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Fox Sports Adds Pete Rose

Jason Barrett

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Pete Rose watches “Inside the NBA,” the postgame show for NBA on TNT broadcasts. The banter between analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, Rose says, “is very entertaining to me.”

Could Rose be baseball’s Barkley?

FOX Sports is about to find out.

Rose will serve FOX as a guest analyst for the MLB on FOX pregame show on FOX and FOX Sports 1 and will also appear on “MLB Whiparound,” “America’s Pregame” and “FOX Sports Live” on FOX Sports 1.

“I enjoy talking baseball, and that’s what this is all about,” Rose said Thursday. “Enjoying the game of baseball, sitting in the green room watching two or three games, getting on TV and talking about it. It’s right up my alley, I think.”

FOX officials say they are hiring Rose for his on-air presence and that he will make for compelling television regardless of how one views his controversial past.

The network’s move comes at a time when Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader with 4,256, has officially requested that new Commissioner Rob Manfred lift his lifetime ban from the sport.

Rose, who turned 74 on April 14, was banished in 1989 for violating Rule 21(d) while managing the Cincinnati Reds. The rule states that any player, umpire or club or league official or employee who bets on baseball shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Manfred recently told CNBC that he plans to give Rose’s case a “full and fresh look.” The new commissioner’s predecessors, Bud Selig and Fay Vincent, had denied Rose’s requests for reinstatement.

FOX, a broadcast partner of Major League Baseball, did not require the sport’s permission to hire Rose. But network officials said they made baseball fully aware of their decision to audition Rose and then sign him to a contract.

“As a courtesy, FOX informed us that they were interviewing Pete Rose for an on-air studio position,” said Pat Courtney, baseball’s chief communications officer. “The decision to hire on-air talent for its telecasts rests solely with FOX.”

Rose said that he is not joining FOX with the idea that it will help him gain reinstatement.

“I don’t even worry about that. I’ve never thought about that,” Rose said. “I’m just trying to give back to baseball. Hopefully people will watch and I’ll make some good points that will help them understand the game more.

“I’m not concentrating or worrying about reinstatement. I’m worried about working, having fun. This will be fun for me. It won’t be like work. That’s the way I look at it.”

Rose joked, “I always felt that I had a face for radio,” but he does not lack broadcast experience. He recalled that he hosted a nationally syndicated radio show for about eight years and said that talking sports and conducting interviews are not new to him.

John Entz, executive producer of FOX Sports, said that Rose impressed network officials in an initial meeting, not only with his knowledge of the sport’s history but also of today’s game.

“He told great stories, about both the past and present, so we decided to test him on-camera, and he did a really good job for somebody who hasn’t done it a lot,” Entz said. “We all said to each other, as we were watching him, that he was a really compelling, interesting guy to watch on TV.

“He covers a lot of different areas, being a (former) player and manager, he can talk old school and new school, which is what surprised us the most — how current he was, not only talking about the game he knew in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, but that he follows and knows today’s players. That was the most pleasant surprise.”

Rose, who lives in Las Vegas, said his schedule leaves him plenty of time to watch games. He signs autographs every day from noon to 4:30 PT in the Art of Music store at The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay. He then goes home, often with a salad from Subway, and watches a full slate of games, starting in the East and ending in the West.

In addition, Rose said he remains current by regularly exchanging texts with about a half-dozen players who seek out his critiques. He said he communicated with Alex Rodriguezin spring training and that he maintains dialogue with players on the Reds, Padres and Cardinals.

As an analyst, Rose said that he would be honest but fair.

“If you make a mistake, a mental mistake — we all make errors, we all strike out,” Rose said. “But you can tell when a guy has got the right approach vs. a guy who is not hustling. I’ll bring that out. I’m not going to be vicious to the person, but if you’re commentating you have to tell it like it is.

“Not to the standpoint where you’re picking on the individual. But if a guy hits a groundball and he takes two steps out of the box and doesn’t run, you have to mention that. Or if a guy continues to throw to the wrong base from the outfield, you’ve got to mention that.”

That, in essence, is what Barkley does.

“Charles knows the game. Charles played the game. Charles is a Hall of Famer,” Rose said. “So, Charles knows the right way to play the game. He might criticize a player in one sentence and pat him on the back in the next sentence.

“With Charles, that’s just his personality. He doesn’t do it for ratings. He does it because that’s the way his personality is. I respect that. Shaq sits there, and sometimes he disagrees with Charles, which makes a good show.

“It’s like when I was in the radio business. We called it, ‘Radio Rasslin’.’ If you could get this caller to agree with you and the next caller to disagree with you, you’ve got a show.”

Credit to Fox Sports who originally published this story

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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