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Craig Carton Says He Nearly Replaced Howard Stern

“A lot of names were discussed to replace Stern at the time, including Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, but Carton said the opportunity was his and he wanted it.”

Brandon Contes

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Craig Carton

Before Boomer and Carton, long before Carton and Roberts, the sports radio shock jock had an opportunity presented to him that likely would have negated his WFAN tenure. During last Friday’s celebratory show for morning producer Al Dukes, Craig Carton said he was offered the job to replace Howard Stern when the King of all Media moved to satellite.

Stern’s affiliates were split between a few hosts nationwide, but the most infamous one was Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, whose show filled stations in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas and South Florida. Popular radio disc jockey Rover replaced Stern in the Midwest and comedian Adam Carolla took over a few West Coast markets. 

A lot of names were discussed to replace Stern at the time, including Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, but Carton said the opportunity was his and he wanted it. Carton, who was hosting at NJ 101.5, would have been given Roth’s East Coast affiliates. 

NJ 101.5 was owned by Millennium Radio Group at the time and Carton remembered discussing the Stern deal with them saying, “if there’s anything you’re going to do to stop this, you gotta tell me now because I represented that you’re letting me go.” Carton said the company gave him the go ahead. 

He described it as a done deal, Craig Carton was going to replace Howard Stern. But on his way home from receiving the offer, Carton got an angry phone call. CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander just received a fax saying, ‘if you want to hire Craig Carton, you have to give us [‘X’ amount of dollars].” Just like that, Carton was out, and Roth was soon to be in. 

Roth’s show was an epic failure, barely lasting three months. But taking over for Stern was a seemingly impossible task with unrealistic expectations, defining the sentiment that it’s always better to be the individual replacing the person who replaced the legend. 

When Carton told his now WFAN co-host Evan Roberts and update anchor Chris Lopresti the story, he spoke as if it was an obvious decision to want the opportunity to replace Stern, “why wouldn’t I?” he asked. Lopresti pushed back a bit, noting it probably would have ended poorly, but Carton said, “you didn’t see the check.” 

Less than two years later, Carton was back in discussions with CBS Radio about replacing a morning legend. This time, it was Stern’s rival Don Imus. Carton’s contract with NJ 101.5 was now closer to expiring and he made it clear he would never sign with them again, making him available to join CBS and WFAN to replace Imus.

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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