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Under The Radar – February 13, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Another busy week in sports media full of news and notes you likely missed. To be included in a future column, send your news, tip or press release to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s what’s happening.

Well wishes are granted to Amber Wilson of 790 The Ticket in Miami. The talented and energetic morning host announced she’ll be taking time away from the morning show, which includes Jonathan Zaslow and Brett Romberg, in order to battle breast cancer. Readers can send their support via Twitter by clicking here.

After 17 years, talented ESPN television producer and social media expert Jason Romano has decided to pursue a new calling. Romano, who has worked on numerous successful TV shows for ESPN, says he’s been nudged by the lord to help spread his message, and as a result, he’s going to start his own consulting business to help churches, athletes and other companies with their social and digital media. He also plans to host a new faith and sports podcast.

Another ESPN employee received some positive news recently. Anish Shroff has been named the network’s new Lacrosse play by play voice. Shroff replaces Eamon McAnaney who left last month to join SNY.

A well deserved congratulations is in order for Tony DiGiacomo who was recently promoted to the position of Program Director at Charlotte’s sports station WFNZ. DiGiacomo had been with the station for about 8 years, serving as an Executive Producer and Assistant Program Director before officially being given the PD title.

Also at WFNZ, midday host Nathan Conley has exited the building and is no longer with the company.

Another story out of Charlotte. Gerry Vaillancourt is returning to the local airwaves this week, hosting evenings on powerhouse news talker WBT. Vaillancourt previously hosted shows on the station earlier in his career but left the market when the Hornets elected to depart for New Orleans. At the time he was part of the team’s broadcast crew.

A tip of the cap to the crew at 1620 The Zone in Omaha. The radio station closed out the 4th quarter in strong fashion, finishing 3rd in both morning and middays. The station was also top 6 M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid, plus outranked local competitor ESPN 590 on the weekends, despite being at a disadvantage due to 590 carrying Nebraska Cornhuskers football. A great job by all involved.

In San Francisco, popular radio analyst Mike Krukow has announced he’ll reduce his schedule for the 2017 season. Former Giants Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez will earn some reps filling in.

After 31 years in broadcasting, former ESPN 980 Program Director and Navy Football Executive Producer Chuck Sapienza is tackling a new challenge. Sapienza announced that he’s joining the staff of Mount Saint Joseph High School as their marketing manager. He says he’ll also continue to blog for Breaking Burgundy.

After being a budget cut casualty at ESPN 980 last month, Nick Ashooh has landed on his feet. The Washington D.C. based personality is moving across town to join 106.7 The Fan.

On the network level, Seth Everett won’t be hosting on Sunday night’s any longer for NBC Sports Radio. He will remain involved on a fill-in basis. In the meantime, Everett has hosted on Baltimore news talker WBAL, and he’ll be sitting in for a few days on Sports Illustrated’s SI Now with Andrew Perloff.

An interesting development in Knoxville. Mickey Dearstone was let go from his position of Program Director and Host last week, but is still appearing on the station’s airwaves due to his involvement as the voice of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball. No word on why WNML chose to change direction.

Syracuse sports talk show host Mike Lindsley has added hosting duties on SB Nation Radio to his resume. Lindsley, who hosts weekdays from 3p-6p on The Score 1260, is hosting a new program called “The Saturday Tailgate“. The show airs every Saturday morning from 10a-12p ET.

While Lindsley’s addition may be positive, SB Nation Radio unfortunately had to part ties with a few of their staff members last week due to budgets. Lewis Woodard, and Will Palaszczuk, were among the on-air casualties. Each host is looking for their next opportunity.

Former NFL player and WDAE midday host Ian Beckles has signed on with Radio Influence to create a new weekly podcast.

In Portland, 750 The Game has added Devon Pouncey to its staff. Pouncey is originally from the Bay Area.

As one door closes, another one opens. Seth Stokes has left “The Swain Event” in order to join 106.3 WORD as a news reporter and digital content creator. With Stokes departing, Daniel Lewis has been named his replacement alongside Jayson Swain.

On the satellite radio airwaves, Robert Brender made his debut this past Saturday, hosting alongside former MLB manager Kevin Kennedy. The duo hosted the 4p-7p ET shift. No word yet on if it was a one-time test run or a program which SiriusXM will add to its weekend schedule.

TribLive Radio in Pittsburgh has reached a deal with Jordan Hall to cover NCAA and NFL football this fall.

The news isn’t as positive at CSN Philadelphia. The TV station has chosen to cancel their morning show “Breakfast on Broad“. Personalities involved with the show are expected to contribute to the TV station’s other local programs.

The post-Mike Goldberg era is beginning for the UFC. The company’s next pay per view will feature Jon Anik handling play-by-play alongside Joe Rogan. Dana White previously said he had a dream team of broadcasters in mind. Although this pairing should be very good, it doesn’t seem to be the out of the box combination White had been hinting at.

Sports Radio News

Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’

“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.

On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.

“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.

“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”

Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”

Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.

“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Sports Radio News

Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner

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Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.

The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”

Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.

Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe

“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday, and the news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.

After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.

“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”

While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.

Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.

“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.

“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”

“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.

“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”

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