Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – October 2, 2017
There’s been a lot happening across the sports media universe over the past two weeks. The items you may have missed are laid out below. A reminder, if you have news to share that’s related to your brand or personal career, please pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest developments.
Congratulations to CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. The leader of the clones called upon his passionate audience last week to help lift the show’s podcast to the top of the iTunes charts. Rome promised to make Friday’s radio show special by featuring some classic moments and guests and creating some unique segments and the trick worked as the clones got behind it using the hashtag #Romeageddon leading it to the top spot. To hear how Rome paid off the audience with Friday’s show click here.
One of the bigger sports radio mysteries is unfolding in Seattle where Mitch Levy has been off the airwaves of Sports Radio KJR following his arrest in a local prostitution sting. The radio station has re-branded morning drive as The Morning Show and has scrubbed Levy’s image off of its website but no statement has been made about Levy’s future. Sources say it’s unlikely the longtime Seattle morning host will be retained by KJR and a confirmation about the station’s morning plans are expected soon, but for now, listeners are left to speculate.
A tip of the cap to Bill Daughtry who recently announced his retirement from the New York sports radio airwaves. Daughtry spent the past 11 years with 98.7 FM ESPN New York but also worked for WFAN and MSG. Altogether he spent more than four decades informing and interacting with audiences. His warm personality and infectious energy will be sorely missed. To hear Daughtry’s final appearance on the Michael Kay show click here.
ESPN Radio deserves credit for recognizing one of its valuable longtime behind the scenes members. Liam Chapman, who has served as a producer on a number of programs including Mike and Mike, has been elevated to the position of Program Director. The promotion means Chapman will spend even more time in the future alongside former studio mate Justin Craig helping enhance the network’s on-air content and execution.
With one moving up in Bristol, another is moving out. Thomas Carroll has announced he’s leaving ESPN Radio after a little more than two years to return to Boston as a producer for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Carroll will work primarily with Celtics and Bruins broadcasts and also have a hand in weekend programming.
San Diego sports radio host Lee Hamilton has returned to the airwaves of The Mighty 1090. The market veteran is joining Scott and BR weekdays at 5pm to recreate his popular segment, “The Best 15 Minutes in Radio.” Hamilton spent a total of 26 years hosting radio shows in San Diego.
Changes are taking place at 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City. The radio station has parted ways with its midday show, “The G-Men”, which had been hosted by Erik Gee and Anthony Fogle. The Franchise hasn’t yet revealed which show will be occupying the schedule going forward but an announcement should be coming soon.
Following the death of AM 1300 The Zone sports radio personality Sean Adams, a memorial fund has been set up for listeners and industry folks to make donations to help provide financial aid to African-American students seeking to attend college with one key reminder – The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately. Go to work. To pledge your support to The Sean Adams Memorial Fund click here.
Another industry member is also in need of support. WBBL program director Dave Jaconette suffered a stroke in June and is still in rehab and needing help with medical bills. To donate and help out the Grand Rapids radio man click here.
Good news has come to Brendan Gulick. Cleveland sports radio station 92.3 The Fan has hired Gulick to serve as an update anchor and deliver sports updates on the radio station. Gulick officially started working for the station last week.
102.9/750 The Game in Portland continues its search for an afternoon drive host. This week FOX Sports Radio host Brian Noe steps in Tuesday-Friday.
Former ESPN 730 in Charlotte host Lanny Ford has resurfaced on the North Carolina sports radio airwaves. Ford has teamed up with David Keever to host “The Bottom Line”, a one-hour program airing weekdays from 8a-9a ET on Sports Radio 1350AM in Asheville, North Carolina.
Marc Ryan is expanding his horizons and hoping to use his ability to educate listeners to do the same for students. The Sports Radio 610 part-time host has added the role of High School Media Teacher at Sam Rayburn High School. Ryan is in charge of the TV show for the school “Planet Rayburn” and is also teaching a graphics and animation class.
It looks like the Chicago Bears will be sticking around for a while on CBS Radio’s WBBM. The radio station has confirmed a new multi-year deal has been reached with the NFL franchise to continue airing its games on Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM.
The Bears aren’t the only team to sign a new agreement. The Indiana Pacers have also inked a renewal with their radio partner 107.5 and 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The NBA franchise has aired on Emmis radio stations for the past 22 seasons (Emmis owns The Fan). Terms of the renewal weren’t disclosed but longtime play by play voice Mark Boyle will return for his 30th season behind the mic as part of the new deal.
In Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic announced an extension of its partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers. The two sides have struck a new multiyear agreement to keep 76ers games airing on the radio station for the foreseeable future. As part of the extension, play by play voice Tom McGinnis returns for his 23rd season.
Pittsburgh Penguins radio voice Mike Lange has announced he’s cutting back on his schedule this season. Lange plans to call all of the Pens home games and roughly 15 road games. He will also handle all playoff contests should the Pens advance to the postseason. Josh Getzoff will step in to call the games Lange isn’t available to work.
On the national front, Westwood One Sports has been utilizing Ted Emrich to call a few college football games. Emrich has worked the USC-Washington State and Colorado-Washington games and is scheduled for the upcoming Wisconsin-Nebraska game as well.
vSporto is busy creating new podcasts. Their latest project is The Family Huddle featuring Calais Campbell, Jared Campbell and Josh Barnes. To familiarize yourself with the program click here.
Kansas City sports radio producer and on-air contributor Ben Heisler has taken on a side project hosting the Awful Announcing podcast. Heisler’s first episode included a conversation with Brent Musburger. To hear it click here.
Moving to Raleigh, 99.9 The Fan has created a cool new video series called Drive Thru Takes featuring on-air hosts Joe Ovies and Lauren Brownlow. To watch the latest episode click here.
A little further south in Tampa, WDAE‘s Len Martez has taken the plunge into the podcast arena. The sports radio host has created the Monday Morning Extra Point podcast which focuses strictly on the NFL. To hear it click here.
Sticking with podcasts, Entourage member Jerry Ferrara has taped a new episode of “Bad 4 Business” and CBS Sports Radio afternoon host Brandon Tierney appears on the latest installment. The two Brooklyn natives spent over 90 minutes talking about sports, life and a variety of other topics. To hear it click here.
A tip of the cap to The Reelish Media Group which chronicled Kate Scott‘s first football play by play broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. To watch it click here.
An edition of UTR wouldn’t be complete without details of a new addition at The Athletic. The latest names to join the upstart sports website include legendary baseball writer and reporter Peter Gammons and Darnell Mayberry. Gammons has been added to contribute to the website’s major league baseball coverage. Mayberry has agreed to work for the outlet’s Chicago division covering the Chicago Bulls.
After 9 years as the Puck Daddy editor for Yahoo Sports, Greg Wyshysnki has announced he’s leaving the company for a new challenge. Details about his next move will be revealed soon.
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.”