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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – June 13, 2017

Jason Barrett

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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.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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