Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – January 17, 2018
They may not steal the headlines in the sports media world but news is news. Here are a couple of smaller items you might have missed. A reminder, if you have news to share and would like to have it included in a future column please pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest.
Michelle Smallmon has announced her exit from ESPN Radio. Her final day at the network was Friday where she helped produce Will Cain‘s afternoon show. During her past few years in Bristol, Smallmon produced Ryen Russillo, Danny Kanell, Jorge Sedano, Cain, and a slew of others. All the best to her as she prepares to write the next chapter of her career.
Speaking of ESPN, former producer Jason Romano has added the title “author” to his resume. Romano’s brand new book Live To Forgive went on sale this week. To pick up your copy and support a member of the sports media fraternity click here.
All the best to 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Marc Bertrand. The midday host was involved in an accident on Saturday which resulted in his vehicle being totaled and a trip to the hospital. Bertrand says he sustained injuries but has been sent home from the hospital. The police and fire departments in Norwood, MA arrived on the scene of the accident quickly and used the jaws of life to free him from his vehicle.
Barstool Sports‘ kicked off the launch of their 24-hour channel on SiriusXM by welcoming an industry icon to the airwaves. Former WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa appeared on Barstool Breakfast with Julie Stewart-Binks, Willie Colon and Francis. Francesa acknowledged during the interview that not being behind the microphone in January when the NFL Playoffs take center stage has felt strange. To hear some of the interview click here.
After parting ways with Eric Davis, ESPN LA 710 has confirmed they’re returning their afternoon show to a two-man program. Marcellus Wiley and Sean Farnham will work together in afternoon drive going forward.
Congratulations to Adam Gold of 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh. The Triangle Sports Talk Host is celebrating a milestone of 20 years in sports radio this month. Gold was initially hired by 850 The Buzz, and has been installed in afternoons on The Fan with co-host Joe Ovies since 2010.
Ric Bucher has teamed up with Atlanta producer Shaine Freeman to launch the United We Cast Network. The new platform will include a collection of shows from established names in various parts of the sports and entertainment industry. Among them are comedian/movie actor Gary Owen (GetSome Podcast), actor Isaiah Washington (Isaiah Washington Speaks…Again) and former NBA center Ryan Hollins who will co-host a program (The SwRL) with Bucher. All three podcasts will delve into issues of race and race relations in different areas of the entertainment industry. The network’s goal is to create discussion and share personal experiences on issues and topics which may be considered too risky for other mediums. To learn more click here.
In other podcasting news, San Diego afternoon host Scott Kaplan has launched a solo podcast. The Mighty 1090 personality’s latest episode includes a no holds barred conversation with Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg who now hosts middays on WABC in New York City. One particularly interesting part of the episode includes a detailed discussion between the two men over the way their former show in the big apple was set up for failure. To take a listen click here.
FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM in Indianapolis has canceled its local morning show which was added to the weekday schedule one year ago. The radio station has dropped “The Flagrant Foul” featuring Don Stuck and Dave “Gunner” Gunn. Taking over the morning time slot is FOX Sports Radio‘s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis“.
If you missed it, Dino Costa has resurfaced. The controversial talk show host who was dropped by 750/102.9 The Game in Portland in August has joined AM 970 The Answer in New York City. Costa now hosts the overnight shift from Midnight to 3am ET.
And in play by play news, Elijah Gonzalez has been hired by the Fort Myers Miracle as the team’s #2 broadcaster.
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
Mike Florio: Chris Simms Isn’t Desensitized to Internet Criticism
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope.”
Chris Simms caught some heat this week while discussing the death of Miami Dolphins fan Eric Carmona. Carmona was the brain behind the Tuanon viral videos, which featured him in a Dolphin mask attacking critics of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Simms was one of his frequent targets.
Carmona was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. He leaves behind a wife and four children. He was just 30 years old.
Mike Florio brought the story up on Pro Football Talk Live, because Tagovailoa himself donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to support Carmona’s family. Simms responded by noting that Carmona was a frequent critic of his.
Florio pushed back saying that trolling is better than being ignored. People are passionate about their teams and if they are passionate about attacking you for criticizing their teams, it means you matter to them.
“This is a deep subject and I think it’s societal and I won’t go into it because I’m only going to get myself in trouble,” Simms responded. “We’re also setting an example like, ‘Hey here’s money to a guy who was very negative too.’ That’s all I’m saying.”
On Friday, Florio made his weekly appearance on WQAM in Miami. Morning show host Joe Rose asked Florio what Simms was thinking with those comments.
