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.
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.
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.
Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston
“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.
Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.
“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.
Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.
“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.
“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”
Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’
“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.
That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.
“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.
He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.
With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.
“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”