The cat is finally out of the bag. After a month of speculation, the news is official, iHeart is entering the sports format in Columbus. The company has flipped 105.7 The X to Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone.
The station launched Monday afternoon at 3pm with Bruce Hooley hosting his brand new show. The program includes Maddie Spielman (the daughter of former NFL LB and current FOX Sports NFL Analyst Chris Spielman) and producer Eric Rieser who previously worked for 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
Hooley though will not stay in PM drive. Instead, he’ll move to mornings starting next week. The morning show is also expected to be syndicated on other iHeart stations, most likely in the state of Ohio and/or surrounding regions.
The Zone also announced in their press release that another co-host will be added at a later date. On the air they’ve been teasing a “player to be named later”, adding more fuel to the fire that the new addition will be former Ohio State and NFL Linebacker and former Columbus sports radio host Chris Spielman.
Hooley, spent the past five years hosting for ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland. He left the radio station last month and had been anxiously waiting on the sidelines for the opportunity to launch the new show. Prior to working for WKNR, he occupied the Columbus airwaves for nearly seven years, so he’s very familiar with the market.
In addition to Hooley’s local show, The Zone will feature the full Fox Sports Radio line up, including The Dan Patrick Show, The Rich Eisen Show and The Herd with Colin Cowherd. The radio station will also offer special reports from Matt McCoy, longtime 610 WTVN Sports Anchor, and serve as Columbus’ radio home for Cleveland Cavaliers and Cincinnati Bengals games.
“Columbus has one of the best sports fan bases in the country and they finally a have a new destination for Columbus based sports and entertainment radio in the morning, plus the best national line-up available the rest of the day,” said Michael McCoy, Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Columbus.
Full Programming Lineup:
Bruce Hooley 6a-9a
Dan Patrick Show 9a-12p
Rich Eisen Show 12p-3p
The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd 3p-6p
Jay Mohr Sports 6p-9p
JT The “Brick” 9-11p
Jason Smith 11p-2a
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’
“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.
On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.
“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.
“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”
Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.
The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.
“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”