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Minko Expects To Leave WFAN By Next Year

“Minko’s WFAN career, spanning over three decades even included a short stint as a show host with Minko’s Morning Zoo in 1988.”

Brandon Contes

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It’s a select group of people that have been at WFAN since the beginning, witnessing the birth of sports talk radio and all that it’s become.  Update anchor, John Minko is in that select group, but according to the 66-year old, his WFAN tenure might be nearing an end.

Recently, Minko did a three-part series of The Evan Roberts Podcast, a conversation totaling over three hours.  The podcast featured a discussion about Minko’s early years in life, the birth of WFAN and the station’s rise to prominence.  During part 3, Minko admitted retirement is nearing for the longtime WFAN voice.

“There is no definitive date, but on July 1st, it will be the 32nd anniversary of the radio station,” Minko told Roberts.  “I’ve been here all 32 years.  For me, there will be a 32nd anniversary, but I doubt there will be a 33rd.  It could be next year odds are, I didn’t say definitively,” he added.

Station board-op and executive producer Dov Kramer, another WFAN lifer noted, “There’s a history at this station of people saying they’ll retire and it not really working out.”  To which Minko reiterated he doubts he’ll be around for the station’s 33rd anniversary.

Minko added that he recently spoke with WFAN’s program director, Mark Chernoff about his potential retirement.  Among the topics discussed, Minko mentioned the tiring commute into New York City as a reason why he’s leaning toward retirement, but wouldn’t go so far as to say if the commute were shorter he would remain with WFAN for a few more years.

Roberts also asked Minko about the future of the “update” on WFAN.  While some radio stations have cut the update completely, WFAN has cut-back on it, no longer providing them at the 20 and 40 minutes of the hour, between 6am and 6pm during the week.

“I think they’re important, but I think they need to be reinvented,” Minko said.  While he didn’t offer an idea for what needs to be changed, the future of the update is not why Minko expects to soon retire.

Minko’s WFAN career, spanning over three decades even included a short stint as a show host with Minko’s Morning Zoo in 1988.  The former voice of Army football, John Minko is also currently the radio play-by-play announcer for St. John’s men’s basketball.

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

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.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

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. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and 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. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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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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