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Rico Beard Joins Mike Valenti Show on 97.1 The Ticket

“Rico brings with him more than two decades of local sports media experience, having recently hosted The Spartan Beat for The Team 92.1 and The Ryan and Rico Show on Detroit Sports 105.1.”

Brandon Contes

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Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket recently acknowledged they’ve “missed the mark” in building a lineup that reflects their diverse city. Two weeks later, the station is taking action with the addition of veteran local sports host Rico Beard to their afternoon show. 

Beginning Aug. 3, The Ticket’s afternoon drive program will rebrand as The Mike Valenti Show with Rico, airing weekdays from 2 – 6pm. 

“I am extremely blessed and honored in becoming a host on The Mike Valenti Show on 97.1 The Ticket,” Beard said in Entercom’s press release. “I was flattered when Mike Valenti himself asked me to join his show. My job will be to bring in a new voice and opinions to a show that is already one of the best shows not only in Detroit but in the sports talk radio industry throughout the U.S.”

Rico brings with him more than two decades of local sports media experience, having recently hosted The Spartan Beat for The Team 92.1 and The Ryan and Rico Show on Detroit Sports 105.1. 

According to Debbie Kenyon, SVP and Market Manager of Entercom Detroit, Beard has long been on the company’s “wish list” of talent to add. 

“I’ve wanted to work with Rico for several years now and it is simply fantastic the occasion has arrived,” said Valenti. “Adding Rico to our show represents a massive opportunity to not only stay at No. 1 but to evolve and become even stronger. I’m really proud of the show we created.” 

The Ticket also announced Valenti’s producer and on-air contributor Mike Sullivan will be departing the show for a new opportunity. 

“Sullivan has meant a lot to this show, to the station and to me personally,” Valenti added. “I’m excited about his new opportunity and wish him all the success in the world.”

While The Ticket may have been interested in adding Beard to their lineup for some time, the announcement comes just three weeks after a former local radio host and current FS1 personality Rob Parker highlighted the station’s diversity issues in a column on Deadspin. 

“Talk about a lack of diversity. In a city that is 82.7 percent Black, according to the latest census, the only all-sports talk radio station in town — 97.1 The Ticket — has NO full-time black hosts on the air,” Parker wrote for Deadspin.

“It would be one thing if this was a radio station in Iowa or Nebraska. But in Motown, the Blackest city in America?” Parker questioned.

The sports talk prowess and perspective of Detroit native Rico Beard is a welcome addition to The Ticket’s daily lineup.  

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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