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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – August 29, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Traveling for business makes it tougher to keep up with developments that don’t dominate the headlines, but despite the challenges, we’ve got plenty for you to digest this week. A reminder, to have your personal or station news included in a future edition of this column, email your information to JBarett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now on to this week’s news.

ESPN has confirmed the release of a brand new podcast starting this Wednesday August 30th. Ian Fitzsimmons and Kirk Herbstreit will team up for a college football heavy podcast. The program is simply titled Herbstreit & Fitzsimmons.

Staying on the subject of new podcasts, CBS Sports Radio host Jim Rome is launching one too. One cool feature of the new podcast will include listeners having an opportunity to be a part of it. Rome has set up a new voicemail (949-385-0447) which allows fans to phone in. Good material may be used on future episodes.

A podcast episode worth passing along comes from Oklahoma City where WWLS host Carey Murdock caught up with the play by play voice of the University of Oklahoma Toby Rowland. The two men worked together earlier in their careers and reunited on this podcast to discuss the role of official broadcasts, innovations which could make broadcasting games more exciting, and more. To hear the conversation click here.

Last week, ESPN President John Skipper appeared for an interview on The Mighty 1090 in San Diego with Dan Sileo. Given the timing of national news stories involving the worldwide leader, it was wise of Skipper to make a public appearance. To hear the interview click here.

92.9 The Game in Atlanta has filled its vacancy for evenings. Former Portland morning host Andy Bunker has taken over the evening shift formerly held by Mark Zinno. “The Bunker Mentality” now occupies the airwaves M-F 7p-11p ET.

Congratulations to ESPN 1000 radio host John Jurkovic. The Chicago midday host has been chosen for induction into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. The event is scheduled for October 2nd at McCormick Square’s Wintrust Arena.

Capitol Broadcasting’s 99.9 The Fan and its website WRALSportsFan.com have welcomed three college sports reporters to their roster for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. Ben Swain has been assigned to covering Duke. Turner Walston is tasked with reporting on the University of North Carolina. And James Curle will handle the assignment of covering North Carolina State.

Baltimore Ravens radio broadcasts on WBAL and 98 Rock this season will include four former players. Joining Gerry Sandusky and Stan White for four games each will be Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Justin Forsett and Jarret Johnson.

In football radio news out of Los Angeles, KNX-AM, 1070 Newsradio, will debut its daily Pro Football Insiders Report starting Monday August 28th. The station’s insiders are Dan Fouts, Chris Myers, Jackie Slater and Andrew Siciliano. Their reports run weekdays at 7:20a, 10:20a, 5:50p and 7:50p.

Former Detroit Sports 105.1 host Jake Chapman has signed on as an update anchor with 97.1 The Ticket and WWJ Newsradio 950.

Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City has extended its programming partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs to bolster its weekday content during football season. The partnership doesn’t grant WHB the opportunity to air Chiefs games.

When Charles Barkley is willing to host for four hours on your radio station, you take full advantage of it. That’s exactly what 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia is doing this Tuesday. Barkley will join afternoon host Mike Missanelli from 2p-6p ET. The two have worked together numerous times before, and always put on a great show together.

Nashville Predators radio broadcasts on 102.5 The Game this season will include former defenseman Hal Gill. Gill replaces Brent Peterson who shifts to pre and post game shows alongside Darren McFarland. Gill will work game broadcasts with Pete Weber.

Sticking with hockey radio broadcasts, 105.9 The X in Pittsburgh has inked a multi-year extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins to continue serving as its broadcast partner. The new deal keeps the two sides together through the 2020-21 NHL season.

Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 has filled the remainder of its on-air lineup. The station has confirmed the additions of Satiar Shah, Perry Solkowski, Jawn Jang, and Randip Janda.

Further down the west coast in Fresno, Christopher Gabriel has been brought in to host afternoons on 940 ESPN. Gabriel previously has hosted in the market for Power Talk 96.7 and AM 1400.

The University of South Florida has launched a new 24/7 digital streaming audio channel with iHeart Radio. The new channel debuted on Saturday August 26th and features game broadcasts, coaches shows, replays of classic games, and more.

Lafayette sports radio station ESPN 1420 welcomes Greg Larnerd to its roster. The 27 year old product of Sandy Hook, CT will host “The Word with G” weeknights from 6p-7p starting September 12th. He’ll also host the Acadiana postgame show.

Congratulations to Bryan Drozda on being named the new Fantasy Sports Radio Producer at SiriusXM.

KCBS in San Francisco has added Carolyn Burnsed as the station’s newest sports and traffic anchor.

Former ESPN Ithaca host and program director Jeremy Menard has accepted a new position as the Manager of Television and Radio Operations at Ithaca College.

Learfield Sports has hired Kelly Burke as a new host and analyst.

In television news, Meredith Gorman has been named a new team reporter of the New England Patriots.

FOX Sports has also made a hire. Mark Gunnels has signed on to join the sports television company in Los Angeles.

CBS Sports has named Kenzie Stanford a new associate producer.

A week can’t go by without The Athletic making another hire. The latest to join the digital platform is Jeff Pearlman. His addition follows the recent arrival of MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal.

In Seattle, Sheil Kapadia has left ESPN after covering the Seattle Seahawks for the past two seasons. His position has been replaced by Brady Henderson who has left 710 ESPN Seattle after spending seven years with the radio station.

And more locally driven content sites are on the way. The latest comes from Buffalo where Dave Davis has announced the arrival of a new digital venture called The Buffalo Star. The new website which will focus on covering the Bills and Sabres is expected to launch in less than two weeks.

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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