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Under The Radar – September 9, 2016

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Another week of activity in the sports radio world, which is why this column has become one of the most popular written pieces on our website. I’d like to remind you that if you or your company have any news to share, it can be sent via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the latest developments you may not have been aware of.

According to sources, 95.7 The Game in San Francisco is making changes to its weekday lineup. The radio station is expected to add JT The Brick in middays. The Brick has downplayed any involvement but sources say a deal is close. His show on FOX Sports Radio would be unaffected by the addition of a local program. In fact, he’s worked under that arrangement before.

SB Nation Radio 1560 in Houston is adding a new morning show with former Sports Radio 610 KILT evening host Brien Straw. “BStraw Radio” debuts today and will broadcast weekdays from 8a-10a CT. The program will focus on the local Houston teams, but also include a heavy college football focus.

Former Rip City 620 morning host Andy Bunker has landed an on-air role at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. Bunker will be hosting Part Time for the station. He moved to Atlanta in June in order to be closer to his girlfriend who works locally for CNN. Prior to joining The Game, Bunker was part of Rip City Mornings with Taylor Danforth. He left the show in May, Danforth exited as well in July.

TSN 1050 in Toronto and midday host Mike Richards mutually parted ways in late August. The radio station has since been rebranding the 1p-4p timeslot as TSN 1050 Today. That’s expected to be a temporary situation until a permanent show is identified.

After making a series of lineup changes, 102.5 The Game in Nashville is now searching for a new Program Director. Jeremy Bennefield had run the stations since 2011 but is no longer with the company. The Cromwell Radio Group which owns the two Nashville sports stations has posted the position and is now accepting applications. If interested in the vacancy visit the jobs section.

Word out of Pittsburgh is that TribLive Radio has stopped operating as a live programming outlet. Instead, the company will feature a number of pre-recorded podcasts. The last true on-air talent, Josh Taylor, was let go a few weeks ago.

101 ESPN in St. Louis has rolled out an NFL pre-game show featuring midday host Anthony Stalter and Kevin Wheeler’s producer Brandon Kiley. Although the Rams departed for Los Angeles, St. Louis fans still have passion for the NFL, and Stalter and Kiley are hoping to tap into that interest on Sunday mornings.

More news out of St. Louis. The All-New 590 The Fan KFNS has signed an agreement to air Arizona Cardinals football games this NFL season. The Cardinals last played in St. Louis in 1987. KFNS co-owner Tim McKernan says the organization couldn’t have been easier to work with during negotiations, and he’s excited about the partnership.

Alpha Media is strengthening its sports talker ESPN 1230 in Columbia, South Carolina by adding an FM signal, and the syndicated Paul Finebaum show to its weekday lineup. The FM translator will make the station’s programming available locally on 94.9FM.

1500 ESPN in Minneapolis has added Andy Carlson‘s “Purple For The Win Podcast” to their digital offerings, and the PodcastOne platform. 1500 ESPN is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, who have ownership stakes in PodcastOne. Carlson describes the podcast as being “dedicated to the pain and pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings”.

Turning to the television world, sources say that the NFL Network and reporter Rand Getlin have parted ways. BSM received an inside tip about this on Friday but was still waiting on confirmation. Since then, Getlin has changed his Twitter bio to reflect “NFL Insider” and his Linkedin page now states that he worked for the NFL Network from July 2015-September 2016. No word has been given on why the two sides are no longer continuing their relationship.

Alexa Datt has signed on with 120 Sports as the new co-host of “The Morning Run” with former ESPN anchor Michael Kim. Datt has been a part of the New York Mets coverage on SNY for the past few seasons. She also previously worked as the Mets in-stadium host.

The GooseTony Siragusa has joined Yahoo Sports as host of a special video series called “In The Trenches” which will be available on Yahoo Sports throughout the NFL season. The former NFL Defensive Lineman and FOX NFL Analyst will share stories from his career and offer analysis each week on the NFL’s biggest stories.

Philadelphia sports radio host Marc Farzetta is spreading his wings and adding some television work to his portfolio. The WIP personality announced that he’s joining the cast of The 700 Level, a local show which airs in the Philadelphia market on CSN Philadelphia. The program airs every Thursday.

Houston Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon and Randy McIlvoy are now hosting a new program on Houston television titled “Houston Chronicle Texas Sports Nation“. The show airs Sunday night at 11pm CT on Channel 2 (KPRC-TV) and features Solomon and McIlvoy, as well as special guest appearances from other members of the Chronicle’s sports staff.

Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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