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KNBR signs Greg Papa to multi-year deal; New lineup to Debut on July 16th

“After nearly 8 years with 95.7 The Game, Greg Papa is moving on and joining KNBR”

Jason Barrett

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Last summer, Greg Papa took to the airwaves on 95.7 The Game to confirm he would no longer be the radio voice of the Oakland Raiders. For the first time in over two decades, the legendary play by play announcer went thru an NFL season not calling Bay Area football games.

But the disappointment Papa experienced in 2018 has quickly been replaced by joy in 2019. The year began with the San Francisco 49ers naming him their new radio play by play voice, and now just two and a half months before the NFL regular season kicks off, Papa is changing radio stations too.

After nearly eight years with 95.7 The Game, Papa is leaving the station to join KNBR. The new voice of the 49ers has inked a multi-year deal with the station which will reunite him with former on-air partner John Lund. The new program, Papa & Lund, will be featured weekddays from 10a-2p PT.

KNBR Program Director Jeremiah Crowe said: “Greg brings unrivaled knowledge and top-notch entertainment value to every broadcast he leads. His connection with the Bay Area sports fan runs deep on many levels through his history in the local market, and we are proud to reunite him with John Lund in mid-days on The Sports Leader.”

“I am thrilled to be returning to the powerful airwaves of The Sports leader,” said Papa. “Being reunited with John Lund on the flagship station of the 49ers is the perfect combination.”

In addition to adding Papa and Lund to middays, KNBR will introduce a powerful new afternoon show. Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks will leave their midday slots to move into drive time, joining Tom Tolbert as part of the newly formed Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks. The three men have been a part of KNBR for a combined total of 67 years. Their new show will air weekdays from 2p-6p PT, giving an extra hour to evening host Mark Willard who will now host weeknights from 6p-10p PT.

As a result of the changes, KNBR and longtime personality Gary Radnich will go their separate ways. Radnich had been with the station since 1992. He tweeted out on Friday that he had planned to retire at the end of the year but with his 70th birthday approaching it made more sense to exit now. Radnich will host his final show on the station this week.

“From the time Gary Radnich started at KNBR he was a pioneer in the sports-talk format” said Doug Harvill, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus San Francisco. “He built a close relationship with listeners through his entertaining and intriguing perspective on sports and life. I cannot express how appreciative all of us at KNBR are for the opportunity to have partnered with him on his KNBR journey.”

Also vacating the station will be longtime midday host Bob Fitzgerald who had been with the station as a host since 1990. The television voice of the Warriors on NBC Sports Bay Area, Fitzgerald said “I’d like to thank everyone that I had the great fortune of working with at KNBR, from my co-hosts, in particular Rod Brooks, to our tremendous producers and staff I have encountered over the great many years. For three decades it has been my great privilege to entertain the incredible sports fans of the Bay Area. KNBR will always have a special place in my heart and I wish everyone at the station all the best moving forward.”

The loss of Papa is a blow to 95.7 The Game. He spent 8 years with the station, delivering strong ratings in middays with Bonta Hill, and previously with Lund before he exited to join KNBR in 2016.

According to a report in The Athletic, The Game is expected to adjust to Papa’s departure by relying on 3 shows in their weekday lineup instead of 4. Joe, Lo and Dibs will remain in mornings, Matt Steinmetz and ‘The Guru’ Daryle Johnson will add Hill to their midday show, expanding to 10a-2p, followed by Damon Bruce in afternoon drive.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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