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Under The Radar – July 24, 2017

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It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but another week passes, and the sports media news cycle keeps on spinning. Although this week was a little slower than the past few. A reminder, you can have your individual or company news featured in this article by forwarding any pertinent information to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest developments.

Vice Sports has become the latest digital brand to overhaul its writing team in favor of video content. The company is parting ways with 2% of its 3,000 employees as it becomes heavier focused on original video programming. Among the cuts were Aaron Gordon, Jorge Arrangure, and Patrick Hruby. To read more about it click here.

Adrian Wojnarowski may not have been able to raid the entire Vertical staff and take them with him to ESPN, but that doesn’t mean the network isn’t committed to adding to its NBA reporting team. Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com have agreed to join the company as NBA Draft Analysts. The Draft Express website had produced millions of readers over the past 14 years, but with their new opportunity at ESPN, Givony and Schmitz plan to produce all of their content exclusively for ESPN and its multiple platforms. Archived material will remain available on the Draft Express website.

Also heading ESPN’s direction is Nick DePaula. The former feature writer for The Vertical, and creative director and Editor-In-Chief for Sole Magazine and Nice Kicks, has signed on with the network to provide additional coverage on hoops and athlete’s footwear.

Darius Rucker has decided that calling into sports talk shows isn’t enough. The county music star has reached an agreement with SiriusXM to host a new golf show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. The show will be titled “On Par with Darius Rucker” and it’s slated to debut Wednesday July 26th. The show will air monthly once its officially launched.

Congratulations to SportsNet 590 The Fan program director Dave Cadeau who has been elevated by Rogers Media to National Format Director. In addition to continuing to program the Toronto sports radio station, Cadeau will assist other sports radio properties under the Rogers umbrella.

Longtime Nashville sports talk show host George Plaster is returning to the local airwaves. A new program is being developed and will air on Classic Country WSM-AM. The show won’t interfere with Plaster’s position of Associate Director of Athletics at Belmont University. Plaster previously hosted on 102.5 The Game.

WQAM’s Ant Calatayud is bound for Bristol. The Miami radio producer is moving to Connecticut in August to join ESPN where he’s expected to contribute to the network’s Podcenter team.

Atlanta sports radio station 680 The Fan gave former Bills and Falcons wide receiver Peerless Price an opportunity to host last week. Price stepped in alongside fellow former wideout Brian Finneran and radio host/anchor Sandra Golden. Lead host Steak Shapiro had time off.

iHeartmedia has taken the plunge into the sports format in Tucson, Arizona. The company has launched FOX Sports 1450 featuring FOX Sports Radio network programming. The station also is the local home for Tucson Roadrunners minor league hockey.

The Baltimore Ravens have announced a new nine-part podcast series which will dive into the lives of the Harbaugh family. Man of the Crowd is hosted by Sarah Ellison and features more than 25 interviews with family members, friends, co-workers and reporters, offering fans a better understanding of what makes the Harbaugh family tick. For more information click here.

While some in the media begin to write obituaries for written content, others are taking advantage of the opportunity to add talented writers to their websites. The Athletic are the latest to do so. After previously hiring Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson to spearhead their Bay Area coverage, Kawakami revealed that Phil Taylor, John Middlekauff, Dieter Kurtenbach, Danny Leroux and Bay Area Sports Guy have been added as contributors.

Former Sports Illustrated writer Greg Bedard is also taking a more prominent role in overseeing a digital brand. Bedard has launched BostonSportsJournal.com, which includes Sean McAdam, Christopher Price, and Brian Robb and focuses primarily on the Boston sports scene. The website’s model replicates what Dejan Kovacevic installed in Pittsburgh with DKPittsburghsports.com. Kovacevic’s brand has amassed over 38,000 subscribers while adding strong corporate advertising support. Bedard is hoping to accomplish the same with his new digital venture.

Sticking in the San Francisco area, NBC Sports Bay Area recently launched a new show, Giants Outsiders, featuring Grant Brisbee and Therese Vinal. The show is thirty minutes in length and offers viewers an entertaining and fresh take on Giants games with an emphasis on viewer interaction via Twitter and Facebook. The show is also synced with Facebook Live to produce a unique interactive experience.

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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