The month of February comes to a close with a batch of industry news that may have slipped by you. A quick reminder that if you have a news tip, press release or a story involving your brand or one of its personalities, and you’d like to be included in a future UTR column, send the details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Congratulations to Laurence Holmes who has signed a new deal to remain 670 The Score‘s evening host. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Holmes acknowledged exploring a few options after his deal expired, and despite being initially disappointed in not receiving an opportunity to move up in the lineup following Terry Boers‘ retirement, he’s thrilled to remain in a position where he can continue to inform and entertain Chicago sports radio fans on a nightly basis.
Speaking of Chicago, congratulations to ESPN 1000 who turned in a stellar January in the ratings. The radio station won the head to head battle against 670 The Score in middays, afternoons, and M-F 6a-7p led by strong showings from Waddle & Silvy and David Kaplan, who were both 1st in their respective timeslots. The Score continued to lead the way in mornings thanks to another great showing from Mully & Hanley. The January book contained two weeks of The Score’s new weekday lineup.
A big January from the Atlanta Falcons helped fuel record ratings for 92.9 The Game. The station turned in an overall rating of 4.4., its highest number since launching four years ago. Congratulations to Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson and the entire staff.
Shifting to Salt Lake City, ESPN 700 has added a new partner alongside afternoon host Sean O’Connell. Former University of Utah All-American Punter and Melbourne, Australia native Tom Hackett is joining the show on a full time basis starting Monday. To see the video announcement about the new program click here.
Meanwhile in San Diego, it appears that Tony Gwynn Jr. will be joining the Padres broadcast team. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gwynn is likely to appear on 30 telecasts on FOX Sports San Diego, and 30 radio broadcasts on FM 949. The specifics of his role are still being sorted out.
The Miami Herald reports that the Miami Marlins have dropped Carl Pavano as a studio analyst from their television broadcasts. The team is retaining the services of former players Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Jeff Nelson on its pre-game and post-game shows.
In Charlotte, WFNZ morning show producer Travis “T-Bone” Hancock has created a new podcast called “The Boneyard“. Hancock says the show will take listeners behind the scenes of the station’s morning show “The Mac Attack” and include in depth conversations with a few of the station’s callers and personalities. To hear the first episode click here.
97.1 The Ticket in Detroit is bringing back its popular golf show, “Lesson on Golf” hosted by Jeff Lesson. The show has been a mainstay on the station’s airwaves for the past 20 years.
Further north in Toronto, Colin Teskey has begun anchoring sports updates on a part time basis for Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Teskey also serves as a co-host of The Regulars on Extra 90.5 in Peterborough, Ontario.
The Erie Sea Wolves have signed a new two year agreement with FOX Sports Radio 1330 to broadcast more than 140 games on the Erie sports radio station. The sports station is owned and operated by Connoisseur Media.
After 13 years, Tony Castleberry is leaving The Daily Reflector in Greenville, North Carolina. Castleberry has landed a digital content producer job with WECT in Wilmington.
MLB.com has added Mark Feinsand as an Executive Reporter. Feinsand spent 16 years with the New York Daily News covering the New York Yankees. He has a new book “The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List” coming out April 15th.
And to close out this week’s column, Alexa Datt has launched a new show titled “12:25 Live“. The program airs M-F on both MLB.com and Facebook Live. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig made an appearance on the debut program which took place this past Friday.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
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.”