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Under The Radar – September 26, 2016

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There’s never a dull moment in sports media. The past week produced a ton of news from the sports radio and television industries and in case you missed any of it, we’ve got you covered. A reminder, if you have a news story, promotion, or anniversary to share, you can email it to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. On to this week’s news we go!

Congratulations to Adam Hawk who has been named the new lead producer of the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio. Hawk most recently produced JT The Brick on FOX Sports Radio, and previously produced the Fred Roggin Show in Los Angeles on 980 The Beast.

After parting ways with morning host Chad Doing a few weeks earlier, 95.7 The Game has replaced his position with the addition of Dan Dibley to the morning show. Dibley was part of the station’s original morning show, the Rise Guys, which included Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler. In his new role, Dibley will team up with Joe Fortenbaugh, Anna Kagarakis, and former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal. The show will be titled “Joe, Lo, Dibs and Anna” and debuts on Monday September 26th.

CAA has landed Stephen A. Smith and will provide him with exclusive representation in all areas, including broadcasting, endorsements, publishing and speaking according to Sports Business Journal. A team of agents inside of CAA will represent Smith.

670 The Score in Chicago has announced that Len Kasper will join their broadcast team during the playoffs. Kasper will handle radio play by play duties for Cubs games during the 5th inning, and provide on the field interviews.

Speaking of play by play, Houston Astros TV play by play man Bill Brown has announced he will retire this month. The sixty nine year old Brown has spent nearly thirty years with the Astros, calling his first game for the franchise in 1987. His final broadcast will take place on September 28th when Houston faces the Seattle Mariners.

The taste of crow is one that Brendan Tobin of 790 The Ticket in Miami is about to become familiar with. The midday host said in August that he’d ‘eat crow’ if Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich hit 20 homers this season. Yelich had 11 homers at the time, and entered the season with 20 in his career during a span of 1,458 at bats. Well, Yelich got hot, and started hitting bombs, climbing to 19 before cooling off. But then last Wednesday, he took Max Scherzer deep to notch his 20th, leaving Tobin to have to pay the price. To his credit, Tobin says he will sit down, tuck in his napkin and eat every single piece.

Kentucky sports radio host Matt Jones is launching a new television show on Monday titled “Hey Kentucky“. The program debuts on WLEX-TV (Channel 18) at 7:30pm. Jones says the show will be like ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” but will venture beyond sports too. WLEX-TV president and general manager Pat Dalbey adds that the show will feature different co-hosts, including former UK stars, political figures, “whoever can lend a provocative voice to driving an engaging and lively debate with Matt.”

The Houston Rockets are tweaking their TV and radio broadcast pairings. Longtime TV play by play voice Bill Worrell will continue to call home games on television alongside former Rockets players Clyde Drexler, and Matt Bullard, but he’ll only work select road games. The team will utilize radio play by play man Craig Ackerman on most road games, and Sports Talk 790 radio host Matt Thomas on radio play by play when Ackerman shifts to television. Thomas also returns as the team’s public address announcer for home games. Additionally, 790 host Adam Clanton adds studio hosting duties on Rockets radio broadcasts.

As WEEI goes through its process of looking at hosts to potentially become a third member of the morning show, one interesting name was in the building last week. SB Nation Radio host and former NFL Quarterback and ESPN NFL Analyst Sean Salisbury sat in on Friday alongside Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan. A vacancy on the morning show was created when longtime morning man John Dennis left the show last month.

BSM would like to pass along condolences to Bob Fitzgerald who lost his wife last week to cancer. The KNBR radio host and TV voice of the Golden State Warriors had been married to his wife Carol for 26 years. Together they have three children. Services are scheduled for October 7th. The family has requested donations in Carol’s honor be made by clicking here.

92.3 The Fan morning host Anthony Lima is under fire from the Cleveland bicycling community. The morning host said on Friday that he gets a “murderous feeling” when stuck behind cyclists which drew the ire of Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle, who wrote a letter to Program Director Andy Roth demanding that The Fan run educational announcements produced by Bike Cleveland, and require Lima, his partner Ken Carman, and the show’s producers, take part in a class taught by Bike Cleveland members to show what cyclists encounter on the road. Lima said he was trying to add levity to the show, and took the point too far, and is sorry if it was offensive.

97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio has inked a new three year extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets to continue serving as the team’s radio partner. The Blue Jackets have played their games on The Fan since 2000-2001. Ryan Mitchell has joined the broadcast team handling pre, post and intermission hosting duties.

A new podcast is being launched by Jason Page. “The Intersection Podcast” will cover sports, politics and entertainment. Page says it will have something for everybody. The first two episodes will feature Detroit Pistons head coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. Connoisseur Media CT will distribute the weekly podcast.

WRGRB-TV is in need of a new Sports Director. Doug Sherman, who had spent 19 years with the station, has announced that he will leave when his contract expires on October 31st to join ESPN as a play by play announcer. Sherman has called games on a part time basis for ESPN since 2003. His prior work has revolved mostly around college basketball and football broadcasts.

SB Nation Radio has strengthened its football contributors by adding former NFL wide receiver Keenan McCardell, and former NFL Quarterback Ryan Leaf. McCardell will appear weekly with Steve Bunin and Sean Salisbury. Leaf is hosting a 2-hour program on Saturday’s starting at 8pm.

