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The Top 10 of The Capital Region

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There was no one-hour special proclaiming “I am taking my talents to the Metroplex,” but Glens Falls native Dave Strader steered his hockey broadcast career in a new direction last week by accepting the play-by-play job for the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

That got us thinking about other radio broadcasters who parlayed their time in the Capital Region to move on to bigger jobs — many of them on TV.

At the risk of forgetting someone, we came up with this top 10 of former Capital Region radio broadcasters (thus eliminating folks such as ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and CBS’s Andrew Catalon, both former weekend TV sports anchors) who have advanced to bigger platforms in the broadcasting field:

10. Doug Sherman (Siena basketball, 1989-93): Yes, he is still in the area as WRGB sports director, but his introduction to the Capital Region came as play-by-play voice for Siena basketball (1990-94). He is now the television voice for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball and has drawn numerous assignments for ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

9. John Hennessy (Albany River Rats, 1993-2000): He was promoted from Albany to New Jersey, where he spent six seasons at the Devils’ radio voice, including calling the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. (He also called the Rats’ 1995 Calder Cup victory.) He is now broadcasting hockey games for the University of Massachusetts.

8. Brian Noe (WTMM show host, 2010-2013): Remember the “Noe Show” on WTMM (104.5 FM)? He uses the same name for his weekend show on Fox Sports Radio, which, ironically, airs 7-10 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m.-noon Sundays on WOFX (980 AM) — a competitor to his old station.

7. Joe Castellano (Siena basketball, 1998-2002): The Saints got to the postseason in three of his four seasons as play-by-play man, although baseball is his first love. He was host of a talk show on SiriusXM, called softball games for NBC during the 2008 Olympics, and now does podcasts focused on the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

6. John Kelly (Adirondack Red Wings, 1987-89): The son of the late hockey broadcasterDan Kelly, he left Glens Falls for the St. Louis Blues, where his father became legendary. He called games for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche before returning to St. Louis in 2005. He has called Blues games on television for the past 10 seasons.

5. Mike Haynes (Capital District Islanders, 1990-93): The former voice of the Troy-based AHL team, which later transformed into the Albany River Rats, he just completed his 20th season with the Colorado Avalanche. He has done the past 10 seasons on television for Altitude, the regional sports network serving Denver.

4. Ari Wolfe (Albany Firebirds, 1996-2000; Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 2000; Saint Rose basketball, 1997-2001): He has gone from calling Firebirds games to perhaps being the pre-eminent voice of the Arena Football League, working games for both CBS Sports Network and ESPN. He has done updates and other work for NFL Network, and he called table tennis in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

3. Freddie Coleman (WOFX 980 AM, 2003): His stay in Albany was brief, a five-month stint on an afternoon talk show with John Tobin where he got second billing. He used “Tobin and Coleman” as a springboard to ESPN Radio, where he has been a regular prime-time host since 2004.

2. Dave Strader (Adirondack Red Wings, 1979-85): He was the Red Wings’ public-relations director when he began broadcasting games in the team’s inaugural season. He has called games for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes, and since 2005 was a prominent play-by-play voice for NBC. He may still call occasional games for NBCSN, but his new position with the Stars will limit those opportunities.

1. Marc Kestecher (Albany Patroons, Albany Firebirds, 1989-96): A Guilderland native, he had several other play-by-play roles and was sports director at WPTR (1540 AM) and WROW (590 AM) before departing for a job at 50,000-watt WKNR in Cleveland. He left there in 1999 for ESPN Radio, where he sports a major presence. He was host of the network’s NBA Finals pregame and postgame shows, has done play-by-play on a number of NBA and college football games, and has been a prominent update anchor.

Also considered: Sandy Penner, former WQBK (1300 AM) host who now has a talk show in the Tampa area; Owen Newkirk, former Albany Devils and Adirondack Phantoms voice who now is the radio host for Dallas Stars games.

