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Under The Radar – March 6, 2017

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Here are the latest developments inside sports media circles. If you have a future news tip, press release, promotion or other tidbit to pass along, you can reach me at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

According to sources, big changes are on coming to the update desks in New York. As part of the adjustments, WFAN update anchors are expected to handle update duties on WINS 1010AM. CBS Sports Network anchors will pull double duty taking on update responsibilities at WCBS 880AM. There could also be some adjustments coming to the overnight schedules. Stay tuned.

In Milwaukee, Drew Olson has a brand new daily show on The Big 920. Olson joined iHeartMedia Milwaukee in August after a long run with Good Karma’s ESPN 540 and will be installed in mid-days from 1p-3p CT. Former host Mitch Nelles is transitioning into a full time sales role with the company.

Across town at Olson’s former employer, FOX Sports Wisconsin‘s Sophia Minnaert will appear daily as a guest on ESPN Milwaukee to provide updates on the latest happenings with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Former St. Louis sports radio host Brian McKenna is home and recovering after undergoing four surgeries in three weeks to battle a cancerous cell. During the process there were complications which caused nerve damage and partial paralysis to the right side of Brian’s face. Although the cells were removed, Brian still faces a long road ahead which includes additional surgeries and therapy. The broadcasting community is encouraged to reach out and lend a hand by contributing via the family’s GoFundMe page.

Congratulations is in order for Rob Taylor who has signed on with 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland as an anchor. Taylor previously worked in Dayton, Ohio where he spent over a decade at Alpha Media’s HOT 102.9 and 1410 ESPN Radio.

Former WHB evening host T.J. Carpenter has landed a new opportunity in Denver. Carpenter will be relocating to join Sean Walsh on Mile High Sports Radio 1340AM. The pair will team up weekdays from 2p-4p MT.

Following the arrival of 1580 The Fanatic in Phoenix, former NBC Sports Radio 1060AM program director and talk show host Rich Gray has decided to make the jump and work for the upstart sports station. Gray has signed on with the station as an on-air producer.

WGN in Chicago has added former NHL defenseman Brent Sopel as a hockey analyst and weekend talk show host. Sopel will be part of the weekend show “The Beat” which includes Mark Carman, Adam Hoge, and Jarrett Payton.

Longtime Los Angeles Kings broadcaster Bob Miller announced his retirement last week following doctor’s orders. The 78-year old Miller had suffered a mild stroke in January and was encouraged to step aside and focus on his health. Miller called Kings games from 1973 to 2017. Former Dallas Stars play by play voice Ralph Stangis will call the team’s games going forward with analyst Jim Fox.

According to Chad Finn of the Boston Globe, Evan Drellich is leaving the Boston Herald for a multi-platform opportunity at Comcast SportsNet New England. Drelich has also appeared recently on WEEI creating some explosive content with Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan.

The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel reports that Kaylee Hartung will be leaving ESPN to join CNN. Hartung has been with ESPN since 2012. Prior to that she worked for CBS News in Washington D.C. She’s expected to join CNN in April.

Michael Gehlken has confirmed that he’s no longer with the San Diego Union Tribune. Gehlken had been working the San Diego Chargers beat but with the team moving to Los Angeles his position was eliminated.

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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