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Under The Radar – August 8, 2016

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Here are the latest developments happening in sports radio, television, and print that you might not have been aware of. If you want to be included in this section in the future, send your story, tip or press release to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • Some changes are taking place behind the scenes at ESPN Radio. Congratulations is in order for Michelle Smallmon who has been named the new producer for ESPN Radio’s “Russillo and Kanell“. Smallmon moved to the network last summer after a successful tenure with 101 ESPN in St. Louis. She had been producing “Jorge and Izzy” featuring Jorge Sedano and Israel Gutierrez.
  • With Smallmon joining the midday show, Vince Kates takes over producing duties of “Jorge and Izzy“. Kates had been working with “Russillo and Kanell” and has a strong track record of producing top network talent including Colin Cowherd, Todd Wright, Jason Smith, and others.
  • FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix is launching a new 1-hour morning show. The radio station has confirmed the addition of “Four Quarters” featuring host Mike Jurecki. The show will air weekdays from 6a-7a and offer a heavy dose of NFL and Arizona Cardinals conversation.
  • WTIC Hartford afternoon host and CBS Sports Radio weekend man Andy Gresh is filling in Monday and Tuesday this week on WFAN in New York. Gresh will host the midday show. He’s also scheduled to fill-in on August 18th and 19th.
  • With 49ers play by play radio voice Ted Robinson busy calling the Olympics for NBC, Kate Scott is earning an opportunity to step up and call 49ers pre-season action on KNBR. Scott will call the first two games alongside former Niners Keena Turner, and Dennis Brown. Regular radio analyst Tim Ryan will be involved on the team’s local television broadcast.
  • Keep your eye on WDFN in Detroit. According to sources, there could be additional local programming on the radio station in the near future.
  • Richard Daugherty has announced he’s leaving the afternoon show on FOX Sports Knoxville. Daugherty had been co-hosting alongside Russell Smith. No word yet on where Daugherty is headed or who will replace him on the show.
  • In Cleveland, Dave DeNatale has announced he’s leaving as producer and co-host of the Bruce Hooley show on ESPN 850 WKNR. DeNatale had spent the past six years working for the radio station. No details were shared on where he’s headed or who would be replacing him on the show.
  • Continuing with departure news, producer Anthony Nachreiner has left Sports Radio 1560 The Fan in Melbourne, Florida in order to become the new Sports Director for 600 KGEZ in Kalispell, Montana. Nachreiner spent the past two years producing and contributing to the “Mark Moses Show”.
  • Producer Kyle Knezevich of The Dan Dakich Show, and MMA fighter and former NFL player Matt Mitrione have started a new Saturday show titled “The Beatdown”. The program airs on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis.
  • TSN 1150 in Hamilton, Ontario has reached an agreement to become the new flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL.
  • The New Orleans Times-Picayune have added Herbie Teope as a new Saints beat writer. Toepe had been covering the Kansas City Chiefs for the Topeka-Capital Journal.
  • Tania Ganguli has vacated her position as the Houston Texans reporter for ESPN’s NFL Nation, in order to accept an opportunity covering the Los Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Times.
  • Speaking of NFL Nation, ESPN has added two new faces, starting with Katherine Terrell taking over as the new Cincinnati Bengals reporter. The company has also brought in Alden Gonzalez to cover the Los Angeles Rams.

Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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