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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – June 14, 2018

Jason Barrett

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We’re back with another installment of UTR, the things that have occurred in sports media that you may not have been aware of. To have your information included in this column in the future, send any information about yourself or your brand to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now, on to the latest news!

Back to Numbah One! Mike Francesa‘s first full month on WFAN helped the New York sports radio station rebound in the ratings in afternoon drive. As reported by Newsday, Francesa finished 1st with a 6.8. The Michael Kay Show remained strong as well, placing 4th with a 5.5. FAN’s afternoon increase also benefited the morning show with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti who were tied for 3rd with a 5.6.

A pretty huge feat was accomplished in the May ratings book in the Bay Area. With the Golden State Warriors continuing to be a godsend to local sports radio, 95.7 The Game took advantage of their increased listening opportunities. For the first time in station history, The Game beat KNBR head to head in mornings. Joe, Lo and Dibs, which features Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley won the month against Murph and Mac with a 5.5 to 5.2. The same feat took place in middays where Daryl “The Guru” Johnson and Matt Steinmetz knocked off KNBR’s Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger 5.6 to 4.9. KNBR’s Fitz and Brooks and Tolbert and Lund won their head to head battles against Greg Papa and Damon Bruce, and the M-F 6a-7p matchup (5.8 to 5.6) but the race has certainly intensified between the Bay Area’s top two sports radio brands.

101 ESPN in St. Louis became the second local sports station to form a partnership with VSiN. 670 The Score in Chicago were the first to take the plunge in April. St. Louis’ top ranked sports station has added action updates from the Vegas based sports betting content company, and a weekly appearance by a member of the VSiN on-air staff.

In Dallas, Chris Arnold is no longer contributing daily to G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan. The Dallas radio personality remains involved with the station, making appearances on the show and contributing to other station programs. The Fan’s popular midday show now features Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh, Mike Bacsik and Luscious Harris.

Announced recently in the big apple, Shaun Morash, who works with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio, has taken the reigns as producer of CMB on WFAN. The weekday program hosted by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott airs in New York weekdays from 1pm-3pm ET. Morash’s role with Amendolara’s program will not be affected.

Changes have taken place in Oklahoma. The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is now airing simulcasted local programming in both markets. The recent changes include adding John Hoover and Colby Powell in evenings from 6pm-8pm, and former NFL players Kelly Gregg and Gabe Ikard and co-host Jerry Ramsey taking over the noon to 3pm slot in both markets.

Well wishes go out to Tony Bruno and Gerry Vaillancourt. The two veteran sports radio hosts recently underwent surgeries but are said to be in good spirits and on the trail to recovery.

After spending time working for 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Allen Yates has confirmed he’s leaving the station to join ESPN.

Across town from The Fanatic, Sports Radio 94 WIP has made a behind the scenes move. Tim Kelly has revealed that he’s landed a position with the Philadelphia sports talker.

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM has hired a new producer for Doug and Wolf‘s morning show. Erin Maloney, who had been working with Burns and Gambo in afternoons as their Assistant Producer earns the internal promotion.

60 years in any business is a long time, but in sports broadcasting its practically unheard of. Yet that’s what Jim Leahy accomplished in Honolulu. The longtime sportscaster has announced his retirement. During his career, Leahy worked for a few local radio stations and served as the voice of the University of Hawaii’s baseball team, among other jobs during his lengthy career.

Congratulations is in order for Brian “The Beast” London and Alex Donno. The South Florida sports radio personalities earned some ink from the Miami New Times. London was recognized as the market’s best sports radio personality. The New Times selected Donno’s show as the best sports radio program on the AM dial.

Ryan Phillips, Jordan Carruth and Alex Padilla have been given a show on the Mighty 1090. The San Diego sports station has added the three men to their Saturday schedule. You can hear the program from 9a-11a PT.

Rudy Reyes has accepted a behind the scenes opportunity with Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Springs, California. Reyes has previously contributed for SB Nation Radio.

From the print world, Jerry Sullivan departed the Buffalo News after 29 years. The former columnist said on Twitter that his employer felt his voice was becoming bad for business, but he wrote for the readers who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective.

The Athletic have made a few additions to their college football coverage. Cody Stavenhagen has signed on to cover Michigan Football. Scott Dochterman is joining to focus on Iowa football. And Jesse Temple comes aboard to cover the Wisconsin Badgers football program.

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, according to sources.

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. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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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