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Paul Daugherty Defends Question to Naomi Osaka On Tony Kornheiser Show

“For Daugherty, it was not a question that he hasn’t asked before to a professional athlete as he mentioned he once asked the very same thing to Pete Sampras.”

Ricky Keeler

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Over at The Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio this week, the main storyline was Naomi Osaka doing her first press conference since the French Open. The world’s number two tennis player on the WTA Tour was asked a question by Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer that has been criticized by some. 

Here is video from the press conference earlier this week in case you missed it courtesy of The Guardian:

Daugherty was on The Tony Kornehiser Show this week in what is a rare interview for him about the topic. The first question Kornheiser asked him was why he wanted to write about Osaka, who has been one of the lead advocates for mental health and social justice, and the origin of how he came up with the question he asked her that has drawn backlash: 

“The obvious focus of my question was how do you balance the fact that you are not especially comfortable in the press conference setting nor dealing with media generally with the fact that you have an incredibly large platform from which to spread your ideas not only about anything you want to sell…but also she has an acute social conscience,” Dauerghty said. “How do you reconcile the two being media shy but also needing and using and having people handle you push your multiple platforms/agendas? Logical question as far as I am concerned.”

For Daugherty, it was not a question that he hasn’t asked before to a professional athlete as he mentioned he once asked the very same thing to Pete Sampras. In fact, he was so pleased with how Osaka answered his question that he did something in his column that he rarely ever does.

“After a while, she asked me to repeat the question twice. She gave a very thoughtful answer. It was such a good answer, Tony, that I just quoted her verbatim in the column, which is something I almost never do. I thought her answer made her a little more human to lots of people who aren’t familiar with her story, enlightened people as to why she felt the way she did. I thought it was great. She did not cry while giving that answer, she didn’t walk out of the press conference after giving that answer.”

 Some of the backlash from the interview came from Osaka’s agent, who said that Paul Daugherty was a bully for asking his question and he said if it was the other way around, legal action would have been taken.

“I was accused of bullying by her agent. Said it was appalling what I did, the question that I asked, and I was a big reason why athletes don’t like talking with the media. The guy basically libeled me Tony in a tweet. If I had written about an athlete what he wrote about me, we would be preparing to go to court and I would be the defendant in a lawsuit.”

In the end, Daugherty doesn’t believe athletes have a responsibility to talk to him and he is disappointed with the way he and the back and forth with Naomi Osaka have been portrayed.

“I’ve never said that athletes have any responsibility at all to talk to me. The only thing I don’t want them to do is complain about what I write if they don’t want to talk to me. Don’t complain after the fact if you didn’t talk to me the first go around. They don’t really owe me anything. I’m not confrontational, which is why the bullying thing was so-off base.”

Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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Jonas Knox: Adrian Wojnarowski’s NBA Draft Reporting Was Desperate Ratings Ploy

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

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Thursday’s NBA Draft is a moment the guys waiting to hear their names called had been waiting for since the day they picked up a basketball. While his draft came decades ago in the NFL, LaVar Arrington could relate to what they were feeling.

“It’s a dream recognized,” he said on Friday’s episode of FOX Sports Radio’s 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe. “You work so hard for so long. So, when you’re sitting there waiting for them to call your name, it’s a surreal moment.”

His partner, Jonas Knox, wasn’t in such a nostalgic or celebratory mood. He had a problem with the information leading up to draft night and just how much the narrative that Auburn’s Jabari Smith would be taken by the Orlando Magic with the first pick was pushed before all the sudden, it wasn’t.

“What a bunch of crap that we are being fed by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN, the Orlando Magic,” he said. “Whoever’s feeding it is full of crap.”

Wojnarowski tweeted an hour before the Draft that Jabari Smith was still the favorite to be taken, but he was hearing that the Magic weren’t ruling out Duke’s Paolo Banchero. 

When the first pick was announced, it was Paolo Banchero that heard his name called, not Smith. 

“One of three things happened,” Knox said. “Either ESPN is so desperate for ratings and for people to give a crap about the NBA Draft and their sport that they waited until the final hour to pump up some interest, realizing we’ve got a problem here based on some ratings and some reports on some ratings in the NBA Finals, so they waited until an hour before and had Woj drop a ‘Woj Bomb’ that it could not be Jabari Smith, that it could be Banchero who’s gonna go number one overall. It’s either that or Woj is in some kind of cahoots with the Orlando Magic.”

That is a powerful accusation. Knox finds it hard to believe the information got to ESPN’s renowned NBA Insider so late in the process.

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

He didn’t rule out that someone was trying to make money behind the scenes. As late as Thursday afternoon, the Duke Forward was still in plus territory to be the top pick on many sportsbooks’ odds boards. The odds had gone as high as +1600 last week.

“I call BS. I think it’s all shenanigans and I think somebody needs to get called out for it,” Knox concluded. “That pisses me off, man.”

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