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Sports Radio News

Olbermann, Bruno & Wilson To Reunite For ESPN Radio Special

Jason Barrett

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ESPN Radio may be focused on the future, but as the network prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, it’s first taking a moment to remember and celebrate the past. The network has revealed that it will kick off the new year with a 25th Anniversary Special hosted by Keith Olbermann, and featuring guests Tony Bruno and Chuck Wilson. All three men were part of the very first ESPN Radio broadcast. The special broadcast will air live on Wednesday, January 4th from 7p-9p ET. It will also be rebroadcasted periodically on ESPN Radio throughout 2017.

“ESPN Radio has been around for 25 years serving sports fans on the go wherever and whenever. We have evolved over time, adapting as sports fans have adapted, to new ways of listening while all along maintaining strong relationships with our over 500 affiliates across the country,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “From compelling talk programming to the strongest package of play-by-play content in the industry, ESPN Radio has consistently been the leader among sports broadcasters. We’re incredibly grateful to all the hard-working individuals who have contributed so much to the network over the years — both behind and in front of the mic. Bringing back Keith, Tony and Chuck was a way for us to tip our hats to the folks who got us started.”

The network has also divulged that it will revisit pivotal moments in sports from the past 25 years. From January 9 through December 11, a special bi-weekly podcast series, 25 Stories in Sports from the Last 25 Years, will be available on the ESPN app and ESPNRadio.com. The series will be hosted by various ESPN Radio voices and focus on a number of the landmark sporting events since 1992.

Also starting in January, ESPN Radio will explore the Top 25 of the last 25 years – Best Coaches, Best Fights, Most Underrated Athletes and more, with one list debuting each month through 2017 on ESPNRadio.com.

The ESPN Radio network was launched on January 1, 1992, and featured 16 hours per week of sports news and information. It’s since grown to deliver over 9,000 hours of talk and event content per year, and is available to 20 million listeners per week on 500 stations nationwide.

Notable Moments in ESPN Radio History:

Date Moment
January 1, 1992 ESPN Radio Network is launched, featuring 16 hours a week of sports news and information.
July 4, 1994 ESPN Radio begins its first weekday “long‑form” programming and its first show with listener calls with The Fabulous Sports Babe, weekdays from 10 a.m. ‑ 2 p.m.
November 14, 1995 ESPN Radio Network acquires national radio broadcast rights to the NBA, the network’s first agreement for an event series.
September 18, 1997 ESPN Radio and Major League Baseball announce a deal for game coverage (beginning in 1998) and a variety of other programming through the 2002 season.
October 12, 1998 ESPN Radio becomes a 24-hour service utilizing ABC Radio’s recently purchased WMVP in Chicago, its flagship station: “ESPN Radio 1000.”
January 3, 2000 Mike & Mike in the Morning makes its debut.
March 7, 2000 ESPN Radio signs its 100th full-time station – WTMT-AM in Louisville, Ky.
September 1, 2001 ESPN Radio 1050 in New York debuts as a 50,000-watt 24-hour ESPN affiliate.
January 1, 2002 ESPN Radio celebrates its 10th anniversary.  In 2002, the network adds stations giving it 700 total – including coverage in the top 50 markets – and 210 fulltime.
January 1, 2003 Los Angeles station 710AM becomes an ESPN Radio affiliate.
April 26, 2004 Mike & Mike makes its TV debut on ESPNEWS.
October 5, 2005 ESPN Deportes Radio launches, the first fulltime national U.S. Spanish-language sports network, with sports talk and events, highlighted by MLB and Mexican soccer.
April 10, 2006 ESPN.com launches PodCenter, a library of digital audio and video content from ESPN’s TV, radio and online outlets to download or play on computer.
September 2009 The ESPN Radio app debuts, and was listed among the “Top 25 Apps for 2009” on iTunes.
April 30, 2012 ESPN Radio in New York moves from 1050 AM to 98.7 FM.  In September, the 1050 signal becomes a 24/7 ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate.
September 30, 2013 The Dan Le Batard Show, hosted by longtime Miami journalist Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, makes its national debut, airing weekdays, 4 – 7 p.m. and later moves to its current 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. timeslot.
January 23, 2014 On February 3, the YES Network begins its live simulcast of ESPN New York 98.7FM’s The Michael Kay Show.
June 10, 2014 ESPN Radio becomes the first sports content available on iTunes Radio.
January 24, 2015 ESPN Radio debuts Spain & Prim, its first all-female hosted and produced sports talk show, presented by espnW and hosted by Sarah Spain and Prim Siripipat. It was the precursor to the current The Trifecta with Spain, Jane and Kate, hosted by Spain, Jane McManus and Kate Fagan.
March 6, 2015 ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike celebrates its 15th anniversary with a live show from Walt Disney World in Orlando.
April 5, 2016 Dunkumentaries, ESPN Audio’s first long-form podcast, debuts as a five episode series.
June 20, 2016 ESPNLA 710AM becomes the flagship station for the Los Angeles Rams

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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