Connect with us

Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – March 21, 2018

Jason Barrett



A few news items to pass along that you may not be aware of. A reminder, to have your brand or personal industry related news featured in a future UTR column please forward any pertinent information via email to Now here are the latest developments.

One of the best parts of this business is seeing good things happen to good people. That’s the case in Bristol, CT where ESPN Radio is losing one of their sharpest and most well rounded behind the scenes members to television. Ray Necci is giving up his multi-platform role with the radio network to help ESPN‘s new morning show “Get Up” featuring Mike Greenberg, Jalen Rose and Michelle Beadle. Necci will also work with SC:AM. Necci has spent close to nineteen years with ESPN Radio producing many of the network’s top programs and serving as a manager. His switch to television will benefit those he works closest with.

FOX Sports Radio Knoxville host Cody McClure became a topic of conversation in media circles recently after sounding off on Twitter about Sister Jean during the NCAA Tournament. After watching Tennessee get eliminated by Loyola-Chicago, McClure tweeted “F–k Sister Jean, everyone.” The tweet was noticed by Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde who took McClure to task and said he deserved to be terminated by his employer. The Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, USA Today and numerous other outlets have since produced stories on the situation. McClure was not fired and said the tweet was a joke and a reflection of how Tennessee fans were feeling in the room that he was in following the tournament loss. McClure added that he’d gladly apologize to Sister Jean, but hoped she knew that his comments were delivered in joking fashion. McClure did ask “when is society going to be able to learn how to take a joke again?” He pointed out that people in real life joke about things that they wouldn’t post online, and it’s hypocritical.

Just when you’ve thought you’ve seen it all, something new transpires. That was the case in Tampa, FL where WDAE host JP Peterson found himself in the middle of an unexpected situation. While discussing the Tampa Bay Bucs’ free agent signing of Beau Allen with Chris Landry who had phoned in as a guest, the longtime football scout became perturbed with JP’s line of questioning and hung up on the Tampa sports radio host. Peterson said it was the first time in 10 years a guest had hung up on him. Did Landry have a valid reason to end the conversation or did he overreact? Take a listen and decide for yourself.

710 ESPN Seattle sports radio host and longtime NFL insider John Clayton was recently honored by his hometown of Braddock, PA. The town declared Sunday March 18th ‘John Clayton Day’. The sports media veteran was on hand to enjoy the festivities which included reconnecting with thirty people he grew up with.

In the Bay Area, 95.7 The Game has added Jerry Rice as a weekly contributor. The NFL legend who previously contributed to the station in 2014 will visit with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley every Monday at 8am during the upcoming football season. Rice will also contribute to the station’s programming during the off-season and NFL Draft.

Matt Hammond is moving east. After spending the past few years contributing in a part-time role for Sports Radio 610 in Houston, Hammond is relocating to Philadelphia to take on a similar role at Sports Radio 94 WIP. Hammond says he’s looking forward to working in a tough sports market closer to home.

If you’ve followed the NFL or College Football for the past twenty years, specifically the Tennessee Titans or Florida Gators, you’ll likely remember Tight End Ben Troupe. He played for the Gators from 2000-2003 and was selected 40th overall by the Titans in the 2nd round of the 2004 NFL Draft. What you may not know is that Troupe has taken the plunge into the sports radio business. The former football player is now part of a three man show “Three and Out” which airs on ESPN Coastal. The Savannah Morning News did a nice profile piece on his entry into the business. You can read it by clicking here.

A tip of the cap is in order for the digital team at 104.3 The Fan in Denver. The station produced a series of videos looking at the Top 10 free agent signings in Denver Broncos history. Each video was well produced and featured discussion from The Fan’s on-air staff. It was a great example of taking a subject during a slower period of the year and creating content which served a benefit both on the air and in the social space. Kudos to Armen Williams and his crew. To watch the introductory video click here. You can also find the 10  signings videos by visiting the station’s YouTube page right here.

