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KSR Becomes A Must Stop For Kentucky Politicians

Jason Barrett

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Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones has been on a roll.

Following interviews with dueling Senate candidates Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes last year, KSR became a must-stop for candidates looking to reach a different audience.

Most recently, Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called in to talk football and Donald Trump.

For the most part, KSR is a straightforward talk radio show. It’s just Jones, 37, and his co-host Ryan Lemond chatting about UK sports in obsessive detail. Jones usually records in Louisville. Lemond in Lexington. The show, which is also produced by Shannon “the dude” Grisby, takes calls from listeners. The hosts joke around. No bells. No whistles.

Interviews with big names in state and national politics are becoming a common feature of the two-hour show. And even Jones himself is emerging as a political figure. At the moment, Jones is considering a run for Congress that would pit him against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Barr. A run would require him to move from Louisville to the district, which includes Lexington.

This year, Jones emceed the speeches at the state’s biggest political event, the Fancy Farm Picnic. He also hosted a Republican gubernatorial primary debate and this week KSR aired a debate of the three gubernatorial hopefuls in the November general election.

There are a couple of reasons for all of this. One is Jones himself.  He said his role as a sports host gives him the ability to approach politics from a different perspective.

“I’m able to ask things that others can’t,” he said. “I am able to sort of pull the curtain back in a way that other people won’t or feel like they can’t.”

Jones also doesn’t flinch in telling his audience where he’s coming from. He said it hasn’t hurt his ability to weigh in on issues.

“I’ve gone on air and said I lean liberal in a state that leans conservative,” Jones explained. “That I am a Democrat. And yet the Republican party asked me to host a debate.”

With this approach, Jones and the show have garnered a big following. On the air for just five years, KSR is now carried on 37 different affiliates across the Bluegrass State.

Lemond, Jones’ co-host for the past four years, said the show’s recent foray into politics has actually helped grow its audience, which is something he didn’t expect.

“It is kind of odd that as a sports show we dabble into the political realm, but it’s what affects all of us,” he said. “I think Matt is trying to bond that bridge so to speak.

Read the rest of the article by visiting WFPL.org where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’

“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.

On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.

“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.

“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”

Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”

Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.

“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Sports Radio News

Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner

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Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.

The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”

Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.

Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe

“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday. That news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.

After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.

“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”

While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.

Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.

“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.

“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”

“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.

“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”

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