If you missed any of the latest sports media developments, we’ve got you covered. If you have personal or station news to share and would like to be included in a future column, please pass along your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to the news.
According to The Province, Rogers Media has found its program director to lead its new Vancouver sports radio station. Craig MacEwen is expected to take the reigns and lead the brand new Sportsnet 650. The station landed the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks in March and is expected to launch as a full service sports radio brand this fall.
After five and a half years in Phoenix, Neil Larrimore has exited as program director of FOX Sports 910 and News/Talk 550 KFYI. Filling Larrimore’s position is Aaron Trimmer, who moves to the desert from Richmond, VA where he programmed FOX Sports 910 and Newsradio 1140.
Meanwhile, one of Trimmer’s former colleagues is taking on a new project. FOX Sports 910 host Wes McElroy has added writing duties for Fan Rag Sports. The Richmond based host wrote his first piece for the website last week and it focuses on the Washington Redskins. Click here to read it.
A tip of the cap to 102.9/750 The Game midday host Justin Myers. The Portland talk show host last week shared a powerful and emotional personal story at the start of his show last week about his history as a child abuse victim. The discussion came up after it was discovered that Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich had molested a six-year old girl while he was in High School. If you can afford 15-20 minutes it’s worth listening to. Click here for it.
ESPN 700 has found its replacement for Sean O’Connell in afternoons. The radio station has added former 1320 The Fan host Kyle Gunther. The Salt Lake veteran has joined forces with Tom Hackett weekdays from 2p-6p MT.
In Milwaukee, 105.7 The Fan has added Cody Grant as producer of Chuck and Winkler‘s morning show. The program airs locally weekdays 6a-10a CT.
Times Herald Record sports writer Justin Rodriguez has announced he will begin hosting a weekly radio program on WALL-AM 1340 in the Hudson Valley area of NY. The show will debut on Monday June 19th at 7p ET and focus primarily on high school sports.
Vince Ferrara deserves a congratulations. The Knoxville radio host on WNML has been added as a play-by-play announcer by the SEC Network. He’s expected to call select games for the network. The additional work won’t preclude him from hosting his radio program.
In other play by play news, congratulations to Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti. The team recently announced they’d signed Beneti to a new multiyear agreement which calls for an expanded role in the broadcast booth. He replaced Ken Harrelson as the team’s television voice for home games in 2016 and is expected to take over on a full-time basis starting in 2019.
Another recipient of good news is play-by-play announcer Josh Appel. After calling games for Florida International University and the minor league baseball team the Clearwater Threshers, Appel is moving to a larger stage. Sports USA Media has hired Appel full-time to call NFL and college football games.
Duke University will have a new voice calling Blue Devils football and men’s basketball games soon. North Carolina native David Shumate has agreed to join the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network and become the school’s new play-by-play announcer. He starts officially on July 1st.
A new host will anchor the Inside Michigan Football radio show this season. WXYZ Sports Director Brad Galli has been charged with leading the weekly conversation with Wolverines Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan play-by-play voice Jim Brandstatter previously hosted the show but said he chose to give up the assignment due to the increased demands of his position and weekend travel schedule working with Michigan and the Detroit Lions.
Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte
“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”
Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.
Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin.
“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”
Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.
“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”
Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.
Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football
“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”
The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.
“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about:
As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.
“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”
Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan
“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”
John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.
Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.
“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”
Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.
The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.
“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”