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Under The Radar in Sports Radio – 7/18/16

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The sports radio world has been busy lately and if you don’t keep your eyes open you could miss something. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered with this week’s installment of ‘Under The Radar’. A reminder, if you have a news tip to share you can send it along to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • The spring book in Philadelphia saw 97.5 The Fanatic defeat WIP yet again. The Fanatic won the Men 25-54 battle M-F 6a-7p, M-SU 6a-Mid, as well as in middays (Harry and Rob), early evenings (DeCamara), and in afternoon drive where Mike Missanelli has taken a commanding lead over the past few months over Josh Innes. WIP did win the head to head matchup in mornings, and in evenings (7p-12a) which is when they feature Phillies baseball.
  • In Dallas, The Ticket is on a major ratings roll with Men 25-54. The radio station saw all of its key weekday shows record double digit 1st place finishes, led by the Musers who were above a 14 share in mornings. The station was also 1st M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid. Jeff Catlin and his crew are knocking it out of the park in the money demo and building a strong case as one of the top sports radio brands of 2016. Meanwhile, 105.3 The Fan also enjoyed a successful month. The station was 3rd overall M-SU 6a-Mid, and 5th in prime M-F 6a-7p. Ben and Skin finished 3rd in afternoon, G-Bag Nation was 5th in midday and Shan & RJ were 7th in mornings. The story is even stronger for The Fan with Men 18-34. They defeat The Ticket head to head in most categories. One thing is for certain right now in Dallas, advertisers can’t go wrong in investing in either one of these brands.
  • After ending a spectacular run with ESPN last September, Colin Cowherd has been working hard to establish his program under the FOX Sports Radio, Premiere Radio Networks umbrella. That hard work is starting to pay dividends as FSR has announced that Cowherd’s program has now grown 100 affiliates strong. Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott says “The reaction to Colin’s show over the past 10 months has been incredible – we’ve surpassed every goal we set for the first year of the program. The rapid success of The Herd is a testament to Colin’s unique voice in the world of sports media and his ability to engage millions of fans across numerous platforms.  We look forward to reaching many more milestones together.”
  • Gow Media is giving its Yahoo Sports Radio network an identity change. The company will rebrand itself as SB Nation Radio, starting August 1st. It’s part of a new partnership with VOX Media. Gow Media had operated as Yahoo Sports Radio since August of 2011. The Yahoo company is currently up for sale. CEO David Gow tells BSM that SB Nation reporters will make appearances on the radio network, and the goal is for the two companies to work together to create more exposure for each of their respective platforms.
  • Last week we reported that Eric Dickerson had talked to the Los Angeles Rams about becoming their radio analyst but the two sides could not reach an agreement. We were told the two parties were divided over compensation, leading the running back to explore an opportunity with AM 570 LA Sports Radio, and the team to take a look at Jim Everett, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Jerome Bettis as potential analyst candidates. Then a story came out on Friday stating that Dickerson would take the position with the Rams after all. One source I spoke to said “The Rams have said one thing and done another over the past few months so nobody is sure at this point. They’ve told talent they were in the team’s plans only to learn through other channels that they weren’t. The communication has not been good, and it has to be extremely frustrating for their new play by play partners and advertisers.” No official deal with Dickerson has been announced but that doesn’t mean one won’t be. For now I’m going to take a few extra Advil and let others have fun sorting out the mess.
  • KNBR 1050 has a brand new Director of Content. Program Director Jeremiah Crowe has added former colleague Daniel Ogden who recently left 95.7 The Game. Ogden will be tasked with helping strengthen the KNBR 1050 brand and producing a new morning show. He starts in his new role on Monday July 18th.
  • Congratulations is in order for Scott Masteller and the folks at Hearst broadcasting in Baltimore. The company’s news talk station WBAL has reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to continue serving as the team’s radio home for six more seasons.
  • ESPN Memphis 92.9FM is doubling up its football presence this NFL season. The station confirmed last week that it will become the Memphis radio home for the Tennessee Titans AND the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Matt & Scot, WJOX in Birmingham’s evening show has been cancelled. The duo were with JOX for the past 3.5 years and made the move to Alabama after showing promise in a PT role with The Ticket in Dallas. Scot plans to stay in town despite the setback. Matt is open to relocating if that’s what it takes to land his next opportunity. Cumulus Birmingham Market Manager David Walls says “Those guys are a class act, and I want to thank them for 3½ good years. We’re just going to take the station in a new direction.”
  • In Minneapolis, Andrew Krammer announced via Twitter that he’s leaving ESPN Twin-Cities (ESPN 1500AM) to join the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as a Vikings reporter.
  • Craig Hoffman has landed on his feet after being let go months ago by ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. Hoffman is joining 980’s rival 106.7 The Fan in a PT role. He’ll also be doing fill-in work for Ryan Maguire at WQAM in Miami and for Steve Moore at KMOX in St. Louis.
  • Ted Sobel has joined Fox Sports Radio in PT update anchor role. He’ll also be contributing as a studio host this football season to Sports Radio USA‘s NFL and College Football broadcasts.

