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Frank Isola: Steph Curry Makes NBA Writers’ Jobs Easier

“He takes his profession seriously. He knows he has a great life; and he also knows it’s really not that important.”

Derek Futterman

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This week has been especially disconcerting throughout professional sports. It’s been a stark reminder that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

75 positive COVID-19 tests for the National Football League in the span of two days, various postponed games across the National Hockey League, 37 players currently in National Basketball Association health and safety protocols, including Milwaukee Bucks all-star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn Nets all-star guard James Harden.

Thankfully, professional sports had a bright spot to look to on Tuesday, from “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” Golden State Warriors all-star guard Stephen Curry broke the NBA three-point record, knocking down his 2,974th shot from beyond the arc. When the moment happened, the world of sports media stopped and relished in the greatness of what had just taken place. It seemed like a storybook ending to the transformative impact Curry, 33, has had on the game since his debut in the 2009 season, as he surpassed the mark set by Hall of Famer member Ray Allen in 511 fewer games.

Unsurprisingly, Curry’s record-breaking shot was the talk of sports radio in some capacity all around the United States Tuesday morning, including in his home marketplace: the Bay Area. Murph & Mac on KNBR in San Francisco, in conversation with radio and television personality Frank Isola, spoke not only about Curry’s greatness on the court, but also his characteristics off the court that make him one of the most likable players in the game.

Isola is an experienced journalist who covered the Knicks for both the New York Daily News and The Athletic throughout his career, and called the Warriors’ organization “first-class,” including its communications team. The morning drive radio program referenced a Tweet from the Warriors’ Senior Vice President of Communications Raymond Ridler to put Curry’s understanding of the importance of the night into perspective.

For those keeping score, that’s seven – yes, seven – different media commitments Curry performed, and on a game day nonetheless. Translate that to basketball jargon, and it’s a three-pointer and a foul to make a four point play.

“Raymond is great, [and] his whole staff does a terrific job,” said Isola. “It also tells you again – the one thing about Steph Curry: He takes his profession seriously. He knows he has a great life; and he also knows it’s really not that important.”

From a media perspective, Curry’s professionalism and cooperation with the public relations team makes the Warriors organization stronger as a whole, allowing for the promotion of the team brand and star player without hassle. Moreover, it has rendered him into an easy player to root for and to cover, something of a rarity in today’s NBA, according to Isola.

“We know how it is in the media,” said Isola. “[The] greatness is what is going to attract you to Steph Curry. The fact that he’s so likable; how can you not root for a guy like that?”

Curry thanked fans at The Garden and from afar for making last night special in a video he posted to Twitter this morning, and hopes to keep playing long enough to extend his new record so it will not be broken.

For hosts Brian Murphy and Phil McCaffrey, having an athlete like Curry is “one in a million,” and the ability to have a New York journalist like Frank Isola on the show to discuss the feat is exactly what they were hoping for from the very beginning.

“So what I said to ‘Waterboy’ on Monday [is that] ‘Steph’s going to break the record. We need a great New York-based writer, somebody like a Frank Isola,’” reminisced Murphy. “I had no idea – ‘Waterboy’ says this morning: ‘Frank Isola at 8:35…’ [Isola’s] always good, and I knew he’d be a great guy to get, and props to ‘Waterboy’ for getting him.”

“I feel like I want to do a weekly hit with Frank. He was so damn good,” concurred MacCaffrey. “[That was a] really great conversation.”

Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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