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Under The Radar – December 5, 2016

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Here’s the latest sports media news making waves across the country. If you have a news tip to pass along or something exciting taking place inside your company and want to share it, please send your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Big news out of New York City. Three key members of the New York Daily News‘ sports section are moving on. Longtime sports media columnist Bob Raissman, and baseball reporters Anthony McCarron and Andy Martino have elected to take buyouts from the newspaper. The Daily News saw its circulation plunge double digits in 2016, and new co-publisher and co-chairman Eric Gertler is looking to trim 6 million dollars in payroll according to the New York Post. The newspaper is also said to be looking to downsize its office space.

Last week, Steve Bunin announced he’d be leaving SB Nation Radio to return home to Seattle and join KING as a morning news anchor. To fill Bunin’s vacancy SB Nation Radio is conducting a nationwide search to find the right partner to join weekday host Sean Salisbury. The network has confirmed that Kayce Smith, Craig Shemon, Patrick Creighton, Brien Straw, Danny Mata, Fred Davis and Dave Shore will earn opportunities to audition. Others could be added as well. The plan is to exhaust all options before making a permanent decision on the network’s new afternoon host.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford have hired their next Program Director. An official announcement is expected soon. The iHeartmedia station had been searching for a new leader after former PD Tim Spence returned home to Denver to program Denver Sports 760 and newstalk station KHOW. Both Denver stations are owned and operated by iHeart, which means Spence has remained with the company.

Congratulations is in order for Landry Locker, who has agreed to join Sports Radio 610 in Houston as the new producer for MaD Radio, featuring Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Locker stays with CBS, exiting his current position as morning show producer of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Locker is a Texas native and the opportunity allows him to return to his home state while continuing his career on another top notch morning show.

With Locker exiting Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan Program Director Andy Roth is in the market for a new producer to work with his talented morning team of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. The job posting is available in our jobs section. You can reach it by clicking here.

BSM sends its best wishes to WQAM midday host Orlando Alzugaray who had a health scare last week and was forced to miss a week of action on the Miami sports station. “The Big O” underwent surgery and is expected to return to his show this week. Robert Littal of Black Sports Online is filling in on Monday’s show.

With the holidays approaching, Marc James will be stepping in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. James will host Rome’s program next Monday December 12th and Tuesday December 13th. He’ll also host the show December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.

WJR Lions pre/post game host and former Detroit Sports 105.1 weekday host Sean Baligian has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes to provide play by play of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31st. The game will air on FOX Sports Carolina, the team’s local television home. Baligian says it’s a one game assignment but he’s hopeful of doing more play by play assignments in the future.

Former FOX Sports Radio and 670 The Score morning host Mike North has launched a daily podcast. “Mike North: Sticks and Stones” will post weekdays around 9:30am CT. The podcast will be available on Gow Media’s Podcast Arena network, AudioBoom, iTunes, and North’s website.

Speaking of new podcasts, former NBA player turned TNT NBA Analyst Chris Webber has entered the digital space with a new program available on Podcast One. “Fearless or Insane” debuted on Tuesday November 29th. The plan is for a new episode to drop every Tuesday.

Staying in the digital arena, former 95.7 The Game in San Francisco weekday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are taking their podcast program on the road. The duo will broadcast live from The BrickYard in San Francisco at 7pm PT on December 14th. The duo are also filling in on KNBR 1050 Tuesday from noon to 3p PT.

Former 102.5 The Game in Nashville Program Director Jeremy Bennefield has landed on his feet, and didn’t have to relocate to do so. Bennefield has accepted an opportunity at Nashville’s leading newspaper The Tennessean.

A new afternoon show has launched on 103.1 The Team in Columbus, MS. “The Drive with Steve and The Professor”, features Steve Rogers and Glenn “The Professor” Lautzenhiser, and now airs weekdays from 4p-6p ET. The show debuted on November 28th.

Townsquare Media has pulled the plug on ESPN Evansville 105.3. The station has flipped to Christmas Music and is being rebranded as My 105.3 WJLT. The station will switch to an AC format after the holiday season.

A round of applause for 1010XL in Jacksonville who raised over $115,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund last Tuesday. The station’s previous high was $92,000 which they raised last year. The Jay Fund is a local Jacksonville charity which was founded by Coughlin in 1996 and it’s purpose is to assist local families battling childhood cancer to make ends meet financially. For more information click here.

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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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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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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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