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Bernie Miklasz Out Amid Lineup Changes At 101 ESPN

“Miklasz’s show has topped Barrett Sports Media’s list of the Top 20 Mid-Market Morning Shows each of the last three years.”

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Starting on Monday, 101 ESPN will have a new weekday lineup. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy have forced St. Louis’ sports radio leader to make adjustments including parting ways with one of the most recognized personalities in the market.

Several hosts will change dayparts to help the station move forward but the headline that is certain to generate a lot of attention is the exit of longtime host Bernie Miklasz.

Miklasz has been a fixture in St. Louis sports media for decades. The former St. Louis Post Dispatch columnist joined 101 ESPN in April of 2009. He’s spent most of the past decade patrolling 101’s airwaves, delivering ratings, and earning recognition from industry executives as the #1 Mid-Market Morning Show in BSM’s annual Top 20 each of the past three years.

101 ESPN afternoon host Randy Karraker paid tribute to Miklasz today on his show and said the situation was the result of the economy being shut down. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reached out to Miklasz for comment and he wasn’t ready to discuss the situation but did say that he’s trying to keep things in perspective and stay positive.

With Miklasz gone, 101 ESPN will turn to Randy Karraker to take over the morning drive slot. Karraker will be joined by Miklasz’s former co-host Michelle Smallmon for a new show. The program is expected to air weekdays from 7a-10a CT.

Karraker’s move to mornings creates an opening in afternoons on the station’s top rated program The Fast Lane. Brad Thompson and Chris Rongey will remain with the show and taking over Karraker’s role will be midday host Anthony Stalter. Stalter originally joined 101 as the show’s producer and has since gone on to thrive as a host working alongside the late Chris Duncan and former Blues player Jamie Rivers. He’s also added PT hosting opportunities at the ESPN Radio network.

As Stalter moves into afternoons and away from middays, 101 will add a 1-hour show featuring St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin from 10a-11 CT. They’ll also retool the midday show with Rivers, adding one of its rising stars Brandon ‘BK’ Kiley as the lead host. The midday team will occupy the weekday slot of 11a-2p CT.

Sports Radio News

ESPN 97.5 Host Vanessa Richardson Named New Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter

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

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Vanessa Richardson

The Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season and it’s a familiar name in Houston sports talk radio.

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced 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.”

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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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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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