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Costa Takes Aim at The St. Louis Sports Radio Scene

Jason Barrett

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Dino Costa has his share of fans and critics. The controversial talk show host is on his way to St. Louis where he’ll soon be hosting mornings on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. He debuts on Monday morning March 14th.

In a conversation with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Costa made it clear that he’s going for the throat and not holding back. When asked about his expectations for his show he said “If I don’t dominate this market in a year, I will crawl on hands and knees back to Wyoming. They’ve got some nice little shows on sports radio here but they’re ham-and-eggers for the most part. The worst thing that ever happened to other people in sports radio is the arrival of Dino Costa. I have nothing personal against any of these guys but I have to destroy them, I will destroy them, and I will dominate this market.”

That brash approach has been part of Costa’s DNA for a long time and only time will tell if it resonates with St. Louis listeners. Others have tried that approach and not performed, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t work. However, it’s clear that one of the first objectives on Dino’s end is to try and ruffle the feathers of other local personalities.

When asked about Tim McKernan, Jim Hayes and Doug Vaughn’s morning show on CBS Sports 920, WGNU-AM, he said “it’s sophomoric, juvenile, and a lot of sexual talk. McKernan, appeals to a younger demographic. He can keep the kids. I’ll take everybody else.”

He also took aim at market ratings leader 101 ESPN. Costa said of morning host Bernie Miklasz, “I have been a longtime fan of Bernie from his days writing for the Post-Dispatch, and he was a huge fan of my show on SiriusXM. I love Bernie. But it’s unfortunate I now have to destroy him, and I do so without apology or any hesitancy.”

In addition to hosting mornings, Costa is also jumping into the programming end. Since joining the station he’s dumped Dan Patrick’s show in favor of a Blues-specific program hosted by Dave Rapp, and he’s extended an offer to Curt Schilling, although it appears to be a publicity stunt. Costa though says the offer is legitimate.

What’s even more interesting, is that he’s joining a radio station which includes Kevin Slaten, a market veteran who’s built a career as St. Louis’ bad guy, and wears that title like a badge of honor. When asked about Dino’s arrival, Slaten gave him a ringing endorsement.

“There’s something new and fresh about his show that I think people will gravitate to. I think this is a home run for St. Louis. If St. Louis doesn’t give him a fair chance, shame on them.”

But although Slaten offered praise to Dino, the response from Costa wasn’t as warm.

“As long as Slaten stays the (expletive) out of my way we won’t have any problems. I think my presence is going to bring his game up. From what I’ve listened to Kevin, I think he is very good. But he could be so much better.”

His approach and attitude may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Dino Costa operates a certain way, and KFNS knows what they signed up for. The ability to generate headlines, make noise, and create interest are right in Dino’s wheelhouse. The real question is will that style and approach be received favorably by St. Louis listeners?

If it works, KFNS will benefit. If not, it’ll be an experiment that was tried and didn’t prove to be unsuccessful. Either way, they’re taking a risk to get people to take notice of the brand. Now it’s up to the audience to decide if KFNS’ risk was worth it.

 

 

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.

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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