Sports Radio News
Good Karma To Take Over Operation Of ESPN 1000
“The two companies have built a strong relationship through Good Karma’s operation of ESPN Radio affiliates in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach.”
ESPN is leasing its Chicago O&O, ESPN 1000, to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands. Good Karma will take over operation of the station on September 29.
The two companies have built a strong relationship through Good Karma’s operation of ESPN Radio affiliates in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach. The announcement comes as ESPN 1000’s GM Jim Pastor announces plans to retire at the end of 2019.
“Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over 27 incredible years with Disney, including the last 15 with ESPN,” Pastor said in a press release. “I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished at ESPN 1000 or be more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma. Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin and the rest of the Good Karma team will be running the show.”
“This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave,” added ESPN Audio Senior Vice President Traug Keller. “I want to thank Jim Pastor for all of his contributions to the success of ESPN 1000 and his role in getting this deal done. I greatly appreciate that Jim will assist in a smooth transition until his retirement at the end of this year.”
No on-air changes are expected once Good Karma takes over ESPN 1000. ESPN will continue to operate WEPN-FM in New York City and KSPN-AM in Los Angeles.
Sports Radio News
The Junkies Hosting First Ever Pickleball Competition
“The official slogan of the competition is ‘dink it against the donks and win some prizes.’”
Pickleball is having a moment in the US. It is a moment that The Junkies want to be a part of in the nation’s capitol.
The 106.7 The Fan morning show announced on Thursday that they are ready to host their first ever pickleball event in the coming weeks. The 2023 Junkies Pickleball Challenge will happen in Falls Church, VA on June 10.
The official slogan of the competition is “dink it against the donks and win some prizes.”
JP Flaim admitted that when Cakes Auville first got into pickleball, the entire show made fun of him. Then Eric Bickel started playing. Now, it is impossible to escape pickleball with public tennis and basketball courts around the DC area being converted.
“Pickelball is mushrooming in popularity,” Cakes responded.
Challengers can enter the competition for $75. There will be pool play prior to a playoff to determine an overall champion. The Junkies will also host a show live from the event that morning.
Demetri Ravanos is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media. He hosts the Chewing Clock and Media Noise podcasts. He occasionally fills in on stations across the Carolinas. Previous stops include WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL, WBPT in Birmingham, AL and WBBB, WPTK and WDNC in Raleigh, NC. You can find him on Twitter @DemetriRavanos and reach him by email at DemetriTheGreek@gmail.com.
Sports Radio News
Jay Williams: ‘I’ve Been Forcing Nikola Jokic Into Conversation All Year’
“It is a problem but that’s why you have athletes in media trying to change the culture.”
The city of Denver is locked in on the idea that the entire sports media complex was lined up against the Nuggets and their superstar big man Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference Finals. Jay Williams wants people to know that isn’t true, at least for himself.
Williams talked to The Big Lead’s Liam McKeone at the Sports Business Journal Awards this week. He said fellow Blue Devil and ESPN commentor JJ Redick isn’t the only one that has pointed out that NBA media is too invested in a small handful of teams and stars.
“One of the things I’ve been on the whole year is, I’ve been forcing [Nikola] Jokic into conversations,” he said. “People quickly veer off because not everybody gets a chance to watch it because our primary focus is on star athletes. The Stephs, the LeBrons, the Kevin Durants, the drama. That’s all media.”
The Keyshawn, JWill and Max co-host says that Redick is not alone in his quest to change the way the media covers basketball. He pointed to another great story in the conference finals that former players are doing their best to put at the front of the conversation.
“I think what you have from the athlete side is that we’re trying to celebrate the stories that are worth telling. Like Caleb Martin. The fact that J. Cole got him on the team in Miami. You’re like, ‘Oh, I never knew that!’ but they’ve actually been talking about that all year long. It is a problem but that’s why you have athletes in media trying to change the culture.”
Jay Williams says he has taken a hands-on approach with his own show. He makes it a point to be present for production meetings both before and after the show so that he can have a hand in developing topics.
“I come on, I’m like, here are four or five things that I’m hot about and I want to make sure we’re able to have time to dedicate to that tomorrow,” he said. “Creative input, that’s what the show is all about.”
Sports Radio News
Darren McKee: Former Players Have To Careful With ‘You Didn’t Play’ Argument
“I do think you can put it in your back pocket for some circumstances. If you use it all the time, it’s pretty weak.”
Tuesday’s edition of First Take contained some fireworks between commentators JJ Redick and Stephen A. Smith. The two fiercley debated how the NBA was covered with Redick saying it was a disservice to the league that ESPN only focuses on a handful of teams and Smith arguing that it is a star-driven league and networks are just giving fans what they respond to.
“You didn’t play, Stephen A.,” Redick, a 15-year NBA veteran, said. “You don’t understand athletic mortality [with] three games at whatever… Winston-Salem State doesn’t count.”
“I got you. I understand,” Smith chimed back. “I got a degree and I’m here on TV with you; I must be doing something right.”
Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s afternoon program, The Drive, reacted to the light altercation amid the conversation about James. The show is hosted by former defensive end Derek Wolfe and commentator Darren McKee, presenting a similar type of dynamic with a former athlete and bonafide radio professional.
“I do think it can apply in certain circumstances,” McKee said Wednesday regarding former athletes accentuating their experience over all else. “I do think that you guys – ex-pros – I do think you can put it in your back pocket for some circumstances. If you use it all the time, it’s pretty weak.”
Wolfe replied by stating he does not try to use that epithet on the air because it does not make for a fair argument, but did assert that there are instances of events in locker rooms the media would be shocked to discover occur on a daily basis.
“Every day something wild happens,” Wolfe said. “It’s wild.”
While they took little issue with the back-and-forth between Redick and Smith, the part they were surprised about was First Take host Molly Qerim precipitously attempting to resume the conversation about James rather than letting the banter continue. At its core, sports studio shows provide both information and entertainment; however, they felt as if Qerim was acting in a paternal manner towards her colleagues.
“God forbid you have some fun conversation,” McKee said. “‘Oh come on guys. Stop it guys.’ Thanks Molly.”
The two apologized to one another on the air Wednesday to smooth over the situation, and Smith addressed it in detail on his podcast, The Stephen A. Smith Show. It is safe to say there is no hostility between the two, and that they will continue providing First Take fans with distinctive commentary. That is – unless Redick is named as the new head coach of the Toronto Raptors, as he reportedly interviewed to fill the vacancy earlier this month.
“I love JJ Redick by the way,” added Wolfe. “…People are seeing him say, ‘You didn’t play,’ but they’re not seeing the part where he took a shot at him to try to get it going.”