Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – July 30, 2018
With a mini-vacation on the horizon later this week, I didn’t expect to release a new UTR until next week. But given the slate of activity in sports media circles, a new installment needed to be produced.
From the department of regurgitated messaging, if you or your brand have news to share and would like to be included in a future edition of this column, please send your details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now on to the news.
WINZ-940 in Miami has parted ways with afternoon host Andy Slater. The Miami sports media veteran has proven he has a nose for news, breaking numerous stories over the years in South Florida. Slater has declined comment on why he’s no longer with the station or what his future plans are, but with football season about to start, the timing of the move was surprising. No word yet on what WINZ’s permanent plans are for afternoons.
A little further north in the sunshine state, changes are being made to part of the Orlando Magic radio broadcast. Popular local host Scott Anez will no longer host pre-game, halftime or post-game shows due to the team’s games moving to 96.9 The Game. Brandon Kravitz takes over as the host of all three programs. Anez had been part of Magic broadcasts for 27 years.
Congratulations to Colin Cowherd and his team. The FOX Sports Radio host announced via social media that for the month of May and June, podcast listening reached its highest point at nearly ten million listens each month.
On the subject of podcasts, check out 670 The Score host Laurence Holmes‘ new episode with ESPN LA 710 Operations Manager Dan Zampillo. The former colleagues reflected on their time working together and shared some quality insights on the good, bad and ugly of working in the sports broadcasting business. You can hear the episode by clicking here.
Continuing with The Score, as was expected, Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh has replaced Brian Hanley on the morning show with Mike Mulligan. The program is now referred to as Mully and Haugh.
Nick Wilson has signed off as the evening host at 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Wilson spent seven years with the radio station, working his way up the ladder. He’s landed a new opportunity which should be announced soon. No word yet on how PD Andy Roth will fill the evening slot but it should be an attractive opening internally and externally given how it’s advanced the careers of Wilson, and 92.3 The Fan’s morning host Ken Carman. To apply for the position visit our Jobs section by clicking here.
VSiN has added a new racing program to its weekday schedule. Gone Racing airs Thursday’s from 5p-6p ET and is hosted by Ron Flatter and Brendan Gaughan. You can hear the show on SiriusXM channel 204 or on VSiN.com. The company has also signed on 102.9/750 The Game in Portland as a carrier of its Action Updates.
A tip of the cap to one of the Bay Area’s best sports broadcasters Greg Papa. The weekday host on 95.7 The Game and former radio play by play voice of the Oakland Raiders has been chosen to enter the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Also gaining entry is longtime marketing director Jude Heller who was part of The Game’s initial launch in 2011. For more information click here.
Washington DC sports radio host Nick Ashooh is taking over as host of the Locked on Redskins podcast. The added responsibility doesn’t affect his role hosting evenings and weekends on 106.7 The Fan, or my TV and digital work with NBC Sports Washington. You can learn more about Nick by clicking here.
Manny Chang received some great news recently. The producer of Miami Hurricanes football and the Florida Panthers on WQAM in Miami was named the new producer for Miami Dolphins radio broadcasts.
After 10 years in St. Louis radio, Travis Green has decided its time for a new journey. Green has left his position as Bernie Miklasz’ and Michelle Smallmon‘s producer on 101 ESPN‘s morning show for an opportunity outside of the radio industry. During his career, Green also worked for KMOX and 1380 AM. Although he’s leaving the day to day grind of radio, Green says he will still contribute written articles and a podcast for the station on a part time basis.
In the television world, former ESPN sideline reporter Britt McHenry is officially joining FOX News as a full time contributor. McHenry began her transformation to delivering political commentary after being let go during ESPN’s last round of layoffs. In addition to appearing on FOX’s programs, McHenry also has a local show in Washington DC on Friday evenings.
The Dallas Stars have confirmed that Josh Bogorad will serve as the play by play announcer for the team’s television and radio broadcasts this season. Daryl Reaugh returns to his role as color analyst.
Continuing in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs have added Dan Weiss to their television broadcast. Weiss replaces Andrew Monaco as a studio co-host on the Spurs Live pregame and postgame shows on FOX Sports Southwest, KENS-TV (CBS 5) and KMYS-TV (CW35).
Atlanta sports radio host Matt Chernoff has confirmed he’s returning to FOX 5 for another football season. The afternoon host on 680 The Fan will contribute to FOX 5’s live pregame show on Thursday night’s and make post-game appearances on Sunday’s following Falcons afternoon games.
ESPN has made a few changes to its NFL Nation reporting assignments. Cameron Wolfe has left the Tennessee Titans beat to move to South Beach to cover the Miami Dolphins. Turron Davenport fills the void left behind by Wolfe covering the Titans in Nashville.
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 Florio: Chris Simms Isn’t Desensitized to Internet Criticism
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope.”
Chris Simms caught some heat this week while discussing the death of Miami Dolphins fan Eric Carmona. Carmona was the brain behind the Tuanon viral videos, which featured him in a Dolphin mask attacking critics of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Simms was one of his frequent targets.
Carmona was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. He leaves behind a wife and four children. He was just 30 years old.
Mike Florio brought the story up on Pro Football Talk Live, because Tagovailoa himself donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to support Carmona’s family. Simms responded by noting that Carmona was a frequent critic of his.
