Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – July 23, 2018
Three weeks after our last UTR we’re back with a bunch of news that may have slipped by you. If you’d like to have your brand or individual news shared in a future column with the rest of the sports media industry, send us an email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now here’s the latest!
An announcement will be made soon on Barrett Sports Media‘s 2019 conference. Final details are in the process of being resolved. Last year’s event took place in Chicago at the home of 670 The Score. For an idea of what to expect, click here or here.
A round of applause for John Kincade and Buck Belue of 680 The Fan in Atlanta who last week celebrated 17 years, 10 months and 16 days on the air together. Why is that number significant? It meant their on-air partnership had eclipsed the run which Mike and Mike had enjoyed on ESPN Radio. Next in their sights? Mike and the Mad Dog formerly of WFAN. The popular New York sports radio tandem featuring Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo have a 13 month advantage which Buck and Belue hope to surpass in 2019.
610 Sports has made a change in middays. Josh Vernier and Ron “The Show” Hughley have joined forces to occupy the middle part of 610’s lineup. Jay Binkley who had previously co-hosted in middays with Henry Lake becomes the station’s new Kansas Royals Insider covering the team and hosting pre and postgame shows. Lake meanwhile has left the station to return to Minneapolis, his former stomping grounds. No word yet on if he’ll be doing radio in the Twin cities.
The 24th edition of Jim Rome‘s ‘Smack Off” took place last week on CBS Sports Radio and the CBS Sports Television Network. Taking the crown this year was Brad in Corona. It was his 4th win. Prior victories were earned in 2009, 2011, and 2015. As a result of holding off Stevie Carbone and dethroning last year’s winner Leff in Laguna, Brad won a $5,000 grand prize and bragging rights as the ‘King of Smack’ entering next year’s 25th event.
VSiN continues to gain momentum adding local sports stations as affiliates for their Action Updates. Sources say brands in Detroit, Boston and San Francisco are expected to be announced soon. Others are also reportedly close to finalizing deals. For stations looking for more information and to hear a demo click here.
If you missed the announcement, Entercom has pulled the plug on TuneIn. The radio company is focusing on making its brands available exclusively on Radio.com thus leaving TuneIn with a giant hole in its radio offerings. The changes officially go into effect starting August 1, 2018.
For those who enjoy learning more about ratings, data, and sports media trends, check out Colin Cowherd‘s Herd Saturday podcast featuring FOX Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill. It’s a very insightful episode. You can hear it by clicking here.
670 The Score in Chicago did something very cool during MLB All-Star week. With Danny Parkins on vacation, the station used the slow period to reunite Dan McNeil and Terry Boers in afternoons. ‘The Heavy Fuel Crew’ sounded good together and gave local fans a reason to tune in during what is usually a difficult week for sports stations.
Speaking of neat things, kudos to Jeff Rickard and his team at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The station has come up with a killer promotion titled Fanniversary to highlight 10 years of sports broadcasting. The promotion includes a series of theme weeks between July and August with a focus on the Colts, Pacers, Indiana University and Butler college. They’ve also created custom production for each week and assembled some great prizes to reward their fans. For more information click here.
Congratulations to 760 The Ticket morning host Mike Taylor. The San Antonio sports radio personality has inked a new three year deal with iHeartmedia to remain with the company in his current timeslot.
Former ESPN San Antonio radio host Ari Temkin has left the market to move a few hours north. Temkin has relocated to Dallas to join 105.3 The Fan as its new pre and postgame host of Dallas Cowboys football. Temkin will take over alongside Jesse Holley for Shan Shariff who had worked Sunday’s for the past seven years. Shariff will turn his full attention to the morning show which he hosts with RJ Choppy.
Elsewhere in Texas, following Sean Salisbury’s exit from SB Nation Radio, the company has moved Patrick Creighton to afternoons. The veteran Houston host now hosts Straight Heat weekday afternoons from 5p-8p ET/4p-7p CT. Salisbury’s former partners, Brian Barrett and Robin Carlin, have moved to middays hosting a new show called The Break. The network has also added Jake Asman to its rotation of hosts.
A classy move was made by WEEI in Boston last week. The radio station took to Twitter to announce they were auctioning off 4 dugout seats for the Red Sox-Blue Jays game on September 12th to help raise funds for the family of Michael Chesna, a Weymouth Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty. The package included pregame field access during batting practice. The Red Sox then got involved too adding an autographed Mookie Betts bat. Thanks to their combined efforts, $8,000 dollars was raised to assist the fallen officer’s family. Great job by all involved.
