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3 Station Battle Heats Up In Indy

Jason Barrett

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With the addition of Kent Sterling as host of CBS Sports Radio’s afternoon show at WXNT-AM 1430, there are now three local sports-talk shows on during afternoon drive time in Indianapolis.

Sterling, who replaced the nationally syndicated Doug Gottlieb Show, will face The Drive with JMV on WFNI-AM 1070 and the Query and Schultz Show on WNDE-AM 1260.

The competition for Sterling will be stiff. The show hosted by John Gliva—better known as JMV—is the runaway sports-talk ratings leader during the afternoon drive-time slot, and Query and Schultz have built a growing following among listeners and advertisers.

WXNT launched The Kent Sterling Show with little fanfare June 16. Now that the show has found its voice, Sterling said a marketing campaign including social media, press releases and on-site broadcasts at the Tilted Kilt downtown will kick off in the coming weeks.

“Driving traffic to a show that wasn’t necessarily ready, I mean we didn’t know what it was going to sound like, wasn’t very appealing to me,” Sterling said. “Now we’ve better determined what the show is going to be. We’re getting great guests and great content.”

Sterling, 50, is no stranger to the local market. He has resided in Indianapolis most of his life, graduating from Indiana University with a journalism degree in 1986.

For nearly 17 years, he worked for Emmis Communication Corp.’s Indianapolis radio cluster, helping launch WFNI, better known as 1070 The Fan, in 2007.

After a management change at Emmis in early 2010, Sterling was shown the door. After a two-year stint working in sports-talk for Hubbard Broadcasting in St. Louis, he returned to Indianapolis.

Until now, Sterling has primarily worked in radio management. He said he’s more than ready to leave management for an on-air job.

“I’ve always wanted to be on-air, but somehow got pushed into management,” said Sterling, who spent the early 1990s as an on-stage performer for The Second City in Chicago. “You can only sit in so many meetings where increasing efficiencies are talked about and derive joy from it.”

So how will Sterling differentiate his show in the crowded market place?

“We talk about sports and nothing but sports,” Sterling explained. “The [market’s] other [sports-talk] shows during that time slot are all over the place. I think there’s an opening we can exploit.”

There’s been much discussion about the market’s demand for three sports-talk stations. In December, 2007, 1070 The Fan joined WNDE and WXLW-AM 950 as the market’s third sports-talk station.

“I don’t know if this market is big enough for three sports-talk stations,” he said. “But it’s big enough for this station to survive. We are well-positioned in sports. I think this show can build an audience quickly in a market that is not served by a show that just talks about sports in this [afternoon drive-time timeslot.]”

Sterling will continue to produce his web site covering topics involving the media and sports, but said his primary focus will be his new radio show.

“I get up in the morning thinking about this radio show and I go to bed at night thinking about this radio show,” Sterling said. “I’m driven to do whatever it takes to make it a success.”

For the unedited version of the article visit the Indianapolis Business Journal where it 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, according to sources.

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. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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. Since being with that group, he has worked with Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, 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.

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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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