“I don’t know. That’s a question for Chris, and you could invite him on and he could talk about that,” Florio answered. “And I’m not trying to be flippant by saying that. I understand the way he feels from my perspective.”
He did try to explain the point he was making to Simms in saying that being trolled is better than being ignored. He reminded Rose that there is a thick skin required to having the kind of jobs they do.
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope. He doesn’t actively participate in Twitter. He has one of the producers at NBC that primarily updates his account. So I don’t think he’s become as desensitized to it as I have over the years.”
Simms caught heat earlier this week from another fan base. Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie of the WIP Morning Show ripped the NBC analyst for ranking Jalen Hurts as the seventh best QB in the league.
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen Baffled By NBA Finals TV Schedule
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast. We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final continue with games taking place this weekend, and many basketball and hockey fans are expected to tune in to watch the action. The Denver Nuggets will try to take a 3-1 series lead on the Miami Heat, while the Vegas Golden Knights will look to rebound from an overtime loss to return home one win away from a championship. Aside from the pomp and circumstance, there is considerable intrigue pertaining to the action on both the court and the ice. The challenging part of the entire situation is knowing when the games are played due to the disjointed nature of the schedule.
Throughout the NBA Finals, games have taken place three days apart from one another, while the Stanley Cup Final has followed a similar pattern but both avoid playing games on Sundays. As a result, there were only two days between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, but three for the remainder should it reach a deciding seventh game. Similarly in basketball, the first three games of the NBA Finals were played every other day, but the remainder of the series is scheduled with two days of rest. There is a chance the decision was made to accommodate travel schedules, as both series are aligned in a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern, meaning the first two games are played in one city; the next two are played in the other; and then they continue to alternate until a champion is crowned.
“I don’t know why the NBA’s not playing on Sunday,” 97.1 The Ticket morning co-host Mike Stoney said. “That big travel day – because you really need travel days nowadays with your private planes to fly from Miami to Denver.”
Show co-host Jon Jansen, who played 10 seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle with Washington and Detroit, expressed how some players may need to acclimate themselves to the altitude in Denver, Colo. The city is located 5,280 feet, or one mile, above sea level, making the air thinner and dryer and presenting some visitors with difficulty breathing. Jansen never felt the effects of altitude sickness, claiming that it was never a big deal for him, but obviously, everyone reacts to things differently.
“Basketball in particular and hockey because it’s constant running, especially at your position,” Stoney proposed. “You’re not running like madmen [in football] like they do in basketball where I think it affects you the most.”
The schedule also presents challenges for consumers around the United States living in different time zones. The NBA Finals do not begin until 8:30 p.m. EST, and the games often do not include until close to midnight. Especially on weeknights, asking East Coast fans to stay up late and then go to work early in the morning limits the amount of sleep they can receive. Meanwhile, those on the West Coast are just returning home from a standard eight-hour workday and may have other tasks to carry out.
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast,” Jansen said. “We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
There is no perfect time slot that will appease all consumers, but even so, ratings for this year’s NBA Finals have exceeded most expectations. Game 3 attracted an average audience of 11.2 million viewers and peaked at a figure of 12.4 million, down 2.5% from last year’s third game of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Viewership for the first three games of the NBA Finals is averaging 11.6 million, representing a nearly 2% decline from last year’s numbers. ESPN reported its most-watched playoffs across its platforms in the last 11 years, with the total playoff viewership audience averaging approximately 6.1 million people.
Sports Radio News
Colin Cowherd: I Have Tried to Invest in MLS Teams Twice
“I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent.”
Could we have seen FOX Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd having some sort of ownership stake in an MLS team? Cowherd said he tried, and then he tried again.
Talking about Inter Miami adding global superstar Lionel Messi on Thursday, Cowherd mentioned that he inquired about getting involved with the league, but the asking price at this point is too much for him.
“I have twice tried to invest in the MLS, and I just can’t afford it,” Cowherd said. “I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent. The academy is slowly becoming something, but it is becoming something their academy system. And they are now on a regular basis going and getting the world’s biggest soccer stars.”
Colin pointed out that Messi is the most popular athlete in the world, boasting social media followings and name recognition that easily eclipses that of superstar athletes like LeBron James and celebrities like the Kardashians and Beyonce. So not only is Messi’s signing a monumental moment for Inter Miami owner David Beckham, but it’s a feather in the cap signing for Major League Soccer as a whole.
“Messi is massive for the MLS. It’s the biggest moment in the history of the franchise,” he said. “Think Beckham times two. And Beckham was big when he arrived here in the States.”
“I think it’s cool that the MLS, our domestic soccer league, can go out and bring a superstar – not a star, a mega superstar on our soil regularly,” he added.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.