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Under The Radar – October 30, 2017

Jason Barrett



The news has been trickling in over the past few weeks so we have plenty to catch you up on. A reminder, it helps us, and benefits the remainder of industry folks when they’re kept in the loop about news involving yourself or your brand. To have your information included in a future UTR column please pass along any pertinent details via email to

Now on to some of the news you might have missed.

Congratulations to Bob Valvano on signing a new 2-year contract with Union Broadcasting in Louisville and ESPN Radio in Bristol to continue in his current roles as a local and national talk show host and college basketball analyst. Bobby V can be heard on ESPN 680 as well as across the nation on ESPN Radio.

In other positive news related to ESPN Radio, congrats are overdue for Mike Urrunaga and Vince Kates. The two longtime producers have been elevated to supervisor roles. Kates is now overseeing the network’s evening programming and Urrunaga its weekend shows. The moves provide new challenges for both men while also allowing Pete Gianesini and Louise Cornetta to focus more on digital content and podcast development.

Cumulus Media has made an excellent hire to lead its programming efforts at News Radio 106.7 FM in Atlanta. Accomplished sports radio veteran Tom Lee has been brought in to oversee the station’s programming efforts. Lee has worked in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle and Philadelphia and was last in charge of The Beast 980 before it was sold and flipped to a different format.

Elsewhere in Atlanta, Former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield has hosted his last show on 1230 The Fan 2 in Atlanta. Station owner David Dickey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Whitfield’s show with Larry Sachs wasn’t what he was looking for. Whitfield joined the show in late-July. Dickey is trying to find a different role for Whitfield on one of his other Atlanta radio stations.

Thrilled to see SiriusXM add pro wrestler Tommy Dreamer to its roster as a talk show host. Dreamer, who has co-hosted a few wrestling shows with Dave LaGreca on Busted Open Radio, and is most familiar for his work in ECW and WWE, has a strong passion for professional sports. The satellite company is giving him an opportunity to scratch that itch by contributing on a part-time basis to a few different sports channels, in addition to adding his insights on the latest activity inside the squared circle.

102.9/750 The Game in Portland has brought thru a few interesting personalities recently. The radio station has utilized Mark Zinno formerly of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, Zakariah formerly of 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, Brian Noe of FOX Sports Radio, Seth Harp of Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville, and Erik Gee formerly of 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City. The radio station is working thru a process to identify future talent for its vacant afternoon slot.

Staying in Portland, best wishes go out to Brian Wheeler, the radio voice of the Portland Trail Blazers. Wheeler has been sidelined with health issues, causing him to miss a number of Blazers games to begin the 2017-2018 campaign. Scott Lynn has stepped in on an interim basis to hold down the fort. Wheeler says he’s focused on getting himself better and is appreciative of everyone’s well wishes and hopes to be back behind the microphone real soon.

It’s not every day that you see a headline that reads “San Antonio Sports Talk Show Host in Twitter feud with singer, Richard Marx” but Mike Taylor of The Ticket 760 found himself in that spot a few weeks ago. Taylor and Marx exchanged words over searching for vegan options and Marx’s wife Daisy Fuentes. To read more click here.

Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. Bob Ramsey is back on the St. Louis radio airwaves on 550 KTRS. Ramsey, who also calls Saint Louis University Billikens Men’s Basketball games, is working a part-time schedule, hosting evening shows with Sports Director Brendan Wiese.

Longtime Missouri basketball radio color commentator Gary Link was relieved of his duties recently by Mizzou Athletics. Link had been a part of the broadcast team since 1996. He also played for the school from 1970-74. The school says it’s working with Mizzou Sports Properties to identify a permanent replacement.

Some contractual news out of Charlotte that you might have missed. Former NFL offensive lineman Frank Garcia has signed a new deal with 102.5/610 The Fan, WFNZ. Garcia has been a mainstay on the radio station since 2007 and presently teams in middays with Kyle Bailey. The deal is said to be a multi-year agreement.

A little further south, 107.5 The Game in Columbia, SC recently promoted Tim Hill to program director. The announcement was made a few weeks ago. In addition to programming the radio station, Hill serves as host of the morning show, The Early Game.

