The VCU athletic department to the University of Rhode Island and broadcaster Shane Donaldson for not providing proper access to the broadcast area during Wednesday’s basketball game.
The radio desk for the URI road broadcast was placed behind a rail that required using a stepladder to climb over. For Donaldson, who has cerebral palsy, navigating the stepladder and climbing over the rail presented an impossible situation.
Donaldson posted a picture on Twitter of the setup for the road radio desk at VCU’s Siegel Center.
“I knew right away looking at it, it’s not something I would have been able to do,” Donaldson told Providence’s CBS 6. “To ask you to climb a ladder and hop a fence… it’s just not something I would do, wasn’t willing to even try. It would have been a disaster for me.”
VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin told CBS 6’s Lane Casadonte in a statement that he apologized to Donaldson and URI athletic director Thorr Bjorn.
“In both open and honest conversations, I apologized on behalf of VCU Athletics for causing undue emotional harm,” said McLaughlin. “I have a great deal of respect for the entire Rhode Island Department of Athletics and for the work that Shane does.”
McLaughlin went on to say the athletic department and facility staff would work with the university’s ADA (American with Disabilities Act) office to properly address the situation and continue to “foster an environment of inclusion and belonging.”
In his statement, McLaughlin also said that facility staff offered alternate accommodations immediately upon being told of the broadcast setup but the URI radio team “chose not to accept.” Donaldson explained that was because attempts to fix the situation were on the fly and there wasn’t an apparent set plan and called the lack of thought applied to the issue “appalling.”
“It was kind of like they were looking over the arena,” said Donaldson. “And saying, we’ll try to figure out somewhere else to put you.”
Donaldson explained to Providence’s WJAR that it was too close to game time to work out a viable solution, but he still wanted to make sure this issue wasn’t ignored.
“This is not the kind of attention that I would want to be a part of,” Donaldson told NBC 10’s Christina Vitale, “but it doesn’t make anything better for anybody else if you don’t shine a light on this kind of thing and say here we are in 2022, how is this acceptable?”
According to CBS 6, VCU moved the radio broadcast tables to their current location prior to this season to accommodate more floor seating for fans. The Atlantic 10 Conference only requires that radio broadcast stations are provided, with no mandate as to where they’re located.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees
Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.
Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.
The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:
- Mr. Doug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
- Mr. James Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
- Mr. Bob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
- Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
- Ms. Bernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
- Mr. Sid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
- Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
- Mr. Pervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
- Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
- Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.
“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”
The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.
Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays
“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”
After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.
Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.
Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.
“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”
“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.
Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.
“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”
Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak
“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.
There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.
97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.
“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.
Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.
After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.
97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.
The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.
“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.