Florio pushed back saying that trolling is better than being ignored. People are passionate about their teams and if they are passionate about attacking you for criticizing their teams, it means you matter to them.
“This is a deep subject and I think it’s societal and I won’t go into it because I’m only going to get myself in trouble,” Simms responded. “We’re also setting an example like, ‘Hey here’s money to a guy who was very negative too.’ That’s all I’m saying.”
On Friday, Florio made his weekly appearance on WQAM in Miami. Morning show host Joe Rose asked Florio what Simms was thinking with those comments.
“I don’t know. That’s a question for Chris, and you could invite him on and he could talk about that,” Florio answered. “And I’m not trying to be flippant by saying that. I understand the way he feels from my perspective.”
He did try to explain the point he was making to Simms in saying that being trolled is better than being ignored. He reminded Rose that there is a thick skin required to having the kind of jobs they do.
“Chris takes a lot of crap. I take a lot of crap. I’ve been doing it a lot longer than Chris, and I think sometimes Chris just kind of reaches the end of the rope. He doesn’t actively participate in Twitter. He has one of the producers at NBC that primarily updates his account. So I don’t think he’s become as desensitized to it as I have over the years.”
Simms caught heat earlier this week from another fan base. Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie of the WIP Morning Show ripped the NBC analyst for ranking Jalen Hurts as the seventh best QB in the league.
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen Baffled By NBA Finals TV Schedule
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast. We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final continue with games taking place this weekend, and many basketball and hockey fans are expected to tune in to watch the action. The Denver Nuggets will try to take a 3-1 series lead on the Miami Heat, while the Vegas Golden Knights will look to rebound from an overtime loss to return home one win away from a championship. Aside from the pomp and circumstance, there is considerable intrigue pertaining to the action on both the court and the ice. The challenging part of the entire situation is knowing when the games are played due to the disjointed nature of the schedule.
Throughout the NBA Finals, games have taken place three days apart from one another, while the Stanley Cup Final has followed a similar pattern but both avoid playing games on Sundays. As a result, there were only two days between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, but three for the remainder should it reach a deciding seventh game. Similarly in basketball, the first three games of the NBA Finals were played every other day, but the remainder of the series is scheduled with two days of rest. There is a chance the decision was made to accommodate travel schedules, as both series are aligned in a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern, meaning the first two games are played in one city; the next two are played in the other; and then they continue to alternate until a champion is crowned.
“I don’t know why the NBA’s not playing on Sunday,” 97.1 The Ticket morning co-host Mike Stoney said. “That big travel day – because you really need travel days nowadays with your private planes to fly from Miami to Denver.”
Show co-host Jon Jansen, who played 10 seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle with Washington and Detroit, expressed how some players may need to acclimate themselves to the altitude in Denver, Colo. The city is located 5,280 feet, or one mile, above sea level, making the air thinner and dryer and presenting some visitors with difficulty breathing. Jansen never felt the effects of altitude sickness, claiming that it was never a big deal for him, but obviously, everyone reacts to things differently.
“Basketball in particular and hockey because it’s constant running, especially at your position,” Stoney proposed. “You’re not running like madmen [in football] like they do in basketball where I think it affects you the most.”
The schedule also presents challenges for consumers around the United States living in different time zones. The NBA Finals do not begin until 8:30 p.m. EST, and the games often do not include until close to midnight. Especially on weeknights, asking East Coast fans to stay up late and then go to work early in the morning limits the amount of sleep they can receive. Meanwhile, those on the West Coast are just returning home from a standard eight-hour workday and may have other tasks to carry out.
“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast,” Jansen said. “We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”
There is no perfect time slot that will appease all consumers, but even so, ratings for this year’s NBA Finals have exceeded most expectations. Game 3 attracted an average audience of 11.2 million viewers and peaked at a figure of 12.4 million, down 2.5% from last year’s third game of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Viewership for the first three games of the NBA Finals is averaging 11.6 million, representing a nearly 2% decline from last year’s numbers. ESPN reported its most-watched playoffs across its platforms in the last 11 years, with the total playoff viewership audience averaging approximately 6.1 million people.
Sports Radio News
Colin Cowherd: I Have Tried to Invest in MLS Teams Twice
“I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent.”
Could we have seen FOX Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd having some sort of ownership stake in an MLS team? Cowherd said he tried, and then he tried again.
Talking about Inter Miami adding global superstar Lionel Messi on Thursday, Cowherd mentioned that he inquired about getting involved with the league, but the asking price at this point is too much for him.
“I have twice tried to invest in the MLS, and I just can’t afford it,” Cowherd said. “I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent. The academy is slowly becoming something, but it is becoming something their academy system. And they are now on a regular basis going and getting the world’s biggest soccer stars.”
Colin pointed out that Messi is the most popular athlete in the world, boasting social media followings and name recognition that easily eclipses that of superstar athletes like LeBron James and celebrities like the Kardashians and Beyonce. So not only is Messi’s signing a monumental moment for Inter Miami owner David Beckham, but it’s a feather in the cap signing for Major League Soccer as a whole.
“Messi is massive for the MLS. It’s the biggest moment in the history of the franchise,” he said. “Think Beckham times two. And Beckham was big when he arrived here in the States.”
“I think it’s cool that the MLS, our domestic soccer league, can go out and bring a superstar – not a star, a mega superstar on our soil regularly,” he added.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.