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How CBS Landed Mike Carey

Jason Barrett

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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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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.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

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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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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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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