It’s been a while since we passed along some UTR news. A few of these stories you may be aware of, some you might have missed, and a couple are brand new. Regardless, it never hurts to stay informed about what’s happening across the sports media business.
A reminder that it helps us a ton when you’re able to share information about yourself or your brand. We track down a lot of things thru researching and sourcing but if it’s going to become public news anyway, you might as well alert the industry in addition to your social media following. To have your news included in this column, send an email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now here’s the latest!
Congrats goes out to Gregg Henson. The veteran sports radio host and program director has left Lincoln, Nebraska where he was hosting on Alpha Media‘s News/Talk station KFOR in order to join Entercom as program director of News/Talk WRVA and FOX Sports 910 in Richmond, Viriginia. Henson has already relocated and began his new assignment.
Another recipient of a PD promotion is Rob Thompson in San Antonio. The afternoon co-host of “The Blitz,” which includes Jason Minnix, was given the keys to the station’s programming department. Thompson’s station, ESPN 1250, is owned and operated by Alpha Media.
Word on the street is former 95.7 The Game program director Don Kollins is getting ready to tackle a new challenge. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on Kollins’ next assignment.
San Diego’s new FM sports station 97.3 The Fan has found the program director it’s been looking for. An official announcement will be made in the near future.
In Miami, Brian “The Beast” London has been elevated to Assistant Program Director of WQAM and 790 The Ticket. London remains involved on-air as well, co-hosting in middays on The Ticket alongside Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard. Both Miami sports stations are owned and operated by Entercom.
Further up the coast in Virginia, Nick Cattles has decided to leave his hometown of Boston to return to where he established himself as an afternoon drive host. Cattles has exited 98.5 The Sports Hub where he was a nightly contributor to Adam Jones‘ show to head back to Max Media’s ESPN Radio 94.1. Cattles’ return unfortunately means the end of Jeff Pantridge‘s run in Virginia Beach. Jeff is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by clicking here.
Although Cattles’ exit leaves The Sports Hub down a staff member, the station did recently make a move adding Ty Anderson as a full-time contributor.
It’s good to see Rob Ellis back behind a microphone in Philadelphia. The sports radio veteran has returned to Sports Radio WIP. He was last heard in middays on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Ellis’ former home 97.5 The Fanatic has also made some moves. The radio station has paired Geoff Mosher and Devon Givens in evenings on the 6p-9p shift. Joe Tordy gets the call to host weeknights from 9p-12a.
After officially becoming a radio free agent, former 670 The Score talk show host Jason Goff will be doing a few shows this week in Charlotte on WFNZ. Goff will be working the midday shift alongside Chris Kroeger.
In other Chicago related news, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a piece looking at the local battle between ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score. To read the article click here.
Although we don’t much on monthly ratings since quarterlies matter most, there were a few items worth passing along from the April book in Chicago. The return of the Chicago Cubs paid dividends for The Score but surprisingly Waddle and Silvy on 1000 pulled a 4.9 in PM drive which was equal to The Score’s share. That’s of interest because it marked the first month of Danny Parkins and Dan McNeil working together in afternoons (McNeil was sidelined for a while with vocal cord issues) and the Cubs cut into some portion of the afternoon schedule for ten dates during the month. In mornings the news wasn’t as positive for 1000 as Golic and Wingo were soundly defeated by Mully and Hanley.
Another ratings story worth sharing comes from Salt Lake City. 1280/97.5 The Zone finished the month of April 1st with Men 25-54 with just above an eight and a half share. The rise of Donovan Mitchell and another Utah Jazz playoff run certainly didn’t hurt business. The Zone’s closest competitors KSL and X96 trailed the Salt Lake sports talker by more than a full ratings point.
Jake Bockoven has signed off at 93.7 The Ticket in Lincoln, Nebraska. The station gave him a sendoff in early May. No word yet on what Bockoven has planned for his future. The Ticket has added Michael Snow to afternoons alongside Brett Kane to fill Bockoven’s position.
Another host with ties to 93.7 The Ticket is in the market for a new opportunity. Mike Welch was let go in Kansas City where he had been working on the morning show with Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler for 610 Sports. To get in touch with Welch about future openings you can reach him by clicking here.
Welch isn’t the only person in Kansas City to have their situation change. After 18 years with Sports Radio 810 WHB, Danny Clinkscale has left the station due to what he labeled on Twitter “downsizing.” Clinkscale says he’s not finished working in the format and is appreciative of having a chance to spend close to two decades working for one employer.
Cincinnati sports radio listeners now have another local program to listen to. Kentucky Sports Radio featuring Matt Jones has been added in the market on 1360AM FOX Sports Radio. Jones’ show originates out of Kentucky and is heard in 41 markets and throughout 4 states.
The Star-Telegram produced a great read on 105.3 The Fan‘s afternoon team, Ben & Skin. To become more familiar with their sports radio journey click here.
