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Matt Jones Off KSR During Senate Race

“KSR will continue as a syndicated radio show with their regular co-hosts and contributors, less Matt Jones. Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon The Dude are expected to continue KSR for the interim.”

Brandon Contes

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Matt Jones is off Kentucky Sports Radio for the foreseeable future. The decision comes after a complaint from the Republican Party of Kentucky, accusing Jones of violating regulations by accepting campaign contributions from corporations. The owner, founder and host of Kentucky Sports Radio has been considering a run for senate as a Democratic candidate against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2020.

“Matt Jones must be held accountable immediately for misusing multiple platforms paid for by his corporate sponsors to unlawfully promote his US Senate candidacy,” said RPK Chairman J. McCauley Brown. “RPK’s complaint is an important first step in stopping Jones’ flagrant failure to comply with federal regulations, and we urge the FEC to deliver a swift and strong penalty.”

“The complaint is absolute nonsense and very disappointing from someone as powerful as McConnell,” Jones responded via his KSR blog. “I have said repeatedly in public and in filings with the FEC that I am not yet a candidate and I haven’t used the show to raise money or talk about my Exploratory Committee in any way. Nevertheless Senator McConnell has complained that having me on air is unfair and the man who speaks often about the importance of free speech and the exchange of public ideas has decided to cut off mine.”

In response to the Republican Party complaint, iHeartMedia, which owns KSR’s more than 35 affiliates, asked Jones to take a radio sabbatical. 

Jones planned on stepping away from KSR within the next few weeks to make a decision on whether or not he should run against McConnell, but the Republican Party complaint sends the radio host off-air sooner than expected. If Jones chooses not to run, he plans on returning to KSR and extending his partnership with iHeart.

This isn’t the first time politics got in the way of a media gig for Jones. During the summer, Jones was removed from his evening TV show on WLEX, Hey Kentucky! Part of the reason for Jones’ TV dismissal was a book he’s currently writing, Mitch, Please! How Mitch McConnell Sold Out Kentucky (and America too), taking aim at Kentucky’s Senior United States Senator as he bids for his seventh term. 

Last week, while the demise of Deadspin was in full force, many KSR listeners reached out to Jones, questioning if he could continue to intersect sports and politics.

“The difference is I still own KSR,” Jones responded while talking about Deadspin “Part of the reason 15 years later we haven’t sold [KSR] is because I don’t want, on that, to have a boss. I want to be able to do what we want to do. It’s the one thing we have where we can do whatever [we want].”

“As soon as you go to your corporate overlords, all of a sudden the entire thing that made that website what it was, they might take it away,” Jones added. One week later, Jones’ radio show was taken away from him. 

The situations are different, but Jones being forced to go radio silent one week after he expressed the importance of keeping the brand’s editorial control is interesting timing.

KSR will continue as a syndicated radio show with their regular co-hosts and contributors, less Matt Jones. Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon The Dude are expected to continue KSR for the interim. 

As Jones continues to ponder a run for Senate, another media member, former college football coach and ESPN analyst Tommy Tuberville is in the midst of a campaign. Tuberville entered the 2020 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama earlier this year.

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

Kayla Anderson Added to 104.5 The Zone Morning Show

Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor to WKRN-TV in Nashville.

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Kayla Anderson has been added to the 104.5 The Zone morning show, newly titled Ramon, Kayla, and Will, joining Ramon Foster and Will Boling on the Nashville station.

Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor on WKRN-TV in Nashville. A graduate of Washington State University, she has also worked at television stations in Spokane, Missoula, Tucson, and Columbus in addition to her time in Nashville.

Anderson said on Twitter she is “so excited to join this group!”

Boling had been the interim host of the morning show after the August departure of Jason Martin.

Ramon, Kayla, and Will will be heard from 6:00 AM-10:00 AM each weekday morning.

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Sports Radio News

Derek Wolfe Joining 104.3 The Fan as ‘The Drive’ Co-Host

I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive.”

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Former NFL defensive lineman Derek Wolfe is joining 104.3 The Fan in Denver as Darren “DMac” McKee’s co-host on The Drive With Derek Wolfe and DMac.

Wolfe announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this year after signing a one-day contract to retire with the Denver Broncos. He was the franchise’s top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, spending eight seasons with the team, including a win in Super Bowl 50.

“To the listeners in Denver, ‘The Fan Wolfe-pack,’ I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive,” said Wolfe. “DMac and I are going to fight sometimes, maybe we’ll fight a lot of the time, but we’ll always be working together to entertain you. I’ve always kept it 100 with you, and that’s not going to change one bit.” 

“Derek is one of the most popular players in Broncos history, with the iconic image of his sack celebration in Super Bowl 50 forever etched in Denver sports lore,” said 104.3 The Fan program director Raj Sharan. “What’s so exciting about adding Derek is his connection with the audience goes far beyond his production on the field. He’s never been afraid to mince words and is unapologetically authentic. Those characteristics drew Denver sports fans to fall in love with Derek, and we’re thrilled to help Derek build on that relationship everyday as he entertains his ‘Fan Wolfe-pack!’” 

Wolfe enters a role previously occupied by former Bronco Tyler Polumbus, who departed the station in September. The Drive with Derek Wolfe and DMac will be heard weekday afternoons from 2:00 PM-6:00 PM.

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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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