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Around The World in Sports Radio and Television

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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

Bob Cousy: ‘JJ Redick Is Untalented Using Me To Get Attention On ESPN’

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.

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Celtics legend Bob Cousy was not too happy with J.J. Redick dissing his game and credibility as an all-time great player.

During an appearance on First Take, Redick got into a fiery debate with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about whether Chris Paul deserves to be mentioned among the best point guards in NBA history despite another disappointing exit from the playoffs. Russo claimed that Paul is “no Bob Cousy” which prompted Redick to retort, saying Cousy couldn’t even dribble with his left hand and called the players he played against, “plumbers” and “firemen.”

“Bob Cousy won championships when there were eight teams in the NBA and you had to win two playoff series,” Reddick said. “Let’s celebrate Bob Cousy in his era, but you can’t compare pre-1980 with the modern NBA.”

The 93-old Cousy made an appearance on SiriusXM Radio where he went scorched earth on Redick, basically calling the ESPN analyst “untalented” while listing some of the players that he went up against in his era.

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.

“So when you respond to something like this, you play into their hands. I won’t do that, but I will defend the firemen and the plumbers that he referenced. And I’ll just give you a few of the names of these firemen that I played with and against during those years. How about Bill Russell, the aforementioned, not too bad a player. Wilt Chamberlain, remember that guy? He wasn’t bad. I guess he must have fought fires as well. But in any event, Wilt Chamberlain.

“Still the best, in my judgment, small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor. A couple of point guards that weren’t too shabby, my colleague who also had an award created [in his name], guy named Oscar Robertson, who was pound for pound the best player perhaps in the game.”

Chris Paul is a 12-time All-Star compared to Cousy’s 13 appearances.

One thing Paul and Bob Cousy do have in common is their aptitude for leadership. Cousy developed and started the NBA players union in 1954, being named its first president. Paul served in that same role from 2013-2021.

The two men also share similarities off the court. Cousy was a stanch anti-racist advocate during the civil rights era 50s and 60s, when it wasn’t all that popular to so. Paul has also spoke out on issues regarding race, working with commissioner Adam Silver to address some of the issues facing the black community.

Maybe the two have more in common than either Redick or Russo would like to admit.

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Sports Radio News

Cole Cubelic: ‘A Lot Of Media Wasn’t Prepared To Talk About Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher’

“There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”

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The comments from Alabama football coach Nick Saban regarding other teams allegedly “buying” their players through the new rules pertaining to name, image and likeness (NIL) deals has set the college football world abuzz.

In his comments, Saban directly accused Texas A&M Head Coach and one of his former assistant coaches at Louisiana State University Jimbo Fisher of unreasonably using NIL deals to recruit college football players, and remarked that the system as a whole has created a fundamental disadvantage for certain programs. Additionally, he stated that Alabama has never tried to lure a player solely based on these deals; however, he left the door open to potentially having to adjust his recruitment strategy to align with the actions of his competitors around him.

Much of the college football world weighed in on the comments, but the voice everyone was waiting to hear was that of Jimbo Fisher, including McElroy and Cubic in the Morning on Jox 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. On Friday morning, the program opened with show co-host Cole Cubelic reacting to the candid response given by Fisher in a news conference carried on multiple media outlets in which Fisher called Saban a “narcissist.”

“When we’ve had coaching feuds before, we’ve had guys go back and forth; we’ve had guys go at one another, sometimes in a little bit more of a subtle way; sometimes maybe a less-confrontational way,” Cubelic said. “Jimbo even said it yesterday – he’s not afraid of confrontation; he’s not worried about it.”

An aspect of what has made this discordance between two highly-accomplished and eminent coaches a story being followed across the college football landscape is the fact that it has taken place within the public sphere. When Saban appeared on SiriusXM Radio and apologized for singling out Texas A&M in his comments from earlier in the week, there was not much emotion involved, according to Cubelic. Fisher’s remarks in his press conference though, were of a completely different sentiment – and may have escalated the situation altogether.

“Debates often turn to arguments as soon as emotions become involved,” Cubelic said. “…Jimbo Fisher yesterday at 10 a.m. – that felt emotional; that felt personal, and that one had to dig deep. Jimbo Fisher said yesterday he doesn’t anticipate things are going to be repaired. I don’t see in a way that these two sort of get things back in line.”

“The bridge is burned both ways,” added show co-host Greg McElroy. “They’ll probably shake hands; do what they need to do pregame. But as far as any love lost? Nah, that’s a wrap.”

A part of this story that remains seminal when reporting or commenting on it is listening to the full extent of the comments from both Saban and Fisher on the situation so as to more effectively contextualize and comprehend the situation. Cubelic said that he did multiple interviews on different programs yesterday, and some of the interviewers, as he anticipated, had solely listened to portions of the comments, rendering them not completely prepared to have a truly pertinent discussion about the topic at hand.

“We said it here on the show yesterday morning — right out of the gate — people are going to take the Miami; the Jackson State; and the Texas A&M stuff, and they’re going to clip it and they’re going to play it and they’re going to read it and that’s all they’re going to pay attention to,” said Cubelic. “There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”

Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies visit Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 8 in a matchup that will sure to be a primary topic of discussion in the weeks and months leading to kickoff.

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Sports Radio News

Doug Gottlieb On Praise For Pat Beverly: ‘What a Joke!’

“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport.”

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Pat Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves may have used his appearances this week on ESPN to set up a potential career in media, but some just simply weren’t impressed.

You can count Doug Gottlieb among them. Gottlieb said Wednesday that Beverley’s takes on Suns guard Chris Paul and words for Matt Barnes regarding James Harden’s contract didn’t do him any favors for the future.

“Pat Beverley, if you’re going to die on a hill, James Harden’s hill is not the one to die on,” Gottlieb said. “In a week in which you have a chance to carve out a potential career for yourself which is as good, or greater than your NBA career. What a joke!”

Gottlieb added that Beverley also lost people completely “acting like the arrogant NBA athlete that so many assume that NBA athletes are.”

“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport,” he said. “Congratulations, hell of a week and you’re only in day two.”

While Beverley may not have Gottlieb singing his praises as an analyst, the T-Wolves journeyman did get the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said if Beverley wanted to do a podcast for the company, he would give him a blank check and hire him no questions asked.

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