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Under The Radar – December 12, 2016



Here’s a few developments that you may not have heard about from the world of sports radio. To pass along future news, tips or press releases, email

Could we see the return of Jim Rome to sports television on a daily basis in 2017? According to sources, Rome and CBS Sports Network executives have talked about the possibility of a daily TV simulcast of his radio program. Rome previously hosted TV shows for the network and Showtime from 2012 to 2015. No word on when the simulcast would start assuming a deal can be reached.

As Mike Francesa enjoys a break during the holidays, WFAN will give Brandon Tierney an opportunity to reconnect with New York sports radio listeners. Tierney will team with midday host Joe Beningo this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Francesa’s timeslot. BT will also host all three days of his national show with Tiki Barber which airs on the CBS Sports Radio Network weekdays from 9a-12p ET.

A tip of the cap to DJ Stout, the longtime program director of WFNZ-AM, 610 The Fan in Charlotte, who announced that he won’t be leading the radio station as it changes hands from Beasley Broadcasting to Entercom. Stout is staying with Beasley where he’ll manage the country station WSOC-FM, The New 103.7, and news talk station WBCN, America’s Pulse 1660AM. WFNZ is expected to resolve their PD plans soon.

Last week Sean Baligian announced he’d be doing play by play of the Carolina Hurricanes game on December 31st. This week we’ve learned that the former Detroit sports talk show host will step in for good friend Bill Simonson on the Huge Radio Network from December 16-22. Simonson’s show originates out of the studios of WBBL in Grand Rapids and airs throughout the state of Michigan on 13 affiliates.

Cutbacks are the cause for longtime sports anchor and reporter Jon Jeffries losing his position at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. The well traveled sports radio veteran is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by email by clicking here.

590 The Fan, KFNS in St. Louis has announced they’ll be moving into new studios and part of the expansion includes launching a new restaurant and bar, the Kirkwood Brewhouse. Owner and morning host Tim McKernan says the goal is to have the studios ready by May, and the restaurant and bar will open this Friday at 4p.

Bay Area native and longtime radio host Rich Herrera has landed the role of pre-game host and senior executive producer of San Diego Padres baseball on Entercom alternative station FM 94.9. Herrera has previously worked in similar roles on Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland A’s, and San Francisco Giants broadcasts. He’s recently been hosting shows for SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, 790 The Ticket in Miami, and KMOX in St. Louis, and a podcast with former major league baseball manager Kevin Kennedy.

A job well done by the folks at 1080 The Fan in Portland. The station executed its 6th annual radiothon and helped raise more than $173K for Special Olympics Oregon. The radiothon was anchored by The Fan’s afternoon show “Primetime with Isaac and Suke”, which features Isaac Ropp and Jason Scukanec.

Kirkman Broadcasting has changed the format of a few of their stations in Charleston, South Carolina. 92.1FM and 102.1FM have dropped sports in favor of classic rock. The two signals are being re-branded as “The City“. The company though will continue offering sports radio programming on 98.5 The Zone, and ESPN Charleston 98.9FM/910AM.

Congrats is in order for former WEEI creative director Pete Gustin who has returned to his former station to assist with creating bits. Gustin tweeted that he was thrilled to be involved on a part-time basis adding some levity to the brand.

Speaking of WEEI, the newest episode of “Enough About Me” with morning host Kirk Minihane features new afternoon show addition Rich Keefe, who recently left 98.5 The Sports Hub to join the station. In the episode, Keefe opened up about the way the WEEI opportunity came about, and how he felt the past few years at the Sports Hub. To hear it click here.

The Hamilton Spectator published a piece last week showing the early struggles for the Hamilton Bulldogs new radio home, TSN 1150. The station has been the the lowest rated in the city, and among the lowest rated in all of Canada. Executives with TSN say it’s part of the growing pains many brands experience. The Bulldogs moved to TSN from news talk station CHML, a brand that reached more than four times the number of unique listeners TSN did this fall. Officials though remain optimistic and say it’s a marathon not a sprint.

