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Bob Costas Was Mistaken For Michael J Fox At Muhammad Ali’s Funeral

“Costas told Greenberg that he was at Muhammad Ali’s funeral in 2016 in Louisville. There, boxing promoter Don King, had a brief moment where he forgot he was talking to Costas and thought it was a famous actor.”

Ricky Keeler

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This week, the listeners to Greeny on ESPN Radio were treated to some of the top voices in broadcasting as part of Legendary Broadcasters Week. On Wednesday, Mike Greenberg was joined by Bob Costas, a person who has always been Greenberg’s idol since he started in the business. As he has said in the past, if Greenberg was “called a poor man’s Bob Costas”, he views it as “an extraordinary compliment.” 

Costas told Greenberg that he was at Muhammad Ali’s funeral in 2016 in Louisville. There, boxing promoter Don King, had a brief moment where he forgot he was talking to Costas and thought it was a famous actor. 

“It is such an occasion that they have to hold it in the arena where Louisville plays their basketball games,” Costas recounted. “For an hour or so, people are gathering and talking in small clusters when in comes Don King in a full Don King getup,

“He greets each person with a short, biographical sketch so he says, ‘Mike Tyson, once the most feared man in the ring’, ‘Sugar Ray Leonard, not a mark on him, still as beautiful as a child’ and he turns to me and goes ‘Michael J. Fox’. Katie Couric goes very gently, ‘Don, it’s Bob Costas’. King is so shameless without missing a beat he says ‘Bob Costas, greatest commentator in the world’.” 

In fact, before Costas told that story, Greenberg began the interview with Costas by talking about how his researcher on the show, Paul Hembekides, has thought that Greenberg was older than Costas and how Costas is very spry, which led to him telling the King story.

Of course, one of the things Costas is known for is calling baseball for NBC and most recently, MLB Network. Greenberg asked him what was the event in sports history that he would most like to broadcast and Costas brought up an event he would like to go back and confirm that it actually happened. 

“One thought that comes to mind is Jackie Robinson’s first game, but what happened in the game was not eventful. What pops into my head just to be able to verify it, I think I would have liked to be at Wrigley Field in 1932 to decide for myself whether or not Babe Ruth really called his shot or was he just motioning towards the Cubs dugout.”

Greenberg mentioned on the show this week that many other broadcasters have wanted to join him on the show, so the legendary broadcasters week could continue into another week. So, it is safe to say these great stories could continue from some of the top voices in the industry. 

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed 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.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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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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