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‘The Darren Smith Show’ Asks Who Could Replace Joe Buck on Fox’s MLB Telecasts

Buck has been Fox’s lead MLB play-by-play voice for 26 years. Who could possibly take his place behind the mic if circumstances came to that?

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The current NFL broadcasting carousel could end up affecting Major League Baseball coverage as well. (Insert disclaimer about whether or not MLB has any games to broadcast this coming season.)

One of the footnotes to news of Troy Aikman possibly going to ESPN was that the network might also pursue Aikman’s play-by-play partner at Fox, Joe Buck. Buck has one year remaining on his deal with Fox and ESPN is hoping Buck could be pried away if the contract terms are larger than Fox is willing to pay.

In that scenario, most of the discussion has centered on who would replace Buck on Fox’s No. 1 NFL broadcast team. But Buck has another significant role for the network. He’s the No. 1 voice for Fox’s MLB coverage as well. He’ll call the All-Star Game and World Series, in addition to a few regular season match-ups. And if Buck were to leave for ESPN, that position needs to be filled as well.

On XTRA 1360’s The Darren Smith Show, the crew pondered that question. Buck has been Fox’s lead MLB play-by-play voice for 26 years. Who could possibly take his place behind the mic if circumstances came to that?

Jonathan Rifkind suggested that a regional broadcaster would get the call up to Fox’s No. 1 chair, though didn’t give a specific name. That seems like an improbable move for the lead play-by-play role. As Rifkind mentioned, Brian Anderson made the jump from Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts to Turner national postseason telecasts. But that’s also a different network.

Marty Caswell gave the name that Andrew Marchand also mentioned in his Sports Clicker newsletter for the New York Post: Joe Davis. Davis seems like the natural move as Fox’s No. 2 broadcaster and the TV play-by-play voice for the Los Angeles Dodgers. And having succeeded Vin Scully, he’d surely have no difficulties taking over for Buck.

Adam Amin was another name Marchand cited, someone who’s regarded very highly by Fox. Amin has already called MLB for the network, broadcasts NFL games, and is the TV voice of for the Chicago Bulls. But for the All-Star Game, World Series, and a handful of national broadcasts, there probably wouldn’t be many scheduling conflicts.

So replacing Buck on MLB telecasts probably won’t be as much of a dilemma for Fox. But it still presents an intriguing question. That role becomes an important one every October during the MLB postseason, which potentially leaves a big headset to fill.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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