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ESPN Hosts Honor Laid Off Colleagues On Air

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It has been a rough week in the sports media industry as ESPN announced on Thursday that they would be laying off 300 people and leaving 200 positions vacant. As the New York Times reported on Thursday, a lot of the cuts were in broadcast production, but some ESPN shows and personalities took to social media or used their own platform to address the sad news of the day at the network.

At the end of Thursday’s edition of The Jump, Rachel Nichols addressed the situation for about 24 seconds and said that the people she worked with were the best part about coming to work every day. 

https://twitter.com/Rachel__Nichols/status/1324483883698708480

“I do want to tell the employees facing layoffs at ESPN today how much they are going to be missed…Just because it is happening everywhere doesn’t make it any less hard. I can say for sure the people are the best part about coming to work each day at ESPN. We are with you.” 

This didn’t just apply to shows on the network. The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM in New York also addressed the situation as well. Here is what Kay had to say: 

“This was a difficult day at ESPN. There were layoffs with the current economic situation. A lot of our colleagues on TV and radio did lose their jobs today. While we are sitting on the radio having fun and talking to you, we just want all of those who got that call and were spoken to in the office to know that our hearts are with you.” 

Towards the end of Around The HornTony Reali decided to take the last word to address the news and the people who were not sharing sympathy and compassion for the jobs that were lost.

“Today is a hard day for many in our family at this network just as it is for many in our country. If your response is anything but compassion, I don’t want to hear from you.”

Some ESPN personalities took to Twitter to address people who lost their jobs that have directly played an impact on their careers. Check out what Sarah Spain about one of the associate producers at ESPN Radio, Ali Bronson.

https://twitter.com/SarahSpain/status/1324491996216610816

ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn took to Twitter as well to share personal experiences he had with 4 producers that were let go by the company: 

https://twitter.com/TJQuinnESPN/status/1324720582433234944

Freddie Coleman also showed respect for hs friends and former co-workers affected by the layoffs by announcing that last night’s program on ESPN Radio with Ian Fitzsimmons would be dedicated to them.

https://twitter.com/ColemanESPN/status/1324503477255610368?s=20

It was not an easy day for anyone in the industry, so credit to those at ESPN who took the time to address the situation and share their stories about good people that have impacted them. 

Sports Radio News

1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

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In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”

Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”

According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.

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Sports Radio News

1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming

The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.

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1250 AM The Fan

Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.

The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.

The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.

In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.

One host who may remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.

Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.

Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.

One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce 5% of its programming staff.

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Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher: Fred Roggin Rant ‘Is Why Everyone Thinks Radio Sucks’

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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A recent piece in the L.A. Times painting the picture of why the sports radio audience in Los Angeles is smaller than that of Boston struck a nerve locally.

And when AM 570 LA Sports host Fred Roggin tried to explain why Boston does so much better with listeners, Fred Toucher couldn’t contain himself.

Let me give it to you in a nutshell real, real quickly,” Roggin said in a clip that played during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Tuesday. “The implication here is that you don’t care. Do they have as many Latinos living in Boston? I don’t think so, and if you look at the ratings, they don’t. We’re a melting pot, we’re very different here. Sports is a niche audience.

Toucher and company laughed at the sound byte before Toucher laid into Roggin.

“Does that mean that Latinos don’t like sports?” he asked. “To do well in Los Angeles, you have to adapt to the market, you jackass! Latinos have to listen to ya.”

Roggin and co-host Rodney Peete sounded even more out of touch in the clip by saying that part of the reason more people listen to sports talk in Boston is because of weather and an affinity for baked beans. Additionally, there’s just more to do in LA versus Boston.

“He is under the impression that the east coast is really something else,” Toucher said. “But he’s painting the east coast as if like no one lives out here. Like New York City and Philadelphia are these minor flyover states. It’s really funny.”

Toucher understood Roggin taking the time to go on the defensive, but he just couldn’t get over the way in which the defense was presented.

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said. “What do you care if the station in Boston does better than you? What does it matter to you?! Clean up your own business! Jesus Christ!”

“This is the first time I think I’ve ever heard the northeast described as like toothless hicks that like got nothing better to do,” Toucher added.

Toucher finished his point by piling on the hosts further, saying that if their show aired anywhere else, it would fail.

“This is why everyone thinks radio sucks,” Toucher said before the rest of the Roggin clip was played.

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