Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti Took On Kyrie Irving And Restored My Faith In Sports Radio

To hear a host shout “It’s obvious what you do. You do the right thing!” about a player in his own market shouldn’t be the outlier. It should be the rule.

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

I’ve got a few basic principals of sports radio. One of them is “say what you believe, not what you think your listeners believe”. WFAN morning host Gregg Giannotti put that on display last week.

Much has been made about Kyrie Irving’s mind-numbingly stupid decision to tweet out a link to an anti-Semitic film on Amazon Prime Video, and the lack of responsibility he took for his actions, and the lack of discipline from the NBA.

Giannotti went on a rant Wednesday about the situation, reaching the point of shouting several times as his co-host, Boomer Esiason, sat quietly to take in his partner’s thoughts, even stifling laughs at times because of Giannotti’s comments.

“Nobody’s doing anything about it!,” Giannotti shouted. “What world are we living in?! Honestly! There was the Sacramento Kings play-by-play guy that tweeted out ‘All Lives Matter’ and was fired in 10 seconds! 10 seconds his ass was on the street! Kyrie Irving is posting about a video that says the Holocaust didn’t happen and he’s dodging the media, and playing in NBA games! And getting paid a gazillion dollars! Where are the rational people?! Where did you go?! Where are the people with guts?! Where are you?! Why are we afraid of this a-hole?! Why are we afraid of him?!”

This isn’t to say that the Giannotti’s take on the situation was the best I saw last week. Nick Wright had a fantastic opinion on why Irving’s sentiments and reactions were inappropriate and wrong, as did 670 The Score host Dan Bernstein. But the reason Giannotti’s opinion on the matter stood out to me, and maybe it’s just easier to pull off in New York — a market known for its vitriol to it’s own players — is because that’s the home market for Irving.

Not to be hyperbolic, but damn near anyone can get on the radio and defend the players on their market’s team. To borrow a phrase from the political sphere, there are a lot of radio hosts “playing to their base” these days. Playing defense of “your” players and coaches is easy. Going on the offense and being critical and pointing out the absurdity of the situation takes guts.

I worked in a market dominated by interest in Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns. When it was clear in 2018 that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was knowledgeable that one of his assistants was guilty of domestic violence, it wasn’t popular to say he deserved to face repercussions for his actions, but it was right. When the Cleveland Browns traded for an accused sexual predator, it wasn’t popular to say that might not be the world’s greatest decision, but it was right. It’s easy to look past things that make our favorite teams and players look bad. It’s difficult to confront them.

So to see Giannotti not only take on Kyrie Irving’s idiotic take, his childish nature, and call out what is wrong, but slam the franchise and the league as whole, was refreshing. To hear a host shout “It’s obvious what you do. You do the right thing!” about a player in his own market shouldn’t be the outlier. It should be the rule. And it gave me hope that some day others will see that being more than just PR for the players and franchises in your market, is a great way to operate.

Gregg Giannotti took the difficult route. Believe me, I understand the allure of feeling as popular as Taylor Swift while she says “What’s going on, New York!” from the stage as the audience roars in approval because “Yes! That’s where I’m from and am currently located!”, but having a conscience is a whole lot cooler.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher Tells Paul Finebaum: Your Greatest Talent Is Not Losing It On Callers

“What you’re actually taught in radio — and not to the benefit of people — is to move things along and cut people off.”

blank

Published

on

Paul Finebaum

98.5 The Sports Hub morning show Toucher & Rich has frequently pointed out the absurdity of callers into The Paul Finebaum Show. Thursday morning, the Boston show welcomed in the southern college football host to discuss what makes his show tick.

“I can’t tell you how big a thrill this is for me, because I didn’t realize how funny our show was until I started listening to you guys,” Finebaum joked.

“Part of the brilliance of your show is you just let these people go,” Fred Toucher said. “For those that don’t know, the instinct in what you’re actually taught in radio — and not to the benefit of people — is to move things along and cut people off. At what point did you realize ‘I’m just gonna let these dudes talk and see where they take it’?”

“I listened to all these radio goobs — I mean all these people in the corner office — tell us how to do it and I realized I can’t do that. I didn’t have the radio voice, I didn’t have the style, I didn’t have the energy. So I just sat there and literally listened to callers ramble on and I started to find the humor in it.

“It hit me one day that these people don’t have a voice,” Finebaum continued. “Especially in the south where we don’t have six or seven professional sports franchises. Callers started becoming famous and becoming a part of the show. We started having lunches with them for Christmas and various other things and days and I think we realized what we had and we made the most of it. Some of these callers really defy logic. I think I’ve given four or five eulogies at various callers funerals and I think that there’s a connection there.”

