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Kevin Graham Named New Program Director of KNBR

“In an internal memo to staff, Blumhagen highlighted Graham’s experience in the sports format, and praised his abilities to drive digital success.”

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KNBR in San Francisco has found their next program director!

Last month, Jeremiah Crowe announced plans to move to las Vegas and exit as the station’s top programming boss. To fill his position, Cumulus SVP of Sports Bruce Gilbert, Cumulus San Francisco GM Larry Blumhagen, and Cumulus President Dave Milner have tabbed Kevin Graham to move the brand forward.

Graham joins the sports leader with a spectacular resume programming talk stations. His experience in the sports talk space is extensive, having previously programmed WEEI in Boston, WXYT in Detroit, 1050 ESPN NY in New York City, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix, ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh, and The Fan in Columbus and Salt Lake City. He was most recently the PD of News/Talk stations WBAP and KLIF in Dallas, working under the highly respected and accomplished Dan Bennett.

Regarding the new opportunity in the Bay Area, Graham said: “I am humbled to go from legendary News/Talk stations WBAP/KLIF to KNBR, one of the best Sports radio brands in the country. I am very grateful to continue to work for Cumulus and Larry Blumhagen and the great KNBR Team, and thank Dave Milner, Brian Philips and Bruce Gilbert for their confidence in me. It was an absolute honor to be able to work with and learn from Dan Bennett, one of the best market managers in radio, and the talented Cumulus Dallas team. While the last five years were some of the most rewarding in my career, I am excited to return to my roots and be back in sports radio!”

In an internal memo to staff, Blumhagen highlighted Graham’s experience in the sports format, and praised his abilities to drive digital success. He’ll spend a few weeks in Dallas helping the company identify his replacement before making the move to the Bay Area. His first day on the job is expected to be August 9th.

The move west reunites Graham with the format he’s enjoyed most of his career success in. He inherits a brand that is in the driver seat for local ratings and the new opportunity gives him a chance to work again with John Lund, a talent he spent time working with in Detroit. With the Giants performing well, the 49ers just two months away from kicking off their 2021 campaign, and a strong roster with market credibility locked in place for the near term, Graham should have plenty of opportunity to keep the sports leader healthy, hungry and chasing future ratings victories.

Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts Falls For Fake Twitter Report On Air

“No, come on,” Carton said with a grin. “How did you not know that was fake?”

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With Major League Baseball free agency in full swing, everybody covering the sport is on edge looking for the latest scoop on a key player acquisition. But while there are plenty of honest, reputable sources and insiders on Twitter, some accounts out there just want to watch the world burn.

For the latter, at least WFAN’s Evan Roberts was able to laugh at himself after falling for a Twitter report from a fake insider account.

On Wednesday’s edition of Carton & Roberts, Roberts thought he was breaking some Freddy Galvis free agent news, but co-host Craig Carton immediately knew what he was trying to report was baloney.

Evan Roberts threw up his arms, saying “Breaking news! I can no longer make Freddy Galvis jokes about you guys signing him, New York Yankees,” reporting that the free agent shortstop had signed with a team named the Fukuoka Soft Bangkoks.

Carton made a face as soon as Roberts said the team name and caught his co-host falling for a bit.

“No, come on,” Carton said with a grin. “How did you not know that was fake?”

Evan Roberts, clearly embarrassed, said he blamed the mistake on not getting enough sleep.

“How could you fall for that?” Carton asked.

By that point the segment had gone off the rails, but everybody was having a good chuckle.

“You just read that on the air like you had news,” Carton quipped. “You gotta get some rest, buddy.”

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Sports Radio News

Former Las Vegas Sports Talk Host Frank Harnish Dies

“Harnish served as the first studio host for the Vegas Golden Knights on FOX Sports 98.9/1340. He also co-hosted The Insiders Show for the station with Ryan Wallis.”

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Sad news out of Las Vegas. Former host, producer and promotions director at Lotus Broadcasting, “Ballpark” Frank Harnish has passed away. He worked at Lotus for 27 years before being laid off in 2020.

Harnish served as the first studio host for the Vegas Golden Knights on FOX Sports 98.9/1340. He also co-hosted The Insiders Show for the station with Ryan Wallis.

In addition to his sports radio presence, listeners also knew Frank Harinsh from the cluster’s rock station. He went by Frank Fredricks on KOMP. He voicetracked the station’s overnight hours.

“Frank Harnish was as kind as he was passionate about all things sports and Las Vegas, and he will be missed by the Vegas Golden Knights,” a statement from the NHL franchise reads. “We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Harnish had been battling cancer and documenting his struggles and chemotherapy treatments on Twitter. He was 62 years old.

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Sports Radio News

NBC, Cris Collinsworth Working on Big Money Extension

NBC Sports is deep into negotiations to keep Cris Collinsworth at its lead Sunday Night Football analyst until 2025.

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Cris Collinsworth has been with NBC in his most recent stint since 2006, and it doesn’t seem like he is going anywhere else in the near future. NBC Sports is deep into negotiations to keep him in place as the lead Sunday Night Football analyst until 2025, according to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

Collinsworth and NBC are discussing a contract in the $12.5 million per season range, according to sources close to Marchand.

With Amazon Prime Video set to take over the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football next season, NBC’s plan is to pair Cris Collinsworth with Mike Tirico for Sunday Night Football to replace Al Michaels, who has been rumored to Amazon.

Michaels’s contract is set to expire after this year’s Super Bowl in his hometown of Los Angeles, and while Amazon has not yet finalized a deal for Michaels, it appears likely that he will be their guy on Thursday Night Football.

Michaels is also expected to be offered a reduced role back at NBC as well. He could work select games, including one postseason game for the network.

There were some rumors that Drew Brees would be joining Tirico next season for Sunday Night Football, but it appears that Cris Collinsworth isn’t moving aside though. That likely means Brees is staying in his role on Football Night in America as well as calling Notre Dame football.

The puzzle pieces seem to be fitting in for every network going forward. With Tirico and Collinsworth working Sunday Night Football, that allows Amazon to get their dream scenario of Al Michaels joined by Troy Aikman if that is what they want.

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