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All Star Team To Call Red Sox Games on WEEI

“WEEI has assembled a star studded cast for its presentation of Red Sox radio broadcasts this season.”

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WEEI has assembled an all-star team of announcers for the upcoming 2019 season of Boston Red Sox baseball. Boston’s radio home for the Sox will feature Sean McDonough, Dave O’Brien, and Chris Berman on game broadcasts as part of a booth rotation alongside longtime radio voice Joe Castiglione. The rotation also includes Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, and newcomers Mario Impemba, and Josh Lewin.

“As the flagship radio home of the world champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI is proud to extend our relationship with Joe Castiglione and to welcome this elite group of broadcasters to join him in the booth,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “We are committed to providing listeners with premier and innovative coverage of the Sox and are looking forward to a great season.”

Lewin and Impemba will work the majority of games this season (55 each) with Castiglione. McDonough has signed on to call 30 games. He’ll make his debut on April 11th when the Sox face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The following week he’ll be behind the mic for the first Yankees series.

It’s a return to calling Sox games for McDonough who previously served as the television play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox on New England Sports Network (NESN) from 1988-2004. During that time, he was honored four times with the New England Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play. The Hingham, MA native is currently a leading play-by-play voice on ESPN college sports broadcasts.

“It’s nice to be back in the Red Sox fold, if that’s the right word,” McDonough told WEEI.com. “I didn’t want to leave 15 years ago, but in many ways, it was a good thing that I did, because it enabled me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done –– the U.S. Open, British Open. I’ve just had a lot of opportunities that wouldn’t have come along if I were still doing Red Sox games on TV. My path has been winding and interesting, and I’m glad it’s brought me back to this place –– particularly at this time.”

For Castiglione, this will be his 37th season in the booth. He believes the cast WEEI has assembled to call Sox games will lead to a lot of interplay in the booth.

“We’ll have conversation. They’re all good baseball people,” Castiglione told WEEI.com. “It should flow well. We like to have good conversation –– and tell stories and have background information on players to try and personalize them. That makes the fans feel like they know these people versus ‘Here’s a guy who’s hitting .302 with 20 home runs.”

The Red Sox radio vacancy was created following the departure of play-by-play voice Tim Neverett, a Boston-area native who left the booth after three seasons with the team. Neverett has since joined the Los Angeles Dodgers radio broadcast team. Following his exit rumors circulated that WEEI might drop the traditional radio baseball broadcast in favor of a talk show style approach. WEEI PD Joe Zarbano quickly dismissed those rumors, and the latest additions to the booth confirm they were untrue.

Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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