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Damon Amendolara: Steve Somers Has ‘Some Legacy’

“The CBS Sports Radio host admired Somers’s ability to listen.”

Russ Heltman

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Folks in the radio business felt Steve Somers’s influence far and wide over his 34 years at WFAN. CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara penned a tribute piece to “Captain Midnight” and highlighted the banter they shared.

“I worked overnights at the beginning of CBS Sports Radio’s existence in 2013, and moved to evenings two years later,” Amendolara wrote. “We shared a floor and neighboring studios with WFAN. For those four-plus years, I got to stand around and kibitz with Steve before shows. Sure, we could’ve talked sports, but we’d be doing that anyway, as soon as the red light turned on. So, we usually chatted about radio; the headaches, the beauty, and what makes the medium so imperfectly perfect.”

There has never been a voice like Steve Somers, a unique sounding instrument that Amendolara made sure to highlight in his ode to the retired late-night host.

“Better known as ‘The Schmooze,’ Steve’s voice is like New York rain dripping off an awning,” Amendolara described. “When you flipped on the FAN at night, it sounded like a guy chatting at Katz’s over a pile of pastrami on rye. He has that Big Apple hybrid dialect of a thousand ethnic backgrounds — his ‘awls’ and ‘tawk’ and ‘WHAT IS IT ALREADY?’ punctuating every sentence. If Batman was Gotham, he’d be Commissioner Gordon’s sounding board at the Gotham Diner. ‘Oy, the Bane and the Riddler and the noise and the chaos… WHAT IS IT ALREADY?’ There’s Steve, grabbing a pack of Camels and the New York Post from the corner bodega, lamenting over another Mets calamity.”

The CBS Sports Radio host admired Somers’s ability to listen. He zoomed in on the fact that Somers never lost his touch with the audience.

“Steve treated his listeners like gold, as though he couldn’t believe they would even care enough to call. He knew not to take himself too seriously. And he realized this is only sports, so don’t get too worked up over being right. I wish our industry did all of those things better. Thirty-four years on the air in one place is an extraordinary accomplishment unto itself, but also leaving everyone you ever spoke to feeling appreciated? Man, that’s some legacy.”

Check out Amendolara’s full tribute piece to “Captain Midnight” here.

Sports Radio News

Joe Starkey, Voice of the Cal Golden Bears and of “The Play,” To Retire After 2022

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said.

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Joe Starkey

Joe Starkey will call it a career after the 2022 season, his 48th as voice of the California Golden Bears.

Starkey, best known for his call of “The Play” during the 1982 Cal/Stanford game, will turn 81 in October.

California will have a memorable season for Starkey’s final one with the team. Cal plays Notre Dame for the first time in 55 years. They will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of “The Play” when the two teams square up in the 125th edition of the Big Game.

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said. “My first position in sportscasting was in 1972, and I have had some truly special assignments. But of all the places I have worked, the one constant has been Cal football.

Cal will celebrate “Joe Starkey Day” for the team’s regular-season finale against UCLA. Starkey began his career at Cal in 1975 and has been on the call for 538 of the 545 Cal football contests since. He celebrated his 500th Cal game against Oregon on Sept. 29, 2018.

“Joe Starkey’s commitment and service to Cal football have been unwavering for nearly a half-century,” Cal’s Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “I’m excited to celebrate and honor all of Joe’s great work over the years and make 2022 his best season yet with the Bears. He will always have a home in Berkeley and with Cal football.”  

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager of BetQL Network

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Audacy has announced Andrew Williams as the Brand Manager of the BetQL Network, the company’s sports betting platform.

Williams comes to BetQL after working as the Senior Producer for SiriusXM FC. He has also spent the past year as the Executive Podcast Producer for Chicago Fire FC.

“I am delighted and honored to join the BetQL Network and the Audacy family,” Williams said. “The opportunity to join the leaders in Wagertainment is something that I could not pass up. My family and I are extremely excited about this next chapter.”

“Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network,” said Matthew Volk, Audacy Senior Vice President of Sports. “We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year, and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.”

BetQL Network distributes roughly 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms, and features shows like BetQL Daily, You Better You Bet, The Daily Tip, and BetMGM Tonight.

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Sports Radio News

Reese Waters Exits The Team 980

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In what appears to be another budget cut from Audacy, The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has been cancelled.

“It is in fact true The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has come to an end,” Waters confirmed during a video posted to Twitter. Waters went on to thank his producers, guests, and listeners for helping him grow both personally and professionally during his stint hosting the show.

Waters, who told Barrett Sports Media his sportscasting career began by happenstance, joined the station in February of 2021. His show aired from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM daily. He will remain the host of Open Mic on WUSA TV.

Audcay has made several cuts over the last week. Jerry Coleman has departed 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, while the entire staff of 1250 The Fan in Milwaukee was dismissed.

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