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Jeff Pearlman: Quincy Isaiah ‘Oozes Magic Johnson’ In HBO’s ‘Winning Time’

My wife and I would watch him and be like, ‘Is that Magic? No, that’s Quincy playing Magic.’ … It’s one of the best pieces of casting I’ve ever seen in any TV show.”

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Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, the series about the “Showtime”-era Los Angeles Lakers, is set to premiere on HBO Max March 6.

The series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, and in anticipation and promotion of the Winning Time premiere, the author is currently making the rounds to talk about the adaptation of his book and his experience watching it become a TV production.

Pearlman appeared on The Rich Eisen Show last week and spoke highly of the casting to guest host Suzy Shuster. Actors like John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, and Adrien Brody are highly accomplished, award-winning actors. So you’d expect Pearlman to say they’re great in this series.

But the great unknown before Winning Time debuts is the performance of Quincy Isaiah as Earvin “Magic” Johnson. It’s a key role since the Lakers drafting Magic in 1979 tipped off the “Showtime” era. How much Isaiah is featured has yet to be seen, but he’s shown prominently in trailers for the series and looks the part, so it seems safe to assume viewers will see a lot of him.

Pearlman was extremely impressed by Isaiah, not just from his performance but by his life story, and thinks viewers are going to feel the same way when they watch.

“You watch him and he just oozes Magic Johnson,” said Pearlman. “It’s uncanny. My wife and I would watch him and be like, ‘Is that Magic? No, that’s Quincy playing Magic.’ They nail it. They just nail it. It’s one of the best pieces of casting I’ve ever seen in any TV show ever. It just happens to be based on my book.”

Shuster teased Pearlman about naturally saying that everyone involved in Winning Time is great because the production is based on his book and he wants people to watch. Pearlman acknowledged that but said that if he didn’t think an actor’s performance was very good, he just wouldn’t say anything.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, premieres on HBO Max Sunday, March 6.

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Zolak and Bertrand Broadcast During Patriots/Panthers Fights

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak.

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Zolak and Bertrand

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were broadcasting live from the New England Patriots’ joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. During their show, things got heated between the two teams, multiple times, and the show was there to call it all.

Bertrand was bringing the show back from commercial break and noted that there had just been a fight moments before Zolak and Bertrand were live.

“This drill got escalated by the Panthers here,” said co-host and former Patriots quarterback. “This is number three (fights)in a freaking kickoff drill. A kickoff drill!”

Shortly after, Bertrand was describing the efforts to separate the two teams when even more chaos erupted.

“They’ve separated all the players,” began Bertrand, sensing some calm was being restored. “They’ve sent them on their way to the next period so you’ve got — and now here comes another fight. Another major fight! It’s happening right in front of the stands.”

“These guys are a-holes man,” spoke Zolak. “Get these clowns out of here. All they want to do is fight. This is unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“What a scene,” said Bertrand.

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak. “Thank God we’re down here!”

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1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

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In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”

Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”

According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.

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1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming

The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.

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1250 AM The Fan

Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.

The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.

The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.

In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.

“Over the past few years, Audacy has been on a transformational journey, investing in our capabilities to serve our listeners and customers and accelerate our growth through a number of strategic acquisitions, enhancements to our platform, and the addition of hundreds of team members to our workforce,” explained an Audacy spokesperson. “We remain committed to this exciting transformation which has made us a much stronger organization, but in light of current macroeconomic headwinds, like so many other companies, we have been proactively taking actions to mitigate against the impact of any downturn. These include evaluating budgets, reducing expenses, and also reducing our workforce.”

One host who is expected to remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.

Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.

Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.

One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce less than 5% of its programming staff.

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