The “Two Angry Guys”, Richard Skinner and Tom Gamble, who previously talked sports in Cincinnati on a number of different stations, and have been off the air since 2008, have released a podcast. The new program is being produced by Ebel’s Sports Productions’ ESP Media. You can download it by clicking here.

Sports Radio News

Doug Gottlieb, Nick Wright Feud Over College Sports NIL Issues

“Gottlieb caught wind of Wright’s rant and let his disapproval be known.”



FOX Sports hosts Doug Gottlieb and Nick Wright definitely do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to money going to college athletes.

Despite both being employed by the same company, Gottlieb, who is never afraid to voice his opinion, fired back at Wright Friday regarding his take on college football’s NIL rule in the wake of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s claiming Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher “brought” his recruits.

On Wright’s morning show, First Things First, the colorful broadcaster had a two minute rant about how he’s happy that schools are finding workarounds under the new NIL rules implemented by the NCAA to pay the players for their name, image and likeness. He said the universities have been taking advantage of college athletes, particularly black student athletes from rough backgrounds, for years and now that the tide has shifted, people are freaking out.

“The general sports public wants extra regulations and extra rules, is keeping their thumbs on college football and basketball players because their is an undeniable and always has been an incredibly uncomfortable racial context of the guys,” Wright said. “It’s mostly young black men from mostly really tough circumstances, generating billions of dollars. Who’s sharing in that?” Wright asked.

“An overwhelmingly white administration, an overwhelmingly white coaching staff, and an overwhelmingly white non-revenue sports. How do we pay for the tennis team and golf team, ah men’s football and basketball. What do they get? A scholarship. Be happy, we pulled you out the hood. Maybe you’ll have a better life if somehow you make the league or do something with your education.”

Gottlieb caught wind of Wright’s rant and let his disapproval be known. That resulted in a back and forth between the two sports personalities on Twitter.

Gottlieb continued, claiming the NIL rule puts exceedingly high expectations on the student-athletes before ever stepping on campus and are given something without having to “earn it.”

“The sad part is this push to pay SAs before they have even played a game, taken a class or assimilated to a school sets them up for failure in their post sports career. If you have been given before you earn, where is the motivation when you get to the real world?”

Wright then took a shot at Gottlieb, saying it always feels good that his take is the complete opposite of Gottlieb’s.

The dialogue continued with Gottlieb throwing shots at Wright, calling his take “embarrassing” and mentioning how he failed to point out the educational imbalance in society during his take. Wright asked Gottlieb what are some of the other “fake racism” takes that he claims are out in the media.

Gottlieb is no stranger to conflict with his FOX Sports colleagues. Troy Aikman called his opinion on Andrew Luck’s retirement “total bullshit” in a tweet from 2019. More recently, Gottlieb got into it with Speak for Yourself co-host Emmanuel Acho after Gottlieb ripped his brother Sam’s “Top 5 QB list” on First Take. He also called out Skip Bayless for name-calling.

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Bob Cousy: ‘JJ Redick Is Untalented Using Me To Get Attention On ESPN’

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.



Celtics legend Bob Cousy was not too happy with J.J. Redick dissing his game and credibility as an all-time great player.

During an appearance on First Take, Redick got into a fiery debate with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about whether Chris Paul deserves to be mentioned among the best point guards in NBA history despite another disappointing exit from the playoffs. Russo claimed that Paul is “no Bob Cousy” which prompted Redick to retort, saying Cousy couldn’t even dribble with his left hand and called the players he played against, “plumbers” and “firemen.”

“Bob Cousy won championships when there were eight teams in the NBA and you had to win two playoff series,” Reddick said. “Let’s celebrate Bob Cousy in his era, but you can’t compare pre-1980 with the modern NBA.”

The 93-old Cousy made an appearance on SiriusXM Radio where he went scorched earth on Redick, basically calling the ESPN analyst “untalented” while listing some of the players that he went up against in his era.

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.

