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MRN Kicks Off 50th Anniversary At Daytona

“The Daytona 500 marks the first event in what will be a two-year celebration of the network founded by Bill France Sr. and Ken Squier.”

Brandon Contes

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Founded in 1970, the Motor Racing Network has continued to be the primary source for NASCAR’s radio related programming.  This Sunday, the network will celebrate their 50th anniversary of broadcasting the Daytona 500.

Legendary announcers, Ken Squier and Barney Hall were on hand to broadcast the first Daytona 500 for MRN in 1970 which was heard on dozens of radio stations from Florida to Vermont and Indiana to the Carolinas.  This Sunday, the “Super Bowl” of Stock Car Racing will be carried on over 400 radio stations around the country.  Sunday’s race will be the finale to over 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks.

The Daytona 500 marks the first event in what will be a two-year celebration of the network founded by Bill France Sr. and Ken Squier.  Celebratory content includes a 50 Years of the 500 special along with a 50th Anniversary of MRN podcast series.

While the Motor Racing Network’s coverage of the Daytona 500 is now simulcast on over 400 radio stations nationwide, Sunday’s broadcast will celebrate the eleven stations that have been with the network since the beginning.

WBKR, Owensboro, KY
WBTR, Carrolton, GA
WDEV, Waterbury 
WESC, Greenville, SC
WJCW, Johnson City, TN
WMMY, Boone, NC
WMTN, Morristown, TN
WNDB, Daytona Beach, FL 
WSLM, Salem, IN
WUSQ, Winchester, VA
WWGP, Sanford, NC

WNDB 93.5 FM, 1150 AM serves as the host station of the Daytona 500 and the Motor Racing Network’s flagship.  Sunday’s Pre-Race radio broadcast will begin at 1:30pm ET with the Daytona 500 starting at 2:30pm ET on the Motor Racing Network. 

Sports Radio News

Sarah Spain Leaving ESPN Radio

Spain had been with ESPN Radio for 12 years, hosting shows nationally over the course of the last eight. She began her radio career in 2010 at ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain will be hanging up the headphones for the worldwide leader, the host announced Monday.

Spain revealed on Twitter that her last show with Spain and Fitz co-host Jason Fitz will be on December 1.

Spain had been with ESPN Radio for 12 years, hosting shows nationally over the course of the last eight. She began her radio career in 2010 at ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

Spain added that she’ll remain at ESPN, so she’s not leaving completely, but more details of what’s next for her at the company will be coming soon.

She reminisced about her time on the network with photos of several iterations of her evening shows.

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Sports Radio News

Laurence Holmes: Ben Watson Let Peter Burns Know He Was Out of Line

“You just let him understand that he went too far, and you had to yoke him up a little bit and grab him in his collar.”

Jordan Bondurant

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SEC Network analyst Ben Watson didn’t take kindly to a joke made by Peter Burns on the air over the weekend, and it was evident. Watson and Burns have appeared to put the exchange behind them, with Watson saying Burns owes his wife an apology.

On Chicago’s 670 The Score, host Laurence Holmes said while it’s unclear whether Watson laid hands on Burns during the commercial break, Burns needed to learn that his joke was too much.

“I feel like this is what we like to call a correction,” Holmes said. “You just let him understand that he went too far, and you had to yoke him up a little bit and grab him in his collar.”

“Had he been punched or slapped by Benjamin Watson, they couldn’t have taken that picture together without us actually seeing the remnants,” he added.

While the hatchet appears to be buried, Holmes thinks Burns will give it a second thought before taking things to a more personal level.

“I hope that it was just one of those moments that now Peter knows that he was out of line,” he said. “He stepped over a line and maybe he got told to not do that anymore.”

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Sports Radio News

Matt Volk to Exit BetQL, Mitch Rosen and Danny Freisinger Earn Internal Promotions

“SVP of Sports Matthew Volk will be leaving the company.”

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Behind the scenes changes are coming to the BetQL network. The Audacy owned sports betting operation will have different leadership in place to guide day to day strategy and execution entering 2023.

In an internal note sent out earlier by Audacy EVP of Programming Jeff Sottolano, it was revealed that SVP of Sports Matthew Volk will be leaving the company. Volk has been offered a C-level position back home in Boston which allows him to return to his first love, sports television.  

Sottolano said of Volk’s exit, “It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that Matt Volk will be leaving Audacy at the end of this year. I hired Matt less than two years ago primarily to oversee the build out of our BetQL Network. He has done exactly that, helped cement a long term investment from BetMGM in the network and led the successful launch – surrounded by a talented team – of our 2400Sports podcast network this year.”

To help fill the void, Sottolano shared that Danny Freisinger will be elevated to VP of Sports and have operational oversight of the 2400Sports podcast network. The former 95.7 The Game Assistant Program Director and ESPN 1320 PD will also lead the company’s sports editorial and video content teams and team with Sports Format VP Spike Eskin on new multi-platform content development for internal and external distribution platforms. Sottolano added that 2400Sports VP/Executive Producer Lena Glaser will remain in charge of prestige/national podcast shows, talent and content development.

Additionally, 670 The Score PD Mitch Rosen will be elevated from Director of Operations to VP of the BetQL Network. Part of his responsibility will include overseeing BetQL Brand Manager Andrew Williams and leading the network’s team of talent, producers and writers. Sottolano also said shared that Rosen will work closely with Mike Dee to grow the network’s sports book relationships and increase external distribution of the network. His involvement with BetQL will not affect his status as The Score’s brand manager.

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