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Under The Radar – August 14, 2017

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Sports media news continues to trickle in and this is the place where you learn about some of the developments you may not have been aware of. If you’d like to have your personal or station news included in a future edition of UTR, please send details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest activity.

Congratulations to Jeff Rickard who has been promoted to Program Director at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The veteran national sports talk show host had been working for the station as its Executive Producer, and with Greg Rakestraw being tasked with developing the company’s Network Indiana project, Rickard has been given an opportunity to take on a bigger role overseeing day to day programming operations.

Staying in Indiana, Luke Martin has been named the new voice of Indiana State football. Martin will also have an extended role covering Indiana State baseball.

Thirty three years of calling Kansas City Chiefs games is plenty for former quarterback Len Dawson. The radio voice of the Chiefs will wrap up his legendary career calling the team’s games for the 2017 season before the organization turns the microphone over to a new announcer next season. Dawson said, “I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do. I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.”

Continuing with Chiefs news, KMOX (1120 AM) is back as a radio affiliate of the team for the 2017 NFL season. When games conflict with KMOX’s Cardinals or Blues commitments, they’ll be moved to 590 The Fan, KFNS.

Speaking of 590 The Fan, KFNS, the station is also gearing up for football season by making a number of solid moves. First, they’ve signed on as an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys, airing all of the team’s games for the 2017 NFL season. In addition, former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr will be appearing three times per week on the station as a contributor. Farr last worked for 101 ESPN before moving to Los Angeles. The station has also added former front office executive Mike Lombardi for two call-ins per week.

The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets radio contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. Talks have begun between the team and its radio partner, iHeartmedia New York. Mets games air on WOR 710AM.

A pretty cool story worth sharing. 920 The Jersey host and program director Zach Gelb will get his shot to fill in on WFAN in New York this weekend. Gelb will host the 2am ET shift early Sunday morning. Zach’s father Bob works for The Fan in sales after previously contributing to the programming department.

Talkers produced a fantastic piece highlighting the growth of WEEI‘s digital brand. The radio station recently celebrated nine years of digital excellence. To get familiar with the brand’s story click here.

Congratulations goes out to Evan Wilner. After seven years at MLB Network Radio, Wilner is moving over to SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation to serve as the channel’s Executive Producer.

Former 97.5 The Fanatic and Bleacher Report radio host Nick Kayal underwent some vocal troubles over the past two years. Fortunately things have turned in a positive direction with Kayal announcing that he’s been cleared to return to broadcasting following vocal cord surgery.

A newcomer is Portland bound. Brandon Droz has signed off in Grand Junction, CO, where he had worked for 1340 The Team, Magic 93.1, 92.3 The Moose, 1100 KNZZ  and 96.1 KSTAR, in order to join the Portland sports radio scene. Droz hasn’t said yet which station he’s joining. Stay tuned.

Alpha Media has struck a deal with Coastal Carolina University for WRNN-AM/FM to serve as the new flagship station of the Chanticleer Sports Network through the 2019-2020 season. The new agreement gives the radio station the ability to carry live game-day coverage of football, baseball, and men’s basketball.

Hall of Fame second baseman and former Cincinnati Red Joe Morgan will join Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley on Reds Wednesday home-game broadcasts through the remainder of the MLB season. Morgan will work Reds games against the Cubs, Mets, Brewers and Cardinals for FOX Sports Ohio.

Brett Dolan, a broadcasting veteran with twenty seven years of experience working on game broadcasts for the Houston Astros, ESPN, Root Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Television, has been chosen as the SEC Network voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dolan will be the Razorbacks’ lead play-by-play announcer and host a number of Razorback programs on RSN and Cox Sports Television. He’ll also oversee the strategic planning of video content for ArkansasRazorbacks.com. An official announcement will be made later this month.

After nine years at ESPN, Jason Vida has moved on to become the Associate Director of Athletic Public Relations for the University of Richmond.

While one departs the worldwide leader, another joins. David Albiani has been added as a production assistant. Albiani also contributes to Cover32.com writing about the New England Patriots.

WCTV in Tallahassee has a brand new sports director. Kevin Keane has accepted the opportunity and is heading home. He had been working for KGWN in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a surprising move in the windy city, Chris Boden is out at CSN Chicago after ten years. Boden says he was let go but is grateful for his time with the company. He hopes to find a new broadcast home real soon.

The run has also come to an end for Kevin Bowen. After spending five years working for the Indianapolis Colts and contributing to radio, television and print, Bowen says the team notified him they were parting ways. He called the opportunity a dream come true situation and thanked Colts fans for paying attention to his work.

Congratulations to Phoenix Carnevale on being hired by AXS TV. She’s been added as the channel’s cage/ringside reporter for MMA fights.

Effective today, Nate Scott is working for SB Nation. He says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to work with the best crew of storytellers working online today.

In Denver, Nick Kosmider has been added to the Denver Broncos beat at the Denver Post. He’ll work in tandem with Nicki Jhabvala covering the team.

Dean Straka is ready to start breaking news on the Big 12. Straka has announced that he’s signed on to work for Diehards.com. The site has also added Grant McGalliard as a freelance reporter.