Finebaum then mentioned one of his more notorious callers, Legend. The caller actually spent more than 20 years in prison after shooting someone six times. Toucher said Legend has actually called into their show but they have never taken his call.

“We don’t take Legend because we’re not gonna do as good a job with him,” Toucher said. “I told our producer, I do not want to take Legend.”

“Paul’s a master with him,” Rich Shertenlieb added.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: CBS Won’t Show Deshaun Watson Accusers Sunday

“I think people know what’s going on. You’re not gonna show them and start trashing them on the broadcast.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is set to make his 2022 season debut against his former team on Sunday following an 11-game suspension. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct, and 10 of the women who believe the now-Cleveland Browns QB preyed upon them are planning to attend the game in Houston. On Boomer & Gio on WFAN on Wednesday, co-host Gregg Giannotti had a thought on CBS cameras dedicating a snippet of the game broadcast to showing the women in attendance.

“I wonder does like the broadcast show them?” Gio asked to co-host Boomer Esiason. “Are you guys gonna have to talk about that on The NFL Today?”

“I have no idea,” Esiason responded. Boomer explained that they hadn’t had their production meeting for this week’s show, but he felt like beyond that he and Gio had already discussed the Watson situation at great length.

Still, Gio said if he were in charge of the CBS broadcast, he would find a way to show the alleged victims’ faces.

“I mean you could show them and explain the situation,” he said. “I think people know what’s going on. You’re not gonna show them and start trashing them on the broadcast.”

Once the 2022 NFL season started, and Watson accepted the suspension and began going through the various processes he needed to go through in order to be reinstated, the focus shifted away from the story. But Gio added that now that Watson is ready to play, the story gets thrust back into the limelight.

“Nobody was talking about it for weeks and weeks and weeks, and now he’s back,” he said. “And now it’s back.”

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

98.7 ESPN New York Shuffles Lineup, DiPietro & Rothenberg Expanding To Four Hours

DiPietro & Rothenberg will now move to 6:00-10:00 AM to compete directly with WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio.

blank

Published

on

blank

Andrew Marchand and Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported yesterday and ESPN has since confirmed that 98.7 ESPN New York is expanding its local programming. The station’s morning show DiPietro & Rothenberg will increase to four hours as part of a revamped daily lineup which will go into effect on January 3rd.

DiPietro & Rothenberg currently airs on the station from 5a-8a while ESPN Radio’s national morning show — Keyshawn, JWill, & Max — airs from 8a-10a. By extending the local show, 98.7 ESPN New York will now look to compete locally in all four hours with WFAN’s Boomer & Gio.

Vinny DiMarco, market manager, ESPN New York said, “Our fans will have the opportunity to listen to local coverage on 98.7 ESPN FM all throughout the day.” He continued, “Both DiPietro & Rothenberg as well as Bart & Hahn will give fans valuable insight, expertise, and live reaction about all things New York sports. The change also provides more opportunities for our partners to align with the station and achieve their marketing goals and objectives.”

Additionally, ESPN Radio’s Bart & Hahn will move back to 98.7 ESPN New York as an exclusively local show. Bart Scott played a portion of his NFL career for the New York Jets, and worked at both WFAN and 98.7 ESPN New York before the show moved to the national stage. Alan Hahn has spent more than 25 years working in New York media with Newsday, MSG Network, and 98.7 ESPN New York.

“We are always looking for the best ways to serve sports fans and we are excited to bring even more New York flavor and content to local fans throughout their day on 98.7,” said Scott McCarthy, vice president, ESPN Audio. “Expanding DiPietro & Rothenberg in morning drive, being fortunate enough to have Bart & Hahn back as a local New York show, and continuing with all of our other outstanding local shows will create consistency for listeners and give our hosts a greater opportunity to engage with audiences, and each other, on the day’s top stories.”

The local changes do require some additional adjustments on ESPN Radio’s side as well. The national network will install Jason Fitz and Harry Douglas into the newly opened 12p-3p slot. The 7p-9p evening show will now belong to the team of Joe Fortenbaugh and Amber Wilson. They fill the void created by Sarah Spain who recently announced her departure.

Greeny — hosted by Mike Greenberg — will remain in its current 10a-12p timeslot on the station. However, the move to a local morning show on 98.7 ESPN New York does raise questions about KJM‘s future on ESPN Radio.

The Michael Kay Show, and the station’s other local programs hosted by Dan Graca, Larry Hardesty and Gordon Damer all remained unchanged.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.