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WJOX Adds “Matt McClearin Show” To Weekday Lineup

McClearin previously hosted a show at the station from 2013-2016.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: WJOX

Matt McClearin is making a return to Birmingham sports radio. WJOX 94.5 announced their full new lineup on Twitter, with the Matt McClearin Show airing weekdays from 12-2 p.m. local time starting this Monday.

The WJOX weekday lineup now features a loaded slate of talent. Mornings get going from 6-7 a.m. with Morning Jox hosted by Damian Mitchell and Landrum Roberts. Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic take over from 7-10 a.m. on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning. Next is 3 Man Front from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. before arriving at McClearin’s timeslot. The Paul Finebaum Show isn’t going anywhere, airing from 2-6 p.m. on weekdays.

“Very excited about this!” McClearin wrote on Twitter. “Birmingham is one of my favorite places, I loved being there and I’m excited to return to the heartbeat of college football world. This is going to be a lot of fun, can’t wait to reconnect with so many of you!”

The host is now putting together the only solo show airing on the station besides Finebaum’s. He plans to stay in Dallas for the summer before moving to Birmingham in September, just in time for football season.

This isn’t McClearin’s first stint at WJOX. The host came over from Dallas to Birmingham once before, hosting the Matt and Scot show from 2013-2016 on WJOX with Scot Harrison. McClearin held no ill will towards the station when the decision came down.

“I love what I do,” McClearin wrote on his Twitter account in 2016. “Love it. Scot and I are no longer employed at JOX. We’ll be alright and land somewhere! Thank YOU for giving us a shot! JOX is a phenomenal station with a lot of talent, very thankful we were able to be a part of it for 31/2 years, love my time here in BHam.”

It pays to keep your head up and keep pushing forward in this business. McClearin and his return to WJOX are a perfect example of that.

Sports Radio News

Mark Chernoff: ‘I Didn’t Believe Mad Dog Was Going To Leave WFAN’

“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team.”

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Mark Chernoff offered some great stories and insight on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast. The former program director of WFAN in New York began his appearance by paying tribute to the station’s three soon-to-be Hall of Famers.

He reflected on Jeff Smulyan’s vision in creating sports radio, Suzyn Waldman’s gravitas and versatility as a reporter and talent, and all of the success he shared with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Russo and his long time radio partner Mike Francesa split up in 2008 after Russo left WFAN for Sirius. Chernoff admitted that even as he was told it was about to happen, he still didn’t believe it.

“You know, I misread a little bit the situation with Mike and Chris,” he admitted. “Mike said ‘Dog’s gonna leave. I know he’s gonna leave.’ He even intimated that he had spoken to Mel [Karmazin, the then-CEO of Sirius], not Mike but Chris, and it was likely he was going to go over to Sirius. And I just couldn’t believe it.”

Mike and the Mad Dog is as dominant a show as local sports radio has ever produced. The duo was together from 1989 until 2008. When they split up, Mark Chernoff says that he took it personally.

“I was sad for a really long time. I was angry too.”

The move hurt his relationship with Russo for a while. The two did not speak for a long time.

He told Barrett that that is over now. They share occasional texts and always hug and catch up when they see each other. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some lingering disappointment.

“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team,” Chernoff said of Mike & the Mad Dog. “But both [Chris] and Mike were certainly successful on their own.”

New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast are released each Tuesday morning.

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Sports Radio News

Eli Gold To Miss Start of Alabama Football Season

He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis.

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Legendary Alabama play-by-play announcer Eli Gold will miss the beginning of the 2022 football season with health issues.

Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing announced the news Wednesday. The school did not elaborate on Gold’s ailment, only saying he would be sidelined to begin the season.

Chris Stewart, who handles play-by-play duties for Alabama’s basketball and baseball teams will fill in during Gold’s absence. Stewart will also host The Nick Saban Show and Hey, Coach until Gold returns.

The 68-year-old Gold is a 2014 inductee to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Gold, who’s contract runs through the 2023 season, has been the Voice of the Crimson Tide since the 1988 season.

He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis. Gold also had both shoulders replaced that same year.

In addition to his work with the Crimson Tide, Gold has served as an announcer for NASCAR, NFL, NHL, and the NBA G-League, among others.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Marchand: Mad Dog Has Surpassed Mike Francesa

“Russo, you could probably make the argument, he’s the best sports talk show host of all time. And the reason is he’s missing a screw.”

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has been in the limelight recently after the announcement he’ll be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame later this year, and on the latest edition of the Marchand and Ourand Podcast, Andrew Marchand said Russo might have surpassed his former co-host in the annals of sports radio history.

“I feel like when you look at Russo and Francesa, Russo has surpassed Francesa,” The New York Post sports media columnist surmised. “He’s kinda Tom Brady’d to Peyton Manning of Francesa. They had their legendary, iconic, run in New York. They came up at the right time when sports radio exploded. They had tremendous chemistry and it was a great show. And so they’ll always have that, and that’s what they’ll always be most known for.”

While Francesa has bounced back and forth between retiring and hosting a show on WFAN, his digital show Mike’s On, and The Mike Francesa Podcast, Russo has hosted his afternoon show on his SiriusXM channel Mad Dog Radio. He also started a weekly appearance on ESPN’s First Take, and that, according to Marchand has put Russo past Francesa.

“A new generation is seeing Russo at work with Stephen A. (Smith). Russo, you could probably make the argument, he’s the best sports talk show host of all time. And the reason is he’s missing a screw. But for sports radio hosts, it’s a good screw to be missing,” Marchand joked.

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