“So when you respond to something like this, you play into their hands. I won’t do that, but I will defend the firemen and the plumbers that he referenced. And I’ll just give you a few of the names of these firemen that I played with and against during those years. How about Bill Russell, the aforementioned, not too bad a player. Wilt Chamberlain, remember that guy? He wasn’t bad. I guess he must have fought fires as well. But in any event, Wilt Chamberlain.

“Still the best, in my judgment, small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor. A couple of point guards that weren’t too shabby, my colleague who also had an award created [in his name], guy named Oscar Robertson, who was pound for pound the best player perhaps in the game.”

Chris Paul is a 12-time All-Star compared to Cousy’s 13 appearances.

One thing Paul and Bob Cousy do have in common is their aptitude for leadership. Cousy developed and started the NBA players union in 1954, being named its first president. Paul served in that same role from 2013-2021.

The two men also share similarities off the court. Cousy was a stanch anti-racist advocate during the civil rights era 50s and 60s, when it wasn’t all that popular to so. Paul has also spoke out on issues regarding race, working with commissioner Adam Silver to address some of the issues facing the black community.

Maybe the two have more in common than either Redick or Russo would like to admit.

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Cole Cubelic: ‘A Lot Of Media Wasn’t Prepared To Talk About Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher’

“There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”



The comments from Alabama football coach Nick Saban regarding other teams allegedly “buying” their players through the new rules pertaining to name, image and likeness (NIL) deals has set the college football world abuzz.

In his comments, Saban directly accused Texas A&M Head Coach and one of his former assistant coaches at Louisiana State University Jimbo Fisher of unreasonably using NIL deals to recruit college football players, and remarked that the system as a whole has created a fundamental disadvantage for certain programs. Additionally, he stated that Alabama has never tried to lure a player solely based on these deals; however, he left the door open to potentially having to adjust his recruitment strategy to align with the actions of his competitors around him.

Much of the college football world weighed in on the comments, but the voice everyone was waiting to hear was that of Jimbo Fisher, including McElroy and Cubic in the Morning on Jox 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. On Friday morning, the program opened with show co-host Cole Cubelic reacting to the candid response given by Fisher in a news conference carried on multiple media outlets in which Fisher called Saban a “narcissist.”

“When we’ve had coaching feuds before, we’ve had guys go back and forth; we’ve had guys go at one another, sometimes in a little bit more of a subtle way; sometimes maybe a less-confrontational way,” Cubelic said. “Jimbo even said it yesterday – he’s not afraid of confrontation; he’s not worried about it.”

An aspect of what has made this discordance between two highly-accomplished and eminent coaches a story being followed across the college football landscape is the fact that it has taken place within the public sphere. When Saban appeared on SiriusXM Radio and apologized for singling out Texas A&M in his comments from earlier in the week, there was not much emotion involved, according to Cubelic. Fisher’s remarks in his press conference though, were of a completely different sentiment – and may have escalated the situation altogether.

“Debates often turn to arguments as soon as emotions become involved,” Cubelic said. “…Jimbo Fisher yesterday at 10 a.m. – that felt emotional; that felt personal, and that one had to dig deep. Jimbo Fisher said yesterday he doesn’t anticipate things are going to be repaired. I don’t see in a way that these two sort of get things back in line.”

“The bridge is burned both ways,” added show co-host Greg McElroy. “They’ll probably shake hands; do what they need to do pregame. But as far as any love lost? Nah, that’s a wrap.”

A part of this story that remains seminal when reporting or commenting on it is listening to the full extent of the comments from both Saban and Fisher on the situation so as to more effectively contextualize and comprehend the situation. Cubelic said that he did multiple interviews on different programs yesterday, and some of the interviewers, as he anticipated, had solely listened to portions of the comments, rendering them not completely prepared to have a truly pertinent discussion about the topic at hand.

“We said it here on the show yesterday morning — right out of the gate — people are going to take the Miami; the Jackson State; and the Texas A&M stuff, and they’re going to clip it and they’re going to play it and they’re going to read it and that’s all they’re going to pay attention to,” said Cubelic. “There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”

Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies visit Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 8 in a matchup that will sure to be a primary topic of discussion in the weeks and months leading to kickoff.

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