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10,000th Edition of NASCAR Today Airs Today on MRN

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The Motor Racing Network’s two minute daily show NASCAR Today will air its 10,000th episode today (Friday, June 15). The show has been a daily part of MRN’s lineup since 1990 when the show as hosted by Allen Bestwick, one of only four hosts in the show’s 28 year history.

“When we started the show, the sport’s popularity was growing so fast that fans’ demand for information far exceeded the weekend race broadcasts, which was all that was being done at the time,” Bestwick said as part of an MRN press release.  “This was our way of bringing updates to them through our network of radio affiliates.”

The show launched a spin-off called NASCAR Today Mid-Day in 2008. It gave affiliates overnight updates to air during the lunch hour. Friday’s episode is the 10,000th in the combined inventory of the two different editions. It will air on 325 affiliates across the United States as well as on the Armed Forces Network.

Sports Radio News

Bernstein And Rahimi Mock Danny Parkins For Louie Anderson Gaffe

“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it.”

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Chicago Tribune

Mistakes happen in radio. There’s no such thing as perfection in the business. A sound byte might not play or play correctly, something might happen with a guest, you might flub a word or two. It happens.

On 670 The Score in Chicago, afternoon show host Danny Parkins made a blunder last week that had fellow hosts Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi having some fun at his expense on Monday.

Parkins was reporting on the deaths of singer Meat Loaf and actor Louie Anderson. A clip from the movie Fight Club, which Meat Loaf was a part of, played. But Parkins didn’t say Meat Loaf.

Fight Club… RIP Louie Anderson… Wait,” he said after a pause.

“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it,” Bernstein said.

“The end of it is pricelessly good,” Rahimi added. “The ‘wait’ is my favorite part.”

Bernstein and Rahimi joked about how the mistake came right at the end of the show. There were literally minutes left before it was over.

“He’s sitting here, he looked through the glass, and he saw (Executive Producer Shane Riordan) absolutely explode,” Bernstein said. “He knew something went wrong.”

They did relate to Parkins’ mistake because, as mentioned above, mistakes happen. But they couldn’t help but have a little fun at their cohort’s expense.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Madison Adding Olympic Curler Matt Hamilton For ‘Rutledge & Hamilton’ Show

“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience.”

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ESPN Madison

ESPN Madison (100.5 WTLX-FM) is getting a new afternoon show. The station announced on Monday that current afternoon host Jim Rutledge will get a new partner in March.

Olympic curling gold medalist Matt Hamilton is joining the show as Rutledge’s on-air partner after returning from the Beijing Winter Olympics. Rutledge & Hamilton will air from 2 to 4 p.m. CT. Alex Strouf will be the show’s producer.

Rutledge currently hosts The Jump Around from 3 to 4 p.m. and Hamilton has been a regular part of the show, so the rebrand is pairing the two together officially.

Hamilton, a Madison native won a gold medal in men’s curling at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“We are looking forward to having Matt join our expanded of local programming,” said ESPN Madison market manager Tom Olson in the station’s official announcement. (The station currently airs ESPN Radio’s Bart & Hahn from 2 to 3 p.m.)

“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience, and I can’t wait for our fans and partners to get to know him as the newest member of the ESPN Madison team.”

ESPN Madison programming can be heard on 100.5 FM locally, Wisconsin On Demand, ESPNMadison.com, and the ESPN app.

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Sports Radio News

UConn Basketball’s Mike Crispino Less Critical of Referees As Official Himself

“I’ve changed completely since I started doing this. Because I realize how hard it is.”

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@mikecrispinonyk on Twitter

While basketball broadcasters may not have as contentious a relationship with referees as coaches, players, and fans, part of calling the action can involve criticizing a call. And with broadcasters typically positioned at courtside, there is certainly more opportunity for exchanges with officials than in football or hockey, for example.

But as David Borges writes in a feature for CT Insider, UConn men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Mike Crispino might go a bit easier on referees than his colleagues. And that’s because Crispino works as a referee himself when he’s not at the mic, officiating high school basketball and baseball games in Connecticut

Crispino has been a referee for 12 years and says it completely changed how he viewed officiating while calling play-by-play for the New York Knicks and UConn Huskies. Prior to donning the stripes, he would often question calls during a broadcast.

“I’ve changed completely since I started doing this,” Crispino told Borges. “Because I realize how hard it is. It’s not easy. You’re on-call all the time. You’ve got to have two hours of being sharp. You can’t get lazy, you can’t get distracted, you can’t listen to too many people barking about stuff. You have to be on it. Otherwise, you’re not doing the service that you’re getting paid to do.”

Despite having the perspective of a working referee, Crispino — who’s been broadcasting UConn men’s basketball for the past four years — still gets caught up in the moment and questions certain calls, sometimes with the officials standing right in front of him.

Unlike broadcasting, where young announcers are always trying to break into the industry, Crispino is concerned about the future of officiating. He says fewer people work as referees because of stories about angry parents and coaches.

Of course, Crispino has also experienced such exchanges from the other side with high school coaches disputing his calls as a referee. But he’s only issued one ejection during his officiating career, along with just a few technical fouls. Seeing referees work at the college and NBA levels as a broadcaster has helped him understand how to deal with such situations. That perspective has clearly been beneficial in both jobs.

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