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Longtime Houston Host Loses Morning Show

Brandon Contes

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According to David Barron of the Houston Chronicle, Gow Media’s KFNC 97.5 is shuffling their lineup and unfortunately it leaves legendary sports radio host, Barry Warner, without his hour-long morning show.

The Buffalo, NY native has been part of the Houston radio scene since moving to Texas in 1966.  Warner’s time hosting in Houston includes stops working for at least nine different radio stations in the city.  Warner joined the Gow Media owned ESPN Houston (KFNC 97.5) in 2014 and began hosting his hour-long morning show, Reality Check, in 2017.

“Barry is a radio hall of famer and has made a significant contribution to Gow Media,” said owner David Gow.  “His show has ended here, but there are other ways we can work with Barry in the near future.”

Warner commented on his time with Gow Media stating, “I enjoyed working for David very much.  I am proud of the work I did. I talked sports.  I didn’t get involved with double entendre or lazy tangents that are prevalent in our industry.  I used the microphone as a telephone to tell people what I know.”

A radio throwback, Warner is not fond of the direction many sports stations have turned in recent years.  “It’s at an all-time low . . . (a sign of) the dumbing down of America,” Warner said in a 2013 interview with Eric Sandler of Houston Culture Map. “Once upon a time, you could go in and talk sports. Now they want guy talk and gimmicks.

Warner, however, is able to look back and reflect on his own career, proud of the work he’s accomplished, “I’ve been truly blessed. At five years of age, I knew I wanted to be a broadcaster, and I have been since three weeks after my Bar Mitzvah,” the broadcaster told Sandler.

According to the Houston Chronicle, part of the changes occurring at ESPN Houston will include Charlie Pallilo joining KFNC 97.5.  Pallilo currently hosts the 11am1pm timeslot on Gow Media’s sister station, SportsMap 94.1.  He is expected to fill the same spot in ESPN Houston’s daily lineup.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Keyshawn Johnson: ‘I Don’t Like Sunday Night Baseball Putting Mics on Players’

“I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

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Most people seem to really like Sunday Night Baseball adding mics to players in the field this season. Fans and critics alike have commended ESPN for giving fans access that they have never had before. But don’t expect Keyshawn Johnson to join that praise chorus anytime soon.

“I don’t like the interaction with broadcast teams talking to players during the game, in the field,” he said on Monday morning’s edition of Keyshawn, JWill and Max.

The ESPN Radio morning man is convinced that eventually, the in-game conversations are going to cause a costly error.

Freddie Coleman, who was filling in for both Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, played a clip from Sunday night’s game for Johnson. In the clip, listeners could hear the Padres’ newly acquired slugger Juan Soto pleading with a ball hit by Cody Bellinger to stay in the park during the team’s 0-4 shutout loss to the Dodgers.

“I don’t like that as a player,” Johnson said. “I know the fans love it.”

He said that when he sees players mic’d up and answering a question during the game, he is constantly worried about how it will affect what happens on the field. He said he felt some empathy for the fielder on the mic once the ball is put into play, because if it comes that fielder’s way and he is distracted, the instant reaction from the crowd will be to question the player’s effort or ability rather than ask if the distraction is worth it.

Coleman pointed out that there is some very famous video of Keyshawn Johnson during his playing career mic’d up on the sidelines. Johnson defended NFL Films, saying that getting live sound of a game is very different than what Major League Baseball is making players do.

“That’s different than interacting with Karl Ravech and company in the booth. I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

The closing months of the regular season as playoff races start to take shape are not the ideal times for networks to be having conversations with guys in the middle of the field. That doesn’t mean it is never good content. Keyshawn Johnson said that as a viewer, he would welcome in-game interviews during Spring Training and the All-Star Game. He just has trouble believing players are happy to participate.

“It’s cool. I’m not mad that it’s being done. I just wouldn’t like it as a player,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Rob Hipp Named New Voice of North Dakota State

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

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Rob Hipp is the new “Voice of the Bison”.

The former Sam Houston State play-by-play announcer will serve in the same capacity for North Dakota State. He replaces Jeff Culhane, who left the position for a similar role at Florida State earlier this summer.

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and blessing to be here. The word that comes to mind with everything associated with NDSU is excellence,” Hipp said. “Matt Larsen, Coach (Matt) Entz, Coach (David) Richman, the support staff and everyone with Bison Sports Properties led by Josh Hartman made this a transparent and smooth process. I also want to thank Tom Boman with Learfield as well as Nancy Odney and the great people at Radio FM Media. My family and I are proud to be in Fargo!”

“We are thrilled to have Rob join the team at Radio FM Media as the new voice of the Bison, Director of Operations for Bison 1660-92.7, and Sports Director for our group,” said Radio FM COO Nancy Odney. “Rob is a very talented play-by-play announcer and a top sports radio host. His creative energy, new content, and passion for sports and broadcasting is going to be an exciting addition to the team.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Graca Joining ESPN New York For Nighttime Show

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

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SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio host Dan Graca is joining ESPN New York as their new night time host.

Graca, who will host a show from 7:00 PM-10:00 PM had been with SiriusXM for the past 12 years. It’s a coming home moment for Graca, who interned at the station.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

The 7:00 PM-10:00 PM position had previously been held by Chris Carlin, who moved to the national afternoon slot to pair with Chris Canty in April.

In addition to his new nighttime show, Graca will continue as the pre and post-game host for ESPN New York’s coverage of the New York Jets, a position he’s held the past four seasons.

His show is slated to begin on Monday, August 15th.

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