Credit to the Times Union who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Scott Zolak: Tom Brady Should Retire And Go To Fox Right Now

“When I hear Tom Brady say how he has more to prove, what exactly, what is it?!”

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Whenever Tom Brady decides to actually quit playing in the NFL for good, we now know what his next chapter will be.

News broke Tuesday that Brady has signed a contract to become the new lead analyst for FOX’s top NFL broadcast booth. The deal, according to reports, is for 10 years, $375 million.

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand came back from commercial break on Tuesday after having just talked about Brady’s move when they heard the official financial figures involved in the deal.

Zolak said there’s no question Brady should quit sooner rather than later.

“When I hear Tom Brady say how he has more to prove, what exactly, what is it?!” he said. “Like those numbers? Come on!”

Bertrand took the conversation in a different direction saying that this mega-contract is setting Brady up to eventually be a sports team owner.

“Ownership of something will be in play,” he said. “With his connections, as he’s starting to spread out…There’s something else coming on top of this after this. This is step one of the process. This guy’s got a plan.”

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Bob Heussler Reflects On WFAN Career

“I will be in the rotation a little bit. It’s not like I’m going to completely disappear.”

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Another longtime voice at WFAN is stepping away from the microphone. This time, it is Bob Heussler cutting down his work schedule. He won’t be gone completely from the station though.

Heussler, who has been at the station since 1993 and is affectionately known to listeners as “Mr. Met,” will no longer be a full-time voice on WFAN’s airwaves. His last day as a full-timer will be May 12th.

“This is my last week as a full-timer,” he said on Tiki & Tierney. “I will be in the rotation a little bit. It’s not like I’m going to completely disappear. I’ll pick up a part-time shift here or there. But for all intents and purposes, Brandon, this is it as far as an everyday presence is concerned.”

Heussler reflected on being an original listener of WFAN when it went live in 1987. He said he’s always been an avid radio listener and been passionate about the industry. Getting to work at WFAN was at the top of his career achievements list.

“Arriving at The Fan was a huge moment for me,” he said. “I told some people recently that I am one of those people who was listening on July 1, 1987 when The Fan went on the air.”

Heussler also talked about the evolution of the role update anchors play. With how fast news travels nowadays, the role has changed.

“Back then, and certainly at the beginning in 1987, the updates were the key to the works early on,” he said.

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Nate Kreckman: If Tom Brady Gets $375 Million, How Much Would Peyton Manning Get?

“Everybody knows that Peyton Manning would be better than Brady at that role.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady made headlines yet again on Tuesday. He signed a 10-year deal to become an analyst with FOX Sports whenever he decides to retire.

On Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 in Denver, Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl reacted to the news of Brady’s $375 million contract and wondered what someone like Peyton Manning would earn if he pursued a full-time career in broadcasting.

“Everybody knows that Peyton Manning would be better than Brady at that role,” Kreckman said. “It’s because he’s an inherently more charismatic and entertaining individual.”

Lindahl said it would become like a normal quarterback negotiation at that point. If Brady is making $37.5 million per season, Manning could start by asking for $40 million. Kreckman countered saying that Manning could make $50 million per season if a network really wanted him.

Whether or not that is a valid point, we will likely never know. ESPN has given Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions a serious commitment and ultimate flexibility with the ManningCast. It would be hard to imagine Peyton giving that up to become part of a traditional television booth.

Lindahl added that the amount Brady will make is still just a surreal figure.

“I just am shocked, I am shocked, that we’re talking about $37.5 million for a guy to call games,” he said. “That’s not hedging a bet at all. That’s just saying, ‘We’re all in.'”

The duo wondered what would happen if things didn’t work out with Brady in the booth. There are legends of various sports working as analysts, but not all of them are good at the job. There certainly have been guys in NFL broadcast booths who didn’t succeed. Tom Brady will get plenty of time to get it right.

“Could he be any worse than Wayne Gretzky? I don’t think TNT’s getting rid of Wayne Gretzky,” Lindahl said. “Why? Because he’s Wayne Gretzky.”

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