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Is Tim Howard’s Future In Media?

Jason Barrett

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NBC’s Premier League coverage does not need saving but it will likely have an expert on the subject this season:

Tim Howard.

Before his World Cup heroics, the U.S. national team goalkeeper worked seven games for the NBC Sports Network as an English Premier League analyst, a coup for NBCSN since Howard is also the starting keeper for the Everton Football club. Given that NBC Sports executives liked what they heard from Howard — as well as the fact that his Q-rating has soared exponentially after his Secretary of Defense performance in Brazil — the network is keen to have him return to its Premier League production (which kicks off again in August).

“Ultimately, it depends on Tim,” said Pierre Moossa, the coordinating producer for NBCSN’s Premier League production. “We would love to continue to work with him. As an active Premier League player, he adds such unique aspects to our broadcasts but we appreciate and understand that his commitment to his club and country is top priority. When I last spoke to him prior to the World Cup, he seemed very open to working with us during the upcoming season and we will continue to look for various opportunities to include Tim in our broadcasts.”

Moossa said the goal last year for NBC Sports and Howard was to find broadcast opportunities that did not impact his normal preparation for Everton. He commentated on days only after Everton games, traditionally a day off for players in the league.

“We would reach out a couple weeks in advance and see if he was available and interested,” Moossa said. “We never wanted to be a distraction for him. We would speak the Wednesday the week of the show to review his prior telecast, to discuss his upcoming broadcast, and to finalize his travel logistics. We would then leave him alone till after his match.”

Moossa said the day before Howard’s debut telecast last Oct. 27 — he called Chelsea-Manchester City at Stamford Bridge with regular play by play announcer Arlo White — NBC Sports executives were nervous that Howard’s broadcast work could potentially be a distraction for him. But Howard saved a penalty and recorded a clean sheet that day against Aston Villa in a 2-0 win. The win became a pattern: Moossa said Howard’s teams had a 6-1 record for matches the day before Howard working as an analyst. Howard called six games in the booth including Liverpool-Manchester City last April, and was in the studio for Arsenal-Chelsea last Dec. 23.

“There were nerves in the beginning, which was completely understandable, but also a desire to know everything about his new environment,” said White, who worked with Howard along with fellow commentator Steve Bower. “Pierre and I both spent time with Tim in the week leading up to the first broadcast and he took a lot of information on board about the requirements of working on an NBC Sports broadcast. It was more than he was expecting I think, but he took it all in without a single complaint.

“The evolution of his broadcasting over the course of his first season was stark. He went from a softly spoken, rather shy presence, to a confident and sharp analyst in very little time. I remember early in that first game together, I stayed quiet during the first replay. We’d previously discussed that that was his time to speak and to break down what had just happened. There was silence. I didn’t want to force the issue as I wanted him to remain calm and collected. We had a chat about it at halftime, and the flow improved markedly in the second half. Later in the season, at a huge Liverpool game during the title run, he was confident, eloquent, punchy and made some very insightful observations.”

There are certain positions in sports that tend to make good broadcast analysts. Sports television producers like keepers for soccer broadcasts since they see the entire field unlike a midfielder or forward. They are also generally excellent communicators (Howard is one of the best interviews on the national team), and by the nature of their job, they must study opponents tactics and tendencies.

White said that Everton manager Roberto Martinez (who is currently working for ESPN as a World Cup analyst) told him in an interview last season that Howard would achieve whatever he wanted to after the conclusion of his soccer career because “he’ll listen and he’ll work hard.” How does Moossa evaluate Howard’s long-term potential as a broadcaster?

“Should Tim choose to make television his career after he retires, he will have a bright future,” Moossa said. “He seemed to have the same approach for our broadcasts as he would for a match. He would watch back and critique his prior NBC telecast. We would then review it together on a conference call. He was always looking for feedback. His tremendous work ethic, his eagerness to learn and his desire to improve will ensure his success in the broadcast booth. You could tell by working with him, that regardless of this being a side project, he would not settle for anything less than his absolute best.”

For more check out Richard Deitsch’s column on SI where this story was first published

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Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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