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St. Louis Media People Impacted By Rams Move

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The Rams’ departure has an impact on people who have covered their games, though certainly not to the extent of those who work for the team and stand to lose their jobs or move far away. For the Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas, reporting on the Rams has been his full-time job. For radio broadcasters Steve Savard and D’Marco Farr, it is moonlighting.

Thomas has reported on the team since it arrived in 1995, the only person to have covered each of the 431 “St. Louis” Rams’ games — including playoffs and exhibitions. Post-Dispatch sports editor Roger Hensley said “it’s too early” to know what Thomas will do next, but there is a possibility he’ll continue to cover the NFL.

“Those conversations will take place next week,” he said.

Thomas said he hasn’t looked ahead much.

“We’re almost like players during the season, were focused on what’s immediately ahead,’’ he said. “I’m sure we’ll sit down in the near future and talk about it. We have to follow this (NFL situation) for a while, to see if St. Louis has the desire to pursue another team. It may not have been enticing to Kroenke, but $400 million could be enticing to a team in a normal-size market.”

There have been hard feelings expressed locally, with Mayor Francis Slay saying he has no interest in pursuing another team. But, as Thomas points out, things can change and cites Rams coach Dick Vermeil, who retired shortly after the team’s improbable Super Bowl victory to cap the 1999 season. but regretted the decision and soon thereafter returned to the sidelines, in Kansas City.

“They always say, ‘Step away from something like that for a while’” before making a decision, Thomas said. “Maybe St Louis will do that.”

Savard has been the team’s radio play-by-play broadcaster since 2000, hired after Mike Bush stepped down following his only season (the Super Bowl winner) in the booth.

Savard, who then was the sports director at KMOV (Channel 4), now is the station’s lead male news anchor and assumes his Rams days are over.

“I haven’t been called, I’m sure that’s not a priority for them now,’’ he said. “I’m also sure there are many capable, able-bodied, play-by-play guys chomping at the bit in Southern California to do the job.

“I’m operating under the assumption that I probably have called my last Rams game. I had 16 great years, fortunate to have 16 years calling Rams games as a second job.”

He did not want to amplify on the possibilities of commuting to continue doing the broadcasts.

“I have gainful employment to fall back on at KMOV,’’ he said. “For me to talk at any more length right now about the play-by-play job would be disrespectful to those who are losing their jobs at Rams Park because of the move. There are lives and careers being interrupted by this and I’d be a horse’s patoot if I made myself a topic of discussion. I’m fine, my focus is on my job at KMOV right now.

“I feel bad for the fans who showed up on Sundays, screamed their lungs out and paid there money to support the team. And I feel bad for anyone whose job and career are in jeopardy. I sincerely mean that.”

Farr has been the radio analyst since 2009, when WXOS began broadcasting the games and the year he was hired as a key member of the station’s afternoon drive-time show — on which he remains. He could not be reached.

To read more visit STL Today where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

Doug Franz Launching Sports Betting Podcast, ‘Props Arizona,’ With Sean Lockhart

“I appreciate Doug & Wolf listeners more than they’ll ever know, and I’m excited for them to experience my new podcast Props Arizona.”

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Following his dismissal from Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Doug Franz has found a new gig. Franz will join sports gambling expert Sean “Papa Bear” Lockhart to host a new podcast for Props.com titled Props Arizona.

Franz was a mainstay on Phoenix sports talk radio, co-hosting The Doug and Wolf Show in the market for 15 years. Parent company Bonneville Phoenix said Franz would be moved to a “digital role” in shuffling the Arizona Sports daily lineup last August.

But Franz said he was effectively fired. Soon after leaving 98.7 FM, he launched a daily podcast titled Doug Franz Unplugged.

Lockhart has been a mainstay in Arizona, consulting on sports betting and sales since graduating from Arizona State. He’s provided analysis for several sports betting podcasts and digital shows, in addition to his own website, for several years.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Sean on this new podcast,” said Franz in the official announcement from gambling media company American Affiliate. “I appreciate Doug & Wolf listeners more than they’ll ever know, and I’m excited for them to experience my new podcast Props Arizona.”

For American Affiliate, which has several sports betting and investment properties in its portfolio including BetPrep and Wagers, Props Arizona is the first regional (or state-exclusive) spinoff of its Props City podcast.

Props Arizona is set to launch at the end of January. The show will be available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. A teaser for the show is currently online for download.

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Sports Radio News

Michael Irvin: ‘Shan & RJ Start National Conversations’

“Y’all stir the pot a lot on the national scene. Every time I’m out there I gotta hear ‘Jerry said on Shan and RJ 105.3’.”

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Michael Irvin makes regular appearances on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. He is one of the many stars associated with the Dallas Cowboys that make time to talk to the hosts on the team’s flagship station. On Thursday morning, The Playmaker joined Shan & RJ and told them to be careful with the words they choose.

Irvin came on following a discussion of Mike McCarthy’s final conversation with the media for the season. During the segment, one of the host’s said it was the Cowboys’ coach’s “final conversation.” Irvin said that statement needed some clarity.

“You should have added ‘of this year’,” he said. “Because the national guys, they’ll pick it up and run with that.”

It isn’t just a matter of what was said. Michael Irvin says that the national media will pay attention to who said it was McCarthy’s final conversation with the media and jump to conclusions.

“Y’all stir the pot a lot on the national scene. Every time I’m out there I gotta hear ‘Jerry said on Shan and RJ 105.3’.”

The hosts laughed as Irvin made the declaration. Maybe they enjoyed the characterization. Maybe they knew he was telling the truth.

Plenty of national headlines have been generated by appearances from Jerry and Stephen Jones on the station. Although, to be fair to Shan & RJ, K&C Masterpiece has been at the center of plenty of those conversations too.

That didn’t stop Michael Irvin distilling Shan & RJ’s role in the national media conversation about the Cowboys to a simple sentence: “Y’all starting mess out here.”

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Out At WEEI

“In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.”

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Jeff Rickard’s tenure in Boston did not last long. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that the WEEI brand manager has left Audacy and intends to return to Indianapolis.

Rickard was announced as the new brand manager of the legendary Boston sports talker in August. He left his role as morning show host and PD at The Fan in Indianapolis at that time.

In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.

In the meantime, Ken Laird has been promoted to operations manager for the station. Laird announced yesterday that this means he is leaving the Greg Hill Show, which will be on the lookout for a new producer.

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