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WFAN and WIP Announce Official Lineup Changes

Jason Barrett

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A changing of the guard was officially announced by WFAN. After nearly a decade of the same lineup, led off by Boomer and Carton from 6-10 in the morning, Benigno and Roberts 10-1 in the midday, and Mike Francesa’s solo 1-6:30 show, the number one sports radio station in the country will undergo an overhaul.

WFAN was aware for two years the station’s anchor of nearly 30 years, Mike Francesa, was targeting December 15th 2017 as his final show. Former “Mike and the Maddog” producer and most recently WIP’s afternoon host in Philly, Chris Carlin will be teamed up with ex-NFL player Bart Scott and CBS Sports Radio host Maggie Gray. Carlin was the original sports anchor for Boomer and Carton and produced the afternoon show on WFAN for over six years, but he did say he has not spoken to Francesa since 2010.

Carlin joined Philadelphia’s WIP as their afternoon host along with Ike Reese just over a year ago. When asked whether or not he was concerned Carlin might have his eye on the future WFAN opening when he joined the station, WIP’s Program Director Spike Eskin told me:

“I had no concern about the WFAN opening when we hired Chris. I believed then, and I believe now, that Chris came to WIP to make this his home and help WIP win for years. But situations change, as they almost always do in radio. You can never guess what things will change, just that they almost always will.”

Regarding WIP’s own changes after Carlin’s departure Spike said, “The idea of having a deep roster of talent, is having the ability to not just withstand a situation like this, but continue to grow. I believe Jon Marks is the best choice for afternoons on WIP in the entire country, and we will hit the ground running. I’m also really excited to be able to have Joe Giglio on WIP every night, which will give him even more opportunity to show everyone how good he is, and get even better. ”

The three person team to fill Francesa’s slot was questioned by former WFAN host Chris Russo. On his SiriusXM afternoon show, Mad Dog was most curious about the addition of Bart Scott, “He’s not from here. (He’s from Detroit.) He doesn’t know anything about New York. You have to be honest. You have to be fair. I should keep my mouth shut because I’ll get in trouble here. But there’s a lot of talk show hosts who have New York roots around the country. You’re telling me you couldn’t get someone in there and give him a shot?”

It’s a fair question from Russo as Francesa’s show was always baseball heavy during the summer, even when he was on vacation and the midday show filled in. When Mickey Callaway pulls Noah Syndergaard after six shutout innings only to watch the bullpen lose the game, how will the city respond to Carlin, a Texas Rangers fan, Scott an ex-NFL player who grew up in Detroit, and Gray from Binghamton? Time will tell, but there’s no question the hosts are being handed prime radio real estate to work with and fans of the station should give them a chance to succeed.

WFAN hasn’t experienced as much turnover as other sports radio stations throughout the country in their history, but when Don Imus departed the station in 2007, WFAN Program Director, Mark Chernoff hit a ratings home run with Boomer and Carton as his replacement.

When I checked in with Chernoff regarding the station’s announcement he said, “My only comment is how excited I am about the new show and how much I want to thank Mike for his 30 wonderful years here and anchoring afternoon drive since September, 1989 first with Dog, then solo. An amazing run.”

Amidst the two year debate of who should replace Francesa, Chernoff was also hit with the sudden dismissal of popular morning show co-host Craig Carton. WFAN confirmed this morning, former Joe and Evan producer and current CBS Sports Radio morning host, Gregg Giannotti will be Boomer Esiason’s new full-time partner to solidify the 6-10am timeslot.

During the announcement, Giannotti mentioned he received an unexpected phone call from Craig Carton. Gio said the conversation “really did mean the world to me,” and Carton was “unbelievably nice as you could possibly be.” Boomer followed by saying “I didn’t expect anything less because that’s the guy we knew,” referring to his former partner. Boomer also stated emphatically, “He’ll be back.”

The new schedule for WFAN launches January 2nd, 2018 with the Boomer and Gio show 6-10am ET, which can also be viewed on the CBS Sports Network, Benigno and Roberts in the midday with an additional hour from 10-2, and The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie from 2-6:30pm.

The only piece of the puzzle still missing is who will replace Giannotti in mornings on the CBS Sports Radio Network opposite Brian Jones.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA

“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”

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There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.

The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.

“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”

Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.

At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”

Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.

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Sports Radio News

Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Jordan Bondurant

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Travis Demers

Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.

For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.

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Sports Radio News

Dan Le Batard: Hank Goldberg Was a Legend But Terrible To Many People

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’…I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive.”

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Many mourned the passing of Hank Goldberg on Monday. He was a longtime, loud voice in Miami radio on WIOD and even longer with WQAM. He was also a familiar face to ESPN viewers.

Dan Le Batard, beginning in 1990, was also a loud voice in Miami as a columnist with the Miami Herald. He and Goldberg had a strong, often bitter, rivalry that played out in the eyes of the public.

On The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard commented on the passing of Hank Goldberg and his comments were an “honest” discussion of the two’s history.

“More than merely a legend, I can say this honestly, if not for Hank Goldberg, this would not exist (referencing the now podcast). All of it. The Hank Goldberg coaching tree, the best thing it birthed, sits right next to me. It has belched out little other radio talent but Stugotz is the lasting legacy of what Hank Goldberg did.”

The podcast goes on to tell the story of Stugotz, once the executive producer for Hank Goldberg, needing looking talent when he was part of a group that launched WAXY-AM also known as 790 The Ticket. Stugotz never forgot how much Goldberg did not like Le Batard. Goldberg would read Le Batard’s columns on air and react to them weekly with vitriol. Stugotz got an idea to counter-program Goldberg’s and WQAM’s ratings dominance.

“Because he would talk about Dan so much when I was the executive producer of his show,” Stugotz said, “I figured ‘hey I got to hire this guy to go against Hank Goldberg… if I can get Hank to go against Dan or Dan go against Hank then Dan would have a daily platform to snap back if he wanted to.”

Le Batard would join WAXY and the back-and-forth that came mostly from Goldberg’s frequent bashing of the columnist, now had two sides. Le Batard, who well aware of how his comments may seem, tried to tame the waters some.

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’ or buries Hank Goldberg. I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive,” Le Batard opined. “He was truly terrible to so many people…you want to talk about this honestly? He was a legend, yeah. And he was an asshole to a whole lot of people”.

Stugotz added more context. “Hank didn’t like you (Le Batard) because Hank had an ego and you were a perceived threat”.

Le Batard referenced stories he didn’t want tell about Goldberg “playing defense” on his career but did say that Goldberg’s impact on the city was undeniable.

“Hank Goldberg in this town, did create a sports voice that helped make us more national. And made gambling a little more normal. And Hank Goldberg in this town, before anyone else, was a big shot in this town…”

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