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John Michael Moves To TV For Cleveland Cavaliers

“With John Michael moving to the television broadcast table, the Cavaliers have hired Tim Alcorn as their new radio play-by-play voice.”

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced changes to their television and radio broadcasts after longtime play-by-play announcer, Fred McLeod passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago.

Taking over for McLeod as the Cavs TV announcer, will be their radio voice of the past eight seasons, John Michael.  Michael leaves the radio booth to join Cavs telecasts on FOX Sports Ohio, where he previously worked as the Columbus Blue Jackets pre and postgame host, having also served as their rink-side reporter.  Michael will partner with TV analyst and former on-court fan favorite, “Mr. Cavalier,” Austin Carr on the call.

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I begin this season of Cavaliers basketball,” said John Michael. “I am honored and humbled that the Cavs organization and FOX Sports Ohio have looked to me to carry on for a special part of our family who left us way too soon. Every ounce of preparation, hard work and creativity that is poured into each television broadcast this season will be dedicated to the very high standard that Fred McLeod set. I am looking forward to joining my friend Austin Carr and helping deliver a great and entertaining season of Cavs basketball broadcasts.”

The late Fred McLeod joined the Cavaliers telecasts as their play-by-play voice in 2006, following a 22-year tenure as an announcer for the Detroit Pistons.  The sportscaster died suddenly on September 9th at the age of 67.

“The loss of Fred McLeod is something that has hurt all of us greatly. Certainly, we will always carry great thoughts and memories of Fred with us forever,” said Tad Carper, Cavaliers Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. “We are fortunate, though, to have John Michael as part of our broadcast family. John is a very talented, dedicated, hard-working and insightful broadcaster who has a great spectrum of experience and perspective to now bring to our TV broadcasts. We’re pleased to have him join Austin Carr at the table and Angel Gray on sideline as we head into our 50th season and the many special elements and history that will be a part of our season-long presentation of Cavs basketball.”

With John Michael moving to the television broadcast table, the Cavaliers have hired Tim Alcorn as their new radio play-by-play voice.  

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected by the Cavaliers as the next radio play-by-play announcer for the organization,” said Alcorn. “The position is truly a ‘dream job.’ It’s both exciting and humbling to be chosen. I’m also aware the opportunity would not have occurred if not for the untimely passing of Fred McLeod and I will strive to uphold the high standards that Fred, John Michael, Joe Tait and others established as Cavs announcers. I’m eager to get started as the Cavs embark on their 50th season.”

Alcorn is a longtime Northeast Ohio media personality, beginning his radio career in 1985 at WOBL.  For the past 27 years, the new Cavs radio voice worked at news/talk AM 930 WEOL in Elyria, Ohio as their sports director and station manager.

Returning to the Cavs radio booth will be analyst Jim Chones who begins his 10th season on the broadcast.  All games are carried by the Cavaliers Radio Network which originates from their flagship stations WTAM 1100 and FM 100.7 WMMS.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Pac-12 Networks Content Could Be Headed To ACC Network

“Dellenger and Forde report that talks to make the deal a reality are in the very early stages.”

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ESPN has been at the center of a lot of conversations about the future of college sports following the Big Ten plucking UCLA and USC out of the Pac-12. The network could be part of a broadcasting partnership that is meant to secure the futures of the Pac-12 and the ACC.

In a joint report for Sports Illustrated, Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde write that the two conferences would not merge, but that the ACC Network could get renamed and include content centered on both conferences.

A deal like this would pay dividends for all involved. The ACC would get more TV revenue and the Pac-12 would get broader distribution that it had with its proprietary Pac-12 Networks, which was reportedly struggling to even stay afloat. It could also secure the conference’s future as some members consider leaving for the Big 12. As for ESPN, this deal would put them back in business with the Pac-12.

A programming alliance between the two conferences could create some marquee non-conference matchups for football and basketball. That would give ESPN event programming to promote and sell.

Dellenger and Forde report that talks to make the deal a reality are in the very early stages. They write that “those briefed on the ACC–Pac-12 proposal believe it has plenty of hurdles to clear and details to be ironed out before becoming a reality.”

The obvious question all parties involved will want to be answered is would merging ACC Network and Pac-12 Networks content generate enough new revenue to make the move viable. Sources told Sports Illustrated that it is what they will be focused on if talks progress.

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Sports TV News

UFC Draws Record Ratings for UFC 276 Prelims on ESPN and ABC

The ratings make it the second-most watched UFC telecast since the promotion began airing on ESPN in 2019. It was also the top telecast ever for a preliminary card.

Jordan Bondurant

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UFC, ESPN and ABC have plenty to celebrate following this weekend’s UFC 276 pay-per-view.

Ratings for the preliminary card show a combined audience of 1.8 million tuned in across ABC and ESPN. ABC drew 929,000 viewers for their portion of the card, which marked the first time UFC aired in primetime on the network.

ESPN drew 871,000 in the lead-up to the main card from Las Vegas.

The ratings make it the second-most watched UFC telecast since the promotion began airing on ESPN in 2019. It was also the top telecast ever for a preliminary card.

UFC will return to ABC on July 16 but won’t air in primetime. Coverage of UFC Fight Night from UBS Arena on Long Island will air in the afternoon.

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Brian Windhorst Explains What Was Behind His Viral Rant

“To be honest with you, part of what I was doing was trying to do was avoid aggregation,” he said. “Because if I come out and go I think the Jazz are going to trade Rudy Gobert today, then everything on the internet is ‘Windhorst Report: Jazz trade Gobert.’ And then maybe they don’t trade him.”

Jordan Bondurant

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There wasn’t a ton of NBA free agency news leading into the long holiday weekend last week, but what news there was became wildly more interesting thanks to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Windhorst, appearing on First Take on Friday, went on an entertaining rant about the Utah Jazz trading Royce O’Neale to Brooklyn, throwing tidbits out there that insinuated more was to come.

The monologue went viral and became the subject of plenty of memes.

Talking on his podcast Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, Windhorst explained that the ‘A’ block of First Take is 30 minutes long, much different than the other ESPN shows he appears on. He said he approached it from a podcasting perspective and added that First Take was really the only place he could’ve pulled something like that off given a multitude of factors.

“It had to have occurred on a show like that,” Windhorst said. “So I was able to kind of draw out and kind of have a conversation about the Utah Jazz.”

Windhorst said he knew the Jazz were going to trade Rudy Gobert, which happened not long after his rant started circulating the internet. But he said he needed to avoid tipping others in the media off or potentially even wrecking the trade before it became official.

“To be honest with you, part of what I was doing was trying to do was avoid aggregation,” he said. “Because if I come out and go I think the Jazz are going to trade Rudy Gobert today, then everything on the internet is ‘Windhorst Report: Jazz trade Gobert.’ And then maybe they don’t trade him.”

Windhorst said he knew he was becoming the subject of many a meme, but after being on the road so long and away from home covering the NBA playoffs, he didn’t really have a chance to relish in the moment.

“I came back home and had nonstop family stuff to do, and they didn’t care about any of that,” he said. “I was getting like 250 text messages and seeing all these memes, but I had to prepare for the people we had coming over for the 4th of July. I couldn’t really focus on it.”

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