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Under The Radar – January 3, 2017

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A couple of tidbits from the sports media world. If you have a future tip or news story to pass along, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Good news for sports radio listeners in Detroit. 97.1 The Ticket afternoon host Terry Foster is returning to the airwaves alongside his longtime partner Mike Valenti. Foster had been battling some health issues and had been off the station. Jeff Riger had filled in for Foster with Valenti. Foster is scheduled to return Tuesday afternoon.

670 The Score is now officially 25 years old. The Chicago sports station celebrated its birthday on Monday January 2nd. As The Score prepares for its next 25 years, it’ll begin the journey by saying goodbye to longtime drive time host Terry Boers. Terry will host his final show on the radio station this Thursday.

Speaking of celebrations, Arizona Sports 98.7 also recently enjoyed 10 years on the air. The station originally launched the sports format in January 2007 on KTAR 620AM before moving to the FM dial in January 2014.

In the Mile High City, a couple of moves have been made at Mile High Sports 104.7FM and 1340AM. The station has announced the addition of Ryan Edwards, who will team up with Danny Williams weekdays from 9a-11a MT. Sean Walsh has also been added to the lineup and will host a new show weekdays from 2p-4p MT.

Fletcher Johnson has announced he’s departing 750 The Game in Portland. Johnson had been part of the afternoon show alongside Noah “Chop” Homsley. Johnson says that after seven years with the station and a rise from intern to drive time host he’s ready for a change.

With Johnson exiting afternoons at 750 The Game, the station has announced they’ll pair Homsley with former 710 ESPN Seattle midday host Justin Myers who has been working for The Game in a part-time role. Myers and Homsley will rebrand their afternoon show as “The Irregular Guys“.

A tip of the cap to Mike Florio who stayed on the air on NBC Sports Radio for six hours on Black Monday to navigate all of the NFL coaching news. With a number of local stations airing holiday programming that day, it was a smart move by Westwood One to offer additional hours of Florio’s show, and an even wiser move by Florio to invest the extra time on-air.

If you missed it, Dana White revealed that lead UFC announcer Mike Goldberg has worked his final broadcast with the company. Goldberg called the action on the UFC 207 pay per view alongside his longtime partner Joe Rogan. White is said to have heavy interest in hiring Jim Rome to call future fights. No deal between the two parties has been reached yet.

Dio Garcia has left 940 WINZ where he served as the producer of the Andy Slater show. Garcia had worked on the show for the past five years, including stints at two different stations.

Congratulations to Syracuse alum Michael Silver who has landed a producer job with Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville.

George Balekji has agreed to become the new sports anchor for Action 12 News KODE in Joplin, MO and Pittsburg, KS.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a new beat reporter covering them in 2017. Trevor Sikkema has signed on with Pewter Report to cover the team throughout the year.

Former Patriot Ledger high school sports reporter Matt Cook has accepted a new opportunity with the Metrowest Daily News where he’ll contribute as a multimedia sports journalist. The publication is based out of Framingham, MA.

Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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