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NBC Hires Four New NFL Analysts

Jason Barrett

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Sports broadcasting has few sure things, but one of the annual certainties is networks bringing in a new crop of former NFL players and coaches with hopes of landing the next on-air star. This week, NBC Sports will add to the cause with a number of new hires.

The network has added longtime NFL coach Kevin Gilbride; Jason Taylor, the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end and 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year; 15-year NFL veteran Takeo Spikes; and Brian Westbrook, the two-time Pro Bowl running back for the Eagles who has worked for a couple of different broadcast outlets. All will be regulars on Pro Football Talk, the NBC Sports Network show hosted by MikeFlorio which airs at 5:30 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. That show also has a new co-host alongside Florio: NBC has brought in former NFL Network studio host and anchor Paul Burmeister to replace Erik Kuselias.

Gilbride was part of the NFL for 27 years and was the head coach of the Chargers in 1997 and ’98. He is best known for his work as an offensive coordinator, having helped direct the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 2007 and ’11. Among the quarterbacks he worked with during his three-decade coaching tenure: Mark Brunell, Warren Moon and Eli Manning. Gilbride announced his retirement last January amidreports that he was about to lose his position with New York. He will appear Mondays and Fridays on the show.

Gilbride said on Tuesday he is not looking to go back into coaching. As is often the case for NFL television hires, Gilbride found a broadcast agent (Maury Gofstrand), who reached out to sports television executives (in this case NBC’s Dan Steir, Senior Vice President, Production & Senior Coordinating Producer, NBC Sports Group) about employment. They met for lunch a couple of months ago and consummated a deal.

“This is something I wanted to transition into,” Gilbride said on Tuesday. “I didn’t want to get out of football completely. I wanted to come home [he and his wife live in Rhode Island] and stay involved in the game and continue to study and stay abreast of the new developing trends. I’ve always enjoyed the Xs and Os aspect of it.

“I certainly feel I can give a valid critique of what took place in a game, explain why and what the thinking was with players and coaches, or why that mistake occurred. I will have no difficulty in judging whether something was a good or bad decision and maybe even offer some alternatives on other ideas. People just see the behavior, the action. But what has always been fascinating to me is what are the causes that led to that behavior.”

For more news on stories like this visit Richard Deitsch on SI where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

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.

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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Sports Radio News

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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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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