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Jeff Passan Calls Out WFAN For Criticizing Jared Porter Report

“A lot of people on social media assumed Passan’s rant was in reference to Kay’s direct competition on WFAN, Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.”

Brandon Contes

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On Tuesday, Jeff Passan joined ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show to discuss the bombshell report he co-wrote with Mina Kimes, which detailed a sexual harassment incident by Mets general manager Jared Porter.

Passan’s first order of business in the interview was to chastise 98.7 ESPN New York’s competition, and the local radio station he used to frequent, WFAN.

“There’s another radio station in New York that’s been pretty damn irresponsible today about its coverage of this and I hate giving them any shine because they don’t deserve it, but the notion that ESPN has been sitting on this story since 2017 is the most giant load of irresponsible garbage that I’ve heard in a longtime,” Passan said to open the interview.

To clarify, ESPN did receive the information in 2017, but Passan doesn’t believe that means they were “sitting” on the story for four years.

“We have duties as journalists to protect our sources,” Passan continued. “And to look after the people that give us the stories that we get to tell. It is their story, it is not ours.”

WFAN midday producer Brian Monzo seemingly disagreed. 

https://twitter.com/BMonzoRadio/status/1351544962362568705

Monzo wasn’t alone, many people similarly wondered why ESPN held the information for years, even after learning it was done at the victim’s request. But the meat of the story is inarguable. Every person with any form of rational moralities agrees what Porter did was reprehensible. Which means if you want to debate an aspect of the story, the easiest thing to do is question its timeline.

A lot of people on social media assumed Passan’s rant was in reference to Kay’s direct competition on WFAN, Craig Carton and Evan Roberts. While Carton did say the timing of ESPN releasing the story was an interesting layer to the overall incident, he also defended their decision. 

“ESPN does not have a responsibility to report [the story] when you want it to be reported,” Carton said during the first segment of WFAN’s afternoon show on Tuesday.

Carton also did not dispute the validity of the victim being uncomfortable with ESPN running the story at any point in recent years. But what Carton did assume is that ESPN didn’t first gain her permission to run the story on Monday. Carton this morning took to Twitter to further explain his position.

Unaware of when ESPN ultimately received permission to release the damning information, Carton pointed out that Passan didn’t release the story when Porter was being considered as the Mets GM, or after he completed the trade for Francisco Lindor. Instead, Carton said ESPN released the bombshell report “out of the blue, in a slow news week for baseball.”

According to Passan, he was unaware of the information ESPN held on Porter. It was a report his colleague Mina Kimes was working on and he was only briefed recently.

Ultimately, Carton doesn’t believe the timing really mattered because it’s a side note to the actual information presented in the story. But to Passan, who doesn’t want his journalistic ethics questioned in any way, it did matter.

Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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