And finally, after two years with the Shawano Leader, Chris Caporale is leaving to become the sports editor of the Daily Jefferson County Union.

Sports Radio News

KNBR’s ‘Murph and Mac’ Talk Barry Bonds’ Baseball Hall of Fame Exclusion

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly joined the show to explain Hall of Fame balloting in baseball’s steroid era.

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KNBR

Amid the current team owners’ lockout, now the longest in Major League Baseball history, the sport is still generating publicity. But the headlines have nothing to do with the labor dispute between the owners and players.

Generating debate is the controversial omission of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in their final year of eligibility.

This year, 394 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted in the election, with former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz being the only player on the ballot to surprass the required 75 percent threshold. Ortiz received 77.9 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility.

Bonds and Clemens both allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, significantly impacting their candidacies for baseball immortality. There was outrage in many corners of the baseball world Tuesday night following the announcement, and widespread disappointment from fans of the game who feel that an apparent “blemish” on baseball history is trying to be forcibly erased rather than remembered.

On Wednesday morning, Murph & Mac on San Francisco’s KNBR welcomed The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly to their program to discuss the exclusion of Bonds from Cooperstown and the negative perception the voting process is receiving by members of the media and fans alike.

“In 2014, the Hall of Fame sort of unilaterally changed its rules and reduced the time you can be on the writers’ ballot from 15 years to 10,” Baggarly explained. “There’s no doubt that was intentional to clear the way for steroid-era players that would otherwise linger on the ballot forever.”

Bonds is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to ever take the field, and is baseball’s current record holder for both the most career home runs (762) and the most single-season home runs (73). He also won the National League Most Valuable Player award a record seven times, also receiving 14 All-Star Game selections and 12 Silver Slugger awards.

“When I hear guys like Chris Russo tsk-tsk… Bonds for using steroids, [I say] ‘What, are you kidding me?’” said Brian Murphy, co-host of the Bay Area morning drive program. “How widespread it was in the game, how owners and GMs and team presidents never told players that they would be facing penalties and kept giving them money, and everyone collectively participated? Now, [it’s] ‘No, Mr. Bonds, you can’t do that.’”

For those who are not members of the BBWAA, the perception of the Hall of Fame announcement has generated negative publicity for Major League Baseball during an already-contentious negotiation towards a new collective bargaining agreement. Baseball’s all-time home run leader in Bonds and a seven-time Cy Young Award winner are barred from Cooperstown – for now.

There is another way in, but it is sure to cause even more public controversy, according to Baggarly.

 “Now [Bonds] goes to the committees,” outlined Baggarly. “All of [these] committees meet twice every five-year period. It just so happens that the Today’s Game Committee will meet at the Winter Meetings in December… and they can consider as many as 10 individuals [for the Hall of Fame]… Can you imagine if the panel who elected Commissioner Bud Selig will be the same people who don’t elect Bonds? If you think the writers are getting blasted, just wait.”

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Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Upped To APD At 104.3 The Fan

“Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019.”

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All on-air talent at 104.3 the Fan in Denver now reports to Parker Hillis. He has been promoted to become the assistant program director of that station and ESPN Denver 1600.

“Parker has been critical to the success of our Bonneville Denver sports properties,” 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver 1600 Program Director Raj Sharan said in a press release. “He’s absolutely earned this opportunity to take on increased responsibilities managing our sports stations on a daily basis.” 

Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019. He came from Dallas, where he worked for Audacy’s 105.3 The Fan.

With the promotion, the station is now looking for a new executive producer. Parker Hillis will oversee that search.

“I’m excited to work with our hosts in a greater capacity on a day-to-day basis,” Hillis said. “The opportunity to lead collaborative efforts among our amazingly talented team is truly an honor.” 

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Sports Radio News

Doug Gottlieb Calls Out Jeff Passan, Others Arguing For Barry Bonds in Hall of Fame

“Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

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The Baseball Hall of Fame election results were announced Tuesday evening with some big names up for induction. Most notably, David Ortiz was elected while longtime nominees Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were once again snubbed.

Many fans and media personalities believe Bonds specifically should have been inducted because of his on-the-field accolades and achievements. They seem to believe his alleged steroid usage is irrelevant. or at least not worth the snub.

Doug Gottlieb, on his Fox Sports Radio show, took the Hall of Fame’s side and called out ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who advocated for Bonds on television. The host used several analogies to explain why society does not honor those who have cheated in their respective fields. 

“The core of what you are as an athlete is how hard you work,” said Gottlieb. “You’ve got natural ability, how can you get better, and at some point you come to that end. Clemens and Bonds robbed Father Time, and they robbed baseball. Shame on you, Jeff Passan, calling it a museum. Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

Gottlieb makes a strong argument. As he mentioned, Bonds not only broke the rules but was also caught. While other players who used steroids may have snuck in somehow, Gottlieb compared it to being pulled over for speeding.

“It’s like you get caught speeding,” he said, “somebody else was going 90 and zips past you five minutes before you were speeding, and you’re sitting there going like ‘Yeah, I was speeding but that guy was going faster.’ That doesn’t actually work in real life.”

You can listen to the rest of Gottlieb’s thoughts at the Fox Sports Radio website.

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