Before she became a familiar voice to listeners of 670 The Score in Chicago, Leila Rahimi was on TV in the Windy City. She was part of NBC Sports Chicago until 2020. It was then that she was let go amid a round of layoffs nationwide at NBCUniversal.
Last week, Rahimi returned to TV. She is a part-time sports anchor now for NBC5 in Chicago. It makes her a multi-platform star in the Chicago sports world.
While she was initially hired to work on weekends, Rahimi is getting more airtime following the exit of Siafa Lewis. Lewis was NBC5’s lead sports anchor. Earlier this month she left the station to return to her native Philadelphia.
“I just thought that Leila was talented enough that we should find a place to put her,” said Kevin Cross, president and general manager for NBC 5, Telemundo Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times. “We had a need, but it wasn’t really so much about the need. It was about the opportunity to go after a talented individual, and we wanted to find a way to make it happen.”
Fans can still hear Leila every weekday on 670 The Score’s Bernstein and Rahimi. They can now see her too. She will typically be used 3 days per week with the TV station.
Paul Finebaum Writing Book on Nick Saban/Jimbo Fisher Feud
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim.
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum is taking some time to work on a book, and some of the subject matter is going to be juicy.
Finebaum plans to work with John Talty of AL.com to write the book. This will be Finebaum’s first book since 2014.
Plans are to highlight the rivalry between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. That rivalry was amplified this past spring when the two coaches traded verbal jabs about recruiting and NIL.
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim. “There is a great appeal. I’ve looked at other things in the past but, to me, this is the most intriguing story that I’ve seen in many many years.”
The book will be published by Penguin press and has a fall 2023 release date. Even Hollywood will be paying attention to the book, as a potential TV series or movie could arise.
Finebaum added that he hopes to take a deeper dive into NIL and talk to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
“The main goal is to get the truth, unvarnished and as accurate displayed as we can through individuals speaking on the record or through sources,” he said. “That’s all you can hope to do. The goal is to get beneath the surface and go where you can’t go in a 3-hour radio show or a 750-word column.”
Mason & Ireland Ink Contract Extensions with ESPN Los Angeles
The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo in L.A.
The long-running West Coast sounds of Mason & Ireland will continue. The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo for ESPN Los Angeles.
Steve Mason and John Ireland have been on-and-off partners in radio since 1992.
Mason said of the extension, “I love L.A. sports and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I really appreciate ESPN and our new owner Good Karm Brands. We’ve got a really good team on Mason & Ireland with producer Greg Bergman and associate producer Jorge Briones. And I especially love doing the show every day with John Ireland, my friend of 30 years.”
Ireland also has a statement that read, “It’s both an honor and a privilege to continue this ride with ESPN. During the course of our last deal, the Lakers, Rams and Dodgers all won titles. Obviously, we were able to mistakenly convince our bosses that we had something to do with that, so they’re letting us continue. Please, nobody tell them.”
Mason & Ireland airs weekdays from 1-4p PT on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles.
Mike Francesa and Phil Mushnick Lock Horns Over Golf Bets
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claiming his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Phil Mushnick of The New York Post, is no fan of Mike Francesa. The latest bout between the two was triggered by a series of erroneous golf bets that Francesa has given out in each of the last three majors.
Francesa, on his podcast with BetRivers Network, told folks that the best bet to win the Masters was Brooks Koepka. The best bet to win the PGA Championship was Scottie Scheffler. He also said the best bet to win The U.S. Open was Cameron Smith. Neither won. Neither even made the cut.
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claimed his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Francesa heard about, or read, the piece and responded on Twitter, calling Mushnick “sad, pathetic” and said that Mushnick’s writings make him look “like the jealous old man that he is”.
Moments later, Francesa tweeted again, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”
As AMNY points out, these two have rammed horns before.
Mushnick once said he had alleged tapes of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo demanding loyalty oaths from Jews after 9/11.
The writer would also accuse Francesa of fighting with his then-boss Mark Chernoff, after losing to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings, an accusation Francesa denies.