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Under The Radar – August 29, 2017

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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

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.”

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

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.”

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’

“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

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What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.

On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.

“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.

“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”

Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.

The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.

“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”

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