2020 has been a difficult year for broadcasters and the companies they work for. Though many expect the business to rebound in 2021, there are no guarantees. To make sure the future is maximized to its fullest, organizations are looking for ways to strengthen themselves internally and externally.
One on the industry’s largest groups, Entercom, believes the answers will come from experienced leadership. CEO David Field issued an internal memo last night announcing the promotion of 10 key people and the addition of another who will be depended on to lead the company to brighter days.
In the memo Field stated “Our greatest strength and our most important and valued asset are our people and we are incredibly fortunate to have such a talented team across the country. Today, we have an opportunity to recognize several of them, each of whom has made great contributions to our work, as they continue to grow and expand their responsibilities within the company. I am pleased to announce the following promotions across our organization:”
• Chris Ebbott: Vice President, Programming
• Chad Fitzsimmons: Senior Vice President, Promotions & Experiences
• Rose Isard: Vice President, Senior Counsel
• John Kennedy: Senior Vice President, Engineering
• Jennifer Morales: Vice President, Corporate Communications & PR
• Nancy Muir-Gaire: Vice President, Facilities Management
• Johnny Palumbo: Vice President, Senior Counsel
• Reggie Rouse: Vice President, Programming
• Jeff Sottolano: Executive Vice President, Programming
• Stephanie Taylor: Vice President, Benefits, Compliance and Talent Acquisition
The names that will resonate most with sports radio professionals are Rouse, Sottolano, and Morales. Rouse has been helping to lead 92.9 The Game in Atlanta (along with V103) following the exit of Terry Foxx. Sottolano has been involved with Radio.com and serving as a resource to sports radio programmers. Morales has provided sports media outlets with support on PR opportunities involving company talent and executives.
Also mentioned in the release was the addition of Bill Smee as the company’s new Vice President of News. Smee’s background includes holding leadership roles with CNN, NBC News and Slate. He’s expected to work with Entercom’s NewsTalk brands on improving their programming and delivering new products and capabilities across broadcast, digital, podcast, and smart speaker platforms.
Field also praised the growth of Radio.com, the company’s podcasting business, and the work done by Entercom’s newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force led by Rick Caffey and Sarah Harris. He also mentioned that remote work will continue thru the end of the year.
A classy gesture by Field in the memo included acknowledgement of the passing of 97.1 The Ticket host Jamie Samuelsen. After highlighting Jamie’s career accomplishments and track record in Detroit, Field offered thoughts and prayers to Jamie’s family and friends and stated that the company was grieving his heartbreaking passing.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”