It’s been more than half a year since the Radio Rumble took place at KFNS, when a long series of frustrations — including missed payrolls — bubbled over at 590 AM, with fists flying and just-dismissed host Brian McKenna being arrested for assaulting his former boss, Dan Marshall.
McKenna was not charged and has been off the air since then. But he’s set to return on Jan. 5, one day short of seven months from the date of the incident.
He’ll team with STLtoday.com sports columnist Jeff Gordon at WQQX (1490 AM), which fairly quietly has been in the sports-talk format since last year.
They’ll man the 7-9 a.m. weekday slot, leading into the 9-11 a.m. program with Howard Balzer and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards — the only local show currently airing on the station that primarily carries Fox Sports Radio national shows.
McKenna and Gordon will buy their own airtime, as has become increasingly common in many sports-talk positions, and Mc-Kenna said he has retained many of his sponsors from KFNS.
“That was the key” to coming back, McKenna said. “Luckily I have some loyal advertisers.”
He knew it wouldn’t be easy to get back on the air.
“I was looking outside of radio,’’ he said. “There aren’t a lot of jobs out there, especially ones that pay anything. If the right opportunity presented itself, I was willing to get out of radio.”
But as he has said before, “radio can be a drug.”
And he’s ready for his next fix.
“I can’t imagine how fun it would have been Wednesday morning to have been on the air talking about the Blues’ comeback against the Kings,’’ he said. “And I want to have a voice in St. Louis for charities, and this will allow me to do that.”
McKenna has been in the St. Louis sports broadcasting business for more than two decades, and although he sometimes has worked in the “guy-talk” format he said the new program will provide what his listeners are accustomed to hearing.
“The show will be what it has always been — sports, entertainment and the naked truth,” he said on a Facebook post. “Bar stool talk if you will. We will cover the Rams, Cards, SLU and of course the Blues.”
There is only one other local morning drive-time sports radio program in the morning, “The Morning After” on WGNU (920 AM) — WXOS (101.1 FM) airs ESPN Radio’s national “Mike and Mike” show. And Gordon said he and McKenna will try to be different from the 920 show, which features Tim McKernan, Jim Hayes and Doug Vaughn.
“They do a good job of what they do, you can’t try to do what they do because they’re awesome at it,” Gordon said. “We have to create our own emphasis.”
And Blues coverage will get a heavy emphasis from McKenna and Gordon, who have worked together before.
“There’s going to be a ton of focus on the Blues going into the spring,” Gordon said. “Brian and I both really love hockey.”
Balzer, who has been at the station for nearly 14 months and has had its only local show since Jack Clark left last spring, is glad that he’ll be having some company.
“I feel like a lone wolf a little bit,” he said. “I’ve been trying to encourage people to come over. I think it’s a good step getting another good show, we’ll have a pretty solid four-hour block in the morning. I’m certainly enthused about having those guys as a lead-in to my show.”
McKenna said he and Balzer have been given the opportunity by management to try to make a go of the station and envision more local programming eventually being added to the station, which is part of the Insane Broadcasting group.
“Our plan is to try to continue to expand, to encourage other people to come be part of the programming and build up something good,” Balzer said. “Both Brian and I are hoping this will open some eyes.”
McKenna said that at least for a while the station might re-air the morning shows in the afternoon and that Dan Patrick’s national show also probably will be in the mix rather than a low-level local show.
“Even an average national radio show beats a bad local one every single time,’’ McKenna said. “Just because somebody has money (to buy airtime), that doesn’t mean they will get a show.”
Meanwhile, McKenna is realistic about his return to the airwaves.
“Radio isn’t going to define me, and after three to six months this doesn’t work out I can go on to do something else and (the station) will go on,’’ he said. “But we have the opportunity to make something of this.
“It will be built slowly,’’ he said of the station, then lobbed a shot at KFNS — which now is off the air.
“I know the electric bill always will be paid’’ at 1490, he said.
Credit to STL Today where this was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Evan Roberts: MLB Network Dropped The Ball During Aaron Judge News
“B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends. They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”
After a whirlwind 24 hours, Aaron Judge signed a contract to remain with the New York Yankees earlier this week. The news happened early in the morning, and WFAN afternoon co-host Evan Roberts said that was no excuse for how poor the coverage was from MLB Network.
“They didn’t go live with it,” co-host Craig Carton said. “He reported it on social media, and they didn’t put him on TV for more than an hour after he had broken the story.”
When told that MLB Network simply put a scroll along the bottom of the screen alerting viewers to the news, Roberts was flabbergasted.
