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Des Moines Sports Radio Heats Up

Jason Barrett

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Is Des Moines ready for dueling sports-talk radio programs?

The Champ (1700 AM) announced a program switch, starting next week. The Zone, with Larry Cotlar and Jason Highly, will air from 4-6 p.m. weekdays.

That’s the same time slot for the Miller and Brinson show on KXNO (1460 AM).

“We’ll find out,” says Robert Rees, program director for The Champ, “whether or not the market can hold two sports shows in afternoon drive time.”

This may seem intriguing. But the truth is, it was probably inevitable.

Cotlar and Andy Garman have hosted “Out of Bounds” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., for roughly five years. That prevented The Champ from airing “The Jim Rome Show” in its entirety, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We wanted to carry all three hours of Jim Rome, and to carry him live,” Rees said. “That was one aspect of it.

“The other aspect is, by moving the local show to drive time, we’re hoping it allows for a lot better listener interaction.”

Des Moines listeners only got an hour of Rome.

The CBS Sports bigwigs couldn’t have been thrilled, considering they’re paying Rome a reported $30 million a year.

“Love him or hate him, Jim Rome is still the top sports-talk guy out there,” Rees said. “I consider him the Rush Limbaugh of sports-talk radio.”

The downside is, Garman was put into a scheduling squeeze. As sports director for KCCI television (Channel 8), Garman’s afternoon are booked.

He generally works the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. sportscasts.

“We’re sad, because Andy has evening plans with KCCI,” Rees said. “So he’s not going to be able to continue doing the afternoon show, but we’re still trying to keep a relationship with him, somehow.”

For Cotlar, this means a return to afternoons. He was host of the Cotlar and Company program on KXNO until 2009.

“New shows always are interesting ventures to try and build,” Cotlar said. “It’s really just kind of re-arranging the schedule.”

Sports Radio News

Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys

“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

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97.9 ESPN Hartford host Rob Dibble helped collect more than 5,000 frozen turkeys and over 8m000 pounds of non-perishable foood items last week.

The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.

“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.

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Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement

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Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.

“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”

Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.

After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.

Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.

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Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week

“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

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Tom Rinaldi

It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.

“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.

“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.

They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.

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