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Learfield Expands Aggies Network

Jason Barrett

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Concurrent with the 2015-16 collegiate athletic season kicking off, NM State fans will recognize numerous enhancements and upgrades to their radio listening experience as unveiled today by Learfield Sports, NM State Athletics’ multimedia rights partner.

Enhancements for radio listeners include Learfield securing KDSK 1240 AM/93.7 FM in Albuquerque as the new home for Aggie football, men’s basketball and coaches’ shows. Gallup’s KYVA 1230 AM also will air select football games, men’s basketball games and coaches’ shows. Additionally, football fans will hear brand-new, specially produced pre-game feature segments, coupled with live studio college football updates.

“One of Learfield Sports main strengths is their knowledge of radio and broadcast production as well as their ability to build strong statewide radio networks!” said NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. “We asked them to deliver the Aggies across the entire state of New Mexico and in an unbelievably short period of time they have made great strides. While we are always looking at expanding (El Paso, northern New Mexico and Spanish language broadcasts) we are pleased with their strong start out of the gate. I am also pleased that our Olympic sports will receive coverage over the air as well which will continue the emphasis we place on their importance.”

Returning for his 36th year is NM State Hall of Famer Jack Nixon, who Learfield retained as the iconic ‘Voice of the Aggies’ handling play-by-play duties for football and men’s basketball. Fans will be able to hear Nixon’s calls on Aggie Sports Network, and all radio broadcasts will be streamed on the official athletic website, NMStateSports.com. This year’s flagship stations include 570 KWML-AM/104.5 K283CG-FM in Las Cruces (football, men’s basketball, coaches’ shows) and 91.5 KRUX-FM in Las Cruces (women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball). Additionally, fans can hear the Aggies on 103.7 KNMZ-FM in Alamagordo (football, men’s basketball) and Carlsbad – 1240 KAMQ-AM (football, men’s basketball, coaches’ shows).

Beginning this fall, Learfield also introduces a new concept with affiliate partner KRUX-FM to benefit NM State students. As part of an initiative to create and feature student-generated content, the two parties will collaborate on an extensive program to train and provide students with opportunities for live radio play-by-play and color analyst experiences during select women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball broadcasts.

“This is a wonderful profession that delivers a special enthusiasm to radio listeners during games, and I think it’s outstanding that Learfield Sports and KRUX are offering up this platform to future broadcasters,” said Nixon. “I have enjoyed sharing Aggie athletics and unforgettable moments over the airwaves for nearly four decades, and what a terrific hands-on opportunity this will be for the next generation of broadcasters and analysts.”

NM State students who are part of the Student Media department will be hired as broadcasts analysts and work closely with Learfield and 91.5 on the inaugural venture.

“We’re off and running with this partnership and couldn’t be more excited about what we have in store for fans this year,” said Chris Lahey, General Manager of NM State Sports Properties, Learfield’s local entity that oversees the Aggies’ rights.

Credit to New Mexico State’s website where this story was originally published

Sports Radio News

Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”

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Boomer and Gio

Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.

“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”

“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.

After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.

Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.

“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.

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Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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