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Shapiro To Judge On Food Network

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As anyone who has listened to Steak Shapiro on sports talk radio over the years knows, he loves food. He would wax romantic about the Palm and even opened a restaurant Stats while with 790/The Zone.

He has also started a food-oriented media franchise “Atlanta Eats,” which includes TV, radio and on-line features about local eateries. And he is now going national as a judge on Food Network’s latest competition show “Food Truck Face Off,” which debuts Thursday at 8 p.m.

“I’m very grateful,” he said.

His life has rebounded nicely since he was ousted last year from the 790/The Zone morning show after that now infamous Steve Gleason ALS bit that went viral in a very bad way  and got him,Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini fired. He has been building his food credentials and nabbed a gig at his old enemy sports talk station 680/The Fan late last year.

Food Network was fishing around for new personalities and found a video of Shapiro doing a pre-Falcons show with local chef Kevin Rathbun. They then found his “Atlanta Eats “show. Last year, they shot a pilot for “Food Truck Face Off” for Food Network’s sister station the Cooking Channel.

The reaction was so positive, they moved the show to the Food Network and shot 13 more episodes from four cities: Austin, Miami, Toronto and Los Angeles. Shapiro spent a lot of time on the road while hosting his Front Row sports talks how remotely.

The concept is a bit like “Shark Tank,” Shapiro said. He and two judges take food truck pitches from four teams who want to break into the business. He, Chicago restaurateur Alpana Singh and a rotating third judge pick the best two. They then fly to the city where the teams are from and have them compete for use of a food truck for an entire year. The judges at that point do a lot of coaching.

Shapiro said he is comfortable expressing his opinion after decades of doing so on the radio. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s where Jason Heyward should bat or what the best dumplings are in town. I could talk about Neapolitan pizza, then Matt Ryan.

He and Singh, he said, are very much opposites. “She has a more sophisticated palate than I do,” he said. She owns restaurants in Chicago and has hosted her own TV show there for many years.

Singh, in a separate interview, said their dynamic is a bit like the old “American Idol” combo of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

“We became fast and easy friends,” she said. “There’s a natural chemistry between us. He sort of looks at me and says, ‘Why are you so harsh?’ ‘I’m not being harsh!’ “

She calls him very intense, very direct, yet “very personable, very curious.” Yet deep down, “he’s a big softie.” She also noticed that he types on his keyboard really really hard. When she made this observation, he said, “There’s nothing soft about me.”

During an episode where an Austin duo were selling food in an edible bowl, Shapiro was skeptical. “What do I care about eating a bowl? I want to eat what’s’ in the bowl and I want it to be tasty!”

Singh also found him to be a great coach for the would-be food truck owners. “He gets out there and pushes them,” she said, “because that’s what he does in his own life.”

The timing of the show is great for Steak, whose fifth season of “Atlanta Eats” debuts this weekend Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree TV. He is also promoting the first Atlanta Eats Live event Sunday, October 5 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre featuring an all-you-can-eat deal with one ticket from places such as Kimball House, Muss & Turners and Iberian Pig.

Credit to the Atlanta Journal Constitution who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Bobby Valentine Tells Boomer & Gio Donald Trump Photo Sunk Him

“Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the Stamford mayoral race.”

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Courtesy: WFAN

Former MLB manager and ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week to discuss his mayoral campaign in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the race. He claims that a decades-old picture with him and former President Donald Trump sunk his chances.

“We had a photo taken together in 2000 for the World Series and so the last day of the campaign all around the neighborhoods, a picture of Donald and Bobby with the quote ‘only poor people and dumb people pay taxes,’” Valentine told Boomer and Gio about the photo that circulated around the town on Election Day.

“That really helped with the minority vote in my town,” Valentine said sarcastically.

It wasn’t all bad news for Valentine, who was enamored with the campaign-building process, among other things.

“Built it [the campaign] from scratch, which was a wonderful experience” Valentine explained. “Figuring out how to get volunteers together, and money together, and office, and headquarters together. We actually ran a six-month—perfectly clean—campaign. Not one negative word mentioned the entire time. Got 14,000 votes, more than any non-Democrat ever got in our city, and almost won that thing.

“I’m glad that I was the candidate, and I’m also glad that I’m not the mayor because it’s really a tough job. I got four years of my life back when the votes came in.”

Valentine worked at ESPN for a few years in the early part of the 2010s before re-entering the managing circuit with the Boston Red Sox. He famously managed the Mets to one of their two World Series appearances this century in 2000.

“It’s a little bit of the seven-year itch,” Valentine said when asked why he’s always looking for the next obstacle. “I did seven years in Texas; seven years in New York; seven years in Japan; seven months in Boston. Then I did seven years at Sacred Heart. So, yeah, it’s all about the sevens.”

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Sports Radio News

Tony Rizzo To Baker Mayfield Critics: I Hope You’re Happy

“850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.”

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Courtesy: ESPN Cleveland

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked like much of a franchise star so far in 2021, and it has all the attention of sports radio in The Land. 

850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.

“You happy?” Rizzo said to his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer. “Are you Baker [Mayfield] haters? Are you guys happy? Baker looks bad, and you wanna jump down his throat. I’M A BROWNS FAN! I’M A BROWNS FAN. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING AGAINST OUR QUARTERBACK!”

Mayfield has struggled with shoulder and knee injuries throughout this season and ranks 25th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR metric (42.9 out of 100).

“You want him to fail,” Rizzo continued. “To prove what? You were right? Do you realize what happens if this kid isn’t the right guy? WE’RE GONNA SUCK, AGAIN. You don’t find quarterbacks. It took you 20 years to find a guy to win 11 games. Now you don’t think he can take you the rest of the way? Are you happy?”

The Browns went on the road this past weekend and the New England Patriots stomped them 45-7. The loss meant Cleveland still hasn’t won in Foxboro since 1992, when, ironically, now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held the same role with Cleveland.

“I hope you’re all happy,” Rizzo declared. “I hope you’re happy; so you can draft some quarterback in the 30s and try and pray…Don’t you understand? If Baker fails it’s back to the drawing board for my franchise.

“We know that everything has to be right for Baker to win. Sobering stuff for me. This year has been sobering; however, he’s got a bad shoulder, he’s got a broken bone. Now he’s got a bum knee and bum foot. He’s getting beat up. Maybe he can’t play the position.”

Watch the full clip from ESPN Cleveland above.

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Sports Radio News

Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan

“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”

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There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.

Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.

“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”

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