Congratulations to Mike Stibbs who was named Assistant Program Director for 1620 the Zone, News Talk 1290 KOIL and 1180 The Zone 2 in Omaha. Stibbs, who will report to OM Dave Tepper, currently produces 1620 The Zone’s afternoon show Unsportsmanlike Conduct and will continue doing so while adding sports scheduling, technical assistance, and programming input on all three brands.
After moving to Philadelphia to work part time for Sports Radio WIP, Matt Hammond has decided to leave the radio business. Hammond spent time in Houston with Sports Radio 610 before making the journey to the city of brotherly love. No word on what his future plans are at this point in time.
The opportunity to return home was too much for Adam Giardino to pass up. Adam has signed on to become the new sideline reporter for UConn football and the color commentator on UConn Mens Hockey games. Giardino graduated from UConn in 2011 and thanked IMG, 97.9 ESPN (the school’s flagship radio partner) and his alma mater for giving him a chance to come back and be part of their broadcasting operation.
BSM sends its well wishes to Mighty 1090‘s Linda Welby. The San Diego sports anchor has been diagnosed with cancer and is said to be in good spirits as she prepares to take it head on. Each of 1090’s hosts took to social media last week, along with a large number of the station’s fans, to encourage Linda to fight. The hashtag #LindaStrong has been used frequently to lend support to her battle.
Mighty 1090 afternoon host Scott Kaplan conducted a riveting interview with US soccer superstar Landon Donovan. During the 88 minute episode, Donovan described how he grew up, signed with an agent as a teenager and advanced up the ladder in the soccer world. It’s an informative listen which you can hear by clicking here.
Tip of the cap to Peter Sampson who has been elevated to full time status at 102.9/750 The Game in Portland. Sampson has also earned some fill-in opportunities hosting John Canzano’s midday show.
In Fort Smith, Arkansas, Tye Richardson has been given an opportunity to produce and contribute on-air at ESPN Arkansas. Richardson’s primary responsibilities will revolve around the station’s morning show The Morning Rush.
Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver has announced they’ve agreed to terms with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The station, which also serves as the flagship station for the Vancouver Canucks, says it will air every one of the team’s games live.
Speaking of deals, WJOX in Birmingham has signed a new long term deal with the Atlanta Braves to continue broadcasting their games.
Central Pennsylvania is where you’ll soon find Sam Kuperman. The young broadcaster has accepted a position with Lock Haven University to become the school’s new radio voice.
In television news, Conor Moore has confirmed that he’s partnering with NBC Sports to provide content for the Golf Channel.
Taylor Tannebaum has moved from WHNT in Hunstville, Alabama to WTHR in Indianapolis. The Tennessee native announced on social media a piece of her heart will remain in Alabama but the opportunity to join her new station in Indy as a sports reporter and anchor was one she couldn’t pass up.
According to Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News, Michael Buffer has inked a deal with DAZN to announce fights on their platform.
From the print world comes news that The Athletic are once again adding personnel. Marcus Mosher has been added to the site to supply content on the Dallas Cowboys. David O’Brien has signed on to cover and write about the Atlanta Braves.
The Kansas City Star has also added to its sports writing team. The KC newspaper has brought in Lynn Worthy and Brooke Pryor to contribute to its coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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.
Sports Radio News
Mike Evans: ESPN is Going To Have to Cover the Nuggets Next Week
“If they want to get anything out of their investment, they’ve got to do their best to pump this thing up.”
When the Denver Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals, much of the ESPN coverage centered around the Los Angeles Lakers being swept. Viewers perceived there being minimal mentions of Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray and the rest of the Nuggets organization and what the team had just accomplished.
Brian Windhorst appeared on ESPN and stated the Lakers were terrific at going down in the series and calling the sweep an impressive performance by the team.
“I have to admit – my entire life as a sports fan, covering sports – countless locker rooms [and] press conferences – I don’t think I’ve heard anything dumber than that,” said Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan host Mike Evans.
ESPN has received its fair share of criticism, magnified when NBA on TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley expressed his disdain for the lack of Denver Nuggets coverage on television. LeBron James divulging that he is weighing retirement ostensibly played a role in the plans for talking points since he is widely regarded as one of the top players to ever take the court. Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals takes place on Thursday, June 1, meaning ESPN has over a week until the action commences; however, the show believes that placing the Lakers at the forefront imparts an agenda focused on garnering television ratings.