Also on the PD circuit, it’s good to see former FOX Sports 910 program director Neil Larrimore resurface. After being let go by iHeart Phoenix, Larrimore was scooped up by Cumulus Media and named PD of WPRO-AM and WPRV-AM in Providence, RI.

After a stellar run with the San Francisco ChronicleKevin Lynch has decided to make radio his full time focus. The Bay Area veteran has signed on to contribute full time to where he’s primarily covering the San Francisco 49ers, along with Warriors and Raiders stories as needed.

Other news out of the Bay Area, Entercom San Francisco recently changed General Managers. Steve DiNardo has left the company and been replaced by Susan Larkin. Prior to joining Entercom, Larkin oversaw operations for COX Communications’ 14 stations in Orlando and Jacksonville. She’s been in the radio industry for nearly 25 years. Entercom San Francisco presently operates local sports radio station 95.7 The Game.

Dave “Deuce” Mason announced a few weeks back that he’s moved on from Good Day Sacramento to increase his role with the Sacramento Kings. Mason serves as Executive Producer of Kings radio broadcasts and has begun creating digital content for the Kings’ website and social platforms.

After more than a decade with Good Karma Broadcasting, Joe Colella has left his position as the evening host and afternoon sports anchor at ESPN West Palm 106.3 FM. Colella started as an intern at ESPN Radio 760 in 2003, and climbed the ladder to becoming a producer and on-air talent. He is said to be leaving the radio industry for an opportunity in content marketing. To read more click here.

Peter Mundo has been hosting/producing an hour-long weekly radio show in conjunction with his Big 12 website, Heartland Sports, and it’s been added by stations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia. The show is split into four-segments, exactly 42 minutes of content, and is entirely focused on Big 12 football. To learn more click here.

Hosting a sports radio show is a dream come true for many, but being able to do that while also owning the radio station is an opportunity that not everyone has the chance to experience. For Nate Brown though that situation has presented itself in Rapid City, SD. Brown is in the process of purchasing KIMM (1150AM/106.7 FM) and as part of the sale will flip the station to all-sports including moving his evening show into PM drive starting November 6th.

Greg Frank confirmed that he’s been named a host and play by play announcer at WILD 102 in Roseau, MN.

Joe Ostrowski of 670 The Score in Chicago has been retained by VSIN to contribute to its new podcast network. Ostrowski is producing a new podcast titled “Early Odds” which drops each Monday morning.

Australian podcaster and keynote speaker Sean Callanan conducted an interesting conversation recently with Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank contributor Mark Cuban. The podcast went in-depth on technology, business, investing, and a number of sports discussions. To hear it click here.

YES Network and ESPN play by play man Ryan Ruocco was profiled recently by Adweek. The article took a look at Ruocco’s rapid rise in the sports media business. To read it, click here.

Previously announced via Twitter, Michelle McMahon has joined NBC Sports Chicago covering the Chicago Blackhawks.

Robbie Hummel has decided to put his basketball career in the rear view mirror and turn his attention to working in sports media. Hummel has signed on with ESPN and the Big Ten Network to serve as a color analyst on college basketball games. He’ll also perform in-studio analyst duties as well.

In case you missed it, after being laid off by ESPN and going silent on social media for a few months, Marc Stein has returned. The longtime NBA insider is now covering the NBA for the New York Times. This season represents the 25th year that Stein has been covering professional basketball.

In the print world, Mike Jones has departed the Washington Post after a seven year stint. Jones has accepted an opportunity covering the NFL for the USA Today.

The Athletic stayed busy adding more help. The latest to join the company is Sarah Goldstein. She’s been added to the site’s NHL platform.

After losing a number of local writers, the Bay Area News Group is working on restocking its roster. The company’s latest addition is Logan Murdock, who has taken over as a multimedia reporter covering the Golden State Warriors.

FanRag Sports recently laid off a number of staffers. Adam Biggers, Bernie Pleskoff, Dave Hogg and John Perroto all confirmed their departures on Twitter. Despite the bad news for those men, FanRag has made a positive addition by striking a deal with Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke to bring his Locked on Podcast Network to their platform.

And Gator Country has added Eric Fawcett this season as a contributor to its coverage of Florida Gators Men’s basketball.

