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Bell In, Bailey Out At 92.9 The Game

Jason Barrett

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Morning host Jason Bailey is out and former 790/The Zone afternoon host Mike Bell is in at 92.9/The Game.

Bell came on air at 3 p.m. today to announce his arrival. Starting Monday, Bell officially joins Carl Dukes and the show time will add an extra hour, ending at 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The show will air from 2 to 7 p.m.

Up to this point, 92.9/The Game has failed to – or resisted – hiring any talent from 790/The Zone. (The 2 Live Stewsanybody?)

Bell –  who was on the Zone for 15 years  until it dumped local programming in May – has been under contract with the station until December, 2015.

His agent Norm Schrutt was able to convince Zone owner Lincoln Financial to let Bell out of his non-compete clause in exchange for not having to pay him fully for another 17-plus months. “Lincoln was very fair,” Schrutt said. “It took awhile but it works out well.” (Schrutt also represents Carl Dukes.)

On air, Bell today discussed with Dukes about how the Braves’ Dan Uggla was finally released. “We both got paid to do nothing!” Bell cracked. The show took calls from very excited, very happy callers, asking him to do signature voices such as the late Cubs announcer Harry Carey and wrestler Dusty Rhodes.

Bailey, who was there for just a year, will be replaced by Marc James, the new afternoon guy with Dukes the past two months since the Game hired James and Mark Zinno for nights at about the same time. (Zinno’s show will run from 7 to 10 p.m. instead of 6 to 10 p.m.)

Bailey came from Florida last year, hoping his self-assured persona would click with the Atlanta audience. His bossTerry Foxx last fall said he hired Bailey because he’s not just a sports guy – he’s an entertainer first and foremost. “He’s not a traditional host,” Foxx said at the time. “He kind of lives on the edge.”

Although the Game’s ratings overall have been disappointing, you can’t necessarily blame Bailey. Listenership for the morning show among 25 to 54 year olds is actually up 47 percent year over year. The previous show featuring Rick Kimla (now in mid days) with Randy Crossaveraged a 0.75 rating over the first six months of 2013. Bailey with Cross helped improve that to a 1.1 rating for the first half of this year.

Besides Jamie Dukes, Randy Cross, CJ Simpson (since gone) and Mitch Evans, 92.9/The Game to date has largely hired on-air broadcasters with no Atlanta ties since it debuted in October, 2012. It has tried to differentiate itself by being live and local 24/7 and providing outsider perspectives. Unfortunately, this has failed to generate powerful ratings given its powerful 64,000 watt signaland remains behind dominant No. 1 sports talk station 680/The Fan, also heard on 93.7 on the FM dial.

But the station is making progress closing the gap with the Fan. As a whole, the Game averaged a 0.75 in overall listeners the first half of 2013 and is now up to a 1.1. I can’t report the ratings for the Fan because they are not subscribers to Nielsen Audio but I can say that their ratings dropped by about the same amount. They still hold a decent lead over the Game.

The battle is by no means over between the two stations.

For the rest of this story visit the Atlanta Journal Constitution where it was originally published

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Sports Radio News

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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Sports Radio News

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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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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