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A Look At Portland Sports Radio

Jason Barrett




With two new shows debuting this week, the landscape of Portland sports talk radio got fuller and more local.

On Monday, KPOJ (also known as Rip City Radio) rolled out “Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” a 6-9 a.m. show that is the Portland market’s first morning local sports talk show since KXTG shut down “Morning Sports Page” in 2012.

Also Monday, KFXX (1080 The Fan)announced its altered lineup that will debut Tuesday and include three local programs that will fill the station’s schedule from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With KXTG (750 The Game) also with a newer host in its 3-7 p.m. slot, there has been significant makeover in Portland sports radio in the last year.

The market’s two longest-running shows remain rock steady: KFXX’s “Primetime with Isaac and Suke,” and KXTG’s “The Bald Faced Truth.” KPOJ also has a big name in Blazers’ play-by-play man Brian Wheeler.

Here’s how each weekday’s local sports talk shapes up:

6-9 a.m.

“Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” KPOJ (620 AM): Hosted by Andy Bunker, who moved from Seattle’s KIRO, and Taylor Danforth, who left KFXX last month, this is the only local show in this time slot. The station hired Icky Rosborough as producer. Rosborough’s father, Mike Rosborough, was a longtime TV sports photographer for KATU.

This show’s competition is syndicated fare, with KFXX airing “The Herd with Collin Cowherd,” the ESPN show that started in Portland, and KXTG airing “The Dan Patrick Show.”

10 a.m.-noon

“Hard Count with Dirt and Sprague,” KFXX (1080 AM): The show is hosted by Andy “Dirt” Johnson and Brandon Sprague, who had a three-man show with Danforth in the noon-3 p.m. spot before Danforth departed last month. Both hosts are young, Portland-raised guys who have a lot of institutional knowledge. They’ll have a local lock on the time slot, going against the “Rich Eisen Show,” which runs 9 a.m.-noon on KPOJ, and “The Jim Rome Show,” which airs 9 a.m.-noon on KXTG.

Noon-3 p.m.

“The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano,” KXTG (750 AM/102.9 FM):Canzano, a columnist for The Oregonian, has hosted the station’s anchor show since it debuted in 2008, originally as a 3-6 p.m. show, then moving to this time slot in 2012. In recent years, the show has benefited from the steady producing of Noah “Chop” Homsley, who also has become an entertaining on-air sidekick.

“Dusty and Cam in the Afternoon,” KFXX: The station’s newest show has Dusty Harrah, a longtime KFXX jack-of-all-trades who has recently widened his profile as co-host of “Trail Blazers Pulse,” a TV show that is part of Comcast SportsNet Northwest’s post-game Blazers block. Harrah is joined by Cam Cleeland, a former NFL tight end whose own on-air profile has been growing steadily in the market.

KPOJ runs the syndicated “Jay Mohr Show” in this spot.

3-5 p.m.

“Wheels at Work,” KPOJ: Hosted by Brian Wheeler, who is in his 17th season as the Blazers’ radio play-by-play voice. Because of his duties with the team, the show often has a guest host, typically either Ron Callan or Jay Allen, both of whom are Portland radio veterans. Each show has Wheeler on for at least one segment, even if he’s on the road.

3-7 p.m.

“Primetime with Isaac and Big Suke,” KFXX: The longest-running show in the market, with hosts Isaac Ropp and Jason Scukanec having been together since 2006. The show also is televised on CSNNW. Ropp and Scukanec have built a loyal listenership with a familiar format that, as their show’s description says, includes “topics ranging from the Blazers to bark dust and from bacon to movies to hot chicks.”

“In the Huddle with Ragz,” KXTG: The show is hosted by Mike Ragz, who also is the station’s program director. He replaced long-time Portland radio personality Chad Doing in this spot in September. Although he has no Portland history, Ragz came in at a ripe time, during the ascendancy of Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks, as KXTG is Oregon’s flagship station.

Credit to who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media

“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”





Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.

Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.

“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.

“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”

Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”




Gregg Giannotti

A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.

During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.

“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.

“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”

Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.

The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”

“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”

“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.

“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”

After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant




Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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