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Under The Radar – August 31, 2018

Jason Barrett

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This edition of UTR is going to take you a while to read. There’s a TON to pass along. If you haven’t read this piece before, and want to know how to be included in it, it’s easy. Send your station or individual news via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now buckle up! You’ve got a lot to digest.

For those who have been asking about the return of the BSM Podcast, Season 3 will resume next Wednesday September 5th. There’ll be a few changes to the way the podcast is presented and delivered. We think you’ll enjoy it so be sure to check back.

Also, tickets for the BSM Summit in Los Angeles are now on sale. Seating for the event is limited. The annual conference is exclusive to sports media industry executives, programmers, market managers/sales managers, agents, and select talent. Plans have already been announced for an award to be introduced in honor of Emmis CEO and WFAN founder Jeff Smulyan. A second award announcement will be made next Thursday and involves a well known sports radio personality. For information on tickets, hotel, and sponsorships click here. To inquire on speaking at the event email JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

WEEI in Boston continues to make a difference for The Jimmy Fund. The radio station along with NESN and the Boston Red Sox took part in the 17th annual Jimmy Fund Telethon, and helped to raise more than $4.4 million dollars this year. Since the telethon’s inception, a total of $53 million dollars has been raised to help fight cancer. Congrats to all involved on a tremendous effort.

After months of media coverage, Mike Francesa‘s app is now available. The WFAN host recently did a media tour to promote it and confirmed plans to add more original content. Part of those plans include hosting his popular Sunday Football show which he hosted for 30 years on The Fan. Francesa’s app will also include a College Football show from WFAN host John Jastremski (JJ After Dark), wrestling content from Mike’s producer Brian Monzo, and Fantasy Football work from associate producer Chris McMonigle. More programming is expected to be added in the future.

While we’re on the subject of apps, the power of Barstool Sports can’t be understated. Earlier this week, the company launched the One Bite App which features a collection of Dave Portnoy‘s pizza reviews, and gives users the option to film and upload their own reviews. Barstool and its personalities got behind the project, collectively promoting the app to their fans, and on Wednesday, it had become the 3rd most popular app in the food and drink category. That put it ahead of brands such as Starbucks, and Chick Fil-A, and only behind McDonalds and Uber Eats. No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty impressive.

In addition to recently resigning with ESPN to continue his podcast and appear on television shows as a guest, Ryen Russillo has also added a podcast with The Ringer. Russillo’s new digital audio show is titled Dual Threat and it debuted on August 29th. Russillo also said on Twitter that he’s been hired to write a pilot for a television show.

FOX Sports Radio host Clay Travis has a book coming out in September. The title “Republicans Buy Sneakers Too” will include nine hours of audio narration from Travis. On an unrelated note, if you enjoy conversation on sports, media, and business, take a listen to Clay’s podcast with Rich Greenfield. It’s very interesting and informative. You can hear it by clicking here.

A heck of a start so far for the crew at VSiN. The company announced plans to introduce Action Updates earlier this year, and as we enter the start of the football season, 38 stations have already signed on to carry them with others expected to finalize deals soon. According to sources, News/Talk and music stations are beginning to enter the mix. That serves as a reminder to sports radio brands that it’s wiser to move early rather than late, especially given the expected increase in content, public interest, and revenue. You can learn more about VSiN’s updates by clicking here.

Philadelphia folks had been wondering about the status of popular WIP radio host Marc Farzetta, but that situation has been resolved. Farzetta left WIP on June 15th before getting married. His departure was due to gaining a full-time role on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Farzetta is now hosting Philly Sports Talk with Amy Fadool, and will be part of the network’s Eagles gameday coverage this season.

Beau Bishop is increasing his workload this fall. The 97.1 The Fan host who teams with James Laurinatis weekdays from 10a-12p ET is adding another show, except this one is on the airwaves of ESPN Cleveland. Bishop will co-host Browns Daily with Nathan Segura weekdays from 1p-3p ET. Bishop said via Twitter “there will be a lot of miles on my chopper but it should be fine.”

Football season means the addition of a number of weekly contributors on WDAE in Tampa. The radio station is adding nearly 15 guests to its fall coverage. Some of the notable names include former Bucs GM Mark Dominik, former Bucs players Michael Clayton and Anthony Becht, NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport, and Action Network Head of Content Chad Millman.

Given his connection to the city of Chicago, and the partnership in place between VSiN and 670 The Score, it only made sense for Sam Panayotovich to be added as a weekly contributor on the Chicago sports radio station. Panayotovich will appear on The Score every Friday during the football season with Mully and Haugh.

Another addition to The Score is The Fantasy Freak Show hosted by Yahoo Sports’ Brad Evans and Andy Behrens. The Score actually gave the show its start over a decade ago. Evans announced via social media he was thrilled to resurrect the program and return to his roots. The Score has added it to its Sunday schedule airing from 8a-9a CT.

Marc James and Greg Dickerson have been given a Saturday program on WEEI in Boston. Both men were regularly involved as rotating third hosts with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe before the show was moved to middays. They’re also both active on Boston sports television.

Congratulations is in order for Jim Costa who has been elevated from APD to PD at 96.1 ESPN in Grand Rapids. Costa also hosts the station’s popular local afternoon show “Big Drew and Jim” with Drew McCarthy. The program also airs in Detroit on iHeart’s 1130 WDFN.

105.7 The Fan in Baltimore has named Brent Harris as its Ravens Insider. Aside from covering the team, Harris will also host the station’s Ravens post-game show.