Sports Radio News

Howard and Jeremy: Amazon Prime Video Is Best NFL Broadcast

“Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is good. Andrew Whitworth is good. It’s top to bottom — maybe Tony Gonzalez is the weak link, I mean, he’s fine — but top to bottom it’s a great broadcast.”





Amazon Prime Video and Thursday Night Football received backlash last week for failing to mention a previously perceived concussion by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the third-year signal caller suffered a scary-looking concussion in the first half of a game against the Bengals. WGR morning hosts Howard Simon and Jeremy White discussed the Amazon crew, with White saying he believes it’s the best NFL broadcast on Howard and Jeremy.

“I will say, the Amazon crew is getting criticized for not mentioning the Bills game during halftime. So, that aside, for me it’s the best crew,” White said. “Everything about Amazon’s broadcast is the best one. You and I talked about it last week. It is the recently retired players. It is so much better.

“When they were talking on the pregame — just football points, not Tua points — Richard Sherman they ask him like ‘You’ll be mad if what?’ and he said ‘I’ll be mad — and I’m gonna be talking to you at halftime about it — if the Dolphins, after playing 90 snaps on defense against the Bills, put their corners out on islands and don’t give them safety help. They’re gonna get beat, and I’ll be here to tell you it was a mistake that they’re not helping out their corners’. And sure enough, what happened? They did it and they got burned. He would have come back and talked about it at halftime if the Tua thing didn’t happen.”

He continued by pointing out several of the studio analysts as performing well early in their broadcasting careers.

“Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is good. Andrew Whitworth is good. It’s top to bottom — maybe Tony Gonzalez is the weak link, I mean, he’s fine — but top to bottom it’s a great broadcast.”

The pair also discussed the NextGen Stats alternate broadcast Amazon Prime Video produces as a viable way for those interested in learning more about deeper analytics and statistics of football to consume.

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Sports Radio News

Jets Partner With talkSPORT To Air Six Games on Radio in U.K.

The New York Jets and talkSPORT have agreed to broadcast six 2022 Jets regular season football games.




New York Jets

Starting this weekend, fans of the New York Jets in the United Kingdom will have local access to their favorite team.

The New York Jets and talkSPORT have agreed to broadcast six 2022 Jets regular season football games. This will establish talkSPORT as the official UK radio broadcast partner of the Jets. Fans will also have exclusive access to the Jets Touchdown UK Podcast and additional Jets content including player and coach interviews.

“We are so thrilled to extend a radio broadcast of the Jets to our fans in the United Kingdom as we take the next step in utilizing our right to expand this game with the help of the world’s biggest sports radio station,” said New York Jets President Hymie Elhai. “This partnership will allow for so much more than 2022 season coverage as we continue to welcome some of the most passionate fans in the world into our fanbase.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd Declares Twitter ‘Loser-ville’ Over Russell Wilson Criticism

“Twitter defended Johnny Manziel at every turn. Baker Mayfield, Cam Newton. The cool guys.”





Colin Cowherd does not make much time for social media and he doesn’t have a lot of respect for the conversation there. He revealed Friday on his FOX Sports Radio show that is particularly true when it comes to Twitter.

“You know who gets ripped on Twitter? Steph Curry. You know what Twitter loves? NFTs and Bitcoin,” he said. “It is loser-ville. People that need to be accepted. Less successful people ripping more successful people. It’s a barnyard musical. You should try it sometime.” 

He compared the way polls show most football fans feel about Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson to the absolute drubbing he took on Twitter over his viral ad for Subway. Cowherd said that Twitter tends to side with image over quality.

“Russell Wilson was just voted by adults in America, people with lives, who aren’t concerned with being cool, the most likable player in the NFL,” he said. “Twitter defended Johnny Manziel at every turn. Baker Mayfield, Cam Newton. The cool guys.”

Colin Cowherd added that every moment that makes Twitter cringe becomes his new favorite thing about Russell Wilson. He said that the things social media users bash are the things most Americans find relatable.

“You know who else was on that list? Patrick Mahomes, who has a silly brother,” he said. “Sometimes his brother is out there being silly. We’ve all got a silly sister or silly brother! That’s America. It’s not cool.”

Cowherd closed the segment by declaring that he was going to go to Subway right after the show ended and order Russell Wilson’s “Dangerwich” to show his support.

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