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Mad Dog Rips Players Who Say They Are Ready For MLB Season

“In addition to his SiriusXM radio show, Russo also hosts High Heat on MLB Network, which is primarily owned by Major League Baseball.”

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Who has a more impressive resume in their respective industry? Radio’s Christopher Mad Dog Russo or baseball’s Bryce Harper?

Russo lost it during his Tuesday afternoon show on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio, tired of hearing from baseball players who are “overpaid” and “stink,” with Harper topping the list. MLB players are saying they’re ready to go, “tell us when and where,” regarding the need to reach an agreement and start the season. It doesn’t seem like an outlandish negotiating tactic from a frustrated players association, but it clearly got under Russo’s skin. 

“Bryce Harper is getting paid $336 million,” Russo yelled. “If you don’t live up to the money and you stink, as he did, I can’t listen to you tell me, ‘I’m raring to go.’ You know what? How about last year? You were awful! Gee whiz! Come on. There is some accountability! Guy’s the highest-paid player in the sport and didn’t even make an All-Star team. For crying out loud! My gosh. With that kind of money comes some responsibility!”

“Stop tweeting when you stunk!” Russo added. 

Russo continued the rant, calling out Trevor Bauer and Manny Machado, but said he’d accept tweets from Mike Trout or Anthony Rizzo, considering them more credible because of their career contributions to the sport. It’s an odd take from Dog, screaming that some of the game’s biggest stars aren’t within their right to say they want the season to begin. But credit Russo’s ability to cause a stir. 

2019 NL MVP Christian Yelich fired back in support of his fellow MLB players, wondering if Russo’s career accolades should warrant him offering an opinion. 

https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1273313329478422528

Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman also weighed in, questioning comments Russo made in 2014 about racial inequality in the sports radio industry and specifically on the SiriusXM channel that bears his name. 

At the start of his Wednesday show, Russo defended his career achievements, directing people to his Wikipedia page and highlighting the ESPN 30 for 30 doc which told the story of Mike and the Mad Dog. Russo even sounded a little bit like his former WFAN partner Mike Francesa who would pompously tout his impressive resume. “Ratings, longevity, paychecks” Francesa once said, welcoming resume comparisons in those three areas.

“The idea that I have to sit there and read you my resume to any player – look it up,” Russo said in response to Yelich. “Look up the resume if you wish. Just go look at my Wikipedia page and look at the 37, 38 years of being on the air successfully. You know how hard that is?”

Russo also claimed doing his radio show is as hard as what Bauer does (as a pitcher in Major League Baseball). While it might not be easy to remain relevant and host a drive time radio show for more than three decades, there are a lot more professional athletes who built successful second careers as a radio host than there have been radio hosts who became pro athletes. 

Last month Russo crushed the players association, telling them to “go to hell” for pushing back on the owners demands of financial givebacks beyond prorated salaries. In addition to his SiriusXM radio show, Russo also hosts High Heat on MLB Network, which is primarily owned by Major League Baseball. 

Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Sports Radio News

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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