Continuing with profile pieces, Newsday in New York published a piece on Mike Francesa’s producer Brian Monzo. To get a better read on Monzo’s career click here.
In South Carolina, 105.5 The Roar has added a new weekend program. Kelly Gramlich has been given a hosting opportunity on Saturday mornings at 10am.
ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City has named Mitch Harper as the station’s Executive Producer. Harper is expected to work closely with midday host, program director and Utah play by play voice Bill Riley.
Behind the scenes support has been added as well at Orange and Blue 760 in Denver. PD Tim Spence has hired Michael Coover to serve as the station’s Executive Producer. Coover returns to Denver where he previously worked for 104.3 The Fan. He had recently been working as a talent booker for Envision Networks in New York City.
Speaking of 104.3 The Fan, a tip of the cap to the station’s digital team which put together a fantastic video featuring local listener, Corporal Jason Rump, who served in the military and listened to the station regularly while serving overseas. The serviceman presented hosts Zach Bye and Brandon Stokley with an American flag which flew on a base in Afghanistan. To see how the station honored Corporal Rump and made use of the flag click here.
Kudos to 710 ESPN in Seattle who tried something different in morning drive on Memorial Day. With Brock Huard and Mike Salk off, 710 turned mornings over to two women, Lydia Cruz and Stacy Rost. Cruz hosts weekday mornings from 6a-7a and Rost writes for the station’s website MyNorthwest.com.
Congratulations is in order for Sports Radio 1560 afternoon host Mark Moses. The Florida based talk show host received the Radio Alumni of the Year award from his alma mater Western Illinois University.
Longtime voice of the San Jose Earthquakes Hal Ramey returned to the booth on Saturday, calling the Quakes game as part of a special Saturday Retro night match. Quakes games air in the Bay Area on KNBR 1050.
Nate Bukaty was on the receiving end of a welcomed phone call. The 810 WHB host was called on to pinch-hit on FS1‘s coverage of Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew SC. Bukaty called the opportunity to perform before a national audience a childhood dream come true.
Sticking with soccer, ESPN 94.9 The Game 2 in Nashville will carry at least 20 matches featuring the United Soccer League’s Nashville SC. The Game is owned and operated by The Cromwell Group.
99.9 The Fan in Raleigh went all in on the ACC Baseball Championship tournament, which featured games involving the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Duke. The Fan aired a total of twelve games, while it’s sister station 620 The Ticket carried six. The Fan’s Adam Gold who co-hosts the afternoon show, contributed to the play by play along with Baseball America’s Michael Lananna, UNC baseball play-by-play mane Dave Nathan, and Duke baseball voice Chris Edwards.
Congratulations to Maria Marino. The SiriusXM and NBC Sports Radio anchor and FNTSY Sports Network host and analyst has been added as a contributor on SNY. Marino made her debut on the channel last week.
The Washington Post recently published an excellent profile on Barstool Sports personality PFT Commenter. If you haven’t seen it you can read it by clicking here.
The Athletic is continuing its hiring spree. The sports website has added former ESPN and Sports Illustrated scribe and personality Rick Reilly, well known college football reporter Bruce Feldman, Stephen Cohen as senior editor in Seattle, and Ryan Clark as a beat reporter for the Colorado Avalanche.
One talented writer who The Athletic has yet to scoop up and is now available is Alex Marvez. Marvez’s time at Sporting News has unfortunately come to an end. He remains involved still on radio with SiriusXM and said on Twitter that he’s not sure when/where he’ll write again but given his talent and track record it’d be surprising if other groups weren’t interested in retaining his services.
If you want to enjoy a good read on what it takes to climb the ladder in sports media, check out this piece on Leanne Cozart. It captures her stops at ESPN, NFL Network, the Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and 95.7 The Game.
Yahoo Sports is bolstering its NFL coverage with the addition of Terez Paylor. Paylor has signed on as the website’s senior NFL writer.
Rising baseball writer/reporter Chris Cotillo is taking on a new challenge. Cotillo has signed on with MassLive.com as the website’s Boston Red Sox reporter. He starts his new assignment on May 29th. The Boston outlet has also added Matt Vautour as a sports columnist. Vatour spent twenty years writing for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
In case you missed it, ESPN decided to end the experiment of utilizing a public editor. Jim Brady left his post in March. The network has decided to discontinue the position.
The Los Angeles Times has lost Lindsey Thiry. After four years with the paper, Thiry is joining ESPN to cover the Los Angeles Rams.
And finally, NBC Sports Chicago has hired Bryan Perez. Perez will contribute to NBC’s Chicago Bears coverage.
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.
ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group
“The programming on the station does not change.”
Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1.
“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”
The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.
“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”
Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.
SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage
“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”
SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.
A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.
Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.
“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”
ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.
Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.
SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.
BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week
“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”
BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.
The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.