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Rise Guys Return To Sacramento

Jason Barrett

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This past March when Kevin “Whitey” Gleason and Mark Kreidler, along with their partner, Dan Dibley – collectively known in sports-talk radio as the Rise Guys – were let go by The Game (KGMZ, 95.7 FM) in San Francisco, they were stunned. Sure, in the tumultuous and often mysterious world of radio, anything seems possible. Firings are common, re-hirings routine, and re-invention a survival requirement for stations as well as their personalities.

The two were briefly on the street wondering what happened, but all that changed two weeks ago when ESPN 1320 (KCTC AM) in Sacramento announced it had hired Gleason and Kreidler – for an afternoon show still called “The Rise Guys,” which debuts Monday in the 2-6 p.m. slot. The pair now work for the same company, Entercom, that fired them in the spring.

It was almost three years ago exactly that Gleason and Kreidler bolted from their comfy, successful morning perch at KHTK (1140 AM) in Sacramento for the greener pasture of the San Francisco gig, where they dove headfirst into Bay Area sports mania. It was hard to fault them for the change of venue.

“We had an incredible opportunity to go to a larger market in San Francisco, which was a good career move,” Gleason said recently, sitting in a conference room at his new station’s Old Foothill Farms studios.

Kreidler and Gleason became a team in 2009 when Kreidler joined Gleason’s enduring Rise Guys franchise, which then also included Mark Lowe, known as the “Phantom.” Lowe didn’t take the San Francisco excursion. Kreidler had been an acclaimed Sacramento Bee sports columnist and frequent guest of the show. Gleason felt he and Kreidler complemented each other on the air, and the partnership has been a strong one.

“You have roles on a show,” Gleason said. “What Mark brings is the knowledge and journalistic integrity that help route us. You’ve got to have fun, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, nobody cares how much fun you’re having,” Gleason said.

Baseball Hall Of Fame voter, Kreidler has covered multiple World Series, the Olympics and numerous Super Bowls, so he knows big-time sports well. Kreidler has also written three well-received nonfiction books, including “Four Days to Glory: Wrestling With the Soul of the American Heartland” and “The Voodoo Wave: Inside a Season of Triumph and Tumult at Maverick’s.”

Gleason is a radio veteran whose Rise Guys show had aired on KHTK for 12 years. He has more than 30 years in radio, moving into sports talk in 1999. He said going to KMGZ “did not work out ideally” but “I would do it again in a heartbeat. I think our show for having been in San Francisco is a better show than it was.”

Kreidler said they became much stronger at focusing on various elements of their broadcasts.

“I became much better at asking basic questions like ‘Who’s this segment directed toward? Why would we be talking about this thing? Why we would we have this guest?’ ” he said.

Both note that they couldn’t have chosen a better time to come back to Sacramento and talk sports. If it was a golden era when the Kings were playoff locks and legitimate title contenders, then current times are significantly richer in quantity if not quality. The A’s look like championship material and the Giants have reasonable post-season aspirations. Soccer has hit Sacramento hard with Republic FC, and the River Cats continue as a national model for running a minor-league sports franchise.

“This is becoming such a more sophisticated sports market,” Kreidler said. “It’s been coming on for awhile, but you really see it the last couple of years.”

The homecoming has been auspiciously calm and welcoming for the pair so far. Kreidler never left his longtime Davis home, so his commute has relaxed. Gleason, who was renting in Pacifica, will move back into his Sacramento home this fall.

Gleason and Kreidler plan on being as current as possible, monitoring trending topics as well as understanding their sports entertainment show may not always be just fun and games. They believe the best shows are personal and resonate from topics they and the listeners are truly passionate about.

While their name doesn’t make as much sense now that they’ll be on in the afternoon, Gleason said the 1320 management feels it still has cachet in town.

Kreidler matter-of-factly observed that radio is a “weird business.” He said he and Gleason feel lucky to be back in Sacramento.

For the full article visit the Sac Bee where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

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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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: AppleTV+ Shouldn’t Have Answered The Phone For YES Network Trade

“This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week.”

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Craig Carton

A report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post claimed YES Network, owned in-part by the New York Yankees, made several offers to AppleTV+ in regards to its scheduled broadcast of the Yankees and Boston Red Sox as Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. WFAN host Craig Carton was dumbfounded by the proposals.

Carton originally blamed the Yankees greed for the game airing on AppleTV+, before co-host Evan Roberts set him straight.

“Because the New York Yankees sold their rights to everybody with a blank check in front of them, they are now faced with the reality that their greed is gonna result in a momentous, historical moment not being broadcast by their broadcast team,” Carton said.

“If you wanna blame every owner, and say ‘Hey, you all signed off on it’, I understand where you’re coming from on this. But Major League Baseball made the decision to cut a deal with AppleTV+,” Roberts countered.

Carton then pointed out how preposterous the idea was for YES Network to either air the game in conjunction with AppleTV+, or for Yankees television play-by-play announcer — and New York afternoon radio competitor — Michael Kay to call the game for the streaming platform.

“Memo to YES, and the New York Yankees, who own a piece of the YES Network: If I’m AppleTV+ — and whatever that check was that I wrote, it was big — this is the moment for me,” Carton said. “This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week. If you’re AppleTV+, why would you even answer the phone if the YES Network calls?”

“Sometimes a guy calls you in Fantasy sports and says ‘I want your best player’, and you don’t even make a counter offer because you’re like ‘There’s literally nothing on your roster that would make me agree to this trade’,” Roberts hypothesized. “If I’m AppleTV+ — let’s play the negotiation game — is there anything that could be offered to you that would make you give up the exclusivity?”

“No! That’s what you paid for!”, Carton exclaimed. “Great luck! It worked out where you’re most likely gonna have a game on AppleTV+ where something historical is might happen!”

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