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Julie DiCaro Exposes Toxic Message Board

Brandon Contes

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Women watch sports, women are opinionated and entertaining.  Women make successful radio hosts, yet very few are sports radio hosts.

At times women are overlooked, many will not view sportscasting as a viable career option because they don’t see the avenues to get there.  Many women are also deterred because they fear receiving backlash for entering what has long been deemed a man’s world.  Chicago radio host, Julie DiCaro has again recently brought this to light.

DiCaro, a 15-year lawyer turned media member, has been covering Chicago sports for over a decade, starting with her own blog in 2007.  Now an anchor, host and columnist for 670 The Score, DiCaro has worked to expose how common it is for women sports media members to be harassed online.

Earlier this week, DiCaro stumbled on the website chicagofanatics.com, an older forum messaging board style website.  The radio host found a board titled, “Julie DiCaro!!!” and quickly saw it contained, not 756 comments, but 756 pages (since increased to 800 after she publicized it) of comments, the bulk of which were harassing, mean-spirited and derogatory.

After sharing the board on Twitter, the anonymous website admin soon responded.

“Your thread has nearly 23k posts and is by far the most popular thread in the nearly 20 year history of our site. That says a lot about your popularity and above how passionate our members are.” wrote @ChiFanatics in an attempt to diffuse the issue.  Unfortunately the passion of the website’s members is poorly directed.

“Why highlight it?” Another Twitter user, not affiliated with the website wrote to DiCaro.  “What benefit do you get? Does playing the victim benefit your career? I’ve never posted about it, but from when I listened I didn’t particularly think you’re great at your job either. Have you ever reflected on why so many people don’t like you?” …As if the despicable personal insults are warranted.

DiCaro took to medium.com where she directed her own passion more appropriately, sharing with everyone the inability of many people to accept women into the world of sports.

“Why do sites like this exist? Why do people like this exist? Why do people obsess over everything a person says and does simply because they are on the radio?” wrote DiCaro.

“Frightening women and lying about women and trying to drag women down into the muck will continue to be sport for a certain kind of man.  But please don’t be a part of it. You can choose not to be part of it,” she added.

This is not the first time DiCaro publicized hateful comments directed toward her and other women in sports.  In 2016, DiCaro and Sarah Spain of ESPN posted a powerful video of men reading actual Tweets containing hard to imagine deprecating comments directed at the female hosts, titled #MoreThanMean.  The YouTube video has since amassed over 4.5 million views.

There is a certain amount of criticism that is expected when entering the public eye, but personal, vile attacks such as those many women in sports receive, shouldn’t be said to anyone, let alone become a common daily occurrence.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys

“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

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97.9 ESPN Hartford host Rob Dibble helped collect more than 5,000 frozen turkeys and over 8m000 pounds of non-perishable foood items last week.

The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.

“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.

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Sports Radio News

Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement

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Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.

“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”

Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.

After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.

Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week

“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

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Tom Rinaldi

It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.

“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.

“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.

They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.

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