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Pat McAfee Defends His Intellectual Property on Show

A YouTube user had been using videos from McAfee’s show on his own channel and monetizing them.

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Intellectual property is the most important asset a content creator has in the digital space. That’s why it should not come as a surprise when Pat McAfee took to his show today to defend his.

A YouTube user named AntSlant had been acquiring video from Pat McAfee’s daily show for a while and putting it on his YouTube channel as his own content for months. McAfee has been a hot commodity and it seems that the personality may have been alerted to this activity thru potential future partners and their social searches. McAfee apparently reached out and sent a warning and today he addressed the account in what he called a little “house cleaning.”

“I have funded everything that you see (referencing his studio),” McAfee began. “Whenever you talk about stealing people’s footage, stealing people’s content and putting it up on the internet – so you can benefit from it – I don’t know how you think that the person that created, funded and paid for the content, worked their dick off, and their ass off amongst their peers and did everything – how they are the scam artists in this entire thing and not the account.”

Pat McAfee started referencing the offending account’s ability to monetize the videos. “We looked it up because we have this ability, [they] probably made $150,000 off of our content – not remixing the content, not getting in there and speaking and being a content creator – ripping content from us. Putting it together putting it up as their own videos and marketing it as if they work for us. And never reaching out to us one time. Not one time.”

The value of this content is immeasurable especially considering the account using McAfee’s IP is on the same platform (YouTube) as he is. McAfee add, “no network would just let you take their shit and profit off it. Nobody on Earth would let you do that.”

McAfee then revealed that he would partner with another YouTube account Toxic Table Edits. That account, which was doing the same thing as AntSlant, created a community around the Pat McAfee Show image. Things went differently for Toxic because when contacted by McAfee, the owner of that account responded “like a human”. Now the two will partner on future projects.

A Twitter account with the name @AntSlant did tweet shortly thereafter saying that the videos McAfee discussed had been deleted from his YouTube channel.

Upon an inspection of a YouTube account named AntSlant, the videos are no longer.

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Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610

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Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.

“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”

Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.

In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.

“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”

Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.

“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

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Schopp & Bulldog: NFL Has To Figure Out Pro Bowl Alternative That Draws Same Audience

“The game just could not be less interesting.”

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After years of criticism and declining television ratings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly stated this week that the Pro Bowl, as it is currently contested, is no longer a viable option for the league and that there would be discussions at the league meetings to find another way to showcase the league’s best players.

Yesterday afternoon, Schopp and Bulldog on WGR in Buffalo discussed the growing possibility of the game being discontinued, and how the NFL could improve on the ratings it generates with new programming.

“The same number of people [who] watched some recent… game 7 between Milwaukee and Boston… had the same audience as the Pro Bowl had last year,” said co-host Chris “The Bulldog” Parker. “….Enough people watch it to make it worth their while; it’s good business. They’ll put something in that place even though the game is a joke.”

One of the potential outcomes of abolishing the Pro Bowl would be replacing it with a skills showdown akin to what the league held last year prior to the game in Las Vegas. Some of the competitions held within this event centered around pass precision, highlight catches and a non-traditional football competition: Dodgeball. Alternatively, the league could revisit the events it held in 2021 due to the cancellation of the Pro Bowl because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a virtual Madden showdown and highlight battle, appealing to football fans in the digital age.

Stefon Diggs and Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster this past season, and while it is a distinct honor, some fans would rather see the game transformed or ceased entirely – largely because of the risks associated with exhibition games.

In 1999, the NFL held a rookie flag football game on a beach in Waikiki, Hawaii before the Pro Bowl in which New England Patriots running back Robert Edwards severely dislocated his knee while trying to catch a pass. He nearly had to have his leg amputated in the hospital, being told that there was a possibility he may never walk again. Upon returning to the league four seasons later with the Miami Dolphins, Edwards was able to play in 12 games, but then lost his roster spot at the end of the season, marking the end of his NFL career.

“You might not want to get too crazy with this stuff, but there’d have to be some actual contests to have it be worth doing at all,” expressed show co-host Mike Schopp. “Do you not have a game? I don’t know.”

The future of the Sunday before the Super Bowl is very much in the air, yet Goodell has hardly been reticent in expressing that there needs to be a change made in the league to better feature and promote the game’s top players. In fact, he’s been saying it since his first days as league commissioner in 2006, evincing a type of sympathy for the players participating in the contest, despite it generating reasonable television ratings and advertising revenue.

“Maybe the time has come for them to really figure out a better idea, and maybe that’s what’s notable [about] Goodell restating that he’s got a problem with it,” said Parker. “If there’s some sort of momentum about a conversation [on] creating a very different event that could still draw your 6.7 million eyeballs, maybe they’ll figure out a way to do something other than the game, because the game just could not be less interesting.”

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