FOX Sports Radio is adding an affiliation at the expense of ESPN Radio. Starting Saturday September 1st, 1230 and 1320 in Lehigh Valley, PA will re-brand as FOX Sports 1230/1320. The radio station which has been a longtime ESPN Radio affiliate said the moves are being made to offer a better lineup of personalities to the local airwaves. Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd‘s shows are expected to be part of the lineup. The station has no changes planned for its local afternoon show which features Tom Fallon and Matt Markus.

SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio recently gave ESPN Syracuse afternoon host Brent Axe an opportunity to do some fill-in work on national radio. Axe was summoned for duty on Sunday August 19th. No word yet on when Axe will host next for the satellite company but expect him to get another shot.

Speaking of fill-ins, Jason Goff resurfaced recently in Atlanta, hosting two shows for 92.9 The Game. Goff previously worked for the station, and has remained active in recent months on SiriusXM, WFNZ in Charlotte, and a few Chicago sports media outlets.

Another talented guy who’s picked up some expanded opportunities is 1620 The Zone‘s Nick Bahe. FOX Sports Radio recently gave the Omaha sports talk show host a chance to fill in on the national stage. Bahe worked with sports talk veteran Andy Furman. In addition to hosting on The Zone, Bahe does college basketball analyst work for FOX Sports television.

Pete Thompson is no longer a full time member of The Sports Bash on 97.3 ESPN. In a social media post from on-air host and PD Mike Gill, Thompson was given credit for helping take the show to another level. Gill concluded his post by adding “that chair will always be open for you PT!”

A new wrestling podcast is now available courtesy of 102.5 The Game assistant program director Chase McCabe. “Through The Ropes” debuted with a special guest appearance from WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett. You can hear it by clicking here.

A new two year deal is what sources say CBS Sports HQ has signed Nick Kostos to. The CBS anchor is expected to continue in his current role as part of the new agreement. For a good read on what his day consists of click here to read the SBJ’s story.

Matt Perrault has announced he’s left The Action Network as a contributor to provide columns, videos and podcasts for 2 sports gambling sites.  One of those outlets is PlayPicks.com where Perrault contributed his first piece previewing the opening weekend in College Football.

And a couple of congratulatory notes go out to Kelly Bydlon who’s joined VSiN as a producer after 9 years with ESPN West PalmMatt Murphy for being named the new voice of Alvernia football on WIOV Sports Radio 1240AM, Jake Marsh on adding play by play duties on Vermont Men’s basketball, Tommy Call who’s adding a weekly sports talk show on 1440 KVON in Napa, and Rudy Reyes who’ll be covering the Wyoming Cowboys for KGWN.

After 34 years of sports coverage on Bay Area television, Gary Radnich signed off at KRON 4. Radnich’s farewell commentary provided moments of candor, emotion, and humor. To watch it click here. Congrats to Gary on an incredible run.

ESPN continues to introduce programming for multiple platforms. The company has announced a new show exclusively for Twitter. The College Football Show airs Saturday night’s at 7pm with Jason Fitz and Treavor Scales serving as hosts. Fitz says he’s pumped up, and promises the show will do things that have never been done before on digital programs.

An opportunity to head home was too good for Ben Murphy to pass up. After spending the past year in Charleston, SC working for WCBD, Murphy has accepted a sports anchor/reporter position at the local ABC/NBC affiliate in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL.

A ton to pass along from the print world starting with another hiring spree by The Athletic. The site’s NFL coverage immediately received a boost with the additions of well respected NFL reporter and television personality Jay Glazer, and former NFL GM and football analyst Michael Lombardi. Other moves made include adding Arif Hasan to cover the Minnesota Vikings. Travis Haney taking on the Tennessee Titans beat. Larry Holder has been hired in New Orleans to serve as a columnist and cover the New Orleans Saints and LSU. Green Bay is where you’ll find Josh Tolentino who’s now covering the Packers alongside Michael Cohen. In Indianapolis, Scott Agness and Stephen Holder will cover the Colts and Pacers. Less than 2 hours away, Jay Morrison is covering the Bengals in Cincinnati. Greg Auman exits the Tampa Bay Times after 19 years to cover the Buccaneers for the company. Joe Person has taken a similar approach in Charlotte, leaving the Charlote Observer after 8 years to cover the Carolina Panthers. Chris Perkins joins the brand in Miami reporting on the Dolphins. And Dane Brugler, Ted Nguyen, and Lindsay Jones have been named contributors to the platform’s NFL outfit.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is giving Chris Hine an opportunity to cover the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hine takes over for Jerry Zgoda.

After spending 13 years with Arizona Central Sports/Arizona RepublicDoug Haller is moving on. Haller says details about his next adventure will be announced soon, and he won’t be going far.

The Global News in Montreal received some good news just in time for hockey season. Brian Wilde has agreed to return as a hockey commentator. Wilde has spent two decades covering the Montreal Canadiens, and will bring his popular blog, Call of the Wilde, to the Global News’ website.

Yahoo Sports has added Kimberley Martin as a Senior NFL Reporter. Martin previously worked for the Washington Post, Newsday, and Buffalo News.

And Christopher Heady is taking over the Nebraska men’s basketball beat. He adds those responsibilities in addition to covering Nebraska football for the Omaha World-Herald.

 

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, according to sources.

The radio station has removed his shell from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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. Since being with that group, he has worked with Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, 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.

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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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