“‘What’s LeBron’s legacy?’,” co-host Mark Schlereth suggested as a topic on ESPN. “How does this win affect his legacy? Will he or will he not come back?’ Dude, the Nuggets just went to the Finals for the first time in their 47-year existence.”
“‘Kyrie Irving courtside!,’” Evans mocked an ESPN host saying. “‘Are they going to team up again?’”
The show proceeded to refer to Windhorst as a fanboy, especially since he covered James for the majority of his NBA career. They had ESPN on in a studio television throughout the show and saw no coverage pertaining to the Denver Nuggets, instead saying that the shows were centered around James, head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers’ future. Nonetheless, Evans assumes things will change as the NBA Finals draw near.
“Starting next week, it’ll all be about the Nuggets and [Miami] Heat because ultimately no matter what you want to say about ESPN or how mad you are about ESPN, they do have the NBA Finals,” Evans articulated. “If they want to get anything out of their investment, they’ve got to do their best to pump this thing up.”
Sports Radio News
Jon Ritchie: ‘Not Realistic’ for Mike Florio to Expect Answers From Howie Roseman
“I think your ask of Howie is ridiculous for him.”
Things got contentious this week on Pro Football Talk Live. Howie Roseman would not answer Mike Florio’s direct questions about tampering. Jon Ritchie listened to the audio Wednesday morning on 94 WIP and put the blame on Florio.
Before the NFL Draft, the NFL ruled that the Arizona Cardinals were guilty of tampering with then-Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon the week that the Eagles were in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII. Gannon was named head coach of the Cardinals the next day.
When Florio asked Roseman about it, Roseman offered what sounded like a prepared statement saying that it did not make sense for the Eagles to dwell on the past. Instead, he thanked Gannon for his work for the team and said that any tampering penalties and arguments were “made at the ownership level.”
While that answer did not satisfy Ritchie’s partner Joe DeCamara, Ritchie said that he isn’t sure what Florio or anyone else would expect Howie Roseman to say in that situation.
“I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Howie to put his heart out and give his true feelings. He doesn’t want to come out against the league,” he said.
The duo played more audio from the exchange in which Florio accused Howie Roseman of deflecting and asking if he would like to read his talking points for a third time. Roseman shot back that Florio is easily on a list of the NFL’s top 5 conspiracy theorists.
Just how contentious things actually were can be debated, but according to Jon Ritchie, one of them deserves more criticism than the other.
“I thought Florio came across as rude yesterday,” he said. “I think your ask of Howie is ridiculous for him. We’re standing up like an adult and sticking to our guns, the high-road guns, and I appreciate that. Think of what you’re asking Howie to do, like take aim at the league…That’s not realistic.”
Sports Radio News
Fred Toucher: ‘ESPN is Now Just 3 People’
“Stephen A. Smith is on in the morning. He’s on the radio. He does a podcast. He’s at all the games. He does the postgames.”
How deep is the talent rotation at ESPN? Not very according to Fred Toucher. The 98.5 The Sports Hub morning host has certainly noticed that the network is turning to a small handfull of stars to do the bulk of the work.
“ESPN is now like three people, and Stephen A. Smith is on in the morning. He’s on the radio. He does a podcast. He’s at all the games. He does the postgames,” morning host Fred Toucher said. “Imagine if we had a microphone in front of us 12 hours a day…The guy’s going to snap one time.”
That led to a new segment on Toucher & Rich titled “Stephen A. Smith is horny” with music by R&B artist Barry White playing in the background. Throughout the nearly 20-minute aside, the show played clips from Smith’s Cadence 13-produced podcast recently renamed The Stephen A. Smith Show, and spoke about how he is now giving dating advice to close out episodes of his show.
“My man can’t help getting horny on it every single episode,” Jon Wallach said. “He is trapped with a microphone in front of him 18 hours a day – he really is. He’s on TV and the radio and podcast. It doesn’t stop.”
Because of Smith’s busy schedule across ESPN programming – including First Take, NBA Countdown, NBA in Stephen A’s World and guest appearances on shows such as SportsCenter and Get Up – he seems to be over the airwaves more often than not. On top of that, he hosts new episodes of his podcast at least three times a week. He has said the network did research that found he had reached 1.7 billion people on ESPN’s YouTube page last year, and that the number is expected to hit 2.4 billion at the end of this year.
The Boston morning show surmised that since Smith hardly has moments away from his profession, he cannot help but to talk about topics such as dating advice to vary the content.
“He just loves to drop into that sexy – ‘We’re going to do dating advice because everyone’s reaching out for dating advice from Stephen A. Smith,’” Toucher said.