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Sports Radio News

Around The World in Sports Radio and Television

Jason Barrett

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The latest sports media news across the country including details from the television and radio industries. As always, if you have a news tip to share, email me at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here are the latest headlines.

  • ESPN Radio is taking over First Take on ESPN2 July 11-15. The show airs from 10a-12p ET. Molly Qerim will host all week and welcome a new duo or trio each day to give their takes on the day’s top stories. Steve Mason and John Ireland of ESPNLA 710 in Los Angeles will host Monday. Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman of ESPN 1000 in Chicago will sit in Tuesday. Don Lagreca, Peter Rosenberg and Rick DiPietro of 98.7 ESPN New York get the call on Wednesday. Bomani Jones and Freddie Coleman of ESPN Radio participate on Thursday. And ESPN Radio‘s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby wrap things up on Friday.
  • ESPN is losing one of its top television executives. John Wildhack, who spent 36 years in various positions before becoming the network’s executive vice president for programming and production, has agreed to become the new Athletic Director for Syracuse University. Wildhack is a Syracuse graduate.
  • Reporter Shannon Spake is exiting ESPN to join FOX Sports. She’ll serve as a sideline reporter for college football and basketball, and contribute to the NASCAR broadcast team on pit road and in studio. She’ll also have a sideline role on select NFL broadcasts.
  • The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that they’ve agreed to terms on a four-year extension with their television home Comcast SportsNet Northwest. The extension will cover the 2017-18 season and run through 2020-21. ROOT Sports NW was interested in acquiring the team’s television rights and reportedly offered more years but the Blazers liked the Comcast deal more.
  • FOX Sports Radio will have a strong radio presence at this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Both Colin Cowherd and Jay Mohr, will travel to San Diego to broadcast their shows on location on Tuesday July 11th and Wednesday July 12th.
  • After announcing his plans to leave 95.7 The Game in San Francisco for its local competitor KNBR, John Lund was pulled off of the airwaves after his show on Friday May 20th. Since then, he’s sat on the sidelines chomping at the bit to entertain local listeners. He finally gets to break his radio silence on Monday July 11th when he debuts in afternoon drive on KNBR with Tom Tolbert.
  • 107.5 The Game in Columbia, SC has made some changes to its weekday lineup. Bill Gunter has left 1400 The Team to join The Game in mornings where he’s now teaming up with Tim Hill who had been hosting middays. Hill previously left his TV gig on Columbia’s ABC affiliate to join the radio station in a full time role. With Hill moving into mornings with Gunter, Tommy Moody and Jay Phillips will occupy middays.
  • Duke play-by-play broadcaster Bob Harris has announced he will retire after the 2016-17 men’s basketball season. Harris began calling Duke games in 1976 and is the longest-tenured voice in ACC history. No word yet on who will replace him in the future.
  • Mike Hammer and Brian Shapiro are launching a new show in Las Vegas titled “The Vegas Take”. The show will air every Saturday from 2p-4p on CBS Sports Radio 1140 and 107.5-3 FM HD3. The show debuts on July 9th and will feature a special guest appearance from entertainment journalist Robin Leach.
  • Matt Harab is leaving the Rural Radio Network in York, Nebraska to move south to Houston, TX where he’ll join Yahoo! Sports Radio. Harab spent the past 21 months working for the local radio group as its news and sports director.
  • Sports radio host Jeff Weinberger, a fixture on the Memphis airwaves for the better part of five decades, passed away on Saturday. He was 62.

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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