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How CBS Landed Mike Carey

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Sean McManus’ courting of Mike Carey began at a most unlikely place — the CBS Sports production truck at the Augusta National Golf Club.

It was during last year’s Masters tournament where the CBS Sports chairman told the then-NFL referee how much he admired his work as an official over the years. Carey developed plenty of relationships with NFL broadcast staffers during his two decades as an NFL referee and McManus heard good things from his staffers about how Carey conducted himself when the officials met with CBS personnel before kickoff on Sundays.

“I’ve been a fan of Mike’s for years and during games I would often turn to [CBS Sports executive producer and senior vice president of production] Harold Bryant in the studio and say, ‘Boy, if he ever retires, he would be a great in-studio analyst.’ So at the Masters I said to Mike: ‘You have no idea how many times I’ve watched you in our production studio during our NFL coverage and turned to someone and said, ‘I love that guy.’ He’s my favorite referee.’ In fact, I asked Mike to pose for a picture with me, which is something I almost never do.”

That conversation eventually led to further discussion about Carey working at CBS as a rules analyst should he decide to leave the NFL. It was a possibility Carey had not considered before the last couple of months. He was hired by the NFL in 1990 to work as a side judge and was promoted to the referee position five years later.

During his 24 seasons in the league, according to the Football Zebras website, Carey worked 17 postseason assignments including nine wild card playoffs, five divisional playoffs, two conference championships and Super Bowl XLII (famous for the DavidTyree catch), where he became the first African American referee for a Super Bowl.

“I felt very comfortable, felt at the top of my game, and I felt I had years ahead of me in the league,” Carey said in an interview with SI.com on Friday. “But this is a great opportunity to educate the fans and help officiating have a place of recognition that allows people to see the why’s and why nots, what is called and rule specifics. When I was a referee I talked to the fan when I was making the announcement. That was my whole projection.”

Last week, CBS made it official when it announced Carey had retired from the NFL to work as a rules analyst on the network’s Thursday night and Sunday games. McManus said Carey will be at the game site or work out of the NFL Network studios in Culver City, Ca., for the Thursday night game, and CBS’s studios in New York on Sundays.

“On Thursday night, we will insert him into the broadcast when we think it is necessary and when Mike has something to add,” McManus said. “If there was a noticeable or controversial call the previous Sunday or Monday, we will have Mike in the studio to give his perspective on it. It is not an opportunity for Mike just to second-guess what is going on the field. It’s an opportunity for him to explain the intricacies of what the rules might be.”

Carey said that earlier this month as the CBS job became more likely, he spoke with both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL vice president of officiating DeanBlandino to let them know it was a possibility he would leave. On June 20, he told the league he was officially retiring. Carey has no experience with studio television work but he has done countless interviews, delivered tons of speeches, and obviously, has appeared on television over thousands of hours with his game calls.

For the rest of the story visit Sports Illustrated where this story was first published

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Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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