SF.

SiriusXM is bringing in the ole ball coach. College Football Hall of Fame coach and quarterback Steve Spurrier has signed on to contribute three times per week on the College Sports National channel. He’s expected to chat on Tuesdays with Chris Childers and Rick Neuheisel, Wednesdays with Mark Packer, and Thursdays with Greg McElroy and Taylor Zarzour.

Speaking of satellite radio, it didn’t take long for Mitch Moss and Paul Howard to rise up the ranks at VSIN, the Brent Musburger fronted sports handicapping network which is carried on SiriusXM. Moss and Howard’s show, Follow The Money, which began in April in middays is moving to morning drive starting Monday August 28th. For more information on the show/network click here.

1500 ESPN in Minneapolis took advantage of the power of national celebrities to create a successful event for their audience. The radio station welcomed Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. to town for their first ever Fantasy Football Convention. Over 400 people attended the event which included a Q&A with the Golic’s, giveaways of Super Bowl tickets, Vikings tickets, 65′ TCL Roku TV, Mystic cash and 300 RotoWire Fantasy FB magazine giveaways. Minneapolis for a station event. To read about the promotion click here. For photos click here.

Former 670 The Score host and update anchor Matt Abbatacola has landed work outside of the radio industry. The former Chicago sports personality has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at The Health Guardian.

Congratulations to Denver sports media personalities Nate Lundy, Brad Evans and Lauren Gardner. After launching The Fantasy Football Hour television show last year with Brad Evans and Lauren Gardner on regional channel Altitude TV, the program will be extending its reach for the 2017 season. Lundy reports that the show will be carried by MSG in New York and on several FOX Sports regional outlets. The show will have the ability to reach roughly 70 million homes this football season.

T.J. Weber is returning to his alma mater, Lindenwood University, to become the school’s new play by play voice for football and men’s basketball. Weber previously called games for SIUE and the Gateway Grizzlies.

A tip of the cap goes out to 680 The Fan host Steak Shapiro who recently had his Atlanta Eats television show picked up and extended to seven days per week on Peachtree TV in the Atlanta market.

A former ESPNer is reuniting with Bill Simmons. Justin Verrier has joined The Ringer as senior editor of the website’s NBA section.

Bay Area sports writer Courtney Cronin has left the Bay Area News Group to join ESPN covering the Minnesota Vikings for its NFL Nation section. Cronin says she’ll be relocating to Minneapolis soon.

Morgan Beard is returning to Baton Rouge. The sports anchor and reporter has been added at WVLA Local 33 to cover LSU, the New Orleans Saints and other local sports stories.

Another reunion is taking place in Spokane, Washington. Alyssa Charlston is on her way back to work for KXLY-Channel 4 as a sports anchor and reporter.

Paloma Villicana has been hired as a sports anchor and reporter for WOAY-TV.

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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