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Strickland Rising In St. Louis

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The playoffs are a busy time for Andy Strickland, who is in his 16th season of covering the Blues in a wide variety of capacities.

He currently is in his second season as a contributor to Fox Sports Midwest’s Blues pregame shows, and also is a sportscaster at KTRS (550 AM) plus he appears Friday mornings on Frank Cusumano’s show at WGNU (920 AM).

What with the Blues having a late game Thursday night and a 6:15 a.m. airtime looming Friday at KTRS, where he is filling in on the early shift while Jim Holder recovers from ankle surgery, he wasn’t counting on getting much sleep before his radio shift.

“It’s a quick turnaround, but I’ll be on adenine in the morning,’’ he said Thursday. “It will be a long day, because (later) I’ll be at the rink for practice as well as on Frank’s show. But it’s great.”

Strickland doesn’t mind all that, because he has made covering hockey his professional life — most likely to his detriment in a baseball-crazed market. He doesn’t dispute the notion that he has been pigeon-holed into being thought of only as “a hockey guy” by management at many stations.

“I definitely have been,’’ he said. “I think it’s my own fault because of my passion for hockey. I’ve been around the game for my entire life, growing up playing it and having coached with our Triple A St. Louis Blues — the top youth hockey organization in St. Louis — for 10 years. And I’ve really been into covering the NHL. It’s almost my own fault because it’s not a traditional hockey market, yet I put myself in that position years ago.”

Strickland, now 38, got his start in 2000-01 season when he was working behind the scenes at KMOX and impressed Dan McLaughlin — who without management’s approval let Strickland start coming on the air. McLaughlin, now FSM’s longtime Cardinals play-by-play broadcaster, was working weekends then at KMOX.

“I knew he loved hockey, I knew he wanted to be on the air,’’ McLaughlin recalled. “I also knew I probably wasn’t supposed to give him a particular segment, but I didn’t care because I knew he had a passion for it.”

Strickland put together prepackaged interviews and features, then after they aired he and McLaughlin would discuss them.

“It was all him,’’ McLaughlin said of giving him the opportunity. “He had earned it, worked hard. I thought it was a smart thing to do then, I think it’s a smart thing to do now. I think it’s the responsibility of people like myself or others who are on the air that if a guy shows initiative and is working hard, why wouldn’t we give him a chance?”

Strickland, a Parkway North High graduate who has worked in many low-profile jobs in local print, radio and TV, was pointed toward finding his niche. He eventually met with Tom Langmyer, who then ran KMOX. Langmyer asked him about his career goals.

“I said, ‘I want to be the best I can be at covering the National Hockey League, I think there’s a need for it in St. Louis,’” Strickland recalls saying. “There really wasn’t anyone (in local broadcasting) doing it, I felt there was a void. I thought I could jump on it. Here we are 16 years later, and I always think about that.”

He made a name for himself, especially in Canada, with his in-depth coverage of the Mike Danton case. Danton was a Blues player who was charged in 2004 with conspiracy to commit murder, leading to a wild saga that made international headlines.

“That vaulted me,’’ said Strickland, who still appears on hockey radio shows across North America.

He also became prolific with written hockey coverage, especially online, and wasn’t afraid to throw out things he had heard or got from anonymous sources — a more undisciplined blog style than mainstream media uses. But he has given that up because of his FSM ties.

“I really had to re-invent myself in terms of how I cover the St. Louis Blues because, now working for Fox there are certain expectations in terms of how you handle yourself around the rink,” he said. “So I stopped writing in general because I didn’t want to get myself in trouble, No. 1. And No. 2, I’m not covering the team the same way that I used to. Obviously 95 percent of the information that I gather I can no longer report. … I still do a lot of reporting, but I don’t always release that information.

“But I wouldn’t have it any other way, either,’’ added Strickland, who said Blues owner Tom Stillman has been instrumental in his job growth. “This has been a great opportunity for me and I’m trying to take advantage of it.”

Like most St. Louis radio sportscasters, Strickland has worked at numerous stations in the market and now does several shows at KTRS. But Strickland, a man of many roles, has a new favorite one.

“I really like doing the TV thing,’’ he said. “I knew I would like it, but I like it even more (than I thought I would). There’s a big difference of being on TV (as a guest) and doing TV (as a regular). The people have been great to me. I really enjoy this.”

Credit to STL Today who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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