“Are you kidding me?,” Roberts asked. “It’s bad enough that SNY bad-mouthed Jacob DeGrom at the end and then decided to play a…tribute video right before our show. I don’t like the badmouthing of Jake, but at least they gave you live coverage. SNY gave you something. You’re telling me MLB Network didn’t give you any coverage?”
When Chris McMonigle mentioned the news dropped at 5:15 AM PT, Roberts didn’t care.
“Wake someone up,” he countered. “You’re not a real network. If you are — and you can tell your friends at MLB Network — if you wanna be a real network — and see now I gotta throw bouquets at SNY. As much as I didn’t like their coverage, they gave you breaking news coverage. Great job, SNY.”
When told that the DeGrom news happened at 7:00 PM ET, Roberts shouted “it doesn’t matter!”, saying MLB Network should have been on top of the Judge news.
“What were they playing? Major League? A League of Their Own? B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends,” continued Roberts. “They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”
Carton said the network put a scroll on the screen with the news of Judge’s signing, which Roberts concluded was not enough.
“Tell MLB Network to call our friends at SNY and they’ll give ’em a lesson on how you just break into whatever coverage you have, and you give live coverage. Even if the coverage is bad, at least they’re giving it to you.”
Tony Rizzo Tired of Everyone Thinking ‘The Really Big Show’ Is ‘The Aaron Goldhammer Show’
“Well, Chuck, you and Aaron Goldhammer are gonna have a good old time. I am done.”
The Really Big Show on ESPN Cleveland is a staple in the market, with the pairing of Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer winning the top spot in BSM’s Top 20 in 2021 as the best mid-market sports radio midday show. Rizzo, however, was not happy with a recent comment from Charles Barkley about the show.
During Inside The NBA earlier this week, Barkley said “My boy Aaron Goldhammer had me on his show on ESPN Cleveland”, and that did not sit well with the veteran host.
“I’m done at the end of this year on the Really Big Show. All over,” Rizzo joked. “I worked my whole life at doing this and everyone thinks it’s The Aaron Goldhammer Show. I’m done, I’m really done. I’m serious, I am done. Good luck with your new show. I hope you can sell jewelry and windows, I hope you can do it. I’ll be rooting for you.”
“Thanks. Sounds like you’ll be rooting for me,” Goldhammer replied sarcastically.
“I have other things that I’ll be doing, but I am done,” continued Rizzo. “I ain’t worked 35 years for this guy to hijack every interview I’ve done. Sick of it.”
“My first show I’m gonna come on and say ‘You know, I was talking to my boy, Tony Rizzo, he used to guest host the show.”
“Well, Chuck, you and Aaron Goldhammer are gonna have a good old time. I am done,” Rizzo concluded.
Tyler Polumbus: ‘I Couldn’t Talk About Colorado Football On Denver Radio Before Deion Sanders’
“You are now a cultural icon for kids all across the country.”
Over the weekend Deion Sanders was formally announced as the new head football coach at Colorado University after three seasons at FCS Jackson State.
The hall of fame defensive back transformed Jackson State in his short stint at the HBCU, and the hope is that Sanders will be able to make football in Boulder relevant again.
Talking to Pete Medhurst and Chris Russell on The Team 980 in D.C. on Wednesday, Altitude Sports Radio host Tyler Polumbus explained how Deion’s hiring alone has already started to make an impact on the Buffaloes program.
“In 48 hours, Colorado’s social media accounts grew by 150,000 people,” Polumbus said. “And that’s the Deion Sanders effect. You are now a cultural icon for kids all across the country.”
Polumbus, a Denver native who played football at Colorado and recently joined Altitude Sports Radio after a stint at rival 104.3 The Fan, said the hiring has even made the school’s program a relevant topic on the radio.
“I couldn’t talk about CU on my radio show. CU is never talked about,” he said. “And Colorado is a one-sport (state). It is the Denver Broncos – that’s it. And from here on out until Deion Sanders is no longer the head coach at CU, they will be the top story here in Colorado.”
Medhurst mentioned how USC and UCLA exiting the Pac-12 for the Big Ten starting in 2024 could open the door for Colorado under Deion’s leadership to make some noise in the conference. But despite all the excitement from the Sanders hiring and not having seen what he can do with the team on the field, Polumbus said he’s trying to keep things in perspective.
“We already got catfished once this offseason with Russell Wilson,” he said of the Broncos quarterback. “So we’re trying to not let our hopes and enthusiasm get all too high with Deion Sanders, because I can’t let myself get catfished twice in one year.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.