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Darren Smith Launches Night Show On KOGO

“Smith noted his new opportunity with KOGO will not change anything regarding his noon – 3pm sports show on XTRA 1360.”

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Just a few weeks ago, Darren Smith was in the midst of being a radio free agent after The Mighty 1090 went dark, leaving the popular host without a show since April.  Earlier this month, Smith joined crosstown rival XTRA 1360 as their midday host and now he’ll join their iHeartMedia sister station Newsradio 600 KOGO for an evening show.

Every weeknight at 7pm, Smith will partner with Jack Cronin on KOGO for one hour.  The show debuted Monday night without much promotion, featuring San Diego’s Mayor, Kevin Faulconer as their first guest.  Smith announced his new project with KOGO on Twitter only an hour before it launched.  Although it’s on a news talk station, featuring a host known for sports, the show won’t be married to sports or politics, instead offering the freedom to discuss any topic. 

“’What kind of show is this?’, you might be thinking,” Smith wrote on Twitter.  “Whatever matters to people in San Diego is what we’ll talk about.  Local politics, scooters, craft beer and everything in between – if it’s interesting, we want to talk about it.

“One thing it’s not going to be is ideologically driven.  Plenty of that out there, if that’s what you’re looking for.  We will offer opinions but mostly steer clear of the political mosh pit,” Smith added.

Smith noted his new opportunity with KOGO will not change anything regarding his noon – 3pm sports show on XTRA 1360.  “This was an opportunity to branch out in my broadcast career and try something new.  It’s both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time but something I look forward to jumping into feet first.” 

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

Ariel Epstein Leaving SportsGrid

“I am forever grateful for what this network has done for me,” she wrote in a note to her followers.

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Ariel Epstein announced via Twitter that her time at SportsGrid is coming to an end. She will host the Thursday edition of her show The Morning After and that will be her final assignment for the company.

“I am forever grateful for what this network has done for me,” she wrote in a note to her followers.

She described finding the network and connecting with its President, Lou Maione, via LinkedIn. Epstein admitted that she thought SportsGrid seemed “sketchy” at first, but after her first audition she knew that it could be a dream come true for her.

During her time at SportsGrid, Epstein hosted Pro Football Today on Sundays during the NFL season. She moved to the network’s morning show The Morning After which included the addition of a popular segment,Til Bet Do Us Part.

Ariel has already lined up her next gig. She did not say specifically what it is, but noted that she’s excited to make that announcement soon.

“For now, I just want to say thank you to SG & all our viewers/listeners. You guys are the best. TIL BET DO US PART!!!” her message concluded.

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Sports Radio News

Outkick’s Matt Leode Dies At Age 46

“The Cleveland sports media community took to social media to say its goodbyes on Thursday.”

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Cleveland sports journalist and Outkick contributor Matt Leode has died after a two year battle with cancer. He was 46 years old.

Leode covered sports in Cleveland working mostly as a freelancer. In addition to writing, he made numerous appearances on FOX Sports Radio and on AP Radio. The Cleveland sports media community took to social media to say its goodbyes on Thursday.

Several of those colleagues participated in numerous fundraisers on his behalf. Matt Leode barely stopped working after his diagnosis according to the AP.

“He was funny, sweet, generous, loyal, faith filled and he had a talent for bringing people together. He made my life beautiful,” Leode’s wife Shanna wrote on Twitter after his passing.

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Sports Radio News

Sportsnet Rolls Out New Audio Lineup Across Canada

“Canadian sports media blogger Toronto Mike has a list of other talents that have reportedly exited Rogers’ Sportsnet.”

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The shake ups are back at Rogers Media in Canada. A press release from the company says that new live and on demand Sportsnet radio shows will launch on October 4 replacing the current lineup.

While a lot of it does look like traditional radio with an on-demand replay available, Rogers does promise “seasonal, sport-specific and spontaneous programming,” adding that it will give listners more of what they want, when they want it.

The FAN Morning Show with JD, Blake and Ailish will kick things off from 6-10 each day. The show features current Sportsnet host JD Bunkis alongside Blake Murphy, who covers the Raptors for The Athletic, and Yahoo Sports host Ailish Forfar.

The network will have two baseball season shows. Blair and Barker will air weekday evenings at 5. Ben Ennis will host Jays Talk weekdays from 10-noon, with postgame editions hosted by Blair and Barker.

Sportsnet is bringing for Maple Leaf Nick Kypreos back. He will partner with Justin Bourne during hockey season for afternoon drive. Insider Jeff Myrek will host his show in mid days.

Finally, The Raptors Show with host Will Lou will air at 2 pm on weekdays during the NBA season. The back half of afternoon drive during the winter will be filled by The Fan Drive Time, which will cover both hockey and basketball.

All of the new programming means plenty of changes. Scott Rintoul, who hosted the mid day show on Sportsnet’s Vancouver affiliate has confirmed that he is out. Jason Ronzon of The Fan 590 in Toronto says that he is out as well.

Canadian sports media blogger Toronto Mike has a list of other talents that have reportedly exited Rogers’ Sportsnet. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch is said to be among them. Deitsch had been hosting an afternoon drive show on The Fan 590 in Toronto.

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