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ESPN Adds 3 To SportsCenter

Jason Barrett

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ESPN is bringing some young, fresh faces to join its “SportsCenter” team.

Will Reeve, son of late “Superman” star Christopher Reeve, comedian Reese Waters and social media correspondent Sarina Morales are joining the network’s team in Bristol, Connecticut, and intend to tap into the digital landscape to reach the millennial generation.

The trio will be doing special reports for the franchise show — such as going on the road with a college football team or reporting from the 16th hole at this weekend’s Phoenix Open — and it will be easy to spot their segments amid the sea of veteran talent.

“I’ll be different from a traditional ‘SportsCenter’ reporter because I won’t be behind a desk in a suit,” Reeve, 22, who shares the square jaw and broad shoulders of his father, told TheWrap. “These stories are not going to appear on air and then fade off — they are going to get an extended life digitally and on social media.”

“We are looking for new voices who can tell stories through their eyes and not in the ways we typically do,” said Glenn Jacobs, Senior Coordinating Producer for SportsCenter Digital, Now and Next-Generation Content. “It is really about making ‘SportsCenter’ an active part of sports fans’ lives, not just a passive one.”

As for Reeve, “he is just impressive, the way he thinks about things and sees the world. He has a really good sense of the stories he wants to tell that both interest him and ‘SportsCenter’ fans,” said Jacobs.

His father Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004 after being paralyzed in a riding accident nine years earlier when Will was just 11 years old, and mother Dana, who died from lung cancer in 2006, would have been equally impressed.

“Hopefully they would get a kick out it,” said Will. “The things I am interested in and passionate about are similar to what they were. My parents definitely define who I am.

“My dad and I had a huge bond and shared a love of sports. I hope they would be proud and say, ‘Great job,’ no matter what. Then my dad would probably tell me to straighten my tie!” he laughed.

To read the rest of the article visit The Wrap where this was originally published

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant

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For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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