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Westwood One Announces Super Bowl Broadcast Plans

Jason Barrett

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Westwood One has announced its full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff of this year’s Super Bowl between the defending champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles. This year marks the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

The game broadcast will feature the outstanding play by play team of Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason. This will be Harlan’s eighth Super Bowl with the network. It’s Esiason’s 18th Super Bowl broadcast for Westwood One and his 19th overall. After working this year’s big game, Esiason will have broadcast more Super Bowls than any other analyst in NFL history.

In addition to the play by play team, Westwood will utilize Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren during the game broadcast. Former All-Pro Offensive Lineman Tony Boselli returns for his second straight year as sideline reporter, joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder. Jim Gray will once again anchor the network’s pregame and halftime coverage, with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England quarterback Tom Brady checking in. Scott Graham and Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will contribute to the pregame show coverage.

The network also has plans to provide shoulder programming to stations leading up to the game broadcast. Gameday coverage starts at 2pm ET, with “Super Bowl Preview,” co-hosted by Scott Graham, Boomer Esiason and Mike Holmgren, followed by “Super Bowl Insider,” co-hosted by Jason Horowitz and Tony Boselli at 3pm ET. At 4pm ET, live coverage from the stadium begins with “Super Sunday,” the Super Bowl LII pregame show hosted by Scott Graham. The Super Bowl game broadcast is scheduled for 5pm ET with kickoff anticipated to be approximately 6:35pm ET.

Prior to Sunday’s full slate of programming, Westwood One will air “Seven Days to Sunday—The Road to Super Bowl LII.” The hour-long preview show will air each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday, beginning Monday January 29th and continuing through Saturday February 3rd. Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, will host the nightly program which includes interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Westwood One says coverage of Super Bowl LII will be available on more than 700 radio stations nationwide and 150+ FM translators. Fans can also hear the broadcast on SiriusXM, via the TuneIn Radio app, and through NFL Game Pass, which is available on NFL.com and the NFL mobile app. It’ll also be carried on the American Forces Radio Network, which provides programming to America’s military forces in over 175 countries and territories, as well as on more than 200 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command ships at sea.

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.

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.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

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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