Sports radio fans in Hattiesburg, Mississippi have reason to be excited. The Score 1400 has confirmed it will be launching soon as a Fox Sports Radio affiliate. The station will carry network programs with Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd and Jay Mohr, and a local show “Pine Belt Sports Drive” weekdays at 5pm. The station has also added “To The Top Talk” with Jamie Arrington, every Tuesday at 6pm.

Brett Dawson has announced via social media that he’s joined The Oklahoman where he’ll contribute to the sports department’s coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dawson previously worked in New Orleans covering the Pelicans.

A new member has been added to the MLB postseason broadcast team on TBS. Former Phillies, Dodgers and White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins is joining the network to provide analysis during the upcoming playoffs. He played for the White Sox this season but was released in June.

Mile High Sports in Denver has added Brittanie Fowler as a video host. Fowler is expected to contribute to the company’s website, and possibly to Mile High’s local magazine.

Sports Radio News

Craig Carton Making Responsible Gambling Content For FanDuel

“He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.”

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FanDuel announced yesterday that it has hired its first ever “responsible gaming ambassador”. WFAN’s Craig Carton has agreed to take on the role. He has been open about his gambling addiction and advocated for those that believe they have a problem to seek help on air since returning to New York radio last year.

The content he creates for FanDuel will have a very specific focus. A press release says Carton will promote messages of “advocacy, prevention awareness and content development focused on the importance of wagering within limits”.

Craig Carton was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a ponzi scheme to defraud investors of money they were told was being invested in tickets for resale. In reality, Carton was using the money to repay some of his gambling debts.

“My story and personal history with gambling has been well documented,” said Carton. “More than ever, I want to use my experience and platform to shine a meaningful spotlight on the issue of problem gambling. It was important to me that I find a real partnership with a company that shared my passion for this issue. It became clear FanDuel shared the same goals and was comfortable working transparently with me for the sole purpose of protecting people.”

FanDuel is planning to utilize Carton in a number of ways. He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.

He will also create audio and video for FanDuel’s Play Safe Campaign. FanDuel will help Carton’s WFAN program “Hello, My Name is Craig” find a bigger audience. The show airs on weekends and features Carton discussing his addiction and offering advice to others seeking help.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Craig to place even more emphasis on responsible gaming behaviors,” said Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Everyone at FanDuel understands the importance of protecting our customers who are also our family, friends, neighbors and community members. Craig’s powerful personal story will help fuel our mission of making sure no bet placed results in hurting a loved one.”

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Sports Radio News

Marc Malusis: Stephen A Smith Spouting ‘Complete & Utter BS’

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

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WFAN’s Marc Malusis wants Stephen A. Smith to acknowledge that he either has inside information regarding the Nets or that he completely made up a trade rumor on First Take earlier this week. Smith said on First Take that the Brooklyn Nets would trade Kyrie Irving to Philadelphia if it meant they got Ben Simmons back in return, but the idea has been nixed by Kevin Durant.

Stephen A. Smith accused some in the media of lying about his report. He tried to claim that he what said on First Take was that the Irving for Simmons deal is a trade the Nets could do. That was enough to sett Malusis off.

“This is just complete and utter BS,” he shouted. “I mean, get the boots on!”

Marc Malusis claims that the idea of an Irving for Simmons trade isn’t totally absurd. Having James Harden on the roster would allow Brooklyn to bring in someone that does everything well but shoot. Still, he says Smith framed his stance as something he knows happened and Malusis is adamant it didn’t.

He was even more upset that Smith would say people in the New York media “lied” about what Smith had said. Marc Malusis pointed out that when you are the local media, you have to dive into a rumor like that. It doesn’t just get to be something that was said on ESPN.

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

It sounds like Malusis’s greatest objection is to Smith’s indignation at the idea that someone took his trade rumor seriously.

“Don’t all the sudden start waking back and saying ‘everyone’s spewing lies about what I had to say yesterday’ because you know what? We had to weed through the BS of what you said yesterday.”

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Sports Radio News

104.5 ESPN’s Matt Moscona Sets Up $100K Donation to Local High School

”It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

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Guaranty Media and 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge recently invited a local Athletic Director from South Lafourche High School Brian Callais to come and promote an upcoming fundraising event host by Central High School on After Further Review with Matt Moscona.

During the phone interview, Callais informed listeners of the impact that Ida had on their school, including major damages to the high school that there are no funds to repair. Additionally, the school’s sports teams will be forced to travel for every game this season as their facilities are not fit to host other schools.

Little did Callais know, Matt Moscona had invited the founder of a Baton-Rouge-based cryptocurrency business called Game Coin to join him in the 104.5 ESPN studio to surprise Callias with a donation of $100,000 dollars to the school.

“This will go a long way,” said Callais after learning of Game Coin’s donation to his program. “Our [senior] student-athletes have not had a normal high school year since their freshman year…Their sophomore year, they were hit with the pandemic, and we’re looking forward to a regular senior year for them. It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

Gamecoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is not totally for profit, as 4% of their 10% transaction fee goes to charitable donations to help youth sports groups.

“Growing up, I didn’t have everything that I thought I should have,” said founder of Game Coin David Mahler on Moscona’s radio program. “I just always wanted to be able to provide for people…and since I’m able to do that now, I added that as a part of Game Coin.”

Mahler also said in the interview that three more similar donations are already arranged and they will be announced within the next two weeks.

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