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Under The Radar – July 23, 2018

Jason Barrett

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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.

Sports Radio News

Jeff Thurn To Exit ESPN Sioux Falls To Join ESPN Radio

“I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level?”

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ESPN Sioux Falls host Jeff Thurn will depart the station for a new national position with ESPN Radio.

The host of Overtime from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM on ESPN Sioux Falls, Thurn has been with the station for more than a decade.

Thurn thanked executives at Results Radio — owner of ESPN Sioux Falls — as well as listeners and guests for being so supportive during his tenure with the show and station during a thread posted to Twitter.

Thurn joined ESPN Radio as a fill-in host in February of last year.

“I’m so pumped to get to go out there and do something on a national level,” Thurn told Dakota News Now last year. “I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level? I think it’s really cool just growing up here, having that opportunity, to now do that on ESPN Radio throughout 2022…that’s pretty cool for me personally.”

His final show on ESPN Sioux Falls will be on Friday, February 3rd.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Adam Schefter Was Used By the Broncos

“Based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team.”

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Tuesday was a frenzy for NFL insiders as the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans nearly simultaneously announced the hiring of new head coaches, and WFAN host Craig Carton believes one NFL insider was used.

Reporting from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport at 4:44 PM ET claimed the Broncos tried to hire DeMeco Ryans — who was hired by the Texans — at the last minute, but was rebuffed, and Denver hired Sean Payton instead.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter — in no uncertain terms — refuted the validity of that report at 4:55 PM ET.

Carton believes Schefter was used by the franchise to help with damage control.

“So here’s the deal: Adam Schefter — many, many years ago — used to write for The Denver Post, and he covered the Denver Broncos,” Carton said. “He is clearly — to his credit – getting his information directly from the Denver Broncos who figure that that story from Ian Rapoport — and it is — is somewhat embarrassing…the fact that it’s out there is a bad look.

“So they go to Schefter who, along with Rapoport — the two voices of record as insiders — and they say ‘Nonsense. Put out there that that’s nonsense’. Rapoport’s getting his information DeMeco or his agent, saying “Naw, naw, no. He had choices. He could have gone to Houston, he could have gone to Denver. Obviously, the Texans sweetened the deal’.”

“Schefter’s getting his info from the Broncos, who are doing damage control,” co-host Evan Roberts concurred.

“Schefter’s great at what he does, I’m not saying that he’s not,” Carton continued. “But based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team — namely Washington — and again, he’s great at what he does. I wanna be clear at how I state this, he’s great at what he does, but it’s obvious that the Broncos are trying to spin this, and they’re using Schefter to spin it.”

Roberts added that the situation was similar to that of NBA Insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, where Wojnarowski “speaks for front offices, where Shams gets his info from players and agents”.

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Sports Radio News

K&C Masterpiece: Cowboys Could Add 30 Million More Viewers To Super Bowl

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The matchup in this year’s Super Bowl is set, and the game will undoubtedly be the most-viewed program on TV this year. But if the Dallas Cowboys were taking part in the game, it’s safe to say the ratings would be astronomical.

The Cowboys divisional playoff game against San Francisco drew 45.7 million viewers. It was the second-most watched divisional round contest on record.

The NFC championship between San Francisco and Philadelphia drew 47.5 million.

On 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, K&C Masterpiece host Kevin Hageland said had the Cowboys made it to Philly, the viewership would’ve been even better.

“I know the game sucked, but that just shows you, because the Cowboys were like almost 8 million above every other divisional game, this could’ve gotten to 58 (million),” Hageland said.

Kevin added that if Dallas had gone all the way, the audience tuning in would’ve easily eclipsed some of the highest-rated programs of all-time.

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings,” he said. “Even with the new system and so many people streaming and everything like that.”

Usually the Super Bowl averages around 100 million viewers. Hageland said a Cowboys Super Bowl appearance in this day and age would’ve set the new top ratings mark for years to come.

“My estimation would be you would add approximately an extra 30 million people,” he said.

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