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Seattle Kraken Make Everett Fitzhugh First Black NHL Team Broadcaster

“The team has not settled on Everett Fitzhugh’s specific role. He will be calling games on either radio or television.”

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NHL history keeps being made in Seattle. Just two weeks after the league’s 32nd franchise revealed its name and logo comes another major announcement. Everett Fitzhugh, currently the radio voice of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, will become the play-by-play voice of the team. It will make Fitzhugh the first Black team broadcaster in league history.

Kraken CEO and Team President Tod Leiweke read a profile of Fitzhugh on The Athletic in February. He said it wasn’t the first time he had heard the name. NBC’s Doc Emerik had sung Fitzhugh’s praises to Leiweke previously.

In a new story for the site, Ryan S. Clark describes the Kraken’s pursuit of Fitzhugh for the job. It was the team that reached out to Fitzhugh, and despite some hiccups created by Covid-19, the two sides reached a deal that will bring the broadcaster to Seattle.

Fitzhugh told Clark that one of the ways the team sold him on the opportunity was by involving his fiancée in the process.

“They even asked Shelly, ‘What are your reservations?’” Fitzhugh recalled. “[Leiweke] told her, ‘This is not just about Everett. We want to make sure everyone’s happy and feels welcomed into the organization.’ That was really cool to share with her, and it helped me feel more comfortable because it was not just about me.”

Leiweke says he is happy that the Kraken will bring some diversity to the ranks of NHL broadcasters. That isn’t the team’s end goal though. Leiweke says he wants Fitzhugh to be one of the best.

“He has options, and his name was out there, and I want him to come here and make beautiful music and help us turn Seattle into a great hockey town.”

The team has not settled on Everett Fitzhugh’s specific role. He will be calling games on either radio or television. In the meantime, he will serve as a team ambassador in the city.

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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