FM expansion is part of Neuhoff Media‘s plan for one of their local sports radio brands. ESPN 1450 WASK-AM in Lafayette, Indiana has been re-branded as 101.7 The Hammer. The station will now be heard on both 101.7FM and 1450AM.

A number of notable writers have announced their exits including Gary Meyers of the New York Daily News. Meyers spent the past 29 years with the New York newspaper and thanked the public for their support of his work via Twitter. No word yet on what Gary has planned next.

Jim Trotter is another supremely talented scribe who’s moving on to new endeavors. Trotter tweeted last week that his four year run at ESPN had come to an end. He hinted however at a new opportunity being announced soon.

In local circles, few sports radio hosts have embraced the dive into the podcast space like Scott Kaplan of the Mighty 1090 in San Diego. Since launching his solo project, Kaplan has talked to a number of people from different career fields, and although many episodes have been excellent, none have produced more real life emotion, passion and personal connection than Kaplan’s 12th episode which included a conversation with Andrew Pollack, the father of 18 year old Meadow Pollack who was gunned down and killed during the Parkland High School shootings. A former resident to the area himself, Kaplan traveled to Pollack’s home and sat down for a riveting conversation about one of the most challenging situations of his life. To hear the episode click here.

For those who enjoy Bomani Jones‘ work, the ESPN personality has announced his podcast will return on April 3rd. Stay tuned via social media for further details.

And in less pleasant news, The Jake Brown Show has gone away for now. The show was dropped due to Entercom taking over CBS and eliminating podcasts in favor of their own network, Cadence13.

Sports Radio News

Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.



Joel Utley

Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64. 

Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.

Joel Utley interviewing Rupp

“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”

He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Mark Chernoff: ‘I Didn’t Believe Mad Dog Was Going To Leave WFAN’

“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team.”



Mark Chernoff offered some great stories and insight on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast. The former program director of WFAN in New York began his appearance by paying tribute to the station’s three soon-to-be Hall of Famers.

He reflected on Jeff Smulyan’s vision in creating sports radio, Suzyn Waldman’s gravitas and versatility as a reporter and talent, and all of the success he shared with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Russo and his long time radio partner Mike Francesa split up in 2008 after Russo left WFAN for Sirius. Chernoff admitted that even as he was told it was about to happen, he still didn’t believe it.

“You know, I misread a little bit the situation with Mike and Chris,” he admitted. “Mike said ‘Dog’s gonna leave. I know he’s gonna leave.’ He even intimated that he had spoken to Mel [Karmazin, the then-CEO of Sirius], not Mike but Chris, and it was likely he was going to go over to Sirius. And I just couldn’t believe it.”

Mike and the Mad Dog is as dominant a show as local sports radio has ever produced. The duo was together from 1989 until 2008. When they split up, Mark Chernoff says that he took it personally.

“I was sad for a really long time. I was angry too.”

The move hurt his relationship with Russo for a while. The two did not speak for a long time.

He told Barrett that that is over now. They share occasional texts and always hug and catch up when they see each other. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some lingering disappointment.

“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team,” Chernoff said of Mike & the Mad Dog. “But both [Chris] and Mike were certainly successful on their own.”

New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast are released each Tuesday morning.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Eli Gold To Miss Start of Alabama Football Season

He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis.



Legendary Alabama play-by-play announcer Eli Gold will miss the beginning of the 2022 football season with health issues.

Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing announced the news Wednesday. The school did not elaborate on Gold’s ailment, only saying he would be sidelined to begin the season.

Chris Stewart, who handles play-by-play duties for Alabama’s basketball and baseball teams will fill in during Gold’s absence. Stewart will also host The Nick Saban Show and Hey, Coach until Gold returns.

The 68-year-old Gold is a 2014 inductee to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Gold, who’s contract runs through the 2023 season, has been the Voice of the Crimson Tide since the 1988 season.

He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis. Gold also had both shoulders replaced that same year.

In addition to his work with the Crimson Tide, Gold has served as an announcer for NASCAR, NFL, NHL, and the NBA G-League